Arweave is a data storage protocol on a blockchain called Blockweave that deploys a Proof of Access consensus mechanism. The protocol allows storing data of any size with a small prepayment.
Essentially, the protocol matches people with free hard drive space with those who need to store data or host content permanently. Arweave also acts as a platform for creating decentralized applications (dApps) and hosting decentralized social networks, archives, news sites, or any robust application that depends on access to immutable data.
The project was first launched under the name Archain in August 2017, and was renamed Arweave later in February 2018, and had a second official launch in June 2018.
In March 2020, the team announced it had raised $8 million in funding with the help of Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Coinbase Ventures. This followed earlier investments in November 2019 from Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures as well as Multicoin Capital.
The Arweave protocol is based on four core technologies, the interaction of which provides low-cost, high-performance, blockchain-enabled storage: Blockweave, Proof of Access, Wildfire, and Blockshadows.
Unlike other blockchains which require a full node to verify transactions, Arweave introduces two new concepts that allow nodes to fulfill key network functions without processing the whole chain. The first of these concepts is a list of hashes of all previous blocks, allowing old blocks to be verified, and potential new blocks evaluated effectively. The second of these concepts is a list of all active wallets in the system. The list is constantly synchronized on the network and is available for miners to download.
Notably, Arweave uses a consensus mechanism based on Proof of Access (PoA) and Proof of Work (PoW). Miners do not need to store all blocks, but rather can store any previous blocks, forming a weave of blocks, a blockweave. The “recall block” to incorporate into the next block is chosen by taking the hash of the current block and calculating its modulus with respect to the current block height. Transactions in the recall block are hashed next to those found in the current block to generate the next block. When the miner finds a matching hash, it distributes the new block, along with the revocation block, to other members of the network. This allows other members of the network, even those without their own copy of the recall block, to independently verify that the new block is valid.
As a data storage system, Arweave not only allows storing large amounts of information, but also accessing this data in the easiest way possible. Arweave’s Wildfire system solves the problem of data sharing in a decentralized network by allowing fast data queries on the network. Wildfire works by creating a local ranking system for each node that determines how quickly new blocks and transactions are distributed among peer nodes based on how quickly they respond to requests and accept data from others.
In traditional blockchain, each newly created block is sent out to all nodes on the network. This reduces the speed of the network consensus. To facilitate fast block consensus and high transaction throughput, Arweave establishes Blockchadows. Instead of distributing an entire block upon each new transaction, like in traditional blockchains, only a minimal block “shadows” are sent out, which contain a list of transaction hashes. Peer nodes can then reconstruct a full block using this information.
To start using the Arweave app, you need to install the Arweave web extension, create a wallet and request free AR tokens. After that, you will be able to archive a browser page. All you have to do is open the extension while you are on the web page, and click "Archive this Page". After reviewing the fee, confirm the operation. The page will be archived permanently and will be publicly available. So, make sure the page does not contain any personal data before creating an archive.
Every archived page has a unique identifier or 'transaction ID'. The page ID can be found on the extension’s "Pages" menu. If you need to access the archive, enter the transaction ID at the end of the following link: arweave.net/[insert your transaction ID here].
If necessary, you can unload the transaction history file from the extension, so that you don't lose the list of archived pages with their IDs.
In addition to the Arweave wallet, there is an extra layer built on top of the core protocol called permaweb: a global persistent network of pages and applications that live forever. The Arweave community has created a set of tools and services that allow one to run fully decentralized applications on Permaweb. These tools offer everything from UI hosting, to database writes and queries, as well as smart contracts for programming financial rewards and incentives. This stack of tools is composable and interchangeable, allowing you to find the perfect combination of technologies to fit the needs of your decentralized web app.
According to its yellow paper, Arweave has a maximum token supply of 66 million AR. 55 million AR was minted when the blockweave's genesis block was created in June 2018, and an additional 11 million will be gradually introduced as a block mining reward.
Arweave held a token pre-sale in August 2017 in which 10.8% of the initially generated token supply was sold, and two public sales were completed in May 2018 and June 2018 in which 7.1% and 1.1% of the supply was sold, respectively. The company allocated an additional 19.5% for a private sale, 2.9% for project advisors, 13% for the team (subject to a five-year lock-up with 20% released per year), 19.1% for ecosystem development, and 26.5% for future project use (subject to a five-year lock-up with 20% released per year).
Arweave AR tokens can be purchased on centralized exchanges like Binance and Huobi.
It is up to you where to buy the AR token. It is worth taking into account that decentralized exchanges allow you to do this more anonymously, you do not need to pass KYC procedures to use them, on the other hand the cost of transactions may be higher than on centralized exchanges, while there is a risk of your funds being held by the exchange.
If you need to understand if Arweave is a good investment and try to make an AR price prediction, you need to do your own research on the project.
All the data for research is available on the project page on our website: check out the technical features of the project in this review, try to use the app, see if the information about the team is available and the team is open for communication, and using the project dashboard and the AR price chart, assess the project usage rates as well as the token price movement and the number of its holders.
Arweave was founded by Sam Williams and William Jones, both Computer Science PhD candidates at Kent State University. Williams came to the project with a background in decentralized and distributed systems, while Jones specialized in graph theory and neural networks. After launching Arweave, Williams was later appointed advisor to Minespider, a blockchain-based supply chain tracking company for the commodities industry, where he served as mentor to the Techstars accelerator program. The team also includes about six other people with different cryptocurrency backgrounds, including India Raybould, Damon Sweeney, Kyle Beckles, Matt Lockyer, Joanna Zhang, and Adam Kennedy.
Since early 2021, the project has been using a mining algorithm known as SPoRA, which was reportedly audited by the NCC Group in December 2020.
Arweave has partnerships with large funds such as Coinbase Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as Techstars accelerator program.
Arweave also partnered with Solana to provide a decentralized permanent data storage solution of ledger data, ensuring the data can be always retrieved as required.
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