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# Cwtch Intro
# What is Cwtch?
Cwtch (/kʊtʃ/ - a Welsh word roughly translating to “a hug that creates a safe place”) is a decentralized, privacy-preserving, metadata resistant messaging app.
* **Decentralized and Open**: There is no “Cwtch service” or “Cwtch network”. Participants in Cwtch can host their own safe spaces, or lend their infrastructure to others seeking a safe space. The Cwtch protocol is open, and anyone is free to build bots, services and user interfaces and integrate and interact with Cwtch.
* **Privacy Preserving**: All communication in Cwtch is end-to-end encrypted and takes place over Tor v3 onion services.
* **Metadata Resistant**: Cwtch has been designed such that no information is exchanged or available to anyone without their explicit consent, including on-the-wire messages and protocol metadata.
** See also: [Create a profile](/docs/profiles/create-a-profile)**
# Security, Encryption and Safety
## Identity, or What exactly is a Cwtch Profile?
With Cwtch you can create one of more **Profiles**. Each profile generates a random ed25519 keypair compatible with
the Tor Network.
This is the identifier that you can give out to people and that they can use to contact you via Cwtch
## Peer to Peer, 2-party Conversions
In order to chat with your friends in a peer-to-peer conversation both must be online.
After a successful connection both parties engage in an **authentication protocol** which:
* Asserts that each party has access to the private key associated with their public identity.
* Generates an ephemeral session key used to encrypt all further communication during the session.
This exchange (documented in further detail in [authentication protocol]( is *offline deniable*
i.e. it is possible for any party to forge transcripts of this protocol exchange after the fact, and as such - after the
fact - it is impossible to definitely prove that the exchange happened at all.
One the authentication process is successful then both you and your friend can communicate away assured that no one else
can learn anything about the contents or the metadata if your conversation.
## Offline Delivery via Untrusted Routing Servers, and Group Conversations
**Note: Metadata Resistant Group Communication is still an active research area and what is documented here
will likely change in the future.**
**TODO: Expand**
In many respects communication with a server is identical to communication with a regular Cwtch peer,
all the authentication and encryption steps above are taken however the server always acts as the inbound peer, and the outbound
peer always uses newly generated **ephemeral keypair** as their "longterm identity".
As such, peer-server conversations only differ in the *kinds* of messages that are sent between the two parties,
with the server relaying all messages that it receives and also allowing any client to query for older messages.
Cwtch (/kʊtʃ/ - a Welsh word roughly translating to “a hug that creates a safe place”) is a decentralized, privacy-preserving, metadata resistant messenging app.
## Getting Started
### Install
Install on OS of choice:
@ -16,8 +68,3 @@ Install on OS of choice:
- Android
- MacOS
- Linux
### Use
**[Create a profile](/docs/profiles/create-a-profile)**

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