Known.Email: Frequently Asked Questions

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It is best that you read the answers in the shown sequence. Please read our docs for technical details. We have one more FAQ at the special inbox. You can ask more questions at our support site here. Some of the answers there will be seen here too.

You can also see this FAQ as a mindmap. Click here -- and hover your mouse over each question to read its answer.

Basic questions

What are the core benefits?

We offer a special kind of email service that is useful both for all kinds of users as well as merchants. It is meant for systematically organizing and reading messages that do NOT deserve a reply. Such as registering at websites/apps, password reset link email, newsletters and so on. i.e. non-human communication*

For users: No more remembering multiple passwords. Drastic reduction in email clutter. Massive privacy. Users can be both anonymous AND authentic. This can ALSO be used on websites/apps that are not even aware of our service (At those sites, you simply register using the email address you setup in your account here. Explained later)

For merchants: Assured delivery (nothing goes into spam). End-to-end encryption to send OTP. No SMTP costs. No OTP sending costs. Extremely simple API that provides password-less access to your users. For pre-existing membership systems, our API can still work on top of those!

*This is NOT the same as spam. Many of these emails are important for you. You do need them. Just that you do not need them in your regular email inbox.We have named them as "gradual spam" because you were once interested in those emails. Gradually, some of them start to stink like spam. Your regular email system cannot remove them automatically; the way they do with standard spam. Why? Because you allowed those emails initially.

Why should anyone use this?

This was inspired by one simple observation: Most of us receive emails from automated systems which do NOT require any replies. We worked on that, and added some extra functionalities. Our service is very useful both for end users as well as for merchants providing service/solutions/content on the Internet

End users:

  • Do you have too much clutter of newsletters, etc in your current mailbox? Get an account here and de-clutter your existing mails. Go to the places where you are registered and simply change the email there to the one in your account here. Or set filters in your email, and forward those emails to your account here. Divert all marketing email, welcome messages, reminders, etc here -- we organize them cleanly, simply and automatically. And it is free!
  • Do you keep trying out various solutions/apps on the Internet? Get an account here and keep all their emails in your own special inbox at Known.Email And it is free!
  • Too many passwords to remember?Not to worry! You would get solutions/services that give you password-less entry! And, did we mention? Your account at our system is always free!

  • Are you worried that by registering at some website/app your email may get exposed? Get an account here! This is possibly the only system where risk of exposing your email address to outsiders is minimal.Also, we give fine-grained controls for blocking, etc. And, yes, it is free!
  • You like experimenting. But can't handle the time and steps taken to try out solutions/apps on the Internet? Just get one account here! You can immediately enter and use ANY participating merchant's solutions on the Internet ! And yes, your account here is free!
Merchants providing solutions/services on the net:
(Yes, it is practically free for merchants too. We charge tiny amounts elastically as per usage)

  • Are you a startup and you want members to grow fast? Known.Email users are growing virally -- they don't have to do anything extra to start using your solution. So your membership system is all done for you here. It is just 2 API calls!
  • Do you make IT solutions that respects users' privacy and also walk that talk? Users get accounts here that are totally private. When potential users know that your solution accepts users from here; it will convince them that you are serious about privacy
  • Looking for a friction-less way for users to start using your solution? Implement our password-less system. The Ux is so simple -- both registration and login works in the same way. That means, even new users from here get to use your system in a minute!
  • Do you want to send secure, encrypted communication to your users? You can send messages that are end-to-end encrypted to your users here. NOBODY (including us) can do a man-in-the-middle reading of such messages
  • Are you tired of paying for SMTP and OTP charges, sending out emails to your users? and then it goes into spam? No more such charges when you implement our system!

  • Are some of your messages slipping into the spam folder and hence your users are not reading them? NONE of your messages get lost. There is no concept of a spam foilder at Known.Email Instead, we give a lot of nuanced blocking controls. Also, the chance of your alias slipping into the hands of spammers are remote

How does Known.Email work?

Known.Email is a variation on emails, to help users enter various websites/apps with practically no passwords. We call it the best little email secret in town, and you will know why! This is how it works: You  create an account with us in two minutes or less. You need to just remember two types of "passwords" -- explained later.

No passwords are required at any merchant website/app that has implemented our system.

If you are in a hurry, configure at least one alias for your account using the commands page. You can then use that alias to enter various merchants websites/apps (NOTE: only the ones that implement our API).

You can enter those sites/apps without any passwords. The merchant sends an encrypted OTP which can ONLY be decrypted by you (not us!) in your special inbox here.

All communication, sent by these merchants are neatly collected in the same special inbox.  So your regular email inbox remains uncluttered. No more rummaging around in the spam folder of your email box for confirmation links either.

Note: You can use our system even at those merchant websites/apps that uses the older email based sign-up/sign-in systems (i.e. on websites/apps who are not even aware of our system). But they wont be able to send you encrypted messages for OTPs. Additionally, you would usually be asked to set passwords on those websites/apps. You will still have some advantages though. Explained later...

Are registrations at all websites allowed?

You can register at most websites/apps using our system.

Unfortunately, we do not allow users to register at certain sites.  This is due to credibility and privacy issues that such sites have which can spill over to us. Such websites/apps anyway do not need our help.

Our service is mainly to help software developers and startups and users to find each other quickly.  It is not for getting into social media websites using disposable email addresses. Or using a fake identity to impress/harass someone.

Currently; due to this policy, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder, OkCupid, and few other such high volume websites/apps are not allowed. The entire list is available through this link. It is continually updated.

But there are passwordless email link based systems, right?

True. But they are all based on your regular email software. The key difference is that we use a different inbox that works purely in the browser. Our API is extremely easy for merchants to implement the password-less system

Merchants using our sytem send an encrypted (OTP) in your special inbox that we host. You don't have to open your email app, rummage there, check in the spam folder, etc. You know exactly where it is; and it is just in the tab of your browser containing this special inbox from us.

As each entry is thru an OTP, the merchant does not ask the you to set any password at all. There are several more advantages explained later in this FAQ

BTW, our system can also be used by conventional merchants doing the regular sign-up/sign-in processes with password, etc.

Is this same as disposable email addresses?

Disposable email address systems have just one agenda: To give you an email address for registrations/sign-ins to ensure that marketing messages do not come to your regular email inbox. Known.Email also has that purpose surely. But that is just one tiny part. Here are important advantages that we offer over disposable email address systems

  • Many people use disposable addresses to get fake accounts on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. We do NOT allow such usage at all. The idea of our service is NOT to give fake identities but to actually solve real problems where real value could get hampered. We do not allow using our system at social media and dating websites. Our banned list is available through this link. -- It is continually updated.

  • Disposable email addresses simply do NOT have any method to prevent use of passwords. You will still be setting up passwords with those emails. In our system, it is extremely easy for merchants to give you secure, private passwordless entry.

  • Merchants can communicate with users using end-to-end encryption. Even our server CANNOT decrypt them. Only the user can. That means both the user and merchant are both sure that the OTP sent to the user is not readable by anyone else other than the user. NO disposable email address system can guarantee this. We can.

  • We do NOT allow outgoing emails. That means there is very little chance of spam coming into your account. The primary reason why emails get published on spammer's lists is because you send email to someone who may then pass on your email address to a spammer. Disposable email addresses allow sending out emails -- so spam can and does still come in.

  • Merchants grow their users virally. Each user who joins us automagically can enroll directly into all the participating merchants' offerings. Of course, it is NOT mandatory for users to enter all merchants' offerings; but if they want to, they can easily get into any offering with absolutely no friction. Users get better choices and merchants can participate in healthy competition with a "let the best man win" attitude. No disposable email address systems empathize with merchants and users in this way.

  • Our users can fine-tune the way they allow marketing emails from merchants. For e.g. you can place a partial block on merchants -- where regular messages are prevented; while still allowing encrypted ones. Disposable email address systems cannot do this.

  • Merchants get a ready-made publicity system. We publish a free directory of merchants who implement our system. This is a big advantage for startups who want to quickly get users. No disposable email system can provide this

What or who is a merchant?

We use the term merchant quite broadly. It is anyone who provides services and/or products and/or content to you, the user. In fact anyone who has implemented a protected "entrance door" to let people in. So if there is a musician out there who will reveal her blog ONLY to those who are account holders of our system; then that musician is deemed to be a merchant.

You want to implement our password-less system as a merchant? Great! First become a free  account holder here. Then give us a special 'MakeMerchant' command using this link.

How will a user get to know of all the merchants using this system?

All merchants who use our system would get a small marketing space at our directory. If you are a merchant who has implemented our system; send in your data using a form in that directory website.

Directory entries are currently free. We reserve the rights to charge a small amount for them at some point in time.

How much does this cost?

Accounts here are totally free. We charge some small tiny amounts for some additional, optional features. Only those merchants who implement our passwordless system are charged as per their usage of our API. No SMTP charges at all.

Merchants who have NOT implemented our system, obviously will not get charged at all. They end up using our system quite automatically as long as the user uses their addresses for registering on those websites/apps. But such merchants will not be able to send encrypted messages to users. They also will incurr SMTP charges for sending out emails.

How do you make money? Advertisements?

We don't charge users at all. We charge merchants using our passwordless system. There is a small setup charge (currently it is free ) A merchant just purchases some Koyns (explained later) from us and credits those Koyns into his/her account. We deduct a tiny amount of those koyns elastically for the use of our API. See pricing.

We may choose to show some advertisments here. But never in your inbox. Most likely, if we do show adverts; they would be on this FAQ page and maybe in our documentation. The purpose of those advertisments would be to promote the offerings of merchants using our system. We will make an annoucment on our Twitter feed and/or our Discord community when we allow advertising.

What are koyns?

Koyns are our internal currency that we use in all our systems. One Koyn is a 1/100th of an Indian Rupee (i.e. 1 paisa) That is to ensure that we have fine-grained control on the charges we levy in our systems.

You can purchase one packet of a suitable number of Koyns and credit those to your account. Each packet is represented by a "Koyn code". Think of the Koyn code as the code you see at the bottom of a currency note. And the no of Koyns in the packet as the denomination of that currency note.

All charges that you owe us are then paid out from your Koyns in your account; as per our current pricing.

BTW, if you have balance Koyns in your account; you can get them returned back to you! Use the ReturnKoyns command and get back the Koyn Code representing the balance.

We use Koyns in ALL our offerings. Not just at Known.Email! Hence one can consume these Koyns (even the returned ones) in other offerings. Or you can gift those balance Koyns to someone else by simply giving them the Koyn code representing that packet of Koyns.

Registration and configuration

How do I get an account here?

You can create an account with us using several ways: By our Telegram Bot, by sending us an SMS, via our Discord community bot. Our registration page lists all of the various ways.

If you want the maximum privacy; you can use your Homing Space. It allows totally anonymous people to get an authentic identity on the Internet and use that to get an account here!

You can also get re-directed from a partner site. Many merchants are moving their existing users to our system. So you could also be setting up an account here due to that shift. Psst... why don't you convince the merchants of the apps/websites you use, to shift to our system? It will save both you and the merchant a ton of headaches!

We are very serious about privacy. If you notice; we have given several different ways by which you can get an account!. But we never ask for your regular email address!

Why can't I register using an email address?

It is extremely easy for people to get multiple email addresses. Here we give accounts to users who are already registered at a source that is reasonably unique.

If we do not do that check, our service could be misused. For example someone may setup 20 email addresses and get 20 accounts here. Then use all those accounts to register at the same website/app and that merchant may get the impression that there are 20 different users!

Now you may say that people do have more than one whatsapp account or one more thn one Telegram account. True. But a user getting 20 whatsapp/Telegram accounts is really cumbersome.That is not the case with emails.

Now an immediate question would be: But there are several other ways (seven at last count, and more are being added) to get an account here, so can't the same human being take multiple accounts using different sources?

That's a valid point. But we have an answer to it:

In order to reduce the chance of that happening; merchants who use our API get to know the original source (via a type number) for them to understand the original source of the user's registration here. So the merchants can decide for themselves if they want to allow all types of users or only those users who, say register using Whatsapp (as an example)

Do you store our phone number?

If you had used the SMS route to get an account here; we do get your phone number. But we never store your phone number in a plain format at our server. It gets hashed. We also do not proactively text (SMS) you! Read the answer to the earlier question: It is the user who has to text us first. We do NOT SMS/text you first.

Moreover; we cant tell if you happened to use a virtual phone number to send an SMS text to us! We never bother to trace anyone. It is against our sole purpose here: Which is to provide highly privacy protected, secure accounts for our users.

I registered. I can't see any sign-in or login. Where do I login here?

Once you register an account with us, there is no need to login here. Your account here gives you the capabiltiy to login at other websites/apps!  But for that you need to enable an alias here: You can configure your account, by using  our commands page here.

I registered. But why is the "account secret" just four words?

Yes. Instead of asking you to set a password; we give you four random words (each separated by one space); so that you can easily remember them. Don't worry. Those four words together form a strong password!. Our system ensures that each account secret is unique, so you don't need a separate name or username for your account. See this XKCD from where this has been inspired.

If you want to check the strength of your account secret; use this Kaspersky password checker here. You can always remake your account secret give the 'RemakeSecret' at the commands page

Can I use this to register at adult websites?

As long as you are not violating our simple terms of service, you are free to register at other websites/apps using our system. We have a list of banned sites -- which gets updated from time to time. You will not be able to register at those websites for sure as our technology would block you.

Please note that India and other countries will NOT allow accessing any website of an adult nature that can cause harm to children and/or humanity. We definitely do not want to assist anyone in those activities.

Do you keep the "account secret" given to users?

Yes. It is the only way by which you can connect to your data here. Instead of giving an account name and an account password (as you may have seen elsewhere), we invented a unique combo for each user- which is the "account secret"

When you set a password (or a secret) at any website/app; the server of that website/app also comes to know of it. So please don't be under the illusion that they don't. Even if they had allowed you to set the password/secret. They simply have to remember your password in order to associate you with the correct account.

Such a password/secret would of course not get stored in a plain text manner (on well engineered websites).

We too store your account secret at our server to connect you to the correct account. Our server too is quite well engineered so there is no plain-text version of the secret you gave at our website.  If for some reason, anyone from our office looks into the server; they would not be able to read or understand the accounts. Your account data is specially protected in such a manner that a single person cannot unravel everything.

Why should I enter the "account secret" in the inbox everytime?

We do agree that other email systems allow you to 'temporarily' store your access credentials. Our inbox does not require any special software. It works right inside your device's browser. We do not use cookies or any other such system for the special inbox page to recognize you in your next visits. It maybe possible that your browser may allow you to save the account secret for your next visit. We do NOT recommend it.

The reason for asking your "account secret" is simple: Privacy and security.

The "account secret" given to you is the only way we get to manage your account. You should not forget it (there are ways to recover, but why go there?) Also, if you are on a public computer; then it is best that the browser does NOT remember who you are after you close it.

Just ensure that the page you enter your account secret ONLY at or the page where you can configure your account -- which is

Merchants should use the Account secret when calling our API inside the header of the API call, as explained in our documentation. We also have a nice API testing page where the account secret is asked.

Help! I forgot my "account secret" What do I do?

Yes, the account secret is the ONLY piece of information you need to remember. That is crucially needed for you to read messages in your inbox and also to configure the account.

If you forgot the account secret itself; you can start the registration process using the same method that you had initially used. For example; if you used your Telegram chat to create your account, do the same again.

Our system will detect that you already have an account here; and will reveal your account secret to you. This time, please do not forget it :-)

How to configure my account here?

You need to first register your account.  Once that is done, you can commands using this link. If you registered via Telegram, you can chat those configuration commands  with our bot there.

The advantage of chatting with our Telegram bot is that the results of earlier configuration commands will be seen in your chat history. On the website, you would execute one command at a time. Previous history wont be seen.

As a merchant, where do I start?

Simple. Just become a free account holder here. Then give us a special 'MakeMerchant' command  using this link. It will tell us to expect API calls from your domain. As we have just launched, there are no setup charges (this can change in the future).

We charge ony a tiny amount for people entering this merchant site using the passwordless system. Setup is free for now. But beyond that; ensure that your account has sufficient Koyns balance. But we do run some promotions. We will also be implementing a partnership system soon; so merchants find it quite profitable to adopt our system; and bring all their users in here.

Once you register; before you even start using our extremely simple API; play around by sending both encrypted and regular messages to yourself here.  Ideally do that in a regular computer and not on mobile devices -- as we give you sample code also that you can use.

About alias, the inbox ...

What is an alias?

An alias simply means a substitute for something else. In our context, an alias is a "substitue" lowercase word (only alphabets, no space) that represents your account with us.

Every alias you get here can be used as a regular email address too. Just attach to the alias. You can give that email address to those merchant websites/apps that have not implemented our system (i.e. for conventional registrations/logins)

Choose a hard to guess word as an alias. You would not want your ex to try to misuse it somewhere. Though no harm will be done, you may end up getting unnecessary emails.

Can I get emails here?

Yes. Every alias you create in your account can act as an email address too: Just add at the end of it. And use it for conventional registrations and logins.

The merchants would send you emails just like in conventional emails. (We call them "messages") They work like emails sent to a regular email address only to certain extent. For one; you can never send emails out with this email address. Secondly; you can read emails sent to you ONLY via our special Inbox here

Our system neatly organizes the emails you get via the merchant domains who sent you the messages. You have full control to block/unblock/partially block messages coming to you.

Can I forward emails?

Yes, you can forward emails both to your special inbox here as well as from your inbox.

To forward your existing emails: Simply configure your current email software to forward emails you receive there to your account here. Please be careful to use your current system's filter mechanism to forward ONLY those emails that do not require a reply. Your account here has NO capability to send out emails!

You can forward emails sent to your account here via the email version of your alias, to other email accounts you have. There is a small charge for this.

  1. Messages you receive from those sites that have implemented our password-less system CANNOT be forwarded!
  2. There is no "un-forward" Once you set a forwarder for an alias to another email, you cannot reverse it.

Can I reply to emails?

Our system does not have any method to send OUT emails or messages. The special inbox each account holder gets is ONLY for receiving emails. This is for a good reason: Our system is meant for reading messages that do NOT deserve a reply. Such as registering at website, password reset link email, newsletters and so on.

However, whenever the system detects the email address from where the message has come; then you can click on that email address; which then opens in your currently configured email application. With the subject line dutifully filled in.You can then reply from that external email app.  But note that the person you are sending to would get the reply from you, from another email address you own. And NOT the one you got here.

The only time when you cannot click and use that external email application is when our system detects that the sender was a "no-reply" or "noreply" or "do-not-reply" email address -- which means the sending system was never going to accept a reply anyway.

Can the alias be misused?

Not at all. An alias just represents the fact that you are part of our system. It's job is to tell a merchant website/app (who has implemented our system) that your account exists here; and send you messages.  

For those conventional websites/apps where you used your email address version of the alias; you need to make sure that they do not publish your email on some spammer's list. If they do, you better block them :-) That is not a good website/app to join!

What if the merchant website uses my alias elsewhere?

They cannot. Firstly they do not have your Account Secret. Then the OTP that they send cannot be decrypted by the merchants themselves. It is ONLY you the user who can decrypt the encrypted OTP message. So there is no way a merchant can try to access some other merchant's site/app by pretending to be a user there. See also answer to an earlier question on misuse.

What if the alias gets leaked out in some other way?

There is no real harm even if the alias gets leaked out. Why? Nobody can read your messages. They need your account secret. You can always remake the account secret if you think that got compromised.

Also, if they were attempting to enter a website that has implemented our passwordless system; nobody other than you would have the password for the private PGP key required for decryption! As mentioned earlier, you can easily disable any alias. It's just one command. And get yourself another alias!

If my alias is disabled, what happens to merchant's website/app where I had initially used?

You can create another alias to use at that merchant's website. Anyway, the merchant uses your internal unique ID of your account to identify you and not really your alias. So your account at the merchant's place is never lost.

IMPORTANT: If you had used the email version ( of your alias at a merchant website/app which has NOT implemented our passwordless system, please do NOT disable such an alias!

How does the merchant keep in touch with their users who use the passwordless system?

Simple. The merchant can send messages to the user just like they do when users were using regular emails. The special inbox we have made for each user to read his/her own messages neatly arranges mail from each merchant domain individually. So that is an added advantage to the users: Their regular email systems are not flooded by these merchants' messages.

Note that this cannot be used to send out emails from the user back to the merchant, though. It only receives messages.

What are the limitations on the emails/messages?

During the beta stage; unlimited messages can be posted into any user's inbox. We may impose a limit on the number of messages later. The size of a subject line cannot be more than 400 bytes. The size of the body of a message cannot be larger than 7500 bytes. The public PGP key stored at our server cannot be larger than 5000 bytes. The body can contain only a few HTML tags. Read our documentation for details.

Attachments are not allowed. Even on valentine's day ;-)

Our email addresses cannot be used to register on social media and dating sites. The entire list is available through this link. It is continually updated.


Does this track users?

No. We just do NOT track any user. Our sole purpose here is to simply give free accounts to users; who can then use our system to easily enter websites/apps.

When users take accounts in our system, we take only the bare minimum information. Our website does not even use cookies. The core functionality of our system works within the user's browser page and not at our servers. This system was made possible due to an excellent, tested, open-source PGP code that works purely in a browser.

How does the PGP end-to-end encryption work?

PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) uses standard, proven asymmetric encryption. Symmetric encryption is like a regular lock and key. The same key is used to both lock and unlock. So if you locked up something with that lock, you may be under the impression that whatever you locked is now safe. Unfortunately, if your key is stolen; then a thief can get in: The same key is used to unlock too!

Asymmetric encryption uses TWO keys. They both work as a pair. The Public key in the pair can be used to encrypt (lock) a message. It can never be used for unlocking. ONLY the Private Key of the pair, can be used to unlock.

In this system; your inbox webpage (and not our server) holds the PGP private key. Nobody but you has your PGP private key. The merchant encrypts the entry message using the user's publicly available PGP public key. Even our server will not be able to decrypt it.

Since ONLY the user has his/her own private PGP key inside the inbox webpage -- (even we do not know that!); the entry procedure is an act which is directly between the user and the merchant only. The merchant is extremely sure each and every time that it is indeed you who has entered their website/app! That too without setting any password!

What if users do illegal activities?

We only provide an entry system. Users are not generating data here! Users would be using other merchants sites/apps to create/manage their data. In case the authorities state that some user using our system is doing some illegal activity at some merchat site/app; we will have to cooperate with those authorities. Please read our TOS and privacy clauses fully.

How are users' privacy protected with this system?

When you take an account with us, we never ask for your email address. We don't deposit cookies into your computer to track you later. The various ways by which we give people accounts here themselves have reasonable privacy protected accounts (Except for the SMS route. But we have explained that separately).

The merchant websites/apps where you would enter using our system; therefore are even one more step away. We act as an additional privacy guard when you use those merchant websites/apps. As we don't share ANY personal data about you with the merchants (we hardly collect anything much anyway) you can be completely at peace.

What are your own privacy measures? How does get in touch with its users?

We would also send you messages from time to time. It will appear in the same inbox we gave you; under the '' domain.

But be assured: We don't email you cloying marketing messages. We dont thrust a newsletter into your inbox. To get to know what we are up to, we request you to follow us on Twitter: @knownemail You are also welcome to join our Discourse community via this invitation link.

You can be rest assured that we will never violate the privacy of our users. As we collect minimal data; and there is no original content being created/managed by our users; there is nothing illegal that anyone can do purely with our system. However; if we are notified; with evidence, that some merchant or some user has been doing something illegal, we reserve the right to open their data we have about them to the authorities.

Note that we are NOT vouching for the privacy policies at the merchants websites/apps implementing our systems. You need to follow up on them separately. It is possible some of our merchants may still ask you for your email address, etc. even if they have implemented our system on their websites/apps. We do not impose any control on any merchant. We only ask them to follow our terms and conditions; and respect our privacy conditions when using our system. We do not tell them that they too should enforce the same for their users.

You can further read more FAQ at the inbox page we have on the topic of security and privacy. That FAQ gets into details on how our system works.

Do you read the messages sent by merchants?

No. Absolutely not. But if you are a merchant and you are really worried; do this: Send encrypted messages instead of regular ones. As explained earlier; encrypted messages can ONLY be read by the user it is sent to. Nobody else would be able to read them. Including us.

I am a merchant. What if the same user comes to my site with different usernames?

Good question. As each user here can setup multiple aliases; some merchants may fear that the same person can create multiple accounts on their websites/apps.

Worry not! Firstly, though each user can create multiple aliases; the ID of the user given to the merchant when the merchant uses our API is one and the same. So that is one worry removed!

But as we allow registrations using different methods; the same physical user may create different user accounts here. For e.g say person (let's call him "CleverFellow") sets up a free account here using Telegram.  Then he creates a free account at a merchant website (let's call that ) that has implemented our API

Then Mr. CleverFellow may decide to use another route to get another free account here.Say using the SMS route. With the intention of taking one more account at 

But there is a catch: The merchant can choose to allow users ONLY via certain registration methods. For e.g. may allow only those account holders here who had got an account with us using Telegram

So that way the worried merchant can largely stop the same physical human (i.e. the same CleverFellow) from taking multiple accounts at his website! All he has to do is to check an additional field in the returned JSON (See our docs on this)


What are the advantages?

Both users and merchants get many advantages here. We gave a short sweet answer in a previous section in this FAQ

There are behavioural advantages too:
Many users today have attention deficit disorder (their attention span is that of a goldfish). In conventional registration/login systems, there are many a slip between the cup and the lip. To register, you are sent an email and then you need to return back to the merchant site/app after clicking a confirmation link in that email...

Think of the various steps you need to take: from the merchant sending out of a confirmation email... then you searching for that email (it could be in spam folder, etc) and then you get distracted by other emails you got there. After sometime you suddenly remember about the confirmation. SO more rummaging around! Then finally you click on the confirmation link, and then you land up on another page on the merchant site.

Phew! Then you need to set a password there -- and think of the multiple places you ended up setting a password. Then you worry about where you had used a password...then you hear of someone hacking that website/app and you start getting worried.

None of those clumsiness here!

In our case; this is one smoooooth step! You provide your account alias at the merchant's website/app. The merchant sends an encrypted entry message and conveniently opens a tab to your special inbox here (so you don't have to worry where it is). You get the entry message immediately.

The inbox web-page decrypts the message and you get the OTP, and you return back exactly to the original point at the merchants place; give it there, and you are in! The clever bit: It is the HTML page that decrypts the OTP. Not our server. We have no means to decrypt that OTP. So the encryption is truly end-to-end between the merchant and you.

Goldfishes are quite happy here! Merchants are also happy, as they are sure goldfishes have not run away!

What are the advantages for merchants?

There are many: Since our system closely mimics what happens conventionally; it is extremely easy for a merchant to adopt our system. They can easily re-code their existing password based systems to ours. In fact they need to learn only 3 API calls. Usually they would use only 2 of them to send a message/OTP to the user. That's it!

They don't need to store passwords for users -- so there are less chances of hacking at the merchants' servers. They don't need to store user's email address so their systems are even more hacker proof. Each user gets a unique ID specifically for the merchant -- so a potential hacker cannot compare with users on another place they hacked.

Previously; in some small businesses; disgruntled or unethical employees are known to steal data regarding users and sell them on the dark web. If such merchants implement our system; those violations can be stopped: There are no meaningful username or passwords whatsoever for them to steal! The merchant's system uses only ephemeral OTPs (i.e. passwords that live for short times)

In fact, merchants do NOT need any special database (or database table) for their users! Each time a user attempts to enter; the secure OTP system verifies the user.

The entry process into merchant sites/apps is quite frictionless -- so merchants get way more members than usual. As members come from a common pool here, membership grows exponentially: More you tell others about our system, more are the chances of every merchant participating with us getting even more members! This is aided by the fact that we publish a free directory for all merchants who join our system.

The merchant saves a ton of money on email SMTP costs. Why? Because all messages they send to the user are done via our own API! Also, the merchant is very sure that none of their messages goes into a "spam" folder.

The merchant also does not really need a two-factor system; as our system itself is acting as a two-factor authentication system. So more money saved!

Why would merchants use this, if they cannot track their users?

Sure, those merchants who do devious tricks to track users across other websites too using 3rd party cookies may not like our system. Note that 3rd party tracking has not been totally prevented by us. It just makes it a wee bit more difficult.

Here is a simple tool that you can use to check if a merchant site has implemented the "Facebook Pixel". You can use that to check before you join any merchant website. The Facebook pixel is one sure method that Facebook employs to gather data of people from other websites.

We are not against e-commerce and relationship between users and merchants. But at the same time, we do not like tracking users right across websites! Who wants to see the advertisement of a product on Facebook; just because you happened to just glance momentarily at that product on Amazon? We believe it is too intrusive!

Note that communication between the merchant and their users thru our system is very much allowed. Exactly like in other systems.

Why would a merchant use this, if such a merchant already has a membership system?

It is possible that large merchants like Facebook, etc will not start using our system. They are welcome to, of course. Known.Email is the best solution for those merchants starting out for sure. Implementation is very easy. Just 3 API calls!

But for many other merchants too; it is extremely easy to write a wrapper in order to use our membership system on top of whatever was in place at their website/apps. Unless a merchant has implemented a very complex membership system; practically anyone can use our passwordless system. They can also choose to use our system along with whatever they had earlier.

Merchants can also partner with us: The existing users of such partners can migrate their users to our system. Such partners would be able to use our system practically free. We also give incentives to those who want to announce us on their home page/twitter feed. Our documentation has more details.

Why would merchants use this, as they want to grow their own users?

The answer is in network effects! When a merchant uses our system -- not only will they get users they had themselves attracted; but they will also get users which other merchants had attracted.

If the merchant detects that their competitors use this system, it is all the more important for them to use also -- just so that they have a game chance of winning users they may otherwise lose to their competitors.

Will merchants share user usage data with each other?

This is not easily possible. Simply because we create a unique ID for each user; which is specific to that merchant only. Merchants have been instructed to use that Unique ID and not the user's alias; to identify the user at their site/app.

Moreover; users are free to change their account aliases anytime without even informing the merchant. The merchant will NOT get affected by such a change of such aliases. As mentioned earlier; internally the merchant is given a unique ID for each user. That does not change. So even if you entered the same merchant's site/app using another alias of your account, there is no problem: Your internal unique ID to the merchant is the same.

Note that if some merchants get together to share the actual alias used by users; then please let us know. Our TOS do not allow this and we will ban such merchants.


Why is this called

We thought we were being rather clever when we thought of our brand. When you join merchants' conventional websites/apps; they ask you for an email which is known and controlled by you, right? :-) As far as the merchants are concerned; they do get a way to email you -- so they don't lose out either! So they do get a!

Merchants who have not implemented our passwordless solution will surely send emails that you would surely receive here. So in that sense, we are indeed a specialized email service. (But our system does NOT have the capability to send out emails)

Can this be used as a regular email system?

No. Our system is ONLY meant for entering merchant websites/apps. It is a substitute for regular registration/login (sign-up/sign-in) process used on the Internet. As per our Terms of Service you are not allowed to use it for any other purpose. Moreover, this is a receive only system. You cannot send out messages!

Why don't you allow sending out emails from here?

We are serious about privacy.If we allow sending out emails, convincing our users that we do not read their emails would be very hard. So we request you to use regular emails if you want to-and-fro communication. But there are other concerns too.

One main reason why all of us get spam is because we send out emails! Sounds ironical, no? But that is true. When you send out emails, someone or the other accidentally or otherwise leaks your email address to someone else -- and eventually it ends up with spammers; or worse, with hackers.

By NOT allowing emails to be sent out we are narrowing the focus of attention ONLY to serve messages sent by merchants to users. It is quite rare for users to send emails back to a merchant. Usually, if a user wants to ask for support, they would use the merchant's support system -- most self-respecting merchants have them. It is extremely rare nowadays for merchants to handle support via incoming emails to them.

In short, merchants are usually always sending out emails. Our system receives those quite well and organizes them quite neatly too for our users. But we will never implement sending out emails from here.

I have more questions. How do I get them cleared?

The special inbox has a more detailed, technical FAQ. Maybe your doubts are answered there. If you still have more questions; please ask them at our Discord community.