with ETH is live on HackMD | HackMD Blog
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February 26, 2024

with ETH is live on HackMD

Rachel Golden
Rachel Golden
Telling HackMD's story, building awareness, and meaningfully connecting with communities.

Starting today, you can sign into your HackMD account using Sign-in with Ethereum (SIWE), the latest web3 integration on HackMD.

Like it sounds, this integration allows you to sign in using your Ethereum account and ENS (Ethereum Name Service) profile. Instead of relying on traditional intermediaries, you can now leverage the security and decentralization of the Ethereum blockchain to access your HackMD accounts.

We’re passionate about building a product that will seamlessly integrate into your everyday life; enhacing and streamlining your workflow without compromising on security and data ownership. And this new feature is the latest step in our commitment to that.

What is Sign-In with Ethereum?

Sign-In with Ethereum is a protocol and innovative form of authentication that enables Ethereum accounts to sign-in to external apps or services by signing a standard message format defined in EIP-4361. In short, this new auth method empowers users to control their digital identity and security using their Ethereum wallet.

And why is this user controlled digital identity so important?

Well, the internet was built without an identity layer. And as a result, every time an individual interacts with an organization, application, or another person online, administrative systems must differentiate between users in lieu of a universal digital identity layer encompassing all digital interactions. This results in a fragmented approach to an identity online, where each application stores different versions of you and your identifiers. To make experiences more seamless online, many Big Tech companies have released “Sign in with {Insert Company Name}” which replaces the endless usernames and passwords with a simple universal login. But that convenience comes with a whole host of problems (more on that later).

Enter: Sign-In with Ethereum

This standard, led by SpruceID, ENS, and the Ethereum Foundation, was developed entirely in the open, informed through public discourse with community members and strikes a balance between human-readable and safety. It lets people use their Ethereum account and ENS profile to manage their online identity themselves, instead of using a traditional Big Tech intermediary.

When an app with SIWE enabled presents a user with a sign-in request, the connected wallet checks the request, confirms it fits as an EIP-4361 message, and alerts the user they’re signing into a website.

At this stage, additional security requirements are introduced to prevent against domain phishing attacks. For example, if a SIWE message is sent to a wallet signing for but the user is actually on, the wallet can warn that user of the possible phishing attempt.

Enhanced security and privacy

The adoption of web3 technologies is steadily transforming the digital landscape, ushering in a new era of decentralization and user empowerment. And that new era has sparked a natural evolution to the authentication we’ve grown to use in our every day life.

Sign-In with Ethereum aligns with the principles of self-sovereignty and privacy that are central to HackMD’s values, and does so without sacrificing usability. It’s becuase of this marrying of data privacy and portability with a seamless intuative interface that made integration SIWE into HackMD a clear choice.

Because, as we started to hint at earlier, when you rely on Big Tech intermediaries to sign in to web services, you get the convenience of not needing a username and password, but you give up control of your personal data and digital identity. If said Big Tech intermediary decides to revoke your access, you could lose access to your critical documents, your memories, and access to other services you rely on. Sign-In with Ethereum uses an identifier that you solely control, offering a similarly convenient, yet self-custodial option for users who want more control and responsibility over their own digital identity.

Now, signing into HackMD with SIWE eliminates the need for Big Tech, empowering you to maintain greater control over your security, data, and digital identity.

By integrating Sign-In with Ethereum, we’re not only embracing the future of authentication but also addressing the growing demand for more secure, private, and self-governing solutions in the digital realm.

How it works

To enable SIWE, simply add your wallet in your HackMD account settings.

Once enabled, you can then choose ‘Sign in with Wallet’ at the bottom of the sign-in page.

with Ethereum

“Sign-In with Ethereum is one of the first steps to letting users control their data across the web – where people don’t need to forgo privacy for more seamless user experiences,” said Wayne Chang, Co-founder and CEO of Spruce ID. “We’re excited that HackMD shares our vision of enabling a digital world powered by self-sovereignty and privacy.”

“This is an exciting integration for HackMD and our users,” said HackMD CEO and Co-founder Jong-kai Yang. “We always strive to balance security, data ownership, and usability. Sign-In with Ethereum bridges the gap between our real-time collaborative app and the innovative security solutions of web3 in a beautiful way that aligns with our values.”

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to explore the possibilities of web3 technologies.