Welcome to the Matrix stand!

Matrix is an open protocol for secure, decentralised communication - defining an end-to-end-encrypted real-time communication layer for the open Web suitable for instant messaging, VoIP, microblogging, forums and more. We publish Matrix as an open standard under the open governance of the non-profit Matrix.org Foundation, and release Apache-licensed reference implementations of the protocol for server, client SDKs, bots, bridges & more. Some users may recognise Matrix via client apps such as Element (https://element.io, formerly Riot).

Matrix works by replicating conversation history across servers which participate in a given conversation, ensuring that ownership of the conversation is fully decentralised: no single server owns or controls the conversation, just as git repositories are cloned equally between all participants. As a result, you can think of Matrix more like a global decentralised object database with realtime pubsub semantics, rather than a traditional message-passing protocol. The protocol defines HTTPS+JSON APIs as a baseline, but more efficient transports and encodings are supported and encouraged.

The public Matrix network on the internet has over 26M addressable users spread over ~60K servers, ranging in size from personal RPis through to massive deployments for organisations including Mozilla, the Wikimedia Foundation, German schools in Schleswig-Holstein & Hamburg, and the entirety of the French Government.

Matrix @ FOSDEM

Matrix is an open protocol for secure decentralised communication, aiming to bust open the closed proprietary communication silos (Slack, Teams, Discord, WhatsApp etc) which have dominated in recent years. On our stand you'll be able to sync via chat & video conference directly with the core Matrix team, get demos of all the latest stuff we've been working on, and generally learn how to liberate your communication and join the open Matrix communication network.

Welcome to the Matrix stand

Matrix in 2021

2020 was a busy year for Matrix.

  • Mozilla turned off IRC and migrated to Matrix in March: https://matrix.org/blog/2020/03/03/moznet-irc-is-dead-long-live-mozilla-matrix
  • After loads of testing, we finally turned on end-to-end encryption by default for all private rooms in May: https://matrix.org/blog/2020/05/06/cross-signing-and-end-to-end-encryption-by-default-is-here
  • We finally fixed our performance problems on the overloaded matrix.org server by horizontally sharding Synapse: https://matrix.org/blog/2020/11/03/how-we-fixed-synapses-scalability
  • We started to see more academic research emerging on Matrix, particularly analysing the properties of state resolution (how we keep Matrix rooms securely replicated in a byzantine fault tolerant manner): https://matrix.org/blog/2020/06/16/matrix-decomposition-an-independent-academic-analysis-of-matrix-state-resolution
  • Dendrite (our next-gen Golang Matrix server) entered beta in October, steadily improving ever since: https://matrix.org/blog/2020/10/08/dendrite-is-entering-beta
  • Gitter joined Matrix in October, with native Matrix support launching in December: https://matrix.org/blog/2020/12/07/gitter-now-speaks-matrix
  • We started working on Decentralised Reputation as a mechanism for empowering users to filter out abuse or other unwanted content in Matrix (thus *finally* catching up with our FOSDEM 2017 talk on the subject: https://archive.fosdem.org/2017/schedule/event/matrix_future/): https://matrix.org/blog/2020/10/19/combating-abuse-in-matrix-without-backdoors
  • We launched Cerulean, a wildly experimental proof-of-concept to experiment with threads demonstrate the viability of twitter-style microblogging on Matrix (including an initial implementation of decentralised reputation!): https://matrix.org/blog/2020/12/18/introducing-cerulean
  • We got the first messages flowing over Decentralised MLS (Messaging Layer Security), giving logarithmic rather than linear complexity E2EE.

In 2021, we plan to add:

  • Spaces - shareable hierarchies of rooms, effectively making Matrix a decentralised hierarchical filesystem for realtime data!
  • Threads - full support for free-form threaded conversations
  • Full Social Login (log in via Github, Gitlab, or as wide a choice of SSO providers as you like)
  • Massively improved VoIP
  • Voice messages, Location sharing, Custom emoji, Canonical DMs...
  • ...and reworking E2EE, again, to improve reliability and performance.