What is Session, the Decentralized Messaging Protocol

what is session decentralized privacy messaging app

A complete guide about Session, their token and the move to Arbitrum

In the ever changing Web3 landscape, Session stands out as a decentralized, private messaging application powered by crypto and blockchain technology. Used by almost one million users, Session now moves from its own L1 network to Arbitrum. 

Private messaging platform Session doesn’t require your phone number, and there are also no centralized servers that cybercriminals can hack. Instead, Session runs on fully open-source and decentralized technology, while allowing users to send private and encrypted messages. These are messages only, without any metadata. Session has been in development for five years, has almost a million users, and now moves to Arbitrum. 

Before we start, if you’re interested in learning more about the Session ecosystem and the upcoming launch of Session Token, you can earn a reward for participating in the Sessions DappRadar Quest. Try the app, join the community, and you’ll go into the draw.

What is Session 

Session is a decentralized messaging platform that values user privacy. Session started on its own native blockchain, but will now move over to Arbitrum. In addition they will launch their own Session Token to enhance scalability and improve the user experience. The Session network is run by over 2,000 nodes that offer users built-in onion routing to hide their IP addresses. 

Session is a chat app that offers powerful, unique privacy features, while the user experience will likely be familiar to most crypto users. The app doesn’t require your phone number or other personal information for sign-up. Instead you receive a Session ID, which serves as your public key. In addition, you will have a seed phrase or private key for account recovery.

Sending messages through onion network

Session utilizes its own decentralized node network to store and route messages.  This means that unlike P2P messaging applications you can message Session users when they are offline. The network nodes are run by the community. These are then organized into smaller co-operative groups called swarms.

An encrypted message gets routed through three random nodes. That way individual nodes can never know either the origins, or the destination of a message. 

Session uses a decentralized network and onion routing to ensure messages are private.
Session has its own onion router network, which is clustered in swarms.

Privacy features of Session

  • Users can generate a Session ID with a private key to start an account
  • Session doesn’t require phone numbers
  • The chat platform doesn’t collect any data, and therefore a data breach is impossible
  • Messages go through an onion routing network, removing traceability. 
  • Session is an open-source program, so you can verify everything.
  • It’s censorship resistant thanks to its decentralized network, therefore also harder to shut down. 

Session features 

Session allows users to chat anonymously with each other, either through one on one chats or in group chats with up to 100 people. Users can send text messages, or leave a voice message. In addition, the app supports sending files, images and other attachments to your contacts in the app. 

The messaging app also supports community features for bigger numbers of people. These open groups are hosted on community-operated servers, and moderation policies are determined by each individual community.

Don’t share your private key

Similar to crypto wallets, the private key of your Session account should not be shared with third-parties. You need to keep it safe. Through the private key anybody can access your account. This works similarly to a password, but comes with enhanced security and doesn’t require verification from a centralized server. Everything works on the blockchain. 

Session moving to Arbitrum

With Session moving to Arbitrum, the team is making the biggest shift in their 5 year history. Alongside the transition, they will introduce the Session Token. This ERC-20 token will allow the messaging platform to become properly integrated into the wider Web3 ecosystem. 

Alongside this move to Arbitrum the team will also restructure its branding, which will see the network, the token and the Lokinet onion router under one umbrella: the Session ecosystem. The Session Token will launch later this year, and will be key to unlocking Session Pro, a paid membership. 

Session token use cases

When Session Token launches, users can expect it to have 3 main use cases: 

  1. Purchasing Session Pro, a paid membership for the chat app. 
  2. Purchasing and trading namespaces
  3. Staking to earn rewards

Session Pro 

Season Pro unlocks premium features for power users, which are available through a subscription and powered by Session Token. The team will use price oracles to stabilize the cost of the subscription, allowing payments for Session Pro to happen in fiat or a variety of popular cryptocurrencies. Session Token will power these transactions, and then flow into the network reward pool. 

Purchasing or trading namespaces

Users will also need Session Tokens to purchase SNS, or Session Name Spaces. These are basically usernames, but stored as NFTs on the blockchain. Session IDs allow users to be anonymous, but a handle is simply easier to remember. Users can buy or trade namespaces on third-party marketplaces. 


Users can stake their tokens to the network and earn rewards for doing so. At launch, there will be 40 million tokens allocated to the network reward pool, with 14% released annually, distributed on a daily basis to network node operators. Node operators in return share their income with delegators, which are users who stake their tokens on a node. As the reward pool grows, so will the rewards. 

Closing words

The Session Token community has recently launched on Discord and Twitter, and the team is running a DappRadar quest to celebrate. Participate in the quest, and join the community if you’re interested in learning more about the project and what’s in store for this year — it’s shaping up to be a big one.

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