What is Zion, the Social Network Built on Bitcoin?

This Web5 social network app is building towards the future

Loveleen Kaur

Zion, a new social media app on the blockchain, is starting to gain momentum. By bringing base features people need from a social app, Zion might become one of the first web3-based social media platforms. Mainly focusing on communication and payments, Zion could be a future super app (similar to how Elon wants to turn Twitter into “X” or WeChat).

How Does it Work?

Like Web3 wallets, Zion allows anyone to log into any site on the web without creating an account while having their preferences intact, as your preference data is not erased but is owned by you. Zion team explained how it works, “When you join Zion, you will be assigned a new DID as well as a user name. This DID will be secured by a 12-word seed phrase to ensure your privacy and security. Zion has no access to these cryptographic private keys.”

Features of Zion

Zion mainly offers three features:

First, the app shows communities with various interests, like chess, Porsche lovers, or conservationists. This allows the user to find people who have similar interests to them. Conversations are in the shapes of threads that feel ‘personal and contextual.’

Focused on safety and security, they offer an encrypted chat function.

As expected from any app trying to be a ‘super app,’ payments are essential to enable in-app purchases and be used as part of revenue by taking a percentage from the money transfers. They use Bitcoin Lightning Network to accomplish this.

What is perhaps most exciting about this app is its true peer to peer network. The data produced on this app isn’t stored in any central server but is based on cryptographic keys and signatures, meaning is owned and reachable solely by the user. One of the best symptoms of this is cutting out the manipulation of algorithms. The decentralized node acts as a secure, private server, accessible only by your private key, giving people full custody over their data.

Zion launched its first version in August 2021 and the second in June 2022. In an official release, Zion said the v2 would use a Decentralized Web Platform from Block, Jack Dorsey’s company, formerly called Square, and will be built in Web5 (web2+web3=web5).

How to Join

The wait list for Zion is available on its official site. The app can be downloaded on both iOS and Android.

The product will be rolled out in stages. Currently over 60k people have joined the waitlist.

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