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Decentralised Matrix network hits 60 million users, sets sights on 100 million

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
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Decentralised Matrix network hits 60 million users, sets sights on 100 million
Secure messaging protocol grows 71% in 2021, as 25 million users flee from embattled Big Tech competitors

LONDON, 14 JUL. Matrix, the open network for secure, decentralised communication has surpassed sixty-million users worldwide after experiencing 71% growth in the last 12 months, adding a record 25 million users to its services. All Matrix-based apps are natively interoperable, which is seeing the ecosystem proliferate.

Three recent milestones have driven Matrix adoption:

1. At the forefront of this growth is Matrix’s flagship app Element – a messaging and collaboration platform from Matrix founders Matthew Hodgson and Amandine Le Pape.

Element has a wide range of users. It’s popular with consumers as a (free) privacy-respecting replacement for the likes of WhatsApp.

Meanwhile the US, UK, French and German governments use paid-for enterprise versions of Element for secure communications, as well as hundreds of large companies. This success is a result of Element’s unrivalled position of being able to support decentralised end-to-end encrypted communications across large organisations and ecosystems, with the ability to preserve each party’s data sovereignty.

2. Another driver for Matrix adoption is Germany’s entire healthcare system mandating Matrix as the standard for messaging, voice and video. This will see more than 150,000 organisations and all 83M citizens using Matrix. It also sees a number of vendors – from Matrix specialists such as Element\https://element.io/] and [Famedly, to service providers such as IBM and Deutsche Telekom – vying to supply Matrix-based products and services.

3. Following in the footsteps of Gitter, open source collaboration app Rocket. Chat is migrating its platform to Matrix, joining the likes of developer chat app Gitter, open source web browser Mozilla, and Automatic, the founders of Wordpress.com. The company’s 12 million-strong user base will all shortly have the option to natively interoperate with the wider Matrix network.

Big Tech’s privacy woes drive users to Element

In a year where the spotlight shined on Big Tech’s privacy shortcomings, users have flocked towards Element in favour of less secure messaging goliaths such as WhatsApp, Slack and Teams. September probes into WhatsApp privacy policy changes resulted in five-fold growth in downloads. More recently, the invasion of Ukraine sparked concerns over widespread use of Telegram in the country, with users turning to more secure alternatives to regain control of their data.

Co-founder and COO Amandine Le Pape commented: “Our momentous growth shows that people are waking up to the fact that current secure messaging apps aren’t as secure as they profess. Privacy is a right, not a privilege, and this motto is an integral part of Matrix’s DNA. This year we have already signed a four-year $18m deal. If we continue on this growth trajectory, we expect to hit 100 million users by the end of the year.”

Lobbying for a new era of comms

At a policy level, Matrix and Element continue to lead the way for interoperability to drive innovation, privacy and choice for businesses and consumers. The company was at the forefront of the lobbying effort for universal communication that resulted in the Digital Markets Act, one of the most ambitious attempts to break Big Tech’s monopoly to date. Matrix closely align with the DMAs aim to break down silos and make seamless communication between different services possible.

Co-founder and CEO Matthew Hodgson comments “Matrix’s new milestone, surpassing 60 million users, is a clear sign that the future of communication is through open-source, decentralised and end-to-end encrypted networks. The DMA is a huge step in the right direction, but our recent growth illustrates that a decentralised open standard is a truly viable way forward.”

New features abound

New users will welcome the news that the Matrix team are not resting on their laurels, and are hard at work carrying this years momentum into a slew of new features, including:

Peer-to-peer Matrix: a hybrid between today’s server-oriented network and a pure P2P network – empowering total autonomy and privacy over data.
The Third Room: a decentralised, entirely open source metaverse platform built on top of the Matrix protocol. Third Room will enable people to discover and create virtual worlds all while protecting their privacy and retaining ownership over their data.
Beyond WebRTC: Matrix is building on the advent of WebRTC, serving as the missing signalling later that allows any developers to safely, securely build E2EE VoIP into their projects.