Arweave is a decentralized storage network that seeks to offer a platform for the indefinite storage of data. Describing itself as “a collectively owned hard drive that never forgets,” the network primarily hosts “the permaweb” — a permanent, decentralized web with a number of community-driven applications and platforms.
Arweave announced that it had received $8.3 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Coinbase Ventures. This followed an earlier November 2019 investment also from Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, as well as Multicoin Capital.
In order to compete to mine a block, a miner must prove that they have access to a randomly selected byte from a previous block of stored data. To do this, the miner must produce the chunk containing the selected byte, plus a proof demonstrating that the chunk is in the appropriate position in the blockweave. Miners are therefore incentivized to store as many unique blocks as possible, ensuring that data is widely replicated.
You can read more about proof-of-access here.
The Data Storage Endowment
When you pay to store data on Arweave, you pay upfront for 200 years of storage. This sounds like it should be expensive, but data storage is so cheap that storing a megabyte for 200 years with Arweave only costs $0.005. It is so inexpensive because the cost of storing data continually decreases due to various improvements in technological innovations.
Arweave’s data storage endowment mechanism utilizes this fact to provide affordable, permanent storage. As the cost of storage declines over time, interest is earned on the initial upfront payment in the form of additional storage purchasing power.
The rate of storage cost decline over the last 50 years has been on average 30.5% per year. However, the Arweave network uses an extremely conservative estimate for the decaying cost of storage, assuming a decline of 0.5% per year. This ensures with an exceptionally high degree of probability that there will always be funds available to pay for the storage of data. You can read more about storage endowment here.
Arweave is focused on building a sustainable ecosystem around the network. In June 2020, it unveiled “profit sharing tokens,” which allow developers to receive dividends when network transaction fees are generated from their application, and it hosts incubators to support the building of permaweb-based apps. The project also works with startups through its “Boost” program, offering free storage and access to the Arweave team and industry investors.
AR can be purchased on cryptocurrency exchanges such as MXC.COM, Bilaxy, Huobi Global, and Hoo, among others. It can be traded against the stablecoin Tether (USDT) as well as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
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