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Waku Docs Glossary

Definitions and usage of the terminology used in the Waku ecosystem.


Bootstrapping is the initial entry point of a node to the Waku Network. Once connected, other peer discovery methods can be employed to locate other peers in the network.

Content topic

A content topic is a string attached to messages to enable protocol-level features like selective message processing and retrieval based on specific criteria.


Dappnode is an open-source platform that simplifies the hosting and management of decentralised applications and blockchain nodes, including Waku.


Discv5 is a peer discovery mechanism using a Distributed Hash Table (DHT) to store ENR records, providing censorship resistance, load distribution, and enhanced network resilience.

DNS discovery

DNS discovery is a peer discovery mechanism that allows the retrieval of an ENR tree from the TXT field of a domain name, enabling the storage of node connection details and promoting decentralisation.


Ethereum Node Record (ENR) is a specification used to represent and identify nodes, facilitating discovery and communication within the network. Besides connection details, ENR also includes node configuration information like enabled protocol and shards.


Filter is a protocol that enables light nodes to selectively subscribe to specific messages transmitted by peers using content topics. It is designed to be a lightweight alternative for accessing the Relay network.


GossipSub is a protocol for efficient and scalable information dissemination in decentralised networks commonly used in blockchain systems.


Libp2p is a modular network stack and protocol suite that allows developers to build decentralised, peer-to-peer applications across various network protocols.

Light node

A light node is a resource-limited device or client that leverages service nodes to access the Relay network.

Light push

Light push is a protocol enabling light nodes to send messages to the Relay network and receive acknowledgements confirming that a peer has received them.

Mostly offline

Mostly offline devices are clients who spend most of their time offline or disconnected from the internet and only occasionally to the internet and Waku Network. Examples include browsers and mobile phones.


A node is a device or client that implements Waku protocols and leverages the Waku Network to enable secure and private peer-to-peer web3 communication.

Node key

A node key is a Secp256k1 (64-char hex string) private key for generating the PeerID, listening addresses, and discovery addresses of a Waku node.


Out-of-band refers to exchanging information through a separate, secure channel distinct from the main communication method to enhance security.


The payload field in a Waku Message contains the application data, serving as the business logic message transmitted between clients over Waku. Applications can encrypt the payload or employ encryption methods specified in Waku Message Payload Encryption.


A peer refers to other nodes and participants of the Waku Network with whom communication and interaction are possible.

Peer discovery

Peer discovery is when a node locates and gets information about other peers in the Waku Network.

Peer exchange

Peer exchange is a peer discovery mechanism that enables light nodes to request and receive peers from other nodes in the network, allowing them to bootstrap and expand their connections without depending on Discv5.

Peer ID

PeerID is the unique identifier of a node in the Waku Network generated from the cryptographic hash of the node's public key.


A protocol is a set of rules that enables nodes within the Waku Network to perform various functionalities such as message sending, relaying, filtering, storing, retrieving, and more.


Publish/Subscribe (Pub/Sub) is an asynchronous messaging pattern where publishers send messages to topics, and subscribers receive messages from topics of interest, allowing efficient one-to-many communication.

Pub/Sub topic

A Pub/Sub topic is a string that serves as an identifier for the topic of interest among GossipSub peers. Peers interested in the same topic are likely to maintain a connection and forward messages received on that topic.

Rate limit nullifiers

Rate Limit Nullifiers (RLN) are a construct based on zero-knowledge proofs that enables rate limiting functionality while preserving the users's anonymity.


Relay is a protocol that extends the GossipSub protocol to enable secure and censorship resistant message sending and receiving among peers while preserving privacy. It also scales the Waku Network to accommodate many nodes efficiently.


Resource-limited refers to environments or devices restricting available resources, including bandwidth, CPU, memory, disk, and battery power.

RLN relay

RLN Relay is an extension of the Relay protocol that uses Rate Limit Nullifiers (RLN) to prevent spam economically by enforcing a rate limit on messages over time, imposing penalties, and facilitating network removal for spammers.


SDKs are tools, libraries, and resources to integrate Waku's private, secure, and censorship-free communication features into various applications.


Store is a protocol that enables the storage of relayed messages in the network, allowing offline peers to retrieve missed messages upon reconnecting to the network.


A transport is a network mechanism that establishes connections between peers and enables efficient transmission, routing, and delivery of data packets.


Waku is a family of private, secure, decentralised, and peer-to-peer web3 communication protocols designed to operate in resource-limited environments and suitable for node or desktop application use. Additionally, these protocols collectively form the Waku Network.

Waku message

Waku Message defines the structure of messages in the Waku Network, including the content topic, payload, and metadata for application-specific processing.

Waku message payload encryption

Waku Message Payload Encryption provides guidelines for implementing secure and private communication in the Waku Network. It covers encryption, decryption, and signing methods for message payloads, focusing on confidentiality, authenticity, integrity, and unlinkability.

Waku network

The Waku Network is an open-access, scalable peer-to-peer messaging network emphasizing privacy protection and accessibility to resource limited devices.

Waku noise

Waku Noise is a specified way to use the Noise Protocol Framework to build protocols that enable secure key-exchange mechanisms for encrypted communication with confidentiality, authenticity, integrity, strong forward secrecy, and identity-hiding properties.