In a world where censorship is growing and the right to privacy is being undermined, Web3 — the next iteration of the world wide web — looks to some like the solution users of online platforms are waiting for. As some pioneering Web3 products and solutions have demonstrated, when users are in control, there are fewer incidents of breaches or unsanctioned use or transfer of their data.
Decentralized Communication Finance (Dcfi)
Building on this success, some Web3 startups are now attempting to create solutions that make it possible to combine decentralized finance and decentralized communications. One of such startup, Pravica Club — an Egypt-based Web3 firm — recently launched such a messaging platform.
According to the startup’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Mohamed Abdou, Pravica Club — a Web3 messaging, self-custody, decentralized identity and blockchain-enabled conversations app — gives users an “opportunity to build their communities in a safe place.”
Abdou told Bitcoin.com News how Pravica Club’s eternal message and crypto payments functions make the app competitive. In addition to sharing information on the messaging app, the co-founder gave his perspective on crypto regulations and the emergence of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a blockchain and crypto hub.
Below are Abdou’s written responses to questions sent to him.
Bitcoin.com News (BCN): You recently launched a decentralized communication finance (dcfi) platform that you call Pravica Club. Can you explain what this “dcfi” is all about and why you think such a platform is needed?
Mohamed Abdou (MA): Dcfi is a new rising term in the crypto space and explains the nature of platforms that enable decentralized communication and decentralized finance under one platform to service a wide range of users.
Pravica Club totally fits under this term, we enable private, decentralized and secure messaging that is end-to-end encrypted with the user’s owned encryption keys. Our users are using their own decentralized identities (DIDs) to log in to Pravica Club without any need for a username/password, mobile number or email, for example, yourName. ETH or yourName. BTC and so on.
We are giving people in the Web3 era the opportunity to build their communities in a safe place and can earn from multiple channels like Value Weighted Messages (VWM), where community members are enabled to not only like posts but also to “value” the post with a small fraction of crypto tokens to show appreciation to the one who posted it.
Also, community builders can earn bitcoin by introducing premium features to the community members and followers who do stacking (not staking) for a certain amount of crypto tokens and redirect the rewards to the community owners.
BCN: According to your company’s recent blog post, the messaging platform comes with the so-called “eternal message” feature. How does this feature make your platform different or better than the centralized messaging platforms?
MA: We all know that using any messaging app like WhatsApp or Telegram, every message is stored on servers that are owned and controlled by the service provider. What if you want to save a piece of conversation in such a way that it stays forever even when you stop using the service? In the web2 world, there is no way to do it, but in the web3 and by using smart contracts, people can take a piece of conversation and put it in plain text on the chain, this piece of conversation will be converted into a one single transaction ID that you can share it with anyone and will stay forever on the blockchain where you can verify it and show it as a proof-of-chat.
It is a message that can never be deleted or changed and it is in an NFT [non-fungible token] format that allows the owners to maybe one day benefit from it.
So for example, when Vitalik Buterin announced the success of the Ethereum merge, and if he had shared this with his community via Pravica Club, the very statement announcing the success could be made into an eternal message and maybe 100 years from now, this message will have a value and can be seen not in history books but on the blockchain.
BCN: Based on what you said in a recent statement, users of the Dcfi platform are also able to send crypto payments. Can you shed more light on this?
MA: As you are already authenticated with your crypto wallet, you will have the ability to interact with your crypto assets directly while you are chatting. This phenomenal feature allows our users to send and receive crypto assets while they are chatting, and we call this feature CASH_TAG. You don’t need to leave the chatting session and then ask the other side for his crypto address and go to your crypto wallet to complete a transaction, instead of this long process, just in a matter of clicks you can do the task easily. Thanks to web3.
BCN: Your company is based in Eygpt, where monetary authorities recently reiterated their opposition to cryptocurrencies. In addition, you have prominent individuals like Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris denouncing cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. How does this impact or affect your attempt to encourage the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method by Egypt-based users of Pravica Club?
MA: This is a great question. Thank you for shining a spotlight on this issue. Pravica is a company that is registered in Egypt, UAE and USA, our mission is to solve a huge problem when it comes to data privacy. Yes we are utilizing the power of blockchain technology to tackle these issues yet we do not promote any cryptocurrency and we don’t operate using tokens and we didn’t issue any token to be used in our tools and services.
So, given that we are working within the guidelines set by the Egyptian regulator there is no problem at all. If there is any service that deals directly with any crypto asset, we are warning our users to make sure that they are following the regulations where they are from.
Pravica is a global product and it is not dedicated to any specific country or region, we are taking the advantage of being in Egypt by hiring great talents and utilizing the cost efficiency when it comes to the cost of operations, and we are very proud to be the only company from Egypt that started to work in the blockchain space since three years ago and still operating despite the whole challenges.
BCN: In your opinion, are there more Egyptians embracing cryptocurrencies today than, say, four years ago (2018) when the central bank initially warned against using them?
MA: I don’t have confirmed statistics about this point, but as I am following the news about the industry, I read an article from months ago indicating that Egypt has about 2% of the population owning crypto (more than 2 million people), I don’t know if it is a correct number or not.
Personally, I believe that Egypt is not different from the rest of the world, and more and more people are starting to embrace crypto, that is one of the reasons we built a fully web3 crypto native Pravica Club platform, because if [there are users] today that are not into crypto, tomorrow they will be.
BCN: While many regulators from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have generally adopted a very conservative approach towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain, those from the UAE have largely embraced the technology. As a result, the UAE has emerged as a hub for crypto and blockchain startups in the MENA region. In your opinion, what does the emergence of the UAE as a hub for crypto and blockchain say about the country’s approach to the regulation of cryptocurrencies?
MA: I believe that this is the best way to adopt and utilize this great technology. UAE is running aggressively toward the technology adoption and this is what encouraged us at Pravica to register in UAE under DMCC, crypto centre.
The UAE is pioneering and adopting the blockchain technology in the region by issuing regulations that organize the way people are dealing with the technology and I believe that a lot of countries will follow, I see there is a great initiative nowadays in Saudi Arabia to begin issuing the needed regulations that organize the way people are dealing with crypto and virtual assets.
Finally, crypto is here to stay and as fast as you can adopt it as a country, as max the gain you will earn. We at Pravica will continue to expand our offering and our geographical presence and are currently looking to raise a seed round of $5 million.
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Author: Terence Zimwara