If you have created a smart contract on ethereum and your code ends up storing a lot of data on ethereum you would have realized how costly and inefficient it is. Ethereum and most other blockchains are state machines and processing powerhouses hence are not the best way to store data. So anyone who is building an app will need a way to interact with external databases if the app/user needs to interact with large content.
As blockchain services gain in popularity and more and more app development starts happening on blockchains . Need for a low-cost, scalable and reliable way of storing data keeps going up
Arweave (earlier known as Archain) is a blockchain-based platform that provides scalable low-cost on-chain data storage.
4 Key Pillars of Airweave
- Blockweave is the blockchain structure behind Arweave’s project that allows for a low-cost on-chain storage. As the amount of data stored increases, the amount of hashing needed for consensus decreases, which reduces the cost of storing data. The main benefits of storing data on-chain is that it becomes part of the consensus mechanism, but most importantly, it gives Arweave’s users the ability to pay once and store forever.
- Proof of Access: a new consensus mechanism. Instead of competing who can solve puzzles (tasks) and use the exponential amount of electricity (as in common PoW consensus mechanism), miners will compete who can replicate the most data, which assures that the energy (electricity) used while mining will decrease over time.
- Wildfire– it’s an incentive mechanism that stimulates miners to share data with each other. The faster data is stored and shared with other miners in the network, the easier it will be for a miner to build a positive reputation. As nodes in block weave networks require fast access to data in order to mine in an efficient way, they are incentivised to share data to other members of the network quickly and continuously, autonomously improving the sharing experience by making it much faster.
- Blockshadows: Arweave’s goal is to create long-term on-chain data storage and to make that possible, the network has to support unlimited sized blocks. Arweave uses a system that decouples transaction distribution from that of block distribution in the network. Only a “shadow”(important basic information like transaction hashes, wallet list hash) of the block is moved around the system instead of the full block itself. This allows for higher speed and scalability topping at around 5000 transactions per second. Think of shadow blocks as blocks that contain valuable, yet very low in size, information that can be moved in the system allowing for high speed and no congestion.
Key Use cases:
- Decentralized data storage: personal and corporate files can be stored for a single fee instead of monthly subscription. The price of AR tokens can be cheaper than the monthly fees paid for competitors such as Filecoin (blockchain space) or AWS. Data availability is almost instant due to the design of the blockchain incentive mechanism
- Decentralized data sharing: content can be uploaded anonymously and shared with anybody. Math pricing function that allows for load-balancing demand and supply at fair prices.
- Decentralized data collaboration: Allows for availability of experimental databases for review meaning anybody can challenge and/or confirm its quality. The academic publishing market is around 25 billion USD and Arweave has already partnered with Charité (check partners) in that regard.
- Decentralized data Identity/Protection: Content created online can be timestamped and provide proof of ownership
- AR (native token) is utility token. AR’s primary use is to add data to the blockweave
Some of the key competitors are