Encrypted Memos Are Unreadable!

in steemworld •  11 months ago 



I was randomly looking at my Steemd page when I saw this:


No problem right? I'll just log into Steemit and view the message!


Even after all this time, encrypted messages are still hidden on the Steemit interface.

No problem, I'll just log in to Steemit with my memo key. That's what I did last time to view encrypted messages. But wait, Steemit has since only allowed us to log in with our posting key, so that doesn't work anymore either.

No problem! I'll log into https://busy.org!
Surely they have a way to view encrypted messages!

At this point I am getting worried, because neither Steemit nor Busy has even given me any indication that I received an encrypted message in the first place. The only reason I even found out about it was from randomly looking at steemd.com operations.

So now I've moved on to Steempeak. No dice there!

Surely, https://steemworld.org/@edicted won't lead me astray!

Well, I didn't get any kind of indication that I received an encrypted message at SteemWorld, but I did find this when I directly clicked the operation:


So, after being on Steem for a year, and having programming experience, it still took me like 10 minutes just to figure out how to view an encrypted message.

This is really distressing to me. We only have four keys, the memo is one of them, and we rarely ever use it. I feel like this key is vastly underutilized. Could you imagine being able to easily send encrypted messages on Facebook or other mainstream social media platforms? That kind of functionality is unheard of.

However, here at Steem, this functionality is simply part of the foundation. Honestly, a lot of the times it feels like we are children learning walk as we try to navigate this space. There is a lot of wasted potential here. Imagine all the things we could be doing with this level of encryption.


For starters, where are the encrypted chat rooms? Why are we only sending encrypted messages 1 on 1 through the payment channels? Seems like it would be pretty easy to encrypt text and send it out as a custom JSON operation. This would make them not only free, but also costs 4 times less resource credits than a fund transfer.

Also, imagine encrypting your own message with your own public key. Now you are the only one who can decrypt that message. What would be the point of such a thing? Well, you can say something today that no one can read and prove to everyone tomorrow that you said that thing.

Let's say I was hosting a contest:

I'm thinking of a number between one and a hundred.
Whoever guesses right wins x Steem!

I could then encrypt a message like:
"The number I picked was ten (10)"
and encrypt it and post that to the blockchain.


After the contest was over I could reveal the original message:

The number I picked was ten (10)

Anyone could then use my public memo key to encrypt this message to see that it is in fact what I wrote at the beginning of the contest (because the encryption matches). This blind-bid functionality is one of many of the possible applications of the memo key; none of which we seem to be utilizing here.

I've been thinking about making games on the Steem blockchain.
Sometimes I run into the problem of:

Oh, that won't work because it requires privacy and this is a public blockchain.
The amount of work it would take to implement privacy here just isn't worth the effort.

However, now the more I think about it the answer has just been staring me in the face this whole time. Privacy can be achieved though memo key encryption because every account automatically has one by default. What an awesome platform this is!


This was meant to be a quick reminder of how to encrypt messages on Steemit, but now I'm jumping down the rabbit hole again. Seriously what the fuck. You don't encrypt messages with a private key. How did that error message ever get written in the first place? Mind blown. I guess memo encryption is broken on Steemit.

So then I went to Busy.org:



Then I went to Steempeak:


Spoiler alert: it didn't work.

Leaving me https://steemworld.org/


I guess it's nice that at least one out of the four frontends I tried had the basic functionality that I was looking for. Kudos to @steemchiller for SteemWorld. This is a project that likely deserves a lot more support than it's getting.


what do you think about making a manual curation guild?

At it's core, the act of curation is a form of advertisement. We're essentially bringing content that we consider valuable to light for others to see. Personally, I think we are doing it all wrong. I think the forced curation tax should be abolished from the consensus layer completely. We need to find a better way to rate content than to simply assume the high payout posts are the ones that deserve to be viewed.

This is where resteems come in. I believe we need to monetize resteems. Take this post for example. I should be able to offer a deal to anyone willing to resteem this content:

All funds generated from your resteem will earn x% of the revenue generated.
(where x is a percentage determined by the author)

I think this would be a much smarter way to curate content intelligently.

In short, I am interested in improving curation.
I'm just not exactly sure how I would go about doing it.
There are so many projects I'd like to complete; it's hard to pick one and stick with it.


Memo Encryption is a very important utility whose potential hasn't even come close to being unlocked.

Curation and reputation are an important aspect we haven't figured out yet.

I'll continue to think of applications for the memo key over the coming weeks.

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Steempeak does work with Keychain.

Any response? Don't you want to acknoledge that one system works. Wouldn't that help people?

I always wondered what the memo key was for. Now I know! Thanks.
I agree that this has great potential.
I'm especially interested in being able to send encrypted updates about the Class Action against Facebook & Google to all the people who have signed up and invested.
Many are already on Steem and I'm onboarding the rest by providing the signup bonus SUFB tokens on Steem Engine.

keychain and steempeak + keychain work nicely for those memos

How does one even obtain one's private memo Key? Steemit.com doesn't let you get it anymore.

I think logging in with the master password still works.

Hi, on steempeak have you tried with steemconnect or keychain?

Regarding the message... if you want to coordinate curation with someone and network together as a community to do it, KURE is being developed for that purpose ;)

I have KURE on my list! :)

Posted using Partiko Android

Reminds me of when I used PGP in the mid 90's with Eudora (v 5.0 of PGP). Then Phil Zimmerman sold out. I had PGP in Eudora 3.0 (and before when it was version 4.5 and you used to have to use a text editor and encrypt your message as an attachment) and I refused to upgrade for years until finally everyone I knew no longer used it and we were forced to upgrade past windows 98. It's as if this was deliberately removed from public access because authority didn't want us to have privacy.

I don't even know if I ever got an encrypted memo tbh... Every time I want to talk to someone I use old tech AKA discord xD And busy has been having troubles lately with the API, my last notification is from 2 days ago... even though I received many messages after it, and I'm not the only one having this problem

Imo the different dapp developers should gather up and work on one single way to access the information on the blockchain a better more vast way that has all the different funcionalities, instead of having 4 dapps that do almost the same thing with little tweeks(steempeek, esteem, steemit, busy, partiko, etc...) they are, more or less the same thing, if all of them gathered up and decided to do one dapp to rule them all it would bring all the funcionalities of the blockchain to light, memo keys, encrypted messages, the curation AI bots, engangements AI, etc... I think the blockchain would really shine with this. My only problem with this is that this would allow governments to block that website enabling a easier censorship...

In regards to curation and reputation, just like you I think the resteem system should have some incentive to use, maybe a resteem token that gives upvotes to users that resteem content that gets nice upvotes? and regardings the reputation I've talked to some people that are working on a system that allows people to see "the real reputation" of users by removing the rep given to them by bidbots, this would actually allow airdrops to be made on the STEEM blockchain without that whole drama that happened with byteball

removing the rep given to them by bidbots

How do you identify the bidbots?
Once you do, how do you stop them from spoofing their identity now that you've made it valuable to do so? That's quite the uphill battle.

I think the true solution will be a superior reputation system altogether.

Well, I also agree on the superior reputation system, but the problem is getting the main witnesses on board with that, we all know that there is a witness-whale agenda in some of the top witnesses that prevents them from doing that, they are making thousands if not millions a year just having bidbots businesses, whale-witness upvoting hidden agendas, etc...

How would you do it knowing that a hidden agenda is in place and that you have next to 0 power in the current system? We would have to fight with the SP from all accounts, but how would you do that knowing that most people on this blockchain don't care about who is in charge and just like to complain and cash out their rewards at the end of the month?

You create permissionless apps that don't require witness approval. If the community that you build becomes stronger than the current establishment you can threaten a fork or straight up hostile takeover with enough stake.

Ok, I think I'll require an ELI5 for that whole permissionless app concept... but from what I'm getting is that you want a consensus of enough stake in order to overturn the current system that is in place? Maybe a community like the dolphincouncil?

The vast majority of projects on the blockchain do not require permission.
I could monetize resteems without embedding the logic into the core consensus algorithm.

Look at projects like @busy, @steempeak, @parkito, @steemworld, @steemmonsters, @drugwars.

None of these projects needed permission to get built.


The vast majority of the time a hardfork is not necessary to bring value to the blockchain.

Just use Steem Keychain the next time! ;)

Posted using Partiko Android

Long time ago they used to work well, I do't know why they don't work...

The 4 different private key feature on STEEM is certainly something that is not often enough talked about in the broader crypty community.

Let us know what you discover testing the memo key!

There is also @steeveapp front-end, wonder if that works.


Posted using Partiko Android

Great points..

would definitely allow you to create a tool where a group could keep their discussions private in some way, although someone would probably have to figure out how to expand it from a 'memo'.

I love a good discussion on 'the future possibilities of dotdotdot'

Shows that we still have much to learn within the ecosystem and given the recent deployment of Hivemind, it will change even more to assist the community experience!

Posted using Partiko iOS

If you log in with your password (not active/memo/posting keys) it will show them.

Yeah, I thought this might be the case,
but then at the same time it seems like such a needless risk
to use the master password of an account to read a memo.

I use encrypted memos for my music contest. Like you said, it's working only with @steemit and @steemworld. I use only @steemworld, because I don't want to log in with my master key in @steemit. Thanks to @steemchiller.

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