How to use Nostr with the Alby Extension

How to use Nostr with the Alby Extension


  • Nostr is an open protocol to create more censorship-resistant social networks.
  • Users identify themselves on Nostr apps with their Nostr private and public key.
  • The Alby Extension helps you to conveniently manage your private key and to interact with other users across the network instead of handing it over to web apps.

Why do we need alternative forms of social networks?

On a high level, existing social networks have advantages and shortcomings:

Centralized services like Twitter or Facebook are easy to use but users suffer from ads and censorship. More decentralized approaches like Mastodon might allow free speech but require a complicated setup and expensive servers.

How does Nostr work?

Nostr is no app but a protocol that is very simple at the end of the day:

  • There are two components: clients and relays.
  • To publish something, you interact with a client app where you write a post, sign it with your private key and send it to relays.  
  • To read messages from other people you ask different relays for updates. Client apps take care of it and display posts in a Twitter-like feed for instance.

How to use Nostr?

To use nostr, you need a key and a client. provides a great guide to get started:

Each Nostr account is based on a private/public key pair. Your private key is your password and your public key is your username. You are responsible for keeping your private key safe.

It is not recommended to sign into a Nostr client by pasting in your private key. It is insecure. Instead, you can use a wallet, which is designed to manage your private key.

The Alby extension has built-in support for Nostr. It's a great option for users to generate your own Nostr private key OR store an existing key.

Step 1: Set up the Alby extension
Visit and click the 'Install Alby' button. Install the extension to your browser.
During setup, you will be prompted to connect to a lightning wallet.

You can create an Alby wallet and sign up for an Alby account or if you already have a lightning wallet or lightning node, you can connect to it.
Make sure to pin the extension in your browser for easier access.

Step 2: Generate or insert your own Nostr private key

Once the extension is installed navigate to the 'accounts' page and select your account. Each account in the extension can have individual Nostr keys.

Nostr account section in the Alby extension 

Paste your existing Nostr private key or generate a new one. You can also generate a random key (more secure) or generate a new private key based on the current account you use in the Alby extension. It can then be re-generated as long as you have access to the account, but please make sure you back up this private key.

Step 3: Log into a Nostr client

  1. Choose one of several Nostr clients such as,, or All of them provide similar functionality as Twitter (just without ads)
  2. Make sure to use the public key from the Alby Extension. This is how it looks on
Screenshot of the sign-up dialog on

Press the button 'USE PUBLIC KEY FROM EXTENSION' and you are ready to interact with other users on Nostr.

What's next?

Now that you have access to a Nostr client try out different things:

Post messages

Every interaction on Nostr requires a signature with your private key.

Alby asks you for confirmation before you post a message but makes it also very convenient for you to automate confirmations. Just tick the box if you don´t want to be asked again

Screenshot of posting a message on

Send payments

Many Nostr clients already integrate bitcoin lightning payments.

video clip of sending a payment on

Why not support some developers or creators on Nostr. The video shows how to activate the 'Remember and set a budget' feature in the Alby Extension the send payments with one click until the budget is used up.

Try out other Nostr clients.

Since your identity is represented by your public key, you can easily switch from one client app to another client app and bring your identity with you. Many of them will load your profile automatically that you created for another client before. The Alby Extension secures your private key making it very convenient to access any other Nostr client with the same identity in one click.
If you want to try out Nostr on your mobile phone with Alby you can use the Kiwi browser on Android and install the Alby Extension there. The process is the same as described above.

Be aware, Nostr and this feature are still early. But we are committed to improving the service every day. Stay tuned for updates and reach out to us for any questions.

If you want to learn more about Nostr have a look at this directory of Nostr apps and guides: