I would argue that there is another level, the message signing format as the first one. And that the author can be removed from the signing level, but should be included in the protocol level.
Mainly, I want the bytes sent, signed, and stored to be the same, or as close as possible.
I would rather separate the protocol and the db layer, as that would make it easier to be backwards compatible with the applications. And enable optimizations at the db layer in the future.
Amazing work you are doing here
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