Introducing Nostr: A Decentralized Social Network for Sovereign Individuals

March 6, 2023
min read

What is Nostr?

Nostr is the Reformation for Information.
  • The Nostr protocol launched on November 7th 2020 and was created by the anonymous bitcoin developer FiatJaf 
  • Nostr is a simple, open protocol that enables a global, decentralized, censorship-resistant network like bitcoin in many ways but for communication.
  • Nostr doesn't rely on any trusted central server. 
  • Nostr is an open standard on which anyone can build, similar to HTTP or TCP-IP.  The simplicity of Nostr makes it easy to build applications like social media experiences and integrate with various open protocols like the bitcoin lightning network. 
  • The wordNostr” is an acronym for Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted over Relays

So how does Nostr work?

Nostr is a protocol based on servers called “relays''. These relays allow for json files to be sent and received by any individual who is also connected to the same relay. Relays can be operated by anyone. There are now over 500 public relays as of this week, 06/03/2023. Individuals can now easily run their own Nostr relay via applications and tools using Umbrel (see this tweet to learn more about running your own relay with Umbrel 

One of the key advantages of running your own relay is that it enables you to back up and take control of your data. By opening a persistent connection with the relays, Nostr based clients/apps can push and pull events (such as likes, comments, posts, DMs, payments) in real time. 

Nostr requires no KYC, no email sign up, nor any phone number verification; instead, the protocol gives users their very own public key (npub…) and private key (nsec…). You can think of this like a username and password for your own Nostr profile. Very similar to bitcoin, your public address is for sharing with others. And your private key gives you access to send notes and encrypted messages to addresses on the same relay. As always, be sure to follow safe private key practices like you would with your bitcoin setup: In this case, “not your keys, not your coins” now means “not your keys, not your notes/identity”. It means that if you do not control your private keys, you do not have control over your digital identity and data on Nostr. For more technical details read Nostr’s github page:

What is Nostr’s origin story and why has it become so popular in recent months?

Nostr was created by an anonymous developer who goes by the pseudonym FiatJaf. He has been working on various bitcoin lightning network projects including the LNTX bot for the mobile app Telegram. Nostr has been slowly developed by a small number of developers in the last two years with little to no funding until recently when Jack Dorsey (former Twitter CEO) donated 14 BTC (1.4 Billion satoshis) on December 15th. Jack Dorsey expressed his views about the need for an open internet protocol for social media after the controversy of the Twitter Files being leaked to the new CEO Elon Musk:

Read full version here: 

The 14 BTC (~$250k) donation by Dorsey attracted many entrepreneurial developers to develop on the protocol with bounties on offer for dev teams (  One of the lead Nostr devs named WIlliam Cassarin was then able to work full time on his IOS application Damus app and other NIPs (Nostr Implementation Possibilities like BIPs for Bitcoin development). Damus Testflight App went live in late December and as a result led to huge growth in Nostr’s user base overnight. It encouraged many more devs to build competing applications and innovate. 

Snowden’s note on Nostr:

The following month, the well known NSA whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden (5.8 Million Twitter followers) joined Nostr. He sent notes to address how big tech is pressured to censor individuals for anything that is deemed by the state “incorrect”. He observed that Nostr could potentially fix this dynamic by removing the corporations involved in online communication completely. Snowden's endorsement of Nostr has helped to build trust and credibility for the protocol. 

Nostr’s growth metrics linked here: 

All this interest and activity resulted in a 5x growth in the number of profiles in February 2023 as well as other important developments. Nostr also experienced organic growth by thousands of bitcoiners, free-speech advocates, and sovereign individuals sharing their public addresses (npub) through social media and creating content about Nostr. Included in the creative content during this time were the famous purple ostrich AI artwork memes that you may have come across. Nostr is represented by the purple ostrich because the famous bitcoin comedian/content creator/educator @Walker asked ChatGPT to tell him a joke about Nostr and because the mobile app Damus had a purple color. The purple nostrich became a mascot for Nostr and the idea eventually stuck.

​​Nostrich Origin story thread linked here:


Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

So why Nostr?

All the major institutions have failed us! The incentives of these 20th-century corporate models do not lead to more freedom of individuals; they lead to more restrictions on individuals. The Bitcoin protocol when it was launched in 2009 changed the game by decentralizing money away from the central banks. Now there is a real chance that the Nostr protocol could decentralize communication so individuals no longer need to rely on a few Silicon Valley Tech Giants to communicate their thoughts online without fear of being deplatformed. With Nostr relay servers you can be censored, but you can just jump to another relay that treats you better or just run your own Nostr relay. Like with bitcoin, you cannot be de-protocoled, which is why Nostr is understood to be censorship resistant. 

Current social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have numerous issues. They require a trust model for starters, just like trusting FTX with your bitcoin. But now you must trust them with all your data instead of your assets. They use algorithms to keep users addicted to their platforms. Users have no control over their data. Users are forced to watch ads to consume content. Users can be deplatformed for having a “wrong opinion”. Spam is out of control with no improvement even with Elon Musk as the new CEO of Twitter. Meta just announced rolling out monthly verification subscriptions in Australia and New Zealand to use Meta platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp) that would require consumers to provide a valid government ID (basically KYC for social media) to access their profile. 

The idea of Big Tech working even closer with the government is very alarming. The user effectively becomes a target if unable to comply with government enforcement policies or a criminal who is  breaking the law and subject to punishment. Governments want to tie this to your health status, a central bank digital currency (CBDC), your carbon score, and your credit rating. That would be a George Orwell, 1984-style dystopian society. This isn't a conspiracy theory; it is happening in China at present. 

“This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to. You take the purple pill, you become a Nostrich, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more.” ~Morpheus

Have you been purple-pilled yet? Do you want to know how to onboard to Nostr now?

Here's how to get started:

  1. Find a Nostr client/app that suits your needs. All you need to do is create a private key (nsec) to access any client you wish. DO NOT SHARE nsec! Nostr client list:
  1. Set up your profile, including bio, profile pic, etc. 
  2. Make sure you connect some popular relays to have access to a larger audience for better social media experience. Check out these pages, which have huge lists of bitcoiners who are on Nostr with npub addresses:  and 
  3. Set up NIP–05 verification to get verified (optional) using sites like 
  4. Set up your Lightning Network wallet for NIP-057 (Zaps ⚡) in profile settings. 
  5. Find your social media friends and share your npub address on your socials. 
  6. Visit for a great resource to learn more.  
Bitcoin ₿ + Nostr 𓅦 + Zaps ⚡= Sovryn Individuals

What are Zaps ⚡?

Zaps on Nostr are lightning fast tips and payments that can be sent directly to content creators using the Nostr protocol and the Bitcoin lightning network. Zaps launched in mid-February under the Nostr Implementation Possibility NIP-057. The full specifications can be found here:  Zaps allow users to reward content creators and send payments also using the Nostr protocol directly to P2P via the bitcoin lightning network. 

This is just the beginning—a very exciting time for innovation. It's very likely more use cases will arise from these two open protocols integrating—such as marketplaces on Nostr, new advertising models, and funding for development of Nostr. You can watch a video on how Zaps are implemented into the mobile app Damus: For privacy focused individuals, Damus just released the optionality for anonymous Zapping. Public Zaps between Nostr users can be viewed here live:

The lightning network has taken Nostr to the next level. BOLT 12 will take it even further. BOLTs (Basis of Lightning Technology) are essentially BIPs but for Lightning. BOLT 12 would be a dramatic improvement for Lightning and Nostr. BOLT 12 allows for: subscriptions denominated in USD (but settled in sats), static Zapping, and self-custodial Zapping. Lightning development and usage is really starting to take off with the introduction of the Zaps feature to Nostr.

Stats from 

Read “Mastering the Lightning Network” if you wish to learn more about lightning network which can now be read for free here:

Potential future use cases for Sovryn

  • Sending Sovryn Dollars (DLLRs) via Lightning using Nostr along the lines of Taro Zaps, assuming Sovryn Dollar gets launched via Taro. Docs on Taro found here: 
  • Github version on Nostr for devs not having to worry about their code being taken down by a centralized entity. E.g. Tornado Cash code was taken off Github.
  • Sovryn Group Chat or community calls hosted via Nostr.
  • The Sovryn community could run its own relay to save all its communications to one server in case centralized social media companies take down our social media channel. Sovryn has already been removed from Instagram without any clear explanation.
  • Sovryn hosting Nests (Nostrs’ version of twitter spaces). 

Join the decentralized social media platform today to see what all the buzz is about and follow Sovryn’s official profile at To conclude this blog post, I'd like to share a note from Derek Ross, a contributor to

 “Nostr will be the social protocol layer that ties many different applications together. Because of this, I'm bullish on Zaps coming to Other Stuff, not just Notes. Do you like that artist's song? Zap! Is that pull request a needed feature? Zap! Are you looking forward to that event? Zap! Did that streamer just win their game? Zap! Keep building.” 

Always remember, Stay Sovryn!

List of some of the Sovryn Individuals on Nostr:

Sovryn Official: or npub13e6ltkjzcr9hhked2yjpu6kfgdtlk58tgg470alhlrx7f4h2zqhsat7n7r 

SatoshiBadger: npub1de4sefntj4p9kf30ve9cltw5app2vhjye67g6cysmqm02ytn7w2q0sry6m 

Sovereign Origin: npub15tkakfjtkcmg4aaa2hatapj2gsjslr587nvga8q8t49nhc5x32qq3fnhq4 

Sovryn Matt: npub1fl7pr0azlpgk469u034lsgn46dvwguz9g339p03dpetp9cs5pq5qxzeknp 

Eden Rivers: npub1g5rwqnjtwpuuuplr36v82eu2sxkn8fzkc6tdwz8036dzmrqkhgzqm6qq0t 

ArtofTomas: npub1r6286s64am2qy7zhms55pv37dnumxumgf0qqr0ctr7sa53lpaqyqcn3g6r 

Bitcoin Apostle: npub1cl4deuxsxk2ldqgq85q9xfn898253qjyfcrcnkqd2wdks7ppu43qn0gu8k 

Terere.rsk: npub15x4g6dpq8ua8uud2sztt470dxql8zlkdyu8g0yjmw3m7pg98r9uqgagqg8 

CryptoFinder: npub1u8pjpvz7l3wjnkr6ptd6huh8wtavpxt4xmcneu5nje7vdjveqrqq7sxzqp 

N00b: npub138uleqlp6gzqjv2zsa8fetcnvpf30aychns2afktszmr9v069ypq8wqm03 Omid 

Drn: npub1cu46sn9gutp55gu9053e99vgap6urfa7d59pt8wpyh87dfj54stqyyytgu 

Saunter: npub1m0sxqk5uwvtjhtt4yw3j0v3k6402fd35aq8832gp8kmer78atvkq9vgcru 

B S: npub1uttpylcpa38vj85a6gfzwhvftenrp8m2kma2szyfex4c45r0ktwq0ejv0m 

Capitalist42: npub13l6snxsvte74p6qv2c5vs6ltzl7xh2qcs76jjq3dams27x036aeqd6fxqp

Commstark: npub1zzh22ty3kv9u3yhy0y5wdynvfrcspm0dj3cl3vlv4mswedznsn0qnhx0eq

HuluvuBlue: npub1anecye9mwjc82v9x9cnzunwyjl80wpr0up87x5ms58ah8ycdxdqqq4mc0h 

Tonktonk: npub1j78yep4lyu0sk9yux79skvnszlp80tjdgrx7shd8w3gt5u3cuwhsaqsa63 

Scarcity Miner: npub164r0czzr4ph7fvwv0c5s0w0j0qsdv5a49n7tutuqfwru9a9t37nqdy9tyt

Seodan: npub1kck3x6kh3krej5esvwy6ujp0g5e3af8ehec8ulc7e7zuyplappss27hjl4

Joe Burnett: npub1z5ds93lv6uky7n4676txw7aqp9qdcyhs00qdsmy96s4k6qd8rvaqnzmqhw 

Professor Onedigit: npub14t8675yv7hghanlrgv44gpjfm8uzs3e4667cattmd2sl65kyydusjmlcmk

DJ on Philly: npub1j65apuwlntz43wjfq26kay7wp6hsecf5nraax5l3q9rkpff96a0se0x6s7

Legosi: npub1sudvqmcf0nu0p6wwen0s48epchv2qfs7mvtmrav68x6mxalht4zq8l7cs8

Nux: npub1ntknr60ns7474jhfu20q0ny4spcnaz4gkzg5ykma53ry303uwwkq054z8s

Rafhit: npub1aa95aagpn6t5dcz258wt98neutt73448fws3eyur4ka0y6djhedqva8tjc

List of the Nostr developers and advocates mentioned:

FiatJaf: npub180cvv07tjdrrgpa0j7j7tmnyl2yr6yr7l8j4s3evf6u64th6gkwsyjh6w6

Jb55: npub1xtscya34g58tk0z605fvr788k263gsu6cy9x0mhnm87echrgufzsevkk5s

Jack Dorsey: npub1sg6plzptd64u62a878hep2kev88swjh3tw00gjsfl8f237lmu63q0uf63m

Edward Snowden: npub1sn0wdenkukak0d9dfczzeacvhkrgz92ak56egt7vdgzn8pv2wfqqhrjdv9

Walker: npub1cj8znuztfqkvq89pl8hceph0svvvqk0qay6nydgk9uyq7fhpfsgsqwrz4u

Derek Ross: npub18ams6ewn5aj2n3wt2qawzglx9mr4nzksxhvrdc4gzrecw7n5tvjqctp424

Nostr is the oasis of the internet for sovereign individuals

Sovryn Matt

learn more

Take your sovereignty to the next level

The road to financial self-sovereignty is long. Take a step in the right direction.