Arweave: A Permanent, Decentralized Internet

Arweave is a decentralized data storage protocol that allows you to save programs and documents perpetuity on the permaweb, which is a permanent internet.


With its decentralized design, Arweave aims to make information permanence cost-effective and scalable. The protocol serves as the foundation for the permaweb, a new version of the internet in which webpages and applications are maintained indefinitely and information provenance can be tracked.

Arweave stands out among the plethora of decentralized storage network solutions now available thanks to its unique blockweave design, miner content moderation standards, and competition-based approach. Arweave is much more than just a data storage protocol; it’s a whole, impermanent layer of the internet.


Arweave: Blockchain Data Storage on the Permaweb

We tend to think of the internet as an infinite repository of data that will never be exhausted. In reality, the websites, information, and data that make up the internet’s content are frequently altered, censored, and, in some cases, completely erased.

Data storage is mostly controlled by a few centralized corporations that mediate and can remove our access to websites and apps at any time. Similarly, data stored in a centralized manner can be easily lost, manipulated, or restricted, and websites and apps might vanish when money for their upkeep is no longer available.

Arweave was created to address the internet’s data impermanence by providing a durable, decentralized information preservation protocol.

Arweave is a decentralized storage network that connects people who have disk space on their computers to others who need storage. Arweave is based on a blockchain-like data structure called the blockweave, which is designed to enable scalable, cost-effective, and permanent data storage.

The permaweb – a collection of data, websites, and decentralized apps (dApps) that comprise a persistent, decentralized web-accessible through ordinary internet browsers — is built on the blockweave. As a result, people are encouraged to engage in a permanent, decentralized information network. The native Arweave (AR) token, which is used to motivate miners to keep copies of data and pay transaction fees, is critical to Arweave’s function.

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Arweave’s Blockweave and Proof of Access Consensus 

Arweave’s blockweave, like standard blockchain networks, is made up of a collection of blocks that hold the information that makes up the permaweb’s websites and applications.

Blocks in a standard blockchain structure, on the other hand, are only linked in a linear form to the previous block in the chain. With Arweave’s blockweave architecture, each block is linked to both the preceding block and a second block from the network’s blockweave history known as its recall block.

The element of the recall block is key to the function of Arweave’s unique consensus mechanism, known as Proof of Access.

The following is how it works: Miners maintain the blockweave by providing disk space and replicating the data saved in the network in order to gain AR tokens. Miners must give cryptographic proof that they have access to the block’s recall block in order to mine or validate a new block.

As a result, Arweave’s consensus process is known as Proof of Access (PoA), which is a variant of the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm. Because miners must access older, random blocks from the blockweave’s past in order to mine new blocks and collect mining rewards, PoA is designed to encourage long-term data storage.

Because miners having access to a rare recall block compete with fewer miners for the reward, PoA incentivizes miners to hold blocks that are not commonly copied.

This means that in the long run, miners who store rarer blocks are more likely to obtain a higher reward. It’s important noting that miners aren’t required to save all of the network’s data. Miners can choose which blocks and transactions to save with Arweave. Each miner can set up a “content policy” that prevents the miner from storing certain data.

When data is distributed to the network, it is screened against each miner’s content policies, and if it contains forbidden content, it will not be accepted into that miner’s transaction pool.

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Arweave’s AR Token Economics

When Arweave’s genesis block was mined, 55 million AR tokens were created, with another 11 million AR tokens slated to be released as mining rewards. Fees in AR tokens must be paid to store data in the blockweave. In exchange for mining new blocks, Arweave miners earn these tokens, which obligates them to store data.

Transaction fees, on the other hand, do not go exclusively to miners. The majority of the transaction fee goes to a storage “endowment,” which is disbursed over time to miners.

The user effectively pays a one-time fee, on which interest accrues and is eventually delivered to the miners. This incentivization cliff serves to minimize the AR token’s volatility while preserving the mining-based consensus mechanism’s long-term survival.

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Use Cases of the Arweave Permaweb 

Though the permaweb has a similar appearance to the standard web and can be accessed using traditional browsers, it differs from it in several ways. Users can anticipate reliable, immutable access to the permaweb’s content because it is built on Arweave.

Permaweb applications and websites will be visible for as long as the Arweave protocol is in use once they are published. Furthermore, anything posted to the permaweb is associated with an identity, even if it is a pseudonym because information saved in the blockweave is signed by a wallet.

This means that the provenance of data can be tracked across the network, making it simple to pinpoint its source.

Arweave Web Archive, which allows you to archive web pages on the permaweb, is one of the many applications that have already been established on the permaweb.

Gitopia, which allows you to keep your code on the blockchain, and Verto, a decentralized trading protocol that allows you to purchase and sell profit-sharing tokens, are two other projects worth checking out. Profit-sharing tokens are Arweave-based tokens that distribute profits produced by the use of dApps. In addition, Arweave can be used to store NFTs indefinitely.

Arweave intends to significantly alter data storage industry norms and to build a new internet where information is always available. Arweave stands out among the plethora of decentralized blockchain data storage choices available today thanks to its unique blockweave architecture, miner content control standards, and competition-based approach.

Arweave is elevated from a data storage protocol to a whole, impermanent layer of the internet when these parts are combined.