Introducing Nostr Wallet Connect

Introducing Nostr Wallet Connect

In short:

  • Nostr Wallet Connect allows users to import their existing bitcoin lightning wallets into apps
  • Developers can offer one-click or even automated bitcoin payments with just a few lines of code.

Connecting wallets and apps is cumbersome

Nowadays, integrating bitcoin lightning wallets with apps is tedious work for developers, especially due to the wide variety of interfaces that these wallets offer. This means developers are pushed to build individual integrations for each unique bitcoin lightning wallet currently on the market. This unnecessary friction increases the workload for apps, along with harming niche wallets – that have smaller user bases – due to developers that are unlikely to code integrations.

Clearly, there is a need for a unified protocol between apps and wallets.

Nostr Wallet Connect fixes this

Nostr Wallet Connect (NWC) changes this. NWC is built on Nostr–” Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays”–which allows people to exchange signed messages in a safe and secure manner. Nostr allows users to connect to a network of relays (or servers) that anyone can run, to then send encrypted messages by using their private keys.

NWC is the perfect solution for developers looking to integrate a unified standard for wallet-app connections (NIP-47). Built on the Nostr protocol, developers can leverage this technology to give users full flexibility to choose the wallet that best suits their needs.

Powering web economies with bitcoin

NWC is the next step forward in Alby’s mission towards making payments seamless and accessible to everybody. In order to fulfill our mission, and allow for active and inclusive online communities to thrive, we need to bring bitcoin to places where people are interacting today.

Our roadmap began by introducing bitcoin lightning functionality to YouTube, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Next, the Alby Wallet API was introduced as a way to power any app with native bitcoin payments that can be settled instantly on a global scale. So far, the Alby Wallet API is built on OAuth2 a widely used standard to easily authorize the access of apps in a safe way. The idea is simple yet powerful: every user only needs one bitcoin lightning account to connect to any app, and developers can use familiar standards such as OAuth to speed up integration.

Get started quickly with the Alby Wallet SDK

In an effort to bring bitcoin to existing apps and make it as easy and quick as possible for developers to integrate bitcoin payments natively, at Alby we created a JavaScript based SDK. Alongside the OAuth2 Wallet API the SDK now also includes the Nostr Wallet Connect API, which exchanges payment requests and lightning invoices securely over the Nostr protocol. The dedicated Alby relay ensures that payments and messages are not published but reliably send to the receiver. Apps are able to conduct payments on the user’s behalf depending on permissions given by the user and receive a preimage back for confirmation.

Nostr Wallet Connect use cases

There is a large list of use cases that benefit from Nostr Wallet Connect:

  • Native bitcoin payments in mobile apps (e.g. zapping in Amethyst)
  • Connecting remote lightning nodes via NWC to apps without going through Tor (e.g. Umbrel)
  • Setting up recurring payments (e.g. ZapPlanner)

The Benefits for Users and Developers

At Alby we believe that by building on open standards, protocols like NWC facilitate interoperability and innovation. It allows for users to conveniently connect to their existing bitcoin accounts rather than creating a new wallet for every app. Alby’s OAuth and NWC implementation gives users the option to plug-in their account seamlessly into whichever app they choose.

On the other hand, developers benefit by using a single unified interface that supports many different wallets, allowing for frictionless payment experiences that don’t require switching apps or scanning QR codes. Making integrations effortless for developers opens their apps to users of any and all bitcoin lightning wallets, which we can see leading to an explosion in innovation both for app designs and creative new features.

We believe that building NWC on top of Nostr will lead to powerful use cases for bitcoin payments. Be sure to check out this exciting new addition, and if you need any help with implementation, let us know.