How Bitfinex Launched a Video Chat App with Bitcoin Support

Paolo Ardoino, CTO of crypto exchange Bitfinex, announcement the launch of a new peer-to-peer (P2P) video chat application integrated with Bitcoin payment, called Keet. Via Twitter, Ardoino confirmed that the app was built on the Holepunch framework, a platform created to take the friction out of the process of building P2P apps, and that it will use the Hypercore protocol.

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As Ardoino said, Keet users can interact with friends, family, colleagues, and others. Barring similar apps, the Holepunch-based app was designed to enable P2P communication without “harvesting” data or eavesdropping on user conversations.

In that sense, Ardoino claimed that Keet is a better implementation than even P2P chat apps with privacy features, because even those “still collect a ton of metadata.” Bitfinex CTO said:

Holepunch comes with no strings attached. Developers will be able to create any type of application, headless or UI, desktop or mobile, without having to worry about central infrastructures. You can watch the explanatory video above. Free as in freedom.

Today, the app was launched in Alpha version and the team behind the project is still working to create a better app, Ardoino said. As the app develops, the team behind the project will integrate Bitcoin payments through Lightning Network and Tether (USDT) payments.

Keet will be open source by December 2022. This way, the project will prevent bad actors from allegedly using the source code to create their own version of the app and “milking the crypto community”.

Via Twitter, a pseudonymous user provided more details about Keet and how it works. This user said that Keet would not send data from a chat to centralize servers, but rather keep data strictly between the two users having a conversation.

Bitcoin supports new use cases far from the control of centralized parties

The user explained that the Holepunch framework has been in development for over 3 years and will be released to the public with Keet’s open-source code in December in the form of a development kit. As seen below, the public alpha version of this framework was rolled out almost a year ago.

The framework, as mentioned, is based on the Hypercore protocol which uses Merkle Trees and the BLAKED2b-256 hash function for security. These technologies are “widely used in many distributed systems,” including cryptocurrencies.

The team behind Hypercore also developed a P2P file system called Hyperdrive and a distributed hash table (DHT) called Hyperswarm.

These technologies allow Holepunch to operate in a decentralized manner without using a native blockchain or token, making the process of building apps easier for developers. The process of creating an application with this architecture is so simple that a “single front-end developer” created it in 4 months, the user’s pseudonym wrote by adding :

Regarding Bitcoin, Keet will provide, via Holepunch, primitives to support the P2P payment option in a non-custodial form. BTC and Tether payments are add-on features to provide payment rails for people using apps or planning to offer services through Holepunch.

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At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading at $21,800 with a 4% loss in the last 24 hours.

BTC price is moving sideways on the 4-hour chart. Source: BTCUSDT Tradingview

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