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Web3 Galaxy Brain

0xTranqui and Salief Lewis, Co-Founders of River

1 May 2024


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Nicholas: Welcome to Web3 Galaxy Brain. My name is Nicholas. Each week, I sit down with some of the brightest people building Web3 to talk about what they're working on right now. My guests today are 0xTranky, aka Max, and Salif Lewis, two of the four co-founders of LifeWorld, the startup that's creating River. River is a blockchain media protocol. In its launch configuration, users can sign in with Privy, register accounts on a smart contract on Optimism, and post references to IPFS-hosted media as call data to a smart contract on Arbitrum Nova. The team's first-party UI, River.ph, evokes social media collection website Arena. It was great talking to River and the LifeWorld team at such an early stage, and I really hope you enjoy the show. As always, this show is provided as entertainment and does not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice or any form of endorsement or suggestion. Crypto has risks, and you alone are responsible for doing your research and making your own decisions. Salif, Max, welcome to Web3 Galaxy Brain. How's it going?

Salief Lewis: It's going great. It's going great. Nice to be back. Yeah, it's true.

Nicholas: What's up? It's true. Welcome back. That's right. This time we're talking about River, a new project you are working on. I guess to start off, what is the problem? River is either solving or creating in the world?

0xTranqui aka Max: I think one way, maybe not to frame it as a problem, but what it's inspired by is all the little bits and features and functionality from platforms. that we've been doing over the past five or 10 years. So like big references being like Arena, Spotify, Tumblr, Google Drive, WeTransfer, things like that, that are nice for like finding things you're interested in, people you're interested in, and like connecting and communicating with them in some way. So, yeah, kind of like building off of like, you know, prototyping and different work we did over the past two years, like finally getting to like a real synthesis, of what we think the best version of all that is. So it's kind of like a vague, maybe like where the inspiration is coming from.

Nicholas: You got this tagline set information free on the GitHub. Is that a good summary?

Salief Lewis: Yeah, that's something that we kind of just like threw in there, but like immediately like resonated with. I feel like it's just like supposed to represent kind of like the whole like platform unlock kind of like ethos. that like, the kind of apps that we're building these days in general represent. And it's short and sweet and kind of makes you think.

0xTranqui aka Max: Yeah, maybe one like thing that it immediately cuts into is like, can you do, you know, a lot of like, our background, at least in the past few years is in like, on chain media, NFT distribution and stuff? And so this is an attempt, the way we've actually built things to not have any direct financialization in any of the media that's being shared. So we're not collecting NFTs. You don't have to. like pay me for this thing that exists on ipfs that i'm just like helping you find and so yeah kind of like uh part of you know similar just like. can we just have the best information sharing distribution and like maybe you start figuring out some other stuff on top of that. right but that's kind of like the core inspiration.

Nicholas: so what are the actions that i can do on river? just to give people a sense of what what the affordances are that it provides? um how can i interact with river?

Salief Lewis: it's really quite simple especially now. um the main thing that you do when you get to river is you can create a channel and a channel is essentially just like a subject-based place for you to place um different types of media and information. so it could be anything related to like uh an interest that you have like synthesizers or something. um or it could be something like a little bit more ephemeral like we just made a channel. uh for the trip that we went on. um yeah and okay so that's the main container.

Nicholas: and then it's like a namespace for posting stuff.

Salief Lewis: yeah exactly it's just kind of like a way to organize maybe like your thoughts and like when you're like i don't know walking down the street and you remember like you have this channel in the back of your head and you see something that resonates with you you kind of like know where to put it. uh right off the bat. and then i guess the other cool thing is the way that we've made channels like participatory. um so initially when you create a channel you're like the sole controller you're the only one allowed to add things to it but everyone else can like see the contents of it. um and then there's a feature we have where you can invite other other river users to come and post in your channel.

0xTranqui aka Max: and then yeah and then the the thing you're actually like uploading. we call them like items. and so if you have like a new you know new recording new glb file new pdf new markdown whatever like you want to get that onto river. so you like create it as an item and then like we've made the opinionated decision that like when you upload something it must be put into a channel at the beginning. so items are kind of like the unit of information that then get put into channels and then the thing we're about to ship in the next like day or so which is kind of like a core thing. so this item over here can get put in that's in this channel to start can now be put in this channel and into this channel and into this channel. and that's the whole kind of like arena style um channels inside of channels and items instead of items and seeing these really interesting graphs where like this thing that i uploaded into the river work in progress channel was actually like script you know reblog reposted whatever you want to call it added to this other channel. that's just like design and svo and then that got put over here as like you know some other thing and just all those graphs sort of get together. um and yeah that's kind of like related to the thing i was talking about at the beginning where river isn't necessarily doing anything new besides just like combining these different features that we really liked in these different places um and then putting it into kind of like what we think is the best combination

Nicholas: but it is doing some things that are new in terms of like where the data lives right. these posts are not just this is not just uh running on some mongo or node process somewhere. uh you have a whole architecture that i'd like to get into the technical parts of first but maybe just before we jump into too much of that. like what is a post?

0xTranqui aka Max: fundamentally inside of river a post is basically this little struct um that includes like the user id who's sending it a signature of like the we can get. i mean this will get pretty technical pretty quickly but it's basically like a ipfs hash of a struct that when you post when you like upload that. currently we use arbitrage from nova for doing like message broadcasting. when you upload that that's going to be like a little bit more either a new item or a new channel depending on kind of like the schema you're sending. posts can also contain information like editing items and editing channels or like manipulating access control like salipa saying so like posts are kind of like these packets of instructions we send to the protocol via arbitra nova and then those posts get sort of decoded and then like processing the application state depending on what that post was. so you can have posts that are like add item to channel edit item edit channel access control you know and stuff like remove item and stuff like that.

Nicholas: and when i post that i'm posting it as call data on this very cheap l2 arbitrum. nova um nova's distinguished by being particularly good for lightweight transactions right like high frequency.

0xTranqui aka Max: yeah yeah because they have the really fast like super fast block times and then it's like virtually free. and then yeah so you actually post. there's like a function. we have a contract called the post gateway. it has that kind of like packet interface that you can sort of like post through and then that gets turned into an ipfs cid because you can do turn anything into an ipfs cid and then that's kind of like how we create that like top level identifier that now you can sort of reference if you want to add things or edit things to a channel or something. and then the cool thing again we haven't enabled. this is just like because everything's ipfs like as the core sort of like unit of data or ipfs compatible. we can just like actively back every action up um the file like with filecoin really easily um and so yeah that will be like we can get into this too but like the longer the longer tail sort of like goal for where the protocol winds up is influenced by that.

Nicholas: yeah so okay. so i'm making a post. let's say i'm adding a picture to a channel of mine. um so i'm posting call data to arbitrum nova nova that contains uh ipfs cid of the actual data of the image. where is the image data? is the image data stored on nova as call data or no it's stored on ipfs?

0xTranqui aka Max: yeah yeah yeah all the media storage is on ipfs.

Nicholas: okay. so um the actions that i'm taking uh relative to basically mutating this database are are stored on as call data on nova?

0xTranqui aka Max: yeah yeah which sometimes will which sometimes will include an ipfs cid if you happen to be like at trying to reference a specific item but not always right because sometimes you can just be like removing something or whatever.

Nicholas: so why is it important that uh the posts be stored in this way as call data on an l2? and why draw the line between what is the sort of post mutation event and the media that you might be attaching to it.

0xTranqui aka Max: so i feel like it's kind of two separate things. like the whole media storage is like like we could be running this whole protocol and doing like the media storage and just like aws buckets and stuff or like injure like something like that. the problem with that is that over time you'll still be able to technically reference everything. but if you weren't actually backing up any of that media to a decentralized like network then all the media can just be just disappear. and then like cool you technically still have these like references to what was the thing but now you can't actually recreate any of the media. and so yeah i guess like the reason river is built on any type of protocol at all is because there's a desire for like in the long run this to be like a foundation to build any type of media distribution apps we're building like one on top of it first. but yeah that's why i mean like this isn't all just like in a postgres or something. um and yeah i think that's that's at least at that question.

Nicholas: so the call data um posting strategy this nova contract the uh is it ip gateway? is that what you called it post gateway post gateway um that is sort of creates the continuity between the different ipfs data. that is the sort of social layer of the protocol.

0xTranqui aka Max: it's it's both kind of the continuity. but currently what it's more serving for is just the um kind of communal like source of truth on what information has ever been posted. it's kind of a current sort of at least for the first iteration of sort of everything we're working on is sort of a half measure. um just because we don't have peer-to-peer networking experience. but luckily arbitrum nova is just big and scalable and we can just dump stuff onto it in the future. the goal is to get the data that we need to be able to get the data that we need to get to something that's more just like direct peer-to-peer not on chain at all sort of like farcaster hubs adjacent um. but for now it's kind of like a cool sort of hack that you can just use something like arbitrum nova as your http sort of server that everyone can agree on.

Salief Lewis: but yeah it does give the context of like all of the content address media. um because like yeah we have like a separate space of everything that's ever been posted to river but without all of these messages. it's just like i mean it's the same as anything else.

0xTranqui aka Max: that's like existing on ipfs yeah and you can post stuff that's like invalid message like the post gateway has no access control on it. anyone can put posts on it but then depending on who's posting it that's where you get into the whole like. is it posted on behalf of a user id? it includes a signature. that like proves that the person who posted it actually is that person. if not then it doesn't get included into the state. if it is then like you know do all these checks. so that's like on-chain ids and keys. sort of manage on optimism um because that's sort of like a more secure network. who like theoretically right like is it actually more secure more trusted? like? i don't know relatively especially in the long term. but um but yeah that's what that serves. and then yeah just dump everything on arbitrum nova because it just happens to be scalable and work pretty well.

Nicholas: okay so we've we're kind of getting into it a little bit but let's let's properly do it. what is? let's talk about the technical architecture. architecture. you shared this uh diagram that i think is maybe the simplest way to understand going left left to right. um so maybe we can start with what is the identity registry. where does it live? what does it do?

0xTranqui aka Max: so that's the thing that's on optimism. um it's very similar to i don't know how like aware people are of like farcaster or stuff but it's it's basically a direct fork of that contract. um it just lets any um address on ethereum which in this case it's like on optimism register a user id. a user id is just like a one or two or three or or an thousand. right if we start getting lots of users um that that like um user id is just like a one or two or is now able to create messages. or you're basically when you create a post right when going back to the post every post has to include a user ID and then a signature of that user ID. and so right now we sort of have a really basic setup where it's just whoever the signature needs to be the address that registered the user ID. and so the way we facilitate this is with privy. everyone who's a user on River sort of has a EOA they can like natively just like sign stuff with but in a kind of more traditional to do transaction modals or like anything. so every time you want to like every time you're uploading an item on River you'll upload a file and in the background what's happening is that EOA that you're sort of able to sort of authenticate in as using privy email sign-in signs this kind of post struct thing. and so now you have in that post content. you have the user ID who's signing it you have the signature you have sort of like the hash of the message. the message is that sign of like actual instructions like let's add this item to this channel. that goes to Arbitrum Nova and then in our indexer is where we process things and say hey did that user ID produce this signature to create this message at this valid time etc. and then that's what can sort of be turned into everything.

Nicholas: okay so the identity registry is just a set of IDs for all of the users where they're registering an EOA against number sequentially assign number on a contract and then they can dislike for people who are familiar with forecast or they can swap out which address is associated with that ID potentially in the future and it's basically like delegating it. I guess you refer to this as account abstraction. sometimes I think essentially you're separating the account from the EOA itself.

0xTranqui aka Max: yeah exactly like there's a number now that's your account and so that's what enables you. we don't actually have this right now we're the only people or there's only a sort of of like. river is the core interface that everything's working through. but using this logic is how you can then create another contract called a delegate registry or a key registry and then do the whole thing of like porting your porting the ability to create valid messages for a given rd out to other clients that are like either clients we're also running or clients other people are running. but right now we're just focused on like can one building one cool client i see.

Nicholas: so people who are familiar with farcaster are familiar with this flow where you can add an application that can post on your behalf and it doesn't share the same private key. to be able to post you just add a new private key that's allowed to sign. so this lets you like expand into multiple applications without uh you know you can even then revoke subsequently. uh if one of the applications is malicious you could revoke it and even potentially revoke all the messages that it ever posted or it posted after a point at which it was compromised. so you kind of improve the security model for a protocol like a connection to to posting to the same identity or from the same identity. so okay so that's the identity registry. and then you talk so registering these identities on optimism you said right. and then uh there's the. i guess we're gonna need to get to like an index or eventually that's going to make sense of all this data. but i suppose first we should talk about the message gateway. we hinted at it a little bit but can you explain how it works?

0xTranqui aka Max: yeah so it's literally just has two functions post and post batch. and it has there's like a inner. there's like a solidity type called post. that includes like user id signature hash signature like hash type signature type and then like the actual sort of like contents that you're. like the contents just get posted as raw bytes. so we do like one. we do abi and code put all the stuff we want to transmit through and then like on the other. so basically that gets posted. you can post those one at a time or in sort of a batch method do lots of operations at the same time. um like if you wanted to add one item to like 10 different channels at the same time you just call post batch. put all the sort of actions in they all get shot through and then yeah that immediately now gets into the indexer that we built.

Nicholas: um well hold on just before before we jump. so message gateways on Arbitrum Nova. yeah right um but and then the indexer will make sense of this data that's spread across optimism and Arbitrum it's basically reading off chain correct?

0xTranqui aka Max: yes reading from off chain the indexers like both is tracking the ID registry because that's keeping track of who's allowed to send what like who's the valid signers for what user IDs. and then when it receives these messages in from Arbitrum Nova it sees like who is the user ID? and let's look at that signature can be recovered into the custody address of that user ID.

Nicholas: do you have a sense about what the you mentioned that Arbitrum Nova is like nearly free? uh how are they able to achieve that? like doesn't state bloat just cause a problem ultimately? or does the fact of its freeness or near freeness challenge the longevity of that as a data storage?

0xTranqui aka Max: uh provider yeah it's like a validity and it's a data availability committee and so they can basically just like we decide the gas fees. and they say gas fees are nothing right. um I that's what I would say like yeah in the long term I don't really know what that means. honestly um because I feel like we haven't seen like what it looks like to run a validity for 10 years and like. are they still interested in running it when generally compared to non-religion like the sequencer revenue is lower but they have a lot of activity and there's a lot of games on it and stuff. so at least for like this phase of river where we're sort of getting it out the door it's like you know we could launch our own chain and do our our own thing like that. but in terms of like focusing on the product and like making something people want to use it's like okay. for now it's not going to go down tomorrow. maybe it goes down in like some shorter time. that's like not forever but that's where. also it's like we do have goals to get to sort of that peer-to-peer system at some point just so we can eventually remove that dependency.

Nicholas: um yeah well um what is crdt? you mentioned this. in the definition of the message gateway it's like conflict-free replicated data types.

0xTranqui aka Max: we're basically faking that right now because we actually get timestamps by posting on arbitrum nova which is really cool. but the point of crdts is like it's. so it's a type of message that in like a sort of peer-to-peer broadcasting environment the order of the messages doesn't actually matter. this is how like farcaster works the order of and other sort of like peer-to-peer um type messaging systems. they're the like order of how you're syncing the messages eventually doesn't matter. there's some type of like conflict resolution where you you know technically there's timestamps on everything but that's sort of like you can't trust them right? yeah it doesn't like break the logic of like. your client saw this one as like the first message and this client saw like this. other one is the first message because technically they're just both there you know and so we are sort of like having our data structures look like that because we want we're sort of like on our way to get there. for now we're sort of being able to cheat a little bit because we get the timestamps from putting on arbitrum nova. so the protocol doesn't currently work exactly like srdt sort of like syncing mechanism would um but it's like moving towards that direction basically and this matters in terms of provenance of who posted what.

Nicholas: first is the issue?

0xTranqui aka Max: yeah and so like. it shouldn't necessarily matter except for things like access control or like.

Nicholas: right right. so if i if if we're both admins of something and i remove you and you remove me it matters who posted the message first.

0xTranqui aka Max: yes exactly and this is basically why. to do a like kind of more robust version of access control you sort of need it to be on chain and so maybe in the future a version of access control for us actually moves into like an access control registry. um the thing at that and like. maybe that's on optimism right. but then the thing you immediately start with that is once you're on optimism the costs of everything start going up more and so you have to have like some type of like protocol and application model where like you're able to cover those costs for people. or maybe gas just keeps going down so much that you can like afford it like right now like literally right now like a few days after 4844 would work. but like does stuff stay that low? who knows you know got it okay.

Nicholas: and uh so the conflict resolution matters particularly around the um administration of the the not authentication uh permissions and things like that.

0xTranqui aka Max: okay yeah.

Nicholas: and then so we have the identity registry which um is sort of your. your indexer is going to take a look at the message gateway the messages that have been posted to the message gateway on nova and take into account the identities and the uh that are on optimism. and what else is the index are going to do? what? what does it provide as an api?

Salief Lewis: ultimately essentially it's dealing with yeah every message that comes through the message gateway um and making opinionated decisions about how we're um taking those blobs and you know creating like the state of a postgres table. um so there's a whole kind of like helper package that we have that does like all the message decoding um and then yeah that's kind of like. that's kind of it. it's it looks it's literally like one file of indexing but it's quite like dense and complicated. but um i feel like. the great thing about it is like the flexibility that it gives us to make protocol changes. um because it really just involves like um switching up little bits of logic here and there and it's like all in typescript and like you know like nobody gets hurt if we mess something up

Nicholas: because it's just the indexer because the indexer can be iterated upon

Salief Lewis: exactly yeah yeah so we can like iterate it iterate upon it in a somewhat like sandbox environment and then yeah it's like actually a super simple process.

Nicholas: what are ipld hashes?

0xTranqui aka Max: so this is like getting to the edge of like our understanding of stuff. basically like a few months before we were were getting ready to launch River, we got in contact with some people who were just like really like some protocol labs, people who just like really deep into, I don't know how to do the coolest things with sort of IPFS related sort of structures. And so to hopefully, that sounds so stupid. Basically, it's like a way to link information together, like hash based information together. So anything that's like, you know, Git hashes or like Ethereum transaction hashes or like IPFS hashes, it's like a standard way to sort of like build data structures that are all like hash linked. And so we aren't actually hash linking anything yet. What it would mean is, just my understanding is like, you want to create, like you can basically recreate Git history by like understanding what like the hashing mechanism is like on each commit. And so it's like, if I know what this commit is, I should be able to like see the commit before and the commit before and the commit before. And in terms of just like getting to a point, because again, if we're not using the like a single chain to be hosting all the data, getting to a point where in like a peer to peer environment, all of these sort of actions that are going on on river are sort of follow this kind of like hashing mechanism, and then also can be like persisted on like with Filecoin on IP with IPFS. It's just like, just ways to create better sort of like, cohesion between data in a way that's not a blockchain, but in a way that's like better than just like, someone's random Postgres, you know, so it's just like all the little sort of like, as much as you can get to sort of make the information feel more connected, I think is helpful when you're getting into peer to peer environments.

Nicholas: And the final thing on the diagram that you shared are the channels, which contain items. And I guess those are just sort of the output of the index. or you get those in the Postgres table, right?

0xTranqui aka Max: Yeah, so it's like, there's like six actions, I think we support right now. It's like create item, update item, create channel, update channel, add item to channel and then remove item from channel. And so depending on what actions you send in, we process it, you know, use that decoding package. So if it's referencing and then like, turn it into Postgres tables. And so, yeah, channels are the big containers in terms, they're sort of like, you could think of them like a Spotify playlist, you could think of them like a Google Drive folder. And then items are like your files that can go into any playlist or multiple playlists or multiple folders. Yeah.

Nicholas: Got it. So let's talk a little bit about the interface that you've got right now. Now for it, which I think will help people kind of visualize what you can do with this. Obviously, it's not the limitations of what's possible, but this is sort of what you're the product, I guess, the product vision that's driving the development of the protocol in the first place. So, yeah. So what do you what do I see when I go to river.ph?

Salief Lewis: On the left side, I guess if folks are following along, you'll see all the recent channels that people have created. So you can like click into those and see different types of media that people are sharing. Val here has posted some tick tocks there. I'm not going to go into the specific channel names, actually. But yeah, it's honestly just like a feed of what the latest information on river is, who's posted it, what channel they're in, the name of that of that piece. There's a marquee that keeps track of how many channels and how many items and how many users, which is kind of like a fun way in this like early stage to kind of like watch the growth alongside us.

Nicholas: And so so I click into a channel on the left side and I'm presented with all the posts inside of it on the right side. And then so there's I mean, I guess you can post just about anything here. I'm looking at is that John Cena dressed as Britney Spears, maybe. And if I click into that, then I'm in a kind of gallery mode and there's sort of metadata about the post itself. And then a list of all the other posts in the channel, if I'm not mistaken.

Salief Lewis: Exactly. Yeah.

Nicholas: So. So, yeah. And then I can sort of next through it. And so I'm curious, like, to what extent is the specificity of this like some things that I notice are there's no interaction like I can't. I guess eventually I'll be able to repost them into my own channels, like you mentioned, but there's no liking or expressing a reaction to the things currently. Is that like, oh, maybe someday or is there a specific product video? I don't know. I just don't know how many people have played with arena. So maybe there's like something you're actually after here at the intersection of like Tumblr, arena. We transfer. I'm not sure that. can you articulate. what that what that thing is that you're driving at?

Salief Lewis: I feel like it's definitely, oh, maybe someday. But we're being conscious about like trying to give people a super simple experience in order to kind of develop just like behaviors that we think are good. Think are important and not kind of like flood the interface with social features that everyone has come to, like, expect from typical apps these days. Yeah, I mean, I think it's definitely an interesting decision on our part in that, like, not giving users immediately what they want slash expect could arguably be a bad thing. But I think we've also learned a lot from. Kind of just providing a really bare bones interface and kind of forcing people to. Forcing people to kind of just, you know, deal with that and and like push it as far as they they can.

Nicholas: So it's really about the things that you want people to are post into channels, create channels posted to channels and maybe eventually grab things from other people's channels for their own.

Salief Lewis: Yeah, I feel like right now, as we're like bootstrapping River, like the the depth of information. And the amount of media that we can get is like the most important. So having that be kind of like the only interaction has definitely helped in that, you know, because every every new action, every new thing. You're seeing is a new piece of media on River.

0xTranqui aka Max: But yeah, definitely the like that add item to channel and being able to sort of like reposting will kind of be one of the more sort of like, oh, you can. Now you're sort of more interacting with other people in the same way that like maybe you're now posting in public channels. with other people you're now able to like repost someone's thing and then um hopefully sooner than later we'll get to the point where you can request access to people's channels and like starting to basically just make it like speaking basically like river as a place to facilitate groups and sort of like in and out likes and interests and stuff. and so yeah in the long run like we can get to the point where there's comments on post because comments can be nice but like also it's interesting to just think of like what's the most minimal way to enable that. because i think i don't know like like salif was getting at. i think there's some level of burnout or being tired of just like existing sort of mechanisms and like people know what to expect. it's like i don't need to see this like count anymore on like ig or twitter or whatever because it literally means almost nothing. um what does? what does feel really valuable is that i can like on instagram send a direct message of a post to somebody. that's like i'm communicating with them or you know reply to someone's story and like you're not necessarily seeing those numbers or different types of interaction. but that's how people are communicating a lot. and so yeah it's sort of like starting with like what's the most basic thing? you need to post something you know like any way to post something and then like yeah make those posts a little more composable so the data can like flow to more places and then like oh maybe there's different ways to send mess to send posts to people like a direct messaging thing or like like commenting which act adds some type of conversation around everything. but yeah trying to just do the most minimal thing first to just like understand how people are interacting with things because like you know at any point we can add in a comment graph and everyone knows what comments are you know? and so. so yeah it's more like speaking to people basically in the information and the likes and dislikes that you're expressing through what channels you're participating in what channels you're not participating in etc.

Nicholas: so what? what's the significance of being able to post in this way like? should i think of this more like um like alternate like? is the ultimate destiny that i have other or the ideal destiny that there would be other applications that feel completely different but that are composed using the same identity and data system? or like how? i guess how much are we tied to? what is the core thing? is it that we get this identities and posts and then maybe we can have completely different feeling applications? or how am i meant to understand what makes river river something important to interact with?

0xTranqui aka Max: so i feel like there's a short answer and then a long answer and i'm also curious to see what salif like has to say. um the short answer is like everyone who we're trying to convince or like you know inviting to use river. we're not like talking that it's on crypto or it's on protocol rails or it's like there'll be multi-clients and everything. i think what we're trying to do is like can we build one interface that just like based off of our interaction with platforms with the like i was saying over like i don't know past you could make that just like takes those little nice things from all over the place and just like puts them into one thing. um so in the short term it's just like oh i can like find things and people that i'm interested in communicating with better than i currently can anywhere else and so i want to use river because it's fun and it's like more interesting. um in the long term especially from like business model of we're a company and we're building river is like can we build a protocol that actually like in at the same time as we're building that core interface? can we build like a build a protocol that can then become the bed of multiple clients and like you know we're still very early in like ours the stages of us being a company and like figuring out exactly how we we're going to be able to continue existing and like turning into like an actual sustainable business? um but i think the protocol at least the way we see it is like a core component to that. like how can we let people spin up their own their own websites on things. how can we let sort of groups take their following that they've built up on river? that is meaningful to them. it's not necessarily meaning to them now but at some point theoretically it's meaningful to them. and now they want to like you know still use the same infrastructure but be able to just like have a more private experience or or whatever right. and so yeah in the short term it's like the client's better than other stuff. and then the long term it's like the things start the stuff you get out of the sort of like protocol that's proliferating and lots of people are on i think are emergent over time um but lead to some interesting stuff. um like i think what's starting to sort of happen with varkas or just like anything that's like integrating open protocols and like the rest of the crypto ecosystem.

Salief Lewis: yeah i feel like with those composability experience or sorry experiments that you mentioned max like that's where we'll really be able to kind of like um say like what the differentiator is like the ability to convert like a channel into a personal website or like a website for an event um and people know that that data can't be taken

Nicholas: away or um

Salief Lewis: or manipulated is kind of like where people begin to think like oh okay well maybe river should be the backbone for like this next project or next endeavor that i have. so i feel like it's kind of like slowly kind of growing um just people's familiarity with the platform and then slowly expanding what they can do with it given um given the way we've built it.

Nicholas: so the part that i'm concerned about or confused about is like but you do have someone still has to pay for the ipfs hosting right like there's no solution for that piece yet yeah it's just.

0xTranqui aka Max: it's relatively cheap though. so i think that's another thing that's sort of like. becoming interesting also is like you can upload a lot of stuff and keep it pinned on ipfs for not expensive at least current how all the networks work right. and it's like you can actually cover people's transactions on optimism and arbitron nova. and it's like low key not that expensive and so you can actually like make it. that can be part of the process it's part of a business model that you can actually do if you're also obviously able to like monetize like stuff in some other way.

Nicholas: and so but in terms of being able to make this um i don't know if promise but at least to tell people if you put data here it's safe and it's not it's not uh subject to takedowns. then there there will need to be some kind of solution that makes that so well subject.

0xTranqui aka Max: i think this is where the pro like especially like related to the takedown thing. like this is where i think all the protocol stuff is actually really helpful. where it's like on the river client you can upload anything and it'll be persistent ipfs. if that happens to like break a law of some like jurisdiction we're working in well don't have to probably censor it at some point. um that file is still on ipfs and we're paying for its web3 storage hosting you know. so like build another client or something like that is like what the answer would be. and so i think that's kind of like. at least it seems like that's one of those things that crypto has like enabled is like people can actually build these things. that like if you are able to get sort of like enough like buy-in on them can actually persist outside of like any specific entity being like in charge of running it. um but then you have and then while also affording the sort of like ability for teams building on top of that protocol or on top of that mechanism to like do what they have to do to like be a legal entity or something like that you know

Nicholas: yeah i wonder about the hosting but maybe there are solutions down the road with things like eigen layer or kind of in protocol. uh i mean i think it is challenging to come up with a mechanism that makes it worthwhile for people to host data that they're not encouraged to host by uh exactly nation states.

0xTranqui aka Max: and part of you know it's like all of river the indexer the interface the contract is all open source. so like that's not necessarily like low barrier to entry for anyone to run. but in terms of like can you do it? it's like yes literally fork the repo and like plug into rpcs and then like all of river shows up on your computer and it's on local you know. and so like what's the steps we can do to make that process as easy as possible over time? you know um nothing i think basically represents a whole answer to that question or to that concern. but i think like the more little pieces you can do that sort of chip away at it. um that's like the most realistic answer basically i would say instead of like promising like this will be here forever. and like even if we die all this it will like persist forever because like no one actually no one can say that even about some of the larger networks. you know obviously there's a like incentives for people to keep running stuff but like i think that's another sort of like i don't know principle slash like thing we've like been trying like a mental model we've been trying to break out of is just like this concept that like blockchains or any of these networks are like necessarily forever or like feel like i don't think of this myself. it's like oh that's an nft like that's forever like that's there like 10 000 years from now. it's like i mean it could be but it also is like if someone stops running that network it just won't be there. um if no one's still stored the log that proved that you minted that nft then like it never happened or like you know it did but like you can't prove it to me so it's not real. and so you know i think there's like a a level of realism that is actually really interesting. once you sort of like try to play by that because i think it actually lets you sort of like communicate a little bit more um directly like with the product you're developing as well as the like. um people you're talking to.

Nicholas: did you want to jump in on that sleeve?

Salief Lewis: yeah i was just going to say that. um i feel like the distinction is like. it's not the promise but it's like being transparent that folks have like the agency to kind of like persist things. um to a degree i mean obviously it requires you to be like a little bit technical but there is something to say about like that gap um that gap i guess

Nicholas: one thing you're that you kind of we're not getting at here is that like you could write a small application that would back up you know that would run an ipfs node and pin everything that you've posted so that you at least have a backup of things and the architecture would allow for that in a way that i don't know. facebook or something does not? you cannot you don't have access to the the underlying. there is no underlying content addressed.

Salief Lewis: uh continuity that there is no danger there is no one you can like fully back up yourself. yeah that's essentially what i was getting at.

Nicholas: i understand. um okay so i understand. so uh i'm curious like how you see it. we talked a little bit about forecaster. i'm curious what sort of drives you to make river and if you think that there's kind of um reason for having different perspectives on these things. uh regardless if there are you know you might of course like yeah i mean we're talking are there's so many different takes on it? do you think there's value in having a river? take on what this kind of protocol might look like? how do you think about where you situate yourselves relative to other stuff in the ecosystem?

0xTranqui aka Max: i feel like generally um like the driving force towards what river ended up being or like what it is now like what it will become. it's just it comes from like i don't know all the experimentation and stuff we don't know we've done over the past years which i think comes from just like a very simple inspiration of like there's crazy stuff you can do from an information distribution standpoint taking advantage of decentralized networks and so like that's so vague right? that's like such a large opening um and we happen to be building things very specifically like in a specific way for a long time um like nft contract based or like kind of generalized storage mud system based. you know um and then it happened that it's seeming it's the thing that is interesting about farcaster is because they are seemingly like what you're seeing right now is. it seems like certain people are interested in building on top of it. but what's really interesting is that underlying data is not on chain. it's in a peer-to-peer sort of like network system but that has made some. at the same time as it's not on chain people are still deciding to build on it and so for what we were trying to figure out you know over the past few years is like how do you build the most interesting information distribution applications and how do you build the most interesting information on top of it? that sort of like light bulb went off. we're like oh it doesn't need to be on chain. and if it doesn't need to be on chain then all of a sudden we are actually posting it all on arbitram novo. so that's besides the point. but like all of a sudden you realize that the the sort of like design decisions you can make from like a protocol standpoint are really different because there's a there's like an existing proof point. if ever you know however strongly you want to that you can have information that's not on chain that people can still sort of like trust right in terms of building on top of and so that enabled us to basically sort of rethink what blockchains and sort of networks really mean. um they're still serving very similar cases to what we were doing before but just like definitely in reference to the like where is the messaging system backed up? eventually it will not be on chain right um or probably you know that's where at least we see it right because that's what we're seeing like forecast that we're getting away with and it's working. and so yeah i feel like that's where the core of the question is where inspiration comes from. can you build more interesting networks? basically um with all this new tech that exists? and once you just like if you if you let yourself sort of reset to that base question and sort of just like answer it without sort of preconceived notions of erc 721 or like l2 or like whatever you might come back to those same things. right but you might not and i think that's sort of where we ended up going or that's. that's like what ended up happening with like the way the protocol ended up um turning into.

Nicholas: yeah i can imagine a future version having a different answer around data persistence for the media itself. like if you imagine i don't know something like our weave not that i i i don't know if our weave is real or not. very few people seem to truly know that. but if you do for example believe our weave or maybe in a much heavier weight way you could imagine storing the data on bitcoin or you know something like this um as call data um or witnesses or you know in the kind of ordinal's way

0xTranqui aka Max: um

Nicholas: then you could as as other protocols emerge for um filling out the stack of things that river requires. you could imagine migrating to things that are more solid uh but that store uh for example the image data on some kind of l3 uh or l2 that is data oriented like if our weave were to become some kind of uh l2 uh or validium or something like this. yeah i feel

0xTranqui aka Max: like an actually interesting like point to this is like actually like if ethereum is like a kind of like a kind of like a kind of like a kind of like a kind of like a kind of like a kind of like a kind of like a kind of like a kind of like a like the whole blobs thing. it's like blobs are now going to have to be persisted by some peer-to-peer network. that's not like literally on chain outside of the like. once they're sort of like like sort of like whatever it's like 16 days or something like they exist and then they sort of like get dropped off and the plan my understanding is like that eventually happens to all data on ethereum. and so peer-to-peer networks are going to be how everything is being backed up. you can still like have obviously you know roll your own incentive mechanism back up and then you can back into whatever that peer-to-peer network is, but it's not even, I don't think it's like really crazy. basically, um, that things are moving this direction just because like blockchains are really cool, but they mean that there's one source of truth and it's like one source of truth that someone is running, whether or not it's a decentralized network means that's a centralization point, you know, um, obviously super

Nicholas: inefficient because it has to be duplicated across all the different nodes.

0xTranqui aka Max: Yeah, exactly. And so that's great for some things, maybe less great for other things, you know? And so I think there's just a lot of design space that like is yet to be explored or not yet to be explored, but like yet to be explored with like full conviction by like people who are like, okay, we're just going to go all in on this, like slightly different thing. that like, isn't necessarily how everyone's using this technology, but like might be better if we end up like trying to make it into something, you know?

Nicholas: Yeah. So tell me about that angle of it. That's the part that I feel that we haven't really scratched enough, which is like, how does this relate to people? or what is like pronouncing this publicly in a way that, uh, just about anybody could hop into with like an email address? Um, what's the point of that? Is it, what are you trying to build a community or a vibe that, that you don't hear pronounced anywhere else?

Salief Lewis: Yeah. I feel like to some extent, um, a combination of just like our perspectives on like financialization and kind of like, um, just like how distracting and the whole spaces in general, um, river is kind of like an opportunity for us to like take agency and, and, um, introducing like some people to, to, uh, I wouldn't say crypto directly, but kind of like ideologies that surround like blockchain based like applications that I think like, like I resonate with. Um, but like given kind of like what occupies like the mainstream media and like crypto Twitter, like it's become, um, just like impossible for like anyone who like isn't in the thick of it to like see it with a light that's like, not like horrible, horrible maybe. Um, so yeah, I don't know something about river as, as being like, uh, um, kind of like a blank canvas for like us to, um, bring like our friends and like people we're connected with and people who are doing things that are culturally interesting. Um, and kind of like, um, some, some, in some way kind of like introduce these concepts to them over time. Um, and it's things that people really resonate with, I feel like, um, but just have kind of like been like shut off from because of, you know, connotations. Uh, yeah.

0xTranqui aka Max: Yeah. And I mean like, even like more like, and even like simpler way of saying that is like, we're trying to build a network that is like more interesting with more participation that serves like more people. And like, we kept running into an issue that like, you had to put how much an NFT cost and like that made it hard to post or like that, you know, whatever. And so that's like a very like hyper specific example, but like, there's a lot of different things like that, where if you just say, you know what, we're just posting information because people like sharing information about themselves. Like they do that on all these other networks and like, you don't necessarily need direct monetization right there in the moment at every post. Um, that's a whole level of friction that you can sort of just like punt and then like focus on it on other things. And you might realize that after doing that, oh shit, we need to actually put all that back in. Maybe that will end up happening with river, you know, like, I don't think that's what will end up happening. Um, we don't necessarily know. Right. But, um, yeah, it's sort of like, can we build a more interesting network? And we happen to believe that people building river, um, that cryptographic primitives and distributed systems, like lets you do that, whether or not any of that is true as a second, second question and whether or not we can create an interface on top of those other things is a separate question, but those are like, there's a lot of different ways to do that. Questions that are, those are some of like the base principles. that's like distributed systems. Cryptography is cool and leads to more efficient networks. And then if you can now with a more efficient network, build an interesting interface to bring people on it, um, create a really large and meaningful network for people. Um, that's like, I don't, I've said this at the beginning, like, I don't think we're ever doing anything new or doing anything necessarily different or groundbreaking. We're definitely not like a cryptographer, like innovators. Like we're just like taking stuff people have done and just like combining it in like slightly different ways. Um, but perhaps a different combination of all those little parts ends up making something more meaningful for people.

Nicholas: Do you have a sense of who, uh, target user is ideal user of this thing? I guess yourselves, the founding team.

Salief Lewis: Yeah. It's kind of like a blend, like it's ourselves. Um, it's like folks that we kind of like met through like crypto spheres. I feel like that have just like found a lot of interest in like the, the way that we build, like, um, just kind of the nature of everything being open source. Um, and super kind of like, uh, I guess like transparent in that we're like not some super savvy like team out of, I don't know even, but we're just like normal people, I guess, like, which everyone is at the end of the day. I don't really know where I'm going with that, but, um, I guess like partially the, the idea that we're kind of like learning with, you know, a few and like, I mean, that's something great about like this feedback channel that we just introduced, um, which is like a public channel on river that like anyone can kind of like dump their thoughts about what direction they think, like the interface should flow in or like what kind of like bugs that they've been experiencing. Um, but yeah, I mean, something about river is like the ability for you to post any type of media. So like, uh, music, uh, 3d files, PDFs, if you're into that kind of thing. Um, so definitely people who identify as kind of like multidisciplinary, um, and are kind of like used to are kind of used to dealing with a lot of different media types.

Nicholas: What kind of, what kind of social activity are you seeing on there already? Or just activity?

0xTranqui aka Max: Yeah. Yeah. So I feel like there's the stuff that like, well, the stuff that's there already is like people who are just like, okay, I have a niche, like hobby slash. I'm just going to like post a lot of things that end up like covering that, whether it's like coffee pictures in the morning or like, I like music from 2016 and I just put artifacts related to music from 2016 in it, or like, you know, went on a camping trip and put this stuff that happened on the camping trip in it, you know, it's sort of just like as a way to like document things. And so I feel like that, like the ideal, or at least that, you know, the way we're currently thinking of stuff as like sort of what was sleep was talking about, like, the person who we think would want to use river is someone who feels like they have a story or types of stories that they want to tell. And like in the current environments that they have access to call that any mainstream social media thing or like social media adjacent thing there. It's not that they're not getting out of something out of it because they are it's river can give them more out of it than what they're currently getting. Right. It's not like a IG sucks or Twitter sucks or Spotify. It doesn't work. It's like all these things work and lots of people are using them. Um, but can you basically, like, create something that, I don't know, is more, is more interesting. Like, I think ideally is like less in an interesting way is like, while both being more interesting is less demanding on people sort of like cognitive, like in, I don't know, there's this whole, like the whole crypto Twitter thing, it's very cognitively taxing if you're like really engaged in it. And that's part one, cause it's really interesting for people. Right. But it's also part of like how applications and stuff are sort of developed to sort of like, you know, especially not, not to get all the way into this, but like advertising, models where they're like starting to where they end up. basically just like prioritizing engagement of any sorts over like any sort of like concern for like what the person is actually feeling. And so it's not to say that advertisement based models are like necessarily bad. They just lead to certain outcomes. And so, yeah, I feel like,

Nicholas: do you feel like there's an opportunity for, even though you don't yet know what that opportunity is, this sort of manifesting something in response to this feeling that you, the founding team have is maybe directionally correct in a way that can't be understood yet, that if you do it, then maybe something will happen there because there is this kind of latent frustration with advertising based patterns, but you don't, you're, you're willing to do it, even though you don't know exactly what's going to be there when you get there.

0xTranqui aka Max: Yeah. I feel like, I feel like I feel like generally as a trend, there's like a bubbling, especially at least within like the whatever crypto and crypto adjacent circles, there's like a clear bubbling of like, can we find new ways to self-organize and like tell stories basically. Whether you want to like to get really specific, there's like, whether you have a multi-sig or a party DAO or a forecaster channel or a meta label or like everything. Right. Like these are all different versions of like, can we like organize in a different way and like tell stories and maybe make money off the stories. Maybe not always make money off the stories. Right. And so while that is, you know, even, or even going to like Instagram broadcast channels or Twitter spaces, like all of these things are like going at, Can we, or at least this is like how I see stuff, like all these things are going out, like can people come together to find things they're interested in slash people they're interested in and tell stories basically. And so can we make a better place to do that? I feel like, you know, and just at the interface level, it's like you can do that without crypto. And so like, don't even tell anyone that it's crypto because that's not the main reason we're getting people onto it in the first place, right? In the long term, if you have that protocol, it's really cool. But yeah, I feel like that's generally the, you know, I don't even necessarily think ad-based models are necessarily wrong. Like they just lead to certain outcomes and some of those outcomes might be bad. That's like a crazy way to say it. I do generally think that like ad-based models lead to undesirable outcomes in many circumstances, right? At least the ones we've seen.

Nicholas: But I feel like that- Do you think about how you compete in like a attention economy or is it, how can you not compete and survive? I guess that's my question.

Salief Lewis: I feel like, yeah. I mean, I would say there is like a level of kind of like naivete slash like we're trying to build something that like a market could be created around. Like we're trying to build something that has like an aspirational like identity piece of it and like being on river feels like no other place on the internet. And so that's the reason that you participate. I think obviously there's like some kind of like different levers that we might need to pull on in the future for like engineering some degree of it. because like it honestly is just like so hard to compete. Like even the fact that like we're not like a mobile first app makes it like pretty tough to just like enter the market. But I don't think that, I think that if you are able to create the place that people really resonate with and find that they have like a different experience, they'll kind of like go a little bit out of their way to experience that. And so, yeah, I mean, I feel like we're on a journey to learn and like get really close to the people that we want to see participating on river. Yeah.

0xTranqui aka Max: Yeah, I really like Salif's answer about what I was saying, which is basically like there's no grand like insight or insane plan. Like it's mainly can we create something that's more interesting than other things that people want to participate in? If that is, that's like enormous number one question. Like that is not answered, right? And so like if we can answer that with a yes, then like, whoa, that means like other things are possible, right? But I feel like anything sort of like anything beyond that is stuff that's cool, right? And stuff we're like, you know, maybe intellectually curious about or like think that could be the right way to grow things after. But like the first thing is like, can anyone just, are there certain, is there some like subset of people who are like, ooh, when I wake up, I like check river and I like post something in the morning and like, then I check later, you know? And so that's kind of the like, I would call it a low bar, but I feel like it's an extremely high bar. Like that's the, that's the low, extremely high bar we're trying to just get to in the first place. And like, if we can do that, then other things become really interesting on top of that.

Nicholas: Do you relate to terms like cozy web or any other kind of, I don't know, movement about a different kind of web experience?

Salief Lewis: I haven't heard that before personally.

0xTranqui aka Max: I feel like, like cozy web adjacent and stuff like that. I would say like, I do think like I was saying earlier about like kind of, it's not necessarily like thrown to the side, like different terms or different like ideologies about how stuff works. But I think generally we try to like not set definitions on things because definitions are sort of just like, Oh, you're, this app is the cozy web. We're like, you're using bot chains, which means this. It's like anything can kind of be done in any way, like, and create, like patterns or behaviors or outcomes outside of that. So I think, yeah, like spiritually, I think there's stuff like cozy web, like adjacent things, which is like, I just want to use the internet and like not get bombarded by ads and like talk to the people I care about. I don't need to be on this insanely huge, like viral feed and all this stuff. So I think, yeah, there's definitely, that's definitely like part of the inspiration, right. Of what river is like, can you just like participate in the place that feels better to you? Right. And I think this is kind of like what I was getting at with the, like, can river be more interesting? Like, that's literally all it has to be to someone like want to go there instead of a different place because it's giving them some feeling that they're not able to like accomplish elsewhere. Right. And so I think, yeah, like especially early days to Ken river sort of be a place where it just, I don't know, feels less intense. And like, that's interesting to people maybe. Um, yeah. Yeah.

Salief Lewis: I feel like there's also the notion of like, maybe like the economics of like the cozy web have never really made sense. And so like, there's, theoretically like a future where like river is an element of the cozy web, but then like clients built on top of river also feel cozy, but like, because they're sharing like this protocol underneath and there's some like economic incentive for everything to like keep moving, like they can simultaneously feel cozy and they're like little spaces. Um, but they're like differentiated, if that makes sense.

Nicholas: Yeah, I should, I, you know, I wasn't even using it totally correctly or implying it totally correctly. I think it's, it's, it's this idea from bank dash, dash row that, um, there's these like gate kept,

Salief Lewis: uh,

Nicholas: private communities that exist more in chat rooms and, um, like discord, slack, uh, WhatsApp, this kind of environment and that they have, um, like a niche interest that draws people together. So maybe it is cozy web adjacent in the sense that you're trying to bring some of that to a more of a public space by removing some of the financialized, uh, elements of crypto and web too, that, uh, kind of pollute the interface.

0xTranqui aka Max: Yeah. And, and even, and even that's where I would be like, I don't even want to say the word pollute because there's nothing necessarily wrong with any of that. It's just like, not what we think should be on that interface right in this moment as we're making stuff. And so, yeah, I feel like I, or like that, that cozy, the stuff that we're getting into right there, that's kind of like the core inspiration behind channels, which is like, can you get things that are slightly more public than group chats or sort of these like gated things and put them in the open. But now if they're in, in the open with like sort of different types of just like the way the feed works and the way information is sort of shared and distributed across the site, it gives you this feeling of almost sort of like hidden in plain sight with still the ability to like get eyeballs on it. If that's like what you really want, because you're trying to grow a community or a brand or something using it, using channel and like putting people into these like sort of high profile places. But also you could just never do that and have a channel just be two people just sharing memes, like together, like back and forth. And it's nice because they don't always want to just spam each other and their group message. They want like, you know, something external to that that feels like you don't have the same weight or social pressure to respond, you know, and things like that. So yeah. Um, yeah, but I also someone, the economics of the cozy web is just a funny term. And so I just want to say that's funny.

Nicholas: Um, what is it? What was it about arena that didn't satisfy you? I guess there is this whole, like, reproducible decentralized permissionless aspect that you're bringing to the game that there, there are these other things like arena that seem like very much in the same lane, but they're centralized, very centralized architectures. So I guess there is some desire to instantiate to manifest something like arena in, in a protocol or a posture.

Salief Lewis: Yeah. I feel like it wasn't even like a, it wasn't even like a super conscious, like decision because like, I think like the applications that like, we worked on previously were like, couldn't have been farther from like arena, but it was just like, I, I wouldn't say it's dissatisfied at all. Like, I feel like the arena as a platform and like the arena team are definitely like an inspiration. Like, um, I, I really like admire, like the way that they do things and the way that they think about like producing the environment that is arena. Um, but I don't think that there isn't. There isn't even room for using those physics in other ways. Um, things that are arguably more social, um, more future, future forward thinking rather. Yeah. More forward thinking.

Nicholas: Tell me about how you guys met. How did the team form?

0xTranqui aka Max: It's funny. Cause like versions of this story have been told and, and it keeps growing. Um, but yeah, I guess like super high level, um, two and a half years ago. And this is like, from my perspective, two and a half years ago, I sort of quit everything I was doing. I was working like renewable energy at the time, um, dropped that. And just for some reason felt like I needed to learn how to do crypto development. Um, so taught myself that, um, over the course of course of like kind of six months, um, during that time, um, I actually met John, uh, who was a part of felting because I sort of got brought on to do like a contract, like job for them. I, we actually did it. That was my first web three galaxy brain appearance, like two years ago, um, me sitting, sitting in some like apartment in Buenos Aires, um, talking about gardens of Felzine. So shout out Mark and Felzine and everybody, um, ended up being, getting to Zora, um, and was sort of doing development relations stuff. Um, one of the other co-founders of a life world, which is the company building river is Joey. So he was also there and that's where we met. And then pretty early on, we ended up through just random energy, um, starting a Dow with Salif. And some other co-founders as well. And so basically, yeah, for the past, like two years, me, Joey, so even John's like live slash have like webbed in interesting ways. And then basically, yeah, it got to the point, um, where the ideas for something like river, we're just growing larger than any one container that they were already being sort of like contained in. So we felt the, the urge to, um, sort of leave what we were doing. And, and go all in on it. I don't know if it's a leaf. Am I missing anything super relevant?

Salief Lewis: I don't think so. Yeah. It was a lot of like serendipity, a lot of like, um, kind of like understanding that we had similar curiosities, like all of us. Uh, and yeah, it's been, it's been magical.

Nicholas: Amazing. So who are the founders? So there's the two of you, there's Joey, um, and there's John, is it?

Salief Lewis: John, J, A, W, and John.

Nicholas: Oh yes. I've seen him in the GitHub. Okay. I wasn't sure who it was.

0xTranqui aka Max: So there's three engineers, me, sleep and John. And then Joey is the kind of like resident brand design person who makes everything look fresh.

Nicholas: Sweet. And yes. Tell me, what are you excited about going forward? I know, uh, you've been doing some fundraising work. I don't know how much you want to talk about that specifically, but, um, what's, what's exciting you about the project, uh, in the next few months?

0xTranqui aka Max: Yeah, I feel like just like putting all the stuff into the interface that we know is supposed to be there, but isn't there yet. because like the first thing we came out with was like something really bare, right? Just to like, sort of like be the first thing we could kind of bat signal people into using, but like all of these things about sort of like item composability, that's like something that's about to be out in like a day or like literally within a few days. Um, and sort of just like making the site more navigable, more performance, adding some of these things that let, that let people communicate more, um, onto it. Um, I'm just so I'm like, I'm very excited to like, there's still a level of like, I don't want to send river to someone. yet because like, I know that it's not the version of river I want them to be using. And so, um, while I think it's still really cool as like an early thing, like I'm really excited to get to that point where I can like fully be like, this is river, this is like the full vision. Right.

Salief Lewis: And so getting to that vision, um, and then, yeah, okay, I'll stop, but there's other things, but to leave you there, I feel like we've also jumped into like, lots of conversations with folks who kind of come to the interface for the first time. And they're like immediately like feeling like this place is interesting and kind of, um, organizing conversations with folks about, you know, their, their visions for river and like, why, like kind of just like harping on that point of like, what makes it feel different and like, what, what can we do? kind of like to, to cultivate that feeling has been really interesting to, uh, me personally, because, um, we've just been like, I guess previously pre before February, we were kind of like working just like the four of us, you know, like in a little bit of an echo chamber. Um, but we're trying to like build this thing for everyone. So it's just been like, super exciting to talk to people about it.

0xTranqui aka Max: And yeah. And like things like Ken river become a sustainable business. Like that's so cool. Like such an interesting, like, I feel like all, like if you step back, like all the way, all the way out and zoom in or like in zoom out to just like what the whole endeavor of life world as a company is, is. like, can we build products that like are both one serving something, um, that people are finding really useful and then also are built and are actually providing value in a way where it can become sustainable businesses. And like, when you do that, you get to the point where like maybe we actually make something that is sustainable and doesn't have to sort of do. these things that are extractive or like won't last in the longterm and then end up sort of disappointing everybody because you have to like rug the thing. Cause there's like no way to keep it afloat. Right. And so I feel just like it's iterating towards something that is just more real and more foundational. Um, and then like getting to that point feels like that's, I'm just so excited for like the potential for that to be a thing. Cause like, I don't know, I feel like. that's something like as an individual would be like extremely proud of being able to say like, yeah, I contributed to that and like, look where it is now.

Nicholas: Very cool. Um, are there any parts of river, or the project in general that, uh, we haven't covered that you think we should mention any, if even philosophical or artistic aspects, or maybe one thing that's just like a teaser of like.

0xTranqui aka Max: the stuff that protocol enables is like for the longest time, or a lot of our work before river was actually doing like, sort of like NFT based curation stuff. So like there was a platform we put out and I think we talked about on galaxy brain called Neo sound. Um, that was like public assembly days. And we build a, a platform called Neo sound that lets you do the like NFT music curation basically. Um, that same ability to curate NFTs is actually like built and enabled in the protocol right now. We actually sort of like flip to the way we were going about things and like instead focused on direct uploads, the IPFS. Um, but with the exact same protocol that is river and the way everything works, you can do an NFT curation playlist thing in the same way. Right. Or you can do, instead of uploading items that are strictly, strictly IPFS CIDs, you can do something like upload HTML or upload something adjacent to frames. That is sort of like a standardized way to like do e-commerce or some type of like on chain financial interaction. Right. Maybe that's entities, maybe it's not. And so, yeah, it's just, there's a lot that is enabled by the underlying sort of structures. Um, and we're focusing on one thing now, but once we get sort of the core, like all the bits and pieces of like the, the version of river we have in our heads, um, out there and like get people using them, it will be really interesting to start seeing like what other things that are, are potentially things people want, you know, um, and like trying and starting to see what it looks like either with this interface or with potentially other interfaces that we'll build, um, to sort of draw the things out more. And so, yeah, there's just like so much service area to be able to build on with something like river. It's almost like our own version of like, it's not almost like it just is our own version of like a full information distribution system. And so like it's purposely generic in certain ways, purposely opinionated and others, but, but yeah, it's generic enough that there's a lot of stuff that can be experimented on top of it. Um, that we haven't really done yet, or we haven't really teased out publicly.

Nicholas: Cool. So if people want to get involved, if they're intrigued by this river dot pH anywhere else, they should check out, uh, yeah, river dot pH.

Salief Lewis: And then if you're interested in trying out the platform, you guys can send an email to everything at life, world.co everything at life, world.co.

0xTranqui aka Max: Great. And soon enough there will be. anyone can just sign up, but this is the first time we've ever built a platform. So we're trying to not that the whole site go down immediately. And so, okay.

Nicholas: So you need to be like a allow listed to, to get it. Got it.

0xTranqui aka Max: Baby devs, baby devs.

Nicholas: Awesome. Well, congratulations on all the progress so far. It's the site looks great. Uh, it looks very unique and I think people can probably sense something about the values that are behind it just by looking at the page, even in its, uh, prototypical stage currently. So congratulations. And, uh, yeah, I look forward to seeing how it develops. So leaf max, thanks so much for coming on web three galaxy brain.

0xTranqui aka Max: Thank you so much.

Salief Lewis: Thank you. It's a pleasure.

Nicholas: All right. Thanks everybody. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode of web three galaxy brain to keep up with everything web three. Follow me on Twitter at Nicholas with four leading ends. You can find links to the topics discussed on today's episode in the show notes. Podcast feed links are available at web three galaxy brain.com. web three galaxy brain airs live most Friday afternoons at 5:00 PM. Eastern time 2200 UTC on Twitter spaces. I look forward to seeing you there.

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0xTranqui and Salief Lewis, Co-Founders of River