Our Progress on ethPay: encrypted chatting via Whisper

March 16th 2017

We want to give you a quick update on what we’ve been brewing for the last couple of weeks regarding ethPay.

For those of you who do not know about ethPay, it is basically a decentralized payment framework that makes it possible to set up virtual shops to sell all sorts of intangible and tangible goods. We like the metaphor of a garage sale or a street market, only that it’s virtually residing on a blockchain. We introduced ethPay already in our previous article.

A big issue for us was how we would design the process of post-purchase communication between merchant and customer. We wanted an integrated solution inside the app but at the same time stay as decentralized as possible, i.e. a proprietary chat server was a no go. Those of you that are familiar with the Ethereum project will know what comes next: Whisper.

What exactly is Whisper? It is described as a communication protocol for dApps to communicate with each other and forms together with the Ethereum Virtual Machine and the decentralized storage system Swarm the “Holy Trinity” of the Ethereum World Computer. Basically, Whisper makes it possible to securely send messages between dApps and enables peer-to-peer messaging between endusers.

We use Whisper so that a merchant can communicate with his customers directly through the app if he needs to and vice versa, after a purchase has been made. In the short example below you can see how the customer buys a product with ethPay together with a message for the merchant. The merchant will then see that a product from one of his shops was purchased and when he taps on the purchase the app opens the chat between him and the customer.

You can try it out yourself, we’ve set up a store called “P-ACS Store” on our test network and created an offer for a virtual cup of coffee which you can buy with our test ether and “whisper” us something.

Just scan in this code with the wallet app.

The screen should look like this after scanning the code.

After the purchase you should see the P-ACS Store in your main screen of the app. Just tap on it or open the menu and tap on “Show purchases”. To enter the chat with us just tap on the purchase and you can start chatting as you can see below:

ethPay is currently in an early state and only runs on our test network, which is why you cannot lose any real ether, so don’t worry :)

Of course you can also write us an old-fashioned email if you have questions regarding ethPay. Just visit ethpay.world.

That’s all for now, we will keep you updated with what’s to come in the future.

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