Arweave is a data storage and infrastructure cog in the growing Web3 and crypto ecosystem. Its network allows data to be stored permanently, with a single upfront fee.
Think of Arweave as a permanent data storage provider for Web3 and NFTs. Arweave’s gathered quite an extensive ecosystem known as “the permaweb”, where developers can build on top of its data storage layer.
The permaweb is a global, permanent web of pages and applications that live forever.
Arweave was founded in 2017 by Sam Willaims and Williams Jones. It’s similar to other decentralised storage platforms like Filecoin, Storj or Sia—its main differentiator is offering permanent, upfront data storage versus temporary or subscription-based (pay as you go) storage.
The long-term vision’s for secure, accessible, low-cost and permanent data storage. It aims to fix problems such as centralised data control and loss of data (through deletion, lost information or broken links).
It’s targeting the enormous data storage industry, focusing on cheap, distributed, permanent data storage using blockchain and crypto-native incentives.
How does it work?
Arweave connects users with excessive storage spaces to users looking to store data—rewarding hosts with its native cryptocurrency AR. (Read more for a deeper dive on its underlying technology.)
It provides permanent storage through a blockchain-like network called the “blockweave”. Developers can builds dApps on this which users can access (called permaweb).
But how? Arweave’s data storage is backed by an economic model where this one-time upfront payment is given to those that offer hard drive space so that they can profit from their storage contributions.
Essentially, you pay upfront to store your data on Arweave for 200 years of storage. Arweave estimates storing a megabyte for 200 years only costs $0.005.
Allowing dApps to build on Arweave has created a booming ecosystem of data and applications.
Arweave regularly holds hackathons and incubators—the team recently ran its third incubator program ‘Open Web Foundry‘. So far, $1.25M in seed investments has been rewarded.
AR Token Utility
Arweave is powered by its native utility token, AR. AR has a maximum supply of 66M, with ~64.5M total supply (as of Apr. 2022).
AR has 3 core use cases:
- Transactions fees: Transactions are paid and denominated in AR.
- AR is also used to pay out revenue through Profit Sharing Communities (Allows people to earn money via building websites and apps on Arweave).
- Miner reward: AR’s main function is to pay miners to indefinitely store the network’s data. Miners receive AR for mining new blocks (storing the data).
- Moderation: Individual miners can implement content policies by selecting which blocks (storage data) they wish to store.
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