Building a better email
The philosophy for MyMail Protocol stems from a key question:
"What if email was something you bought from a protocol which had no interest in your personal information?"
The tremendous problem with current email service providers is that if a user loses access to their account, there is no support for regaining access because the service is provided for free. MyMail Protocol is being created with the intention that the user can own their data so this will not happen.
"The amount of email being stored is something like 3x the surface area of the internet. That means if you archived the current state of the internet, stored email is 3x that size."
Why would centralized companies pay to store so much information? They track users everywhere they go. Centralized companies sell analytics packages - and developers include them into their apps and websites. When users sign up for an email account they are also creating a digital identity - which the centralized provider owns. They are able to sell users' identities to advertisers. This is why when users search for things they see ads for the searched-for items thereafter.
What if there was a protocol where the users and operators incentives were aligned?
With the introduction of a wallet in Web 3.0 with an address that identifies a user as an individual, the wallet address can be separated from the IP address. This means that the operator who provides the user their inbox information only knows their wallet address and not their email address - so user tracking can stop.
The History of Email
Email (SMTP protocol) was one of the first protocols. It was a killer app. It digitized letter writing by allowing people to communicate almost instantly. It was there when computers were scarce and people had to log into them with remote terminals; then email clients had apps running on personal computers like Windows and Macs; then in the dot.com bubble email moved online with Web 2.0; then with mobile the first iPhone had a built-in email client.
MyMail Protocol would have a unified inbox experience: a familiar email experience with sent, inbox, read, and unread sections/functionality, but in addition there would be on-chain decentralized messages.
Emails would be kept in the inbox for 90 days and by default they would be set to expire - but the user would have the option to make them permanent. By selecting to make an email permanent, MyMail Protocol would encrypt it and send it to Arweave for storage.
MyMail Protocol is a collection of decentralized inbox nodes. They serve two purposes:
(i) recipient of incoming emails and store them in encrypted fashion; and
(ii) act as a mixed network which makes it difficult on inspection of the blockchain to determine who - between the user and the recipient - is the sender and receiver of a message.
Arweave enables for the first time users to take ownership of their data. At every other point prior to Arweave, users would have to trust a centralized system.
A key innovation is that developers can deploy an application to Arweave permanently and so users can be guaranteed that they can access that forever. This means that the application cannot be taken down or be replaced by a new version. (If developers do want to create a new version they can, but they can't force users to switch to it.) The combination of the two elements of permanent access and permanent storage makes the promise that "users own their data" possible.
In addition, Arweave solves the cost issue of on-chain storage. Arweave's transaction costs and data storage costs are very low: users can store emails for a fraction of a cent. There are technical solutions already conceived to deal with the fear that Arweave might grow to a point where data cannot be backed up - both on the economic and mining side.
Future of MyMail
On the user experience side, DM functionality can be built on top of the MyMail Protocol.
On the development side, MyMail is building out its team to accelerate development. It has just integrated ArConnect support which should be ready to be deployed soon for the community to test.
Experience the MyMail protocol here!
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