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At its core, the network is a messaging system. All the data that transits on the network is represented by messages that represent all the possible operations on the network.

With messages, you can, for example: * store files * pin content on IPFS * create decentralized programs * set up key/value databases.

Users create, sign and transmit messages to the network. This can be achieved in a variety of ways:

  • by posting a message to a Core Channel Node
  • by broadcasting the message on the peer-to-peer network
  • by using the smart contracts deployed on supported chains.

Message format

An message is made of multiple fields that can be split between header and content fields.

Header fields

Message info fields

  • type [str]: the type of the message. Can be one of AGGREGATE, FORGET, PROGRAM,POST, STORE.
  • time [float]: Message timestamp.
  • channel [Optional[str]]: A user-defined string defining the channel of the message. One application ideally has one channel.
  • signature [str]: The cryptographic signature of the message. This field guarantees the authenticity of the message.

Sender info fields

  • sender [str]: Cryptographic address of the sender. Ex: the user's crypto wallet address.
  • chain [str]: The blockchain used by the sender.

Content fields

  • item_hash [str]: The hash of the message content. See below.
  • item_type [str]: Identifies where the content field can be found. Can be one of inline, storage, ipfs.
  • item_content [Optional[str]]: If item_type == inline, contains the JSON content of the message serialized as a string.

Message types

Actual content sent by regular users can currently be of five types:

  • AGGREGATE: aggregates provide a decentralized key/value storage.
  • FORGET: delete other messages (see below).
  • POST: posts provide JSON documents (unique data points, events).
  • PROGRAM: create and update programs running in VMs (ex: lambda functions).
  • STORE: file storage.

Item hash, type and content

Messages are uniquely identified by the item_hash field. This value is obtained by computing the hash of the content field. Currently, the hash can be obtained in one of two ways. If the content of the message is stored on IPFS, the item_hash of the message will be the CIDv0 of this content. Otherwise, if the message is stored on native storage or is included in the message, the item hash will be the SHA256 hash of the message in hexadecimal encoding. In the first case, the item type will be set to ipfs. In the second case, the item type will either be inline if the content is included in the message (serialized as a string in the item_content field) or storage. Inline storage will be used for content up to 200kB. Beyond this size, users must upload the content as a file on an node prior to uploading the message.

Signature messages are cryptographically signed with the private key of the user. The signature covers the sender, chain, type and item_hash fields of the message.

Deleting messages

The protocol is GDPR-compliant. To achieve this objective, we allow users to delete their own data. This is implemented using a special message type called FORGET. By sending a FORGET message, users can delete one or more messages from the entire network. Users can forget any type of message, except for FORGET messages themselves.

When a FORGET message is processed by a node, it will immediately mark the target message(s) as forgotten, meaning that their content (and item_content) fields will be deleted. In addition, any content related to the forgotten message(s) will be deleted, if no other message points to the same content. For example, forgetting a STORE message will delete the associated file, if no other STORE message points to the same file.

Furthermore, forgotten messages will no longer appear when querying messages from /api/v0/messages.json.

Content format

The content field of a FORGET message must contain the following fields:

  • address [str]: The address to which the message belongs. See permissions.
  • time [float]: The epoch timestamp of the message.
  • hashes [List[str]]: The list of message hashes to forget
  • aggregates [List[str]]: The list of aggregates to forget
  • reason [Optional[str]]: An optional explanation of why the user wants to forget these hashes.

FORGET messages must specify at least one object to forget.


  • At the moment, a user can only forget messages he sent himself.