Table of Contents
What Is Arweave (AR)?
Arweave is a decentralized storage network that seeks to offer a platform for indefinite data storage. Describing itself as “a collectively owned hard drive that never forgets,” the network primarily hosts “the permaweb” — a permanent, decentralized web with several community-driven applications and platforms.
To learn more about this project, check out our deep dive of Arweave.
The AR network uses a native cryptocurrency, AR, to pay “miners” to store the network’s information indefinitely.
The project was first announced as Archana in August 2017, later rebranding to Arweave in February 2018 and officially launching in June 2018.
Who Are the Founders of Arweave?
Arweave was founded by Sam Williams and William Jones, two PhD candidates at the University of Kent. Williams came to the project with experience in decentralized and distributed systems and has developed an operating system called HydrOS as a part of his studies. At the same time, Jones’ focus was on graph theory and neural networking. While Williams dropped out of graduate school to focus on the company, Jones left the project early in mid-2018 and completed his PhD.
According to Williams, he came up with the idea while walking up a mountain in Scotland, later bringing the concept to Jones, with whom he developed the technical details. After launching Arweave, Williams was later named an advisor to Minespider, which provides blockchain-based supply chain tracking for the raw materials industry. In addition, he has served as a mentor for the Techstars accelerator program.
Although Arweave was founded with centralized leadership, it launched a decentralized autonomous organization in January 2020 comprised of core community members to further the development and expansion of the network and its ecosystem.
What Makes Arweave Unique?
According to its yellow paper, AR seeks to ensure the “collective ability to store and share information between individuals and across time to new generations.” To accomplish this goal, its flagship permaweb is built on top of AR’s “block weave,” a variation of blockchain technology. Each block is linked to both the one immediately prior and a random earlier one. Arweave says this incentivizes miners to store more data because they need to be able to access previous random blocks to add new ones and receive rewards.
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. In addition, 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.
In March 2020, 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 from Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Multicoin Capital.
How Many Arweave (AR) Coins Are There in Circulation?
According to its yellow paper, AR has a maximum token supply of 66 million AR. Fifty-five million AR were minted when the block weaves genesis block was created in June 2018, and an additional 11 million will be gradually introduced as block rewards.
Arweave held a token pre-sale event 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. In addition, 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).
How Is the Arweave Network Secured?
The Arweave network is built on a modified version of blockchain technology it calls “block weave,” which uses a “proof-of-access” consensus algorithm — a modified version of proof-of-work. With PoA, each new block is linked to the one immediately before it, and a previous random block and both blocks are hashed to generate the new one. Miners are not required to store an entire blockchain, but they are incentivized to store more information to prove they can access the old blocks required to mine a new one.
The mining protocol used by Arweave, RandomX was successfully audited by four cybersecurity firms — Trail of Bits, Kudelski Security, X41 D-Sec and QuarksLab — in August 2019. In addition, the project plans to utilize a new mining algorithm starting in early 2021 known as SPoRA, which it said in December 2020 had been audited by NCC Group.
Where Can You Buy Arweave (AR)?
AR can be purchased on cryptocurrency exchanges such as MXC.COM, Bilaxy, Huobi Global, and Hoo. It can be traded against the stablecoin Tether (USDT) as well as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).