We’re excited to announce our investment in Arweave, a decentralized platform that enables anyone to store documents and applications forever.
While there are other decentralized storage platforms out there, Arweave is offering something completely unique…permanent storage. The protocol does this by using a novel consensus mechanism called proof of access where “miners compete to provide as many replications of the data held in the system as they can.”
Current and future use cases for permanent storage include:
- Internet archives: Arweave is currently teaming up with the Internet Archive (a non-profit library of digital content) to make access to the archived data decentralized and permanently fault tolerant. You can read more about this project at The Block.
- Blockchains storing old data: Solana, a public blockchain protocol known for its proof-of-history consensus mechanism, is using Arweave for its data storage needs and bridges to Arweave (the SOLAR bridge). Once a transaction is validated, it’s stored on Arweave permanently and doesn’t need to be verified again. It costs approximately $20.2M to write 1GB of data to a smart contract on Ethereum so there’s a clear need for a cheaper, decentralized data storage solution.
- Storing NFTs: Sales of NFT-based art have taken off, reaching an all-time high in December and NFT artists are increasingly showing their work in online showrooms. But NFTs need permanence to hold reliable value. As Arweave founder Sam Williams tweeted, “After an NFT artist sells their creations, they don’t necessarily have a strong incentive to perform upkeep on their storage. This frequently leads to works being lost after sale.”
- Individuals: There are individuals who want to pay for permanent storage of their photos/docs, but aren’t interested in a platform that’s controlled by a company or the inevitable software inflation of SaaS.
Arweave is the brainchild of Sam Williams and has one the most active communities out there with over 30k members. More than 50 applications have already been created on top of the protocol, powerfully organized as profit-sharing communities that make it easy (and potentially financially attractive) to contribute to the development of those applications (you can think of these profit-sharing communities as “open source companies” that pay out dividends on profits).
As we are getting more and more excited about the rapid rise and potential of a decentralized web (web 3.0), we are looking forward to seeing Arweave play a crucial role in this process.