Holochain Forum

Asynchronous Private Messaging

Problem

Agents want to communicate privately with each other even when one party is offline. But node-to-node messaging requires both the sender and recipient to be online.

Solution

Encrypt private messages using the recipient’s public key and publish them to the DHT.

Implementation

Holochain has built-in encryption and decryption functions. Use these to protect public messages when you publish them to the DHT.

Warnings

  • No encryption scheme is safe forever, even currently recommended ones. Consider your DHT’s expected lifetime, actors with quantum computers, and how that could affect the lives of your users.
  • Every entry shows who authored it, leaving a trail of metadata that lets third parties build a profile of social connections.

Related patterns

This pattern can be used with the Mailbox pattern to create something almost as secure as private node-to-node messaging, albeit with the above warnings.

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