Ethereum is also a “communication network”. What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

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Ethereum has Turing completeness and can be used outside of DeFi or NFT, such as using it as an instant messaging application.

Original title: “Ethereum: The Development of Messaging Applications”
Written by: ChinaDeFi

On August 11th, we saw the largest cryptocurrency hacking in history. Poly Network’s $611 million was stolen. The huge number of hacker attacks is not the only characteristic of this hacker attack. Unlike most hacking attacks, this attack has a continuous narrative that accompanies it, provided by messages sent to and from the hacker’s address. It even has a self-published question and answer series!

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

In this article, let’s take a look at the various ways that Ethereum users use their wallets to communicate with the world and each other, take a look:

  • Input data message (IDM)

  • Non-standard IDM

  • Verify signature

Input data message (IDM)

IDM is a term we coined to describe messages sent through input data fields in Ethereum transactions. Input data fields are widely used to inform the blockchain which contract calls are made as part of a transaction. The data is written in hexadecimal form, which can be decoded to show the exact function being called.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? Raw hexadecimal input for Uniswap V2 transactions

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? The same input is decoded to show the function parameters

However, the same fields can also be used to enter hexadecimal data—when converted to UTF-8 encoding—that is represented as text.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? Vitalik’s news is burning 90% of his SHIBA tokens

Identifying which of all transactions completed on Ethereum are IDM is a challenge, because contract interaction transactions may be converted to UTF-8, and those transactions that should be messages may have some character format errors.

From the information we can identify, their uses can be divided into:

Transaction Receipt/Note

The main purpose of these messages seems to be in the form of receipts/tickets. When trying to find common words used in IDM that contain a subset of addresses, such an example completely dwarfs other words.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? The Bitfinex 3 address has sent more than 117,000 transactions (presumably a withdrawal)

Another example of a receipt is from Anyswap: BSC bridge address. In this case, Anyswap uses the transaction hash of the user’s deposit on the BSC as the IDM in the Ethereum transaction they send to the user. Users can simply copy and paste the hash to BscScan.com to check their BSC deposit again.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? View more Anyswap transaction receipts in this dashboard

verify

Some addresses use IDM for verification. In one example, an address sends itself an IDM every day.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

Check IDM and find that they follow the standard JSON format. We are not sure, but we can speculate that this is the daily verification of smart contracts added to the registry.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

Encrypted begging

As long as there is a popular or newly rich address, you can bet that another address will send them a message and ask them to help muh famili. Examples of messages sent to Vitalik (Vb address):

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? Read through Vitalik’s news here

For those who want money, remember that if you add value to the other party first, your chances of success will be higher.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

advertise

Unlike begging messages, some entrepreneurs will send IDM to popular addresses to promote their products. The address sent spam to more than 150 addresses, and IDM is advertising a campaign to raise funds for “Troll Hunter-the first tokenized 3D animated film.” However, this fundraising did not seem to be completed successfully.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? Facilitate the transaction list

Another type of “advertisement” is an IDM link that is regularly posted to their product so that it will be crawled by crawlers like ours. Folkspaper claims to be a “fast-growing newspaper curated by an online community,” and it always publishes links to its articles in the IDM that it sends to itself.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

dialogue

Finally, for people who are busy online like us, the most interesting IDM is the conversation on the chain. The “heart-warming” communication between two MEV robot operators is the best example of the effective use of two-party IDM.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

In the space of these 30 messages, two former online strangers and arbitrage competitors have established a partnership to ensure better profits for both parties and become friends!

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

So far, the most active and interesting conversation we can find is still on Poly Network Exploiter 1. Use 13.37 ETH to reward suggestions, nurses and refugees to ask for money, encrypt messages, call scammers’ emails and media, negotiate and Q&A with hacked projects, this conversation has everything you need.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

Non-standard IDM

Although most IDMs are only sent as text, some require additional work to decode the message.

Encrypted message

These messages combine the publicity of the blockchain with the relative privacy of encrypted messages. People who want to understand the content of the message need to decrypt it.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? Encrypted message sent to PolyNetwork Exploiter 1 in this transaction

Event log

The second THORChain user uses the message as the message sent to the target. The message needs to be parsed through the event logs of 6 transactions, and the line-by-line input data view is changed from Hex to Text. Future DeFi developers, please stick to the standard IDM method!

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? Messages sent through six transactions in the same block: 1 2 3 4 5 6

byte

Another non-standard form of IDM is to display the data (when converted to UTF-8) in byte format. For these situations, readers need to use such a tool to convert the text from byte format to string format.

The IDM in the form of a long string of numbers magically becomes human readable.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? Convert the message from this transaction to a Vb address

Verify signature

Another type of message uses Ethereum, but is not stored on the chain. The wallet owner can use their private key to sign the message to prove that the message came from the signed address. Then, anyone can use tools such as Etherscan and MyCrypto to verify the signed message.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit? Example of a message with a verification signature

Etherscan keeps a record of messages signed using our tool. Although this tool is mainly for contract creators to verify the ownership of their contracts, it has been used by thousands of people in the community for various use cases.

Why do users choose to use verified signed messages instead of IDM? First, these messages are not bound to the receiving address. Anyone who logs into the verify signature page on Etherscan can see the list of these messages without having to navigate to a specific address. The UX for reading these messages is also simpler—the user does not need to convert from hexadecimal to UTF-8. Perhaps most importantly, they do not incur transaction costs like IDM.

By looking at these messages, we can see that their uses are different from those in IDM.

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

  • 30% of the messages are used to verify their social media accounts.

  • 29% of messages use formats other than Etherscan to prove address ownership.

  • Only 9% of the messages actually follow the Etherscan template.

  • Interestingly, as much as 1% of these messages are used to indicate the delivery of express services!

In addition to these uses, some interesting highlights include:

  • Determine the account used for transaction support

  • License for issuing smart contracts

  • Apply for P2P loan on Bitcointalk

  • Announce the correct Twitter account for the DeFi project

  • Voting on Uniswap governance

  • Financial audit verification

  • Correct the USDT sent by mistake

Ethereum is also a "communication network". What kind of messages are encrypted users using it to transmit?

Due to its Turing completeness, Ethereum can be used for everything except DeFi or NFT. Using it as an instant messaging application is an example. The space for this use case is extensive and has not been fully explored. We look forward to seeing more in this area!

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