Enter... the 'Permaweb'30.04.2020, 23:57
Coronavirus lockdown continues to remind many of the importance of more decentralised lifestyles - including greener or more 'permaculture' solutions (originally 'permanent agriculture', but it can apply to all culture in general).
In a nutshell: people are becoming more aware of their dependence on transient things, while lacking the more sustainable, robust, longer-term or more local solutions.
This also applies to technology. People can feel 'locked in' to continue using centralised internet or IT services - those which can mistreat our data and track our online habits. And it may seem a tricky, time-consuming task to de-couple all one's data now from castle Google or mount Microsoft... until, that is, some big data breach or storage issue hits the headlines.
So it's important just to be aware of alternative (decentralised) solutions, where network rewards (in cryptocurrency) now allow global teams of developers to work on expanding them. Young people are particularly more likely to opt for services like these, considering how free dapps are to use, and they come with the possibility for earning crypto. They can then pay their way on the network and pay transacting fees.
Not only this, many users simply desire to have ownership of their data built in, and permanence and security from the ground up (and be ad-free too!) And this is possible since the arrival of the Bitcoin network, with its first big killer decentralised app (which was payments).
Discover the Permaweb...
The Great Library of Alexandria 'was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world.' (wikipedia). However, it's now mostly lost to us, since it declined and was ultimately burned and destroyed by the Romans. Many mysterious texts and much learning was lost. But it stands as a symbol of our need to preserve information, learning and ideas in such a way that it can't be destroyed or censored by current rulers of the day. But even the nature of the internet is not yet like this. It is still censored in some parts of the world.
The Arweave Project and their ‘permaweb’ is therefore an interesting project to watch in the blockchain space. Like any blockchain project, the underlying protocol is important to try and understand. It's what lies behind the ability of a blockchain to work efficiently with many distributed nodes (or home computers) supporting, storing and processing transactions together.
There could be issues to solve as the number of nodes increase (scalability), so the protocol must enable it to become more efficient to cope with this growth or still process fast.
AR tokens can be mined by anyone with technical knowledge becoming a node, but they can also be spent by users wanting to publish or 'archive' websites to the Arweave blockchain, or 'permaweb'.
There are other file storage solutions being developed on other decentralised networks (see Filecoin, Storj etc.) and Arweave may be just as likely to succeed via its design suited for storing data and scaling up as more and more nodes join and begin to host data or participate.
So the idea of a ‘permanent web’ is exciting since it bypasses traditional storage solutions where content can be lost if subscriptions expire etc. It would also inhibit censorship. With Arweave miners can still vote not to host content that may be malicious - but such voting is more democratic than relying on a company or government to decide.
You could say, this is all the way the internet was originally supposed to be.
Not all content you may wish to store forever, but the ‘permaweb’ is now live for anyone to ‘archive’ or save content to its on-chain blockchain solution.
This is easily done via its browser extension (and, upon creating your easy wallet via keyfile, you will get free AR tokens and begin archiving sites permanently). You'll also have your own address on the permaweb.
Arweave is also impressive with its wide array of dapps, including a ‘Weavemail’ decentralised email option (although not to be used as replacement for your regular email just yet).
The Permaweb has arrived
Being easy to use, having an active community and attracting adoption are all still vital for these projects to persist. But the 'permaweb' is doing this; it's out there and the trend is here to stay. And there are many network rewards out there for developers contributing to its ecosystem.
Here at Prizes Drop, you can get free cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum if you can save up enough points in your own dashboard, completing our own range of updating mini-tasks and offers. Sign up today and start saving. You can then trade these for your own AR tokens, although you can get AR for free just when you create your wallet (see link below).
Check out the following resources, and you could be one of those building the permaweb; a better, more robust future for information and learning, those key elements in any permanent culture.
View dapps built on Arweave
Note: This page has even been archived to Arweave and you can view the link here!