Why Berty is so much different from other apps?

We attempted for a while to build a big overview of all messaging applications available on the market. You can have a look at it, it is available here and you can even contribute to it. But to be honest, it’s particularly hard to be extensive, tricky to be objective, and awful to maintain. It evolves in the blink of an eye and our work became incorrect over time. So we thought it might be easier to explain to you why Berty is unique and give you tools to compare for yourself.

Berty is distributed.

Unlike other mainstream applications (e.g. WhatsApp or Signal), Berty does not rely on central servers to operate.

🚀 Benefits:

  • Allows direct communication without third parties
  • Cannot be censored
  • Avoids surveillance through server monitoring
  • No running fees

🤨 Cons:

  • Can be slower
  • Battery consumption

💪 Associated Challenges:

Going further:

Berty uses End To End Encryption (E2EE) by default.

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is intended to prevent data from being read or secretly modified, other than by the true sender and recipient(s). Unlike Telegram & Messenger, it’s activated by default in the Berty app.

🚀 Benefits:

  • Data protection: no third parties can decipher the data being communicated or stored
  • Prevents potential eavesdroppers including your telecom providers, your ISP and even us as providers of the communication service

🤨 Cons:

  • It is not possible to inspect the content, even in the context of regulations and compliance.

💪 Associated Challenges:

  • Man-in-the-middle attacks

Going further:

Berty does NOT need a KYC (Know Your Customer).

Berty does not need your email address, your phone number, or even your real name (unlike Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp…). To use Berty, all you need is a nickname that will allow you to create a digital self through a Berty ID that is disconnected from the physical self.

🚀 Benefits:

  • Easy sign in
  • Anonymity
  • No identity theft issues
  • No account hacking issues (email account hack, SIM swapping…)

🤨 Cons:

  • No easy adding thought email/phone number
  • It is not possible to link a Berty ID to a physical person in a compliance context.

💪 Associated Challenges:

  • Multiple devices sync
  • Spread the Berty app as we don’t access the device’s contact list

Going further:

Berty is fully open-source.

Open-source refers to the software whose source code is available for anybody to access and modify, while proprietary software refers to the software which is solely owned by the individual or publisher who developed it. And for once, we are happy to say that we have nothing to hide!

🚀 Benefits:

  • Benefit from shared expertise: anyone can contribute, verify, audit, or even reuse our work
  • No license fees
  • Allows the app to be installed without going through the official stores

🤨 Cons:

  • None?

💪 Associated Challenges:

Going further:

Berty protects your metadata as well.

Metadata is, simply put, data about data. It’s the W7 model of your data (What, When, Where, Who, How, Which, Why). Remember: your activities tell your story. So, metadata is as valuable as the data. That’s why we try as much as possible to reduce to a minimum their collection.

🚀 Benefits:

  • Reinforce anonymity

🤨 Cons:

  • None?

💪 Associated Challenges:

  • Find a balance between mandatory metadata to operate and removable metadata.

✨ Going further:

Protecting privacy is not a business model.

This is an important commitment for us: we think that privacy is a fundamental right and that there should be no commerce around it. That’s probably the main reason why we have chosen to be a non-profit organization (NPO). It’s the best way to show the world that we have nothing to sell - because we couldn’t make anything from it anyway.

🚀 Benefits:

  • Berty is free and will always be!
  • Privacy-focused, without ANY concession.
  • Berty is truly built for the community.

🤨 Cons:

  • None?

💪 Associated Challenges:

✨ Going further:

Berty is NOT based on a blockchain.

The Berty protocol is indeed a peer-to-peer protocol, therefore distributed and decentralized, but – unlike blockchain – it requires no consensus and no validation by the network.

🚀 Benefits:

  • Local storage of your data
  • No history recording in an open ledger
  • No consensus
  • No validation
  • No transaction fees for each data exchange

🤨 Cons:

  • None?

💪 Associated Challenges:

✨ Going further:

Berty allows offline communication.

Berty was created to withstand extreme conditions and be bulletproof to the future. We designed Berty as if the application would work on Mars to mimic extreme network conditions and we came up with this crazy idea: what if there is no network available? We have to handle it. So, we develop a way to communicate without any internet connection, by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and mDNS.

🚀 Benefits:

  • Communicate even without a SIM card
  • Allows communication in areas with weak or no connection at all
  • Creation of an autonomous local network if the internet is shut down whether intentionally or not.

🤨 Cons:

  • None?

💪 Associated Challenges:

  • Interoperability between Android and iOS
  • BLE limited performance
  • Asynchronous communication (off-grid communication)

✨ Going further:

Berty in a nutshell.

Berty  is a privacy-first messaging application built on top of  the Berty Protocol .

  • Secure and private :
    • Messages are end-to-end encrypted by default
    • Metadata is kept to a minimum
    • No phone number or email address is required to create an account
    • Built to retain its properties even when used on adversarial networks
  • Censorship-resilient
    • Decentralized, distributed, peer-to-peer, and serverless
    • No internet connection is required, thanks to  BLE technology  and  mDNS .
  • Open :
    • Free forever and open-source

Berty is designed to be used as an everyday messaging application. Nonetheless, it was built to primarily serve the following use cases:

  • When you need to share sensitive information over untrusted networks, for instance, while traveling
  • If you want to communicate anonymously
  • If you want full control over your data and thus don’t want to rely on third-party servers
  • In countries that actively monitor and temper with their network, restricting its use and censoring some of its contents
  • In areas with weak or no connection at all

What Berty is not?

Sometimes, it’s easier to explain a thing by detailing what this thing is not 😉

So Berty is not:

  • a centralized instant messaging (ie: Signal)
  • an unsecured app (ie: Facebook Messenger)
  • a proprietary software (ie: WhatsApp)
  • a paid app (ie: Threema)
  • a blockchain project (ie: Session, Status.im)
  • a commercial project (ie: Olvid)

What Berty will do?

Beyond all classic features of instant messaging (Audio, Video, Stickers…), Berty will:

  • relinquish control over Berty and to make it become a truly global community project
  • decentralize his governance through a DAO
  • keep on implementing awesome features to be future-ready

Didn't find what you were looking for?