WWAM – A New Protocol for World Wide Anonymous Messaging

Introduction

WWAM (WorldWide Anonymous Messaging) is an anonymous and decentralized protocol that enables instant and delayed communication between two or more users. The team’s mission is to remove the need for a central server for storage of the user’s contacts, preferences, messages and history.

Privacy over the internet has become growing concern. Search engines, mobile and desktop applications even your Internet Service Provider is monitoring your every move online. As a driving force, others claim security reasons and other bluntly sell your online data to various parties each with its own agenda; ranging from advertising to behavioural research.

Most users accept the above as a necessary evil born by globalization and internet usage growth. Even those who go beyond and above to hide their identities are getting compromised by the bottom layers of the digital communication infrastructure. In the most recent incident a coalition of international law enforcement announced the successful takedown of the dark web’s two largest markets, Hansa and AlphaBay. Dutch National Police could read all messages stored on Hansa’s server and monitor them in real time. Such incidents would be easily avoided if addresses and messages where using a protocol such as the one WWAM is developing.

 

A Layman’s approach

WWAM has designed a secure protocol focused in privacy that can be used by any application that wants to incorporate communication between users.  A protocol is a set of rules and guidelines for communicating data. Rules are defined for each step and process during communication between two or more computers. Networks have to follow these rules to successfully transmit data. They cover authentication, error detection and correction, and signalling. They can also describe the syntax, semantics, and synchronization of communications.

 

How will it work

The team is developing their own blockchain to process interactions between users. Everything regarding the messaging protocol and privacy issues will be managed by this blockchain.

The blockchain will be built from scratch, as none of the existing ones fit the project’s needs. Think of it as the Bitcoin blockchain running at zero difficulty with very fast block times. Every interaction between users will be considered a transaction. It will include the message to be sent, as well as a small fee. A network of nodes will be responsible for confirming the transactions and if deemed legitimate will be included in the next block.

The network will reward users that are part of the network, but are not active to limit spam and the use of bots. Transaction costs will at an acceptable level, suitable for everyone. Nobody wants to pay $1 to send a simple message to another user. The node fee will be adjusted at a fixed rate of $1 for every 5000 messages.

There will be no generated coins or tokens. The supply will be fixed, and exchanged between users as transaction fees. Messages will be broadcast as transactions by the network, and nodes will be rewarded with fees for processing messages.

The main idea is enforcing encryption and anonymity at the protocol level rather than application level, ensuring users that applications using that protocol must comply to these rules to be able to work.

Simple Example

Example

In the diagram, Bob, identified on the WWAM network as 1F1tAaz5x1HUXrCNLbtMDqcw6o5GNn4xqX, sends a message to John, identified by WWAM as 3BjewFrtS47gUrMUp4BAykULcRj5GEQMso. Bob’s message is encrypted, then broadcast by a random node on the network. The message is confirmed by multiple nodes and added to the blockchain. Whenever John queries the blockchain, he will be able to decrypt the message safely.

 

Anti-spam

An authorization process has been implemented to avoid unwanted messages sent to users publicized address. The first transaction between two or more users will require permission from the receiving address. If the recipient address declines authorization, any further attempts by the sending address to contact the receiving address will be rejected by the network. To keep the network less busy for the processing nodes, each authorization will be time stamped and valid for only 24 hours, after which it will expire.

 

Anonymous

WWAM will be completely anonymous. Every message on the blockchain will be protected with double encryption, using Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC). The network will also use temporary “dummy” addresses to obfuscate transactions between users. During the first authorization process, a pair of new addresses will be generated, one for each user in the communication channel. An authorization message will be sent from the sender’s address to the recipient’s address, and all subsequent messages between the authorized addresses will occur between the newly generated “dummy” addresses. As the blockchain is public, it will show the address Y authorized address X. However, only the users communicating will know the dummy addresses. The public will see the exchanges between the dummy addresses but they wouldn’t be able to know which authorized addresses are associated with them.

 

Building the foundations

The WWAM network’s goal is to be a protocol rather than a single application. The team wants developers to work on their own chat clients. They will be free to create their platform from web, mobile, desktop or integrated chat clients. WWAM will provide a simple desktop client, and the Representational State Transfer (REST) API to use with the blockchain protocol. A few servers will be up and running at launch, to give interested developers a sandbox to experiment with before developing their own

 

The Client

Users will have the option of using Representational State Transfer (REST) or run the blockchain locally. Windows and Linux software will be provided for running nodes at launch. Everything will be open source and made publicly available by using GNU general public license.

 

WWAM Summary

  • Encryption will be mandatory, and un-encrypted messages rejected automatically by the network.
  • The nodes will have zero knowledge about the users on the platform, and they will not be able to read messages and content.
  • Users will not be required to register to use WWAM, thereby rendering login and password combinations useless
  • There will be no central server to store private information, and all messages will stay in the blockchain
  • Contact lists and message history are non-existent unless the user opts to maintain one
  • WWAM will use a large network of many nodes. Whenever a user sends a message, the network will process the message on different nodes. If a node on the network sees the user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address, the rest of the network would be oblivious to that information

Anonymous – Decentralized – Reliable

 

Funding Rounds

Any start-up which is established to serve its business objective needs fundraising. Fundraising is important along with the funding procedure. When these two business components come together, there is a rich potential to contribute to the growth of a start-up.

WWAM is at the Proof-Of-Concept (PoC) stage. This is an area where the lack of private funding sources to support technology transfer is a fact. The general unavailability of private investments stems from high transaction costs, significant asymmetric information between the science-based business idea and potential external investors and the high risks pertaining to the uncertainty of project outcomes (Munari and Toschi, 2011). To gather the funds required the WWAM team is organizing a multi-round Initial Coin Offering spanning over August and September 2017.

The ICO will be held on the Ethereum blockchain; investors will be contributing ETH to purchase an ERC20 WWAM token. Once the development of the new blockchain is complete the team will provide and automated platform which will interact with the ERC20 smart contract and will exchange, 1:1 the Ethereum based tokens to the final currency. (The ERC20 exchanged tokens will be automatically burned).

 

ICO Details

Contributing 1 ETH will yield 200,000 WWAM, with early backers receiving 15% bonus. Read the full details on the official website

The team has set a minimum funding goal of 500 ETH, implemented in the source code of the smart contract, a refund will be automatically triggered if the goal is not reached at the end of the ICO.The unlikely maximum is 500,000 ETH. There are no pre-allocated tokens, as the contract dynamically generates them every time a contribution is made. WWAM developers will receive 1% of the total token supply at the end of the ICO that will be generated and added on top of the total existing supply.

Considering the unlikely event where the hard cap of 500,000 ETH is reached during the very first round and the bounty budget has been fully used; the total amount of tokens available would be 100,000,000 + 15% bonus + 1% team share + 1% bounty = 117,000,000 WWAM tokens (the absolute maximum)

The minimal supply would be in the event of only the bare minimum funding goal is reached, with all funds gathered during final rounds and with 0% usage of the bounty share. This scenario will lead the distribution of 100,000 + 1% team share = 101,000 tokens.

 

Save the dates

-August 9, 2017 – 20h UTC -> ICO Stage 1 begins

-August 16, 2017 – 20h UTC -> ICO Stage 2 begins

-August 23, 2017 – 20h UTC -> ICO Final Stage begins

-September 6, 2017 – 20h UTC -> ICO Ends

-Q1 2018 -> Protocol and API breakdown

-Q2 2018 – Q3 2018 -> Protocol and node software release

-Q3 2018 -> REST API release

-Q3 2018 -> Windows/Linux Client release

 

The team

The WWAM team at the time being wishes to stay anonymous due to legal, regulatory and security reasons.

The team

They claim to be a group of passionate software engineers from France that met during their school education, quickly finding common interest in new technologies, global security and anonymity over the Internet. They all attended the same software engineering master degree and later worked for small and big companies. The members of the team would be happy to disclose their identities with official regulatory authorities in the case the issue arises.

 

What does Whale’s Friend think?

To extract the information above, we had an extensive and public conversation with the founder of the project, Xavier. He responded to all our questions in detail and in a timely manner. He opted the QnA to happen in public, on the bitcointalk forum, so it serves as a record to all the statements.

We understand that the project is still at the concept stage and it will require hard work from the side of the developing team and patience from the investors. As we have said in previous posts, the outcomes of investing at such early stages of a project can only be extreme as well as the price volatility.  Make sure you are prepared to lose it all due to a myriad of possible deadlocks (devs leaving, catastrophic error in the code, the team pivoting the direction, the funding running out and more)

We wish them best of luck; we will be following closely and if necessary we will update you with any major developments.

Useful Links

WhitePaperSlackBitcointalkTwitter

Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose and don’t take the rumblings of a mad man online as investment advice. Do your own due diligence; Join the official forum to get more info and to verify what you read here. Understand that the above is a personal opinion and was not sponsored or requested in any way.