APE P2P Messaging platform

Proposal Name: APE P2P Messaging platform

Proposal Category: Core: Ecosystem Fund Allocation

Abstract:

We want to build the APECHAT - a wallet-based messaging platform for the ape community (BAYC, MAYC, BAKC, BACC & any other NFT collections curated or permitted by APE DAO.

This allows communication & interaction between any two parties in the ape community, so long as they have a MetaMask wallet, which is a prerequisite to NFT ownership anyway.

This messaging platform will enable ape members to reach out and chat with other members for any matters - ranging from potential opportunities, business partnerships, interested transactions collaborations or personal matters which is currently impossible as all communications are done on third-party communication platforms such as Discord and Twitter and can be subjected to various gating tools and technologies.

In order to send a message to a wallet, the user needs to prove that they have a permitted NFT from Apedao’s current ecosystem (BAYC, MAYC, BAKC, Otherside deed) and this is automatically verified once they connect their wallet to the platform. Once in the platform, by entering the NFT collection and Token ID, they will be able to message the NFT owner directly.

For Apedao, Mailrats want to create an exclusive chat application for the Ape community first and then subsequently include new features to make it a chat application that is robust and adapted for the Ape community.

The proposal will be executed by the MailRats team within 6 weeks.

Motivation:

Web3 communities are forced to use web2 tools such as Discord and Twitter.

These tools are not focused on web3 communication principles and are laden with spam.

Accepting this AIP supports the first step towards having the ape community to be the first community that takes a web3-first approach to communication and networking.

Not only that, members of the community can finally send a message to fellow members directly without having to rely on a third-party platform.

In summary having the messaging platform will:

  1. Improve and foster Communications among every Ape member (BAYC, MAYC, BAKC, BACC) - which spurs collaboration and opportunities. No social third-party media platform is needed to participate in the ecosystem.

  2. Allow immediate and direct communication to happen wallet to wallet, protecting the privacy of members who want to stay private.

  3. Allow this chat application to value add to existing ape initiatives such as community gatherings or ape festivals amongst others.

  4. Expand the Ape ecosystem with an additional tool

Specifications:

Tech overview:

  • The entire tech stack is managed by Mailrats and it’s already in mature state.
  • Our engine runs natively on the responsive web, so anyone can start using it without any installation/registration required.
  • ApeChat will work with Metamask on the Ethereum network. Ethereum address is required to log in and MetaMask is the preferred registration/login method for the messenger. Apecoin will be used and accept as the only payment for ApeChat.

Technical Specification: we’ll use these technologies:

  • Frontend:
    • ReactJS
    • NextJS
  • Backend:
    • NodeJS
    • Firebase cloud
  • Database:
    • Firebase
    • Mongo
  • Third party service
    • AWS service
    • Firebase

Things to build for ApeChat:

For building this platform, the team will be composed of

  • Designers
  • Developers (backend and frontend)
  • Core Team
  • Customer Support
  • Community Mod

OUR PLATFORM

MailRats has successfully launched an ENS messaging platform for the ENS community, with new-to-market features such as “conversation fees” - allowing users to charge for DMS to be sent to them.

In the current MailRat’s platform, Messaging is done by entering their ENS address or wallet address in the platform’s web app and users can send a DM with a click of a button.

MailRats empowers every web3 user to send messages to each other with a DM-to-your-wallet-address function.

Current App Features:

  • Pay to DM
  • Auto refund
  • Earnings portal
  • Pay to jump the queue
  • Expiring chat
  • Pay to view image
  • Pay to watch video
  • Private image/videos
  • ENS messaging
  • MailRats website plugin - Gated inbox on your website
  • Discovery feature to view new profiles
  • Referral Program
  • Social Media Verification/Authentication
  • Customizable profile page
  • Twitter verification

RoadMap feature:

  • User Rating
  • Asset transfer through chat (Token/NFT)
  • Follow and subscribe
  • User Feed

Team:

Core Team:

  • Epicsuperstar - Serial entrepreneur, Investors @ Solice, MIRL, Burnt Finance, Dark Frontiers, Ascenders
  • Lunasea.eth - Entrepreneur and Fund Manager. Co-founder SG NFT Creators.
  • Loonie - Community Mod @MIRLNFT, @shellzorb, @peweetools, @kaijufrenz @MetaArksNFT

Tech/ Dev Team

  • Brian Hoang - Lead Developer 7+ years experience
  • Ally - 3+ Years Full Stack developer
  • Jack - 2+ Years Full Stack developer

Investors:

MailRats is backed by VCs and we are proud to have their support:

  1. Village Global
  2. Antler
  3. Hustle Fund
  4. Many more…

Our next step:

We already have a working version of our App.

Upon approval, our team will start work on building a custom solution for the ape community.

ApeCoins will be the only payment method on ApeChat.

Steps we will take:

  • Step 0: Wait for approval
  • Step 1 : UI/UX Design of messenger for Ape Community
  • Step 2 : Dev of Web App
  • Step 3: Test & Review
  • Step 4: Official Launch
  • Step 5: Support and Update App with new features

For members who are interested in our platform, you can try it out at https://mailrats.co

Timeline:

Approval Period: Nov - Dec 2022

Execution/Build: 6 weeks upon approval est.
(Dec 2022 - Jan 2023)

6 weeks build breakdown:

Overall Costs:

Our goal for this AIP is to kickstart building the messaging app for the ape community and we wish to drive as much value to the community as possible.

Thus, the funds will be dedicated to the building of the app, servicing the app and building and updating features requested by the community.

Estimate: $226,800

($208,800 Manpower + $18,000 One-off business expense)

We request a grant from Apecoin DAO to cover the cost needed to launch the app (estimated 6 weeks) and operating costs for 3 months, during which the app will be regularly upgraded with customer support 7 days a week. We expect to be self-sustaining from fees after which.

Deliverables Include:

  • Building of Apecoin
  • Maintenance of Messaging app
  • DAO for voting on the next feature build
  • Building of the next feature
  • Dedicated Customer support for end users

Cost Breakdown:

Compensation for 12x team and development cost:

  • x2 designers at $4,500 per month for 4.5 months
  • x3 developer at $5,500 per month for 4.5 months
  • x3 core team at $2,500 per month for 4.5 months
  • x2 customer support at $2,500 per month for 4.5 months
  • x2 community manager at $4,200 per month for 4.5 months

Total Manpower + Development Cost: $208,800

One-off business expenses:

  • PR campaign
    We will be looking to conduct a PR campaign that to feature the ApeChat we aim to create a media narrative and spread positive news and information about the Ape community. ($7,500 budget for 1 or 2 PR campaigns)

  • User Reward Campaign
    We will also be running a user reward campaign where the first 2,000 users for ApeChat will be rewarded with $5 USD worth of ApeCoin ($10,000) as a reward for signing up on the platform. This is a crucial step to gain traction within the Ape community which helps to build the network effect for the ApeChat to be fully effective and meaningful.

  • Tech Tools
    The $500 indicated in the one-off business expenses will be used for the subscription to the relevant tools such as Moralis, Openzeppelin and many more for creating the ApeChat.

Total one-off expenses: $18,000

Total Burn/ Cost:

The total Cost Estimate is $226,800 (208,800 manpower + 18,000 one time off)

Milestone:

We are requesting $226,300 in ApeCoin to kickstart the development of the APE communication

The milestone is as the following:

  • Upon Approval we are seeking 30% of the funding to kickstart the project UI/UX design & development of the product.
  • Upon completion of the project, the next 50% of the fund will be used to scale up operations such as customer service and community moderators
  • The subsequent 10% fund will be provided T-1 month after launch to scale the product and include new features and request as per decided by the APECOIN DAO
  • The next 5% fund will be provided T-2 month so ensure the team follows up on the new features and new requests as per decided by the APECOIN DAO
  • The final 5% funding will be released upon the successful completion of sprints and product for the APE community.

Perhaps I’m not seeing the bigger picture, but sometimes things are proposed as solutions to non-problems. I’ve never had an issues communicating with fellow Apes through third-party means… is this truly worth nearly a quarter million to eliminate third-parties from us communicating with one another? I’d love to hear others’ perspectives on this.

Very well put-together presentation, I will say. Thank you for the time and effort you’ve put into this proposal.

10 Likes

Thank you for your proposal and welcome to the forum!

I do agree with @CryptoLogically in that I don’t have an issue communicating with fellow Apes. What benefits does your platform have over the others?

I have some other questions/comment as well.
What kind of privacy policy do you have and what data will you be collecting? Will you be selling your user’s data?
Also, how does this benefit all ApeCoin holders? Not everyone who owns ApeCoin owns NFTs

Thanks again for your presentation. I look forward to your reply!

8 Likes

Greetings OP, thank you for the proposal. I’ll echo the sentiments of @CryptoLogically and @adventurousape and add my own question: How does this platform differ in spirit from the tokengated mail feature that’s already on Apeclub? I know this is ENS to ENS, but like the other Apes say, is that necessary? And what if some Apes start sending spam; is there any way to stop it?

I’m also super interested in where the data goes. Thanks for your answers on this.

6 Likes

Thanks for the idea but as others as well suggested I don’t see communication with other BAYC a problem that needs to be solved, especially costing the DAO $200k+…

4 Likes

Welcome to the forums @loonie and congrats on a well-written proposal.

Have you reached out to @Wizav.eth author of AIP-120? They have a messaging service built into their proposal – there might be an opportunity to work together or at the very least provide a lane for both services to co-exist.

Peace

SSP✌🏽

4 Likes

Hey there @loonie thanks for the submission.

Quick background here: I’m a BAYC holder since mint, $APE holder, and co-founder of web3 messaging protocol XMTP. I thought I’d ask a few questions, and provide some feedback based on my experience in the space.

First, do you have a specific use case in mind that would be enticing enough for the target audience to abandon use of their current chat solutions? I can see some, such as for verifying messages and senders as authentic for the purposes of swaps, trading, or perhaps support. But if that’s a goal, there are some specific technical challenges that I perceive in your tech overview.

How is privacy protected?

I don’t see any mention of end-to-end encryption between chat participants.

It also mentions that you’re using Firebase in your stack, without any mention of how the data itself is getting stored. Is there a means for the conversations to not be observable by your company? e.g. being able to see that the owner of BAYC 3073 is talking with the owner of BAYC 33?

Why MetaMask specifically?

How are messages stored? Do you maintain the encryption keys which would allow you to read the messages sent?

Altogether my concerns for something like this is in the privacy and security of users and their communications.

One possible alternative would be to build the application on XMTP, which would immediately provide end-to-end encryption guarantees to the users, as well as provide a path for messages to be seen more widely. Rather than building a silo for messages that requires the use of a singular front-end to view, you’d be able to build a front-end that focuses on messaging between a specific community, where those communications are also accessible by users in any other application that uses XMTP.

This sort of thing is what Lens Protocol recently rolled out to officially support end-to-end encrypted direct messages natively. They used XMTP to deliver the feature, and it’s currently live on Lenster.xyz, with full API support soon to follow.

Outside of just answering the questions, if there’s some interest in exploring this further, I’m happy to take questions as a direct message here within the forum, or on Twitter.

7 Likes

Hey all - thanks for the thoughtful questions. Will address them one by one but before that, let me attempt to bring forth our vision more clearly - I could have done a better job.

We building a web3-first messaging system that immediately onboards the entire ape ecosystem. No opt-in is needed, and no additional platform (Twitter, discord) is needed.

The ape chat is a wallet-to-wallet messaging tool for NFT holders to communicate with each other. With this fundamental technology, a world of use cases can be unlocked. We have mentioned most in our proposal above, but a short summary -

a) Allowing multiple wallets to consolidate messages
b) in-game chat application/chrome plugins (why limit to discord?)
c) integrate ape coin voting into the chat application and increase holders’ engagement
d) notification systems from official spokesperson and key thought leaders (important in times like this re: FTX)
e) chat to earn movements: the ability to gate your inbox by setting a fee, users will pay to DM you (prevents spam/bot and ensure quality DMs)
d) using the same gating feature above, remove and prevent spam.
e) gamification and leaderboards showing users based on apecoin holdings etc (discovery + social)
f) in-chat transactions and auto-verifications
g) notifications of wallet movements

Re @CryptoLogically @Moonlyght - You’re right - it is somewhat easy to find fellow apes using external platforms … on Twitter - they proudly showcase via their profile pics and on Discord - there are token-gated channels within. But, there are a ton of use cases that find these solutions simply inadequate. For example, I’d like to trade NFTs with a particular user on Twitter. How do I know they truly own the NFT? I see an NFT I like on opensea but the Profile is not populated. I go into discord hoping that owner of MAYC #XXXX somehow miraculously sees my message, to no avail. Or perhaps, I’m looking to license specific apes of certain traits for a merch line, and I somehow need the attention of BAYC #1234 #3345 AND #6677. How do I reach them?

Re @adventurousape - The idea is to always put user privacy at the centre of it. No collection of data, no selling of data. All data is encrypted and will never be used for profit.

Re @Mantis - Apecoin is the mechanism of trade and payment within the platform. While the default inbox fee will be set to $0, any NFT holder can choose to set their own fees. You and I could perhaps decide to charge 1 ApeCoin per message to prevent spam, and Snoop Dogg may decide to charge 100 ApeCoin to make it worth his while. $Ape is the medium of transaction.

Re spams - The chat system by design is for anti-spam (which is happening with Twitter/IG or even discord), because of the ability for users to set a price for any inbox to reach their DMs this helps gate their inbox.

Reply @ssp1111 - Thank you for the referral :slightly_smiling_face:much appreciated!

Re @mg This is the beginning - if you’ve seen the roadmap and plans, we start with social communication and build on and offer the ability to transact, created token gated content, and receive notifs on NFT movements.

Re why metamask - our current web app allows users to use web3 login like Metamask to create/login in. And users are able to set conversation fees based on USD (but transacting in ETH) but we will roll it out with other wallets in the feature e.g. coinbase wallet, trust and etc.

Encryption Keys:
A4: The encryption keys are self-generated using signing that only users can access. We won’t store any of these keys

A5: Love to find out more how we can work together! :slightly_smiling_face: Will be glad to reach out to you

3 Likes

Hey,

Thanks for mentioning me @ssp1111 - yeah we already have an Ape directory, profiles, and we have DMs which will be extended into a bigger messaging system soon. Our messaging won’t be wallet to wallet because it’s just easier to use it across different devices without connecting your precious Ape holding vault.

Best,
Wizav

3 Likes

Hi @loonie,

Your topic will be automatically closing in less than 24 hours. Are you content with the feedback received, or do you wish to extend community discussion for a further 7 days?

If we do not hear from you within 48 hours after your topic closes, your topic will be moved straight to the AIP Draft process.

We look forward to hearing from you.

-Escape

This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.

Thank you @loonie for your ideas and the ApeCoin DAO community for the thoughtful discussions. A moderator will get in touch with the author to draft the AIP in the appropriate template. Once the AIP is drafted and meets all the DAO-approved guidelines, the proposal will be posted on Snapshot for live official voting at: Snapshot

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments. @loonie please see your messages for the next steps.

-Escape