DSNP Protocol

DSNP Protocol

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Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP) for a New Era of Social Media

The Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP) represents a groundbreaking approach to social networking, aiming to liberate users from the confines of centralized platforms and provide control over their identities and personal data. Developed by Project Liberty, DSNP leverages blockchain technology to establish a universal, open, and decentralized social graph. This initiative marks a significant step towards dismantling the current surveillance economy and fostering a healthier, more equitable digital ecosystem.

DSNP Protocol Origins and Development

The inception of DSNP can be traced back to the growing concerns over data privacy and control in the Web 2.0 era. Traditional social networks have centralized data storage, allowing a few corporations to monopolize user information and monetize it through advertising-driven models. This has led to various issues, including data breaches, manipulation through algorithms, and a general lack of user agency.

Recognizing these challenges, Braxton Woodham and his team saw the potential of blockchain technology to create a decentralized social network. In 2014, the emergence of Ethereum provided a viable solution to the problem of decentralized data storage, leading to the conceptualization and development of DSNP. After years of research and development, including an end-to-end proof of concept, DSNP has evolved into a robust protocol that promises to redefine social networking.

DSNP Protocol Core Concepts and Architecture

DSNP operates on the principles of self-sovereign identity, personal data privacy, and public social media. The protocol is designed to work on top of existing internet protocols like TCP/IP and HTTPS, ensuring compatibility and ease of integration.

  1. Identity Management: Users are assigned a DSNP User ID, which is managed through public/private key pairs. This ensures that users have complete control over their identity and data. Delegated tasks, such as managing social connections or submitting posts, can be handled by service providers under the user’s explicit agreement.

  2. Social Graph: The social graph in DSNP is decentralized, representing the relationships between users without relying on a central authority. This graph is updated through public message routing on the blockchain, ensuring transparency and immutability.

  3. Content and Messaging: DSNP supports various types of user-generated content, referred to as Announcements. These can be public or private and are managed through state change records on the blockchain. This structure ensures that all interactions are verifiable and transparent.

DSNP Protocol Collaboration and Governance

DSNP’s development is supported by a broad network of collaborators and advisors, including experts in psychology, ethics, and technology. Recent collaborations, such as the partnership with the Beckn protocol, highlight DSNP’s commitment to interoperability and building a decentralized digital future.

The governance framework for DSNP is designed to be inclusive and transparent. The Project Liberty Institute recently published a draft Governance Framework, inviting feedback from the community to refine and improve the protocol. This collaborative approach ensures that DSNP evolves in a manner that aligns with the needs and values of its users.

DSNP Protocol Integration with Polkadot

After extensive analysis, Polkadot was chosen as the optimal blockchain platform for scaling DSNP. Polkadot’s architecture, including its energy-efficient consensus mechanisms and state sharding capabilities, makes it well-suited for implementing DSNP at scale. The first production-grade implementation of DSNP is planned as a Layer-1 parachain on Polkadot, developed in partnership with Parity Technologies.

Ethical Considerations and Future Directions

Ensuring that DSNP supports a healthier web and social fabric is a core mission of Project Liberty. The collaboration with Georgetown University’s Ethics Lab underscores the importance of ethical principles in the protocol’s development. The forthcoming ethics whitepaper will further elaborate on these principles, guiding the future evolution of DSNP.

DSNP aims to create an open, interoperable ecosystem where developers can innovate freely without fear of exclusion by dominant platforms. This vision includes a diverse range of applications and services that can interact seamlessly, providing users with choice and control over their digital interactions.


The Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP) is poised to revolutionize the way social networks operate, offering a decentralized alternative to the current centralized, surveillance-driven models. By prioritizing user control, data privacy, and open access, DSNP sets the stage for a more equitable and innovative digital future. As the protocol continues to evolve, it invites participation from a wide range of stakeholders to build what could be one of the most significant public infrastructure projects of our time.

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