Recently, I spoke with Justin Rezvani, the founder of Zion, a decentralized, open-source, utility-based social media marketing protocol that’s built together with Bitcoin.


The conversation focused primarily around why Zion is essential, instead of what Zion is, and I came across that to be telling concerning the larger intentions for the project. The focus was less about selling something and making a important thing, and more concerning the necessity of decentralizing social media marketing once we currently know it, challenging current power structures and empowering creators to possess direct relationships making use of their consumers while concentrating on education.

I am hoping you love this conversation in so far as i did.

What’s Zion?

Zion can be an application built on the Lightning Network that facilitates creators and their audiences to truly have a more intimate experience engaging with one another.

Everyone on the network is owning a full Lightning node and it’s really a genuine peer-to-peer network. It isn’t a centralized system. It isn’t such as a traditional website. That it is peer-to-peer nodes, peer-to- peer computers, communicating via an open-source protocol, that is the Lighting Network.

So how exactly does Zion help streamline the procedure of running your personal Lightning node, and what does which means that for a user experience?

Using Zion is quite quick, essentially with a one-click checkout and credit cards, you can be ready to go, not only having a complete Lightning node you are running yourself, but additionally having a pre-provisioned channel, all in a non-custodial manner, together with your private keys held on these devices itself. And I believe that is the innovation where, you understand, you have this full sovereignty of one’s data and you also have all the information stored on that node encrypted.

I believe the continuing future of where we’re going is this ability of cryptography in order to secure messages on a non-centralized server within an individualized way and having self sovereignty of not merely your bitcoin, but additionally your computer data.

One key thing people may notice in the setup of a Zion account is that theres a checkout function, requiring credit cards, which does imply that youre spending money on something. This can be a bit not the same as the model we typically see in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram among others. The facts youre paying for, and just why?

You’re paying to rent a complete Bitcoin Lightning node. That’s what you’re actually spending money on. And our software will come in as a relay, the custom software that’s built onto the node, that is free.

So, if you are running your personal node, you’re a lot more than welcome to visit our GitHub, and download all of the relay docs. We’ve everything dockerized. You can certainly do that. If you are running your personal full node, the truth is, there’s lots of complexity with doing that because you then have to find out, well, how will you create static IP addresses that move the domain over quickly?

They are things that we don’t possess support for yet, but in the event that you run your personal node, you’re a lot more than welcome to accomplish it. So technically once you join Zion, you are not joining Zion. You are not paying to become listed on Zion. You’re paying to perform a complete Bitcoin Lightning node. And it gets the software mounted on it that allows one to access Zion.

The true big distinction is you are not paying to become listed on this social networking. It’s your personal Lightning node. And you can perform many other things with this particular Lightning node. It includes a pre-provisioned channel. All your data is then stored with this node aswell. So, it’s a tiny bit different than spending money on a social networking.

Sovereignty And Censorship

Censorship and data collection aren’t new problems, however the solutions for them most definitely are. Bitcoin can be an inherently trustless and permissionless system. Weve begun to start to see the rise of new companies, like Gettr, which are promising never to censor their users. The issue with Gettr is that people place ourselves within exactly the same trust systems of days gone by, hoping that things changes.

So how exactly does Zion differ from social media marketing platforms like Gettr, and exactly what will this modern of social media appear to be?

The continuing future of social media, first, it requires to be built on a monetary layer. The next piece is it must enable permissionless innovation, meaning it’s open source. Next, the protocol must be centered on peer governance versus platform governance. Next, it must be censorship resistant, meaning the protocol has layers of censorship resistance included in it.

Another piece is that the creators own everything. And the ultimate piece is that we now have digital property rights for individuals that utilize the service through encryption. You possess things through layers of encryption. That is my north star thesis on the continuing future of internet sites. Gettr doesn’t fulfill just a single one of those bits of the network.

Think about the big question of censorship in todays social landscape? How will you get kicked off Zion?

Now, the investors have asked questions about illegal stuff happening and what now ? if illegal stuff happens? And the simple truth is [that would only apply] if we’ve a legal notice saying that is an illegal act, and when we have been somehow hosting the node, that is most unlikely, right? Let’s just put a scenario together, here.

If someone’s doing something nasty on the net, do you think they will head to have a hosted node with something to go do the nasty items that they’re attempting to do? Most likely not. They’re probably gonna self host it in their home. But the honest facts are that, you know, we shall follow any legal requirement that’s put towards us.

Platforms Vs. Protocols

What’s the main element difference with Zion as a computer program protocol, rather than being truly a social media marketing platform?

If people look at us and say, Oh, Zion, yet another platform, you’re inherently wrong about our technology. We have been a protocol utility layer which allows nodes to peer-to-peer talk to one another.

You have your personal node. You are not sitting on Zion. That’s your node. You’re investing in a node, self custody of one’s information. You may be running it in the home, your personal server at your own property. We are only a browser to gain access to that information, right?

If two different people talk, like calling one another on the phone, will you blame AT&T since they had the pipe sitting beneath the ground and that allowed a telephone call to happen? Needless to say not, you’ll never say that!

The reason why this illegal activity happened was due to AT&T phone lines within the ground, that’d function as most absurd thing to state, right?

It’s someone’s own sovereign phone and somebody else’s sovereign phone and they are talking to one another over the web. And I believe that is the same experience that we’re discussing. Zion isn’t a platform. It really is protocol, layer rails that let nodes communicate in a peer-to-peer way. That is the difference.


Big data companies have captured our identities as the utmost valuable asset in an electronic age while bearing down on the users making use of their own opinions concerning the way we, as a society, should act or disseminate information. Freedom and sovereignty are core ideals to Bitcoiners, and I really do believe the people at Zion keep these values at their foundations.

What’s the continuing future of this dynamic and so how exactly does Zion easily fit into?

I believe that the continuing future of where we’re choosing audiences may be the next layer of the creator economy, that is you can now be considered a professional consumer of content, meaning if you’re section of a community and you also post an extremely funny meme, other folks can pay you for the reason that community for that.

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