An in-depth disassembly of the article, what is Arweave? Key terms for Arweave beginners, essential tools for Arweave beginners, how to upload data to Arweave?
Editor’s note: The original text comes from the official introduction of Arweave, compiled by W3.Hitchhiker, and divided into “What is Arweave”, “Key Terms for Arweave Beginners”, “Indispensable Tools for Arweave Beginners”, “How to Upload Data to Arweave” “The four-part release.
When trying to explain Arweave, one often falls into the trap of using complex terminology that non-technical readers cannot easily understand. But we want Arweave to be very accessible to everyone (regardless of background). That’s the purpose of this article. We’ve broken down this article into what Arweave is and how it works – writing everything a user needs to know.
In the process of reading, if you encounter professional terms, please refer to “Arweave Glossary”: https://arweave.news/arweave-glossary/, we will also put some vocabulary to help understand this article in the second part.
1. Brief introduction of Arweave
Arweave is a tool that helps anyone store data permanently. The way it works is by distributing stored information across a network of computers called nodes or miners. It’s a different model than we know, because today’s internet is in the hands of a handful of companies whose servers can go down at any time — and administrators with the right permissions can quietly change content.
Arweave serves a parallel internet “permaweb” through an extensive network of nodes, all of which make money by providing storage of existing data over an extended period of time and storing new data as customers request.
Like many decentralized storage platforms, Arweave uses its own native cryptocurrency, AR, to run its services. When people spend tokens to store data, AR is paid to miners. From these transactions, AR is also stored in an endowment that can technically release rewards slowly indefinitely. Through this mechanism, Arweave guarantees unlimited permanent storage.
Some of the new features that make Arweave stand out are that it can be accessed through a traditional web browser; it’s open source, so the community can participate in its improvement process. The community is great in many ways, as Arweave has a voting mechanism that allows its users to moderate content and flag some as illegal, plus a thriving ecosystem of new app developers.
1. How is Arweave created?
Back in 2017, Arweave was called Archain. It was renamed in 2018 when the Arweave team attended Techstars. In 2019, Arweave raised $5 million from prominent venture capital firms including Coinbase, a16z, and Multicoin Capital.
In 2020, Arweave received another $8.3 million in funding, which they plan to use to build on Arweave’s community of users and developers. This includes projects such as Verto, ArDrive and Arweave News.
The creator and founder of Arweave is Sam Williams, “a PhD with extensive experience in the design and implementation of decentralized systems”. He founded Arweave while in college, inspired by Orwell’s “1984” as a reaction to the fake news epidemic.
2. How does Arweave work?
Unlike normal blockchains, which hold blocks about the content of transactions, Arweave stores data in a graph of blocks. In this way, each block is connected to the two preceding blocks, forming a structure known as a “blockweave”.
Here are a few key aspects that make Arweave different:
(1) Proof of Access Consensus
What sets Arweave apart from other cryptocurrencies is the way it checks the accuracy of transactions. Typically, using a proof of work (proof of wowrk) system, cryptocurrencies would require computers to compete to solve a mathematical puzzle (hashing). Arweave uses a different approach to this problem, called SPoRA (Succinct Proofs of Random Access).
Arweave asks every node in the network to check if a new block of transactions contains a block randomly chosen from earlier, and if it does, then the new transaction can be added to the network.
This consensus mechanism helps verify the accuracy of new transactions and confirms that old transactions have not been tampered with. This method is called proof of access, and nodes that add new blocks are rewarded with AR tokens.
Bundles are a way to guarantee that a set of transactions will eventually be mined into a block. It solves a problem that every blockchain has, where transactions can be rejected if others submit transactions that reward miners more.
Bundles are a must when Arweave is used as a way to store large-capacity NFT projects with thousands of media files that need to be uploaded simultaneously. Projects may find that in their upload batch, several files were deleted, which would break the project’s upload.
Metaplex of the Solana FT marketplace was the first adopter of Bundles and partnered with Bundlr’s Josh Benaron to develop the Metaplex Candy Machine, an application that allows projects to bulk upload NFTs using Arweave as a storage layer. In fact, it is also commonly used in non-NFT projects.
It works differently than Ethereum’s method of contract execution, where the entire network is invoked to verify transactions; SmartWeave relies on smart contracts, which are done by users themselves on the client side.
It doesn’t require as much computing power, thus making it a greener option and more secure. If someone uses malicious code, then it also doesn’t affect the entire blockchain. That way, it doesn’t require as many security checks and security tethers, and can run faster.
Another notable feature is that the SmartWeave contract can be the entire backend of an application. This means that developers do not need servers and the entire application can run on the blockchain. Unlike Ethereum, interacting with a SmartWeave contract costs less than a cent.
(4) Vartex Gateways (Vartex Gateways)
Vartex is a tool that makes it possible to run your own gateway with just a few commands. While arweave.net is a primary means of browser-based access to all data on Arweave, it is served by AWS, which is a possible single point of failure. And Vartex is a way that anyone can run their own gateway, which means more gateways and no reliance on centralized servers.
It’s a way to decentralize permaweb, making sure it doesn’t depend on one major company. It builds on Amplify – a fork of the original arweave.net gateway. Developers can find the source code on GitHub, just clone it and follow the readme instructions.
(5) Content moderation
Content Moderation allows anyone running the mining software to choose the type of data they wish to store. This type of moderation allows computers on the network to choose what content they want to host.
However, since it is up to the gateways to decide what they block, the content may not be as important as the size of the data. For example, someone may only want to store pictures or only audio files. When a new file is uploaded to the network, Arweave will ask each computer whether to accept it. However, people will accept it because of the incentive, especially if it’s a larger file, because simply the more you store, the more reward you get.
It’s also important to note that it’s too early to kick off this incentive, as no one really gets a general list of what they’re willing or unwilling to support. Arweave is fairly new; at the same time, the number of uploads is huge and browsing through all the files will be quite difficult.
Nonetheless, we added this feature as one of the ways to ensure content moderation. Here, it’s not about political leanings or content preferences, but something Arweave was trying to get rid of when it was invented.
3. About Tokens
Arweave has its own token – AR. Users who want to store data must buy it to pay for storage, whereas computers providing storage must accept AR tokens as payment. But interestingly, the payments are not made directly to each miner, but are pooled and distributed to the network over time.
This fee pool is called the Storage Endowment. Its purpose is to provide safeguards for future data from this overcharged AR pool. Its fees are mining rewards paid by users, and as the pool grows over time, it is able to pay miners in the future over a long period of time.
It should be added that storage on Arweave is a one-time payment, not a subscription-based approach. However, data is stored permanently, which makes Arweave attractive to both customers and the network, making it a currency with real utility. AR tokens have a limited supply of only 66 million, get the guide at: https://arweave.news/how-to-buy-arweave-token/
2. Key terms surrounding Arweave
Entering the world of Arweave can be quite a challenge if you are not proficient in blockchain and cryptocurrency languages. Numerous new projects make Arweave accessible to the less technical, or attract people who are a whole new world to them, such as artists and bloggers.
While old leeks know that new leeks will benefit from NFTs and permawebs, it can be a little frustrating to know where to start when every new term sends you down a new rabbit hole rusty. That’s why we’ve created this glossary of key Arweave terms for beginners to help you navigate the world with more confidence.
1. Blockweave (block spinning)
Typically, a block is added when the entire contents of the old block are verified as correct. In Arweave, a new block is added when a miner validates a randomly chosen old block.
How it works is that if that old block can be verified, then the blockchain is valid. It is lighter than Bitcoin, it uses a blockchain template, but does not require verification of the entire history.
In the context of Arweave: Arweave’s block-spinning storage also verifies all data on the permaweb (permanent network).
Instead of sending traditional transactions directly to the Arweave network, developers can choose to send multiple (or even just one!) transactions in bundles. Bundles transactions send a group of transactions as a single transaction to the Layer 2 server, and bundles transactions guarantee that the transactions contained in them will be mined into a block. The Bundler server is managed by the Bundir DAO.
More detailed interpretation: https://arweave.news/bundles/
In the context of Arweave: bundles are an Arweave-specific form of data group transactions.
3. DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization)
DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. It is a version of Web3, which can also be called a startup in Web2, however, unlike a startup, a DAO is more of a community than a company. DAOs do not have a CEO or leader, but are governed in a democratic, token-gated (yet token-gated) manner.
For example, if a new feature is rolled out, the community votes on it. Everyone has a voice in the DAO, however, there is a safety net here that allows more involved community members to have a bigger swing in turnout. Giving greater voting power to those with more tokens is the way to ensure this – more established members can see the product evolve the way they envision it.
In the context of Arweave: DAOs are governance methods built around new products and tasks in Arweave. Arweave DAO is also known as PSC.
4. Endowment (donation)
Donations are a future safe fee that is permanently stored. With Arweave, storing data permanently is cheap—it includes immediate storage costs, and a small contribution to the endowment. This puts money into a common pool to secure payments for future replications of the information.
Permanent storage is guaranteed for at least 200 years. This is thanks to the economic incentives of Arweave and its tokens, which make both users and miners eager to participate in the system.
In the context of Arweave: An endowment is sent out of an initial payment for storage to ensure future copies of data are stored.
Miners are machines that run the Arweave mining software. The software automatically mines blocks, but miners can create a blacklist of certain file types they don’t want to add. For example, miners can choose not to support video uploads and only store pictures and audio files.
In Arweave, miners are incentivized to store more rare blocks with higher rewards for their storage. This makes all data more permanent and replicated by more miners. Miners will also get higher rewards for storing larger data, for example, videos will have higher rewards than photos.
In the context of Arweave: Miners are machines (and people!) responsible for adding and validating new data transactions to blockweave.
Mining is the process of adding new transactions to the blockweave by verifying the block’s history.
When an application makes transactions (such as storing data on Arweave), those transactions are pending until the next block is mined. Sending data is not immediate, the transaction is placed in the mempool with other pending transactions, and miners mine it into a block.
In the context of Arweave: Miners with mining software combine transactions into blocks, and if they can prove access to other data, then they can submit it to blockweave.
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Tokens, meaning tokens that cannot be broken down into smaller parts than a whole. NFTs are combinations of assets and contracts that track ownership of the assets. It could be anything from an image, a video or technically — which many also see as the future of NFTs — a house or other property, whose ownership is currently managed by a centralized organization.
In many cases, NFTs are simply contracts linked to centralized servers to store assets. Arweave uses Atomic NFTs, which are permanent, unique, cost-effective and fully decentralized.
In the context of Arweave: In Arweave, NFTs are stored permanently and assets are inseparable from contracts.
8. The permaweb
The permaweb is parallel to the traditional web, but its content is permanent and the power dynamics keep users in control. This means you won’t encounter 404s, and you can be sure that once you find a page on permaweb, it will still be there years from now.
This means you won’t get a 404, and you can be sure that once you find a page on permaweb, it will still be there a few years from now.
This is important for content creators, as permaweb provides permanent hosting of web pages and even applications. Additionally, it is cost-effective, decentralized and not subscription-based, making it a better choice for long-term projects. For example, the article you’re reading right now has been permanently archived on permaweb.
In the context of Arweave: All connected websites and applications on the Arweave network are the so-called permawebs.
9. PSC (Profit Sharing Community)
PSC means Profit Sharing Community. Typically, PSCs are initiated by the founders of an Arweave-based app and are participated by those who hold the app’s profit-sharing tokens. Like a DAO, the founders and token holders determine application improvements and changes, and whoever holds more tokens has more voting power. As a result, more people involved in the project are more likely to influence the development of the project.
In the context of Arweave: PSCs are similar to Arweave’s model of launching startups in the Web2 world, but with better incentives for participants.
10. PST (Profit Sharing Token)
PST stands for Profit Sharing Tokens – specific to each PSC, used for profit distribution, they are also important when voting, because the more PST, the higher his voting weight, which also ensures more People who are more involved in the product have more influence.
PSTs can be traded on Verto Exchange.
In the context of Arweave: PSTs are an Arweave-specific method of profit sharing and community management.
When data is uploaded, it is stored on the miner’s many different hard drives, creating a copy of the original data for each miner’s hard drive. Since rare data rewards miners higher, data that is not well replicated (scarce blocks) incentivizes miners to replicate.
In the context of Arweave: Miners are economically incentivized to replicate rare data, contributing to making it permanent.
12. Smart Contract
A smart contract is a blockchain-based application that anyone can interact with to store data or retrieve stored data.
The smart contract system for Arweave is called SmartWeave. SmartWeave relies on users to validate transactions on the client side, rather than calling every node for validation. The RedStone team is developing an alternate SDK for SmartWeave.
In the context of Arweave: Unlike traditional smart contracts that require expensive verification per node, SmartWeave is only verified by the user’s computer when in use.
13. Succinct Proof of Random Access (SPORA)
SPoRA is an innovative way of validating blocks in the blockchain. It differs from Proof of Work in that it does not rely on the previous block to verify transactions, but instead uses the previous block and a random block on the chain as a challenge to miners.
In the context of Arweave: SPoRA is a block-specific method used by Arweave to verify blocks on a spinning block.
The Web3 application differs from Web2 in that it uses a crypto wallet such as ArConnect or Metamask as a form of identification and login instead of username and password. Since users are connected to their wallets, it is easy to verify transactions.
It is composed of a web application based on a decentralized and blockchain-based network. In Web3, there is no single entity that controls the connection, but many smaller networks and actors. That way, if one connection goes down, there are other connections to fall back on – unlike Web2, where the network goes down if the primary server goes down.
In the context of Arweave: Arweave-based applications such as Verto and ArDrive are a key part of Web3.
3. Essential tools for Arweave beginners
Below, let’s take a look at the essential tools and resources for Arweave beginners that will help you get started and understand the basic construction of the ecosystem.
ArConnect is a browser extension that is also used as a login pass for Arweave’s wallet management and applications. It lets you view and transfer assets, manage your balances, and see the latest transactions from all your wallets. It also allows you to interact with many Arweave applications (or dApps).
Since transactions are signed and encrypted in the background through the extension and not the app, your keyfile cannot be stolen. Since transactions generally happen locally on the client side, this is a more secure solution than uploading your key file.
They do not charge for AR or PST transfers inside the extension, but they do charge a small fee when interacting with dApps. A small tip is also charged when third-party applications use ArConnect, and these tips are given to a randomly selected VRT token holder.
You can download the browser extension from their website arconnect.io.
ArDrive is a decentralized, community-owned data storage platform that provides perpetually continuous storage. ArDrive not only provides storage of NFTs, personal photos and videos, files, and even the archive of web pages, but also provides multiple file uploads, secure and public, and censorship-free file sharing. People also use ArDrive to share articles, books, audio recordings, photos and code.
ArDrive offers a “pay-per-life” payment plan instead of a subscription-based plan, which means you don’t have to pay repeatedly to store and access your data. It also ensures that all data stays with you regardless of the company’s terms and services, for example, even if your account is inactive for an extended period of time.
Starting from ArDrive lets you store your data on permaweb, your files will be stored no matter what, and you will have full access and control over them even if ArDrive goes out of business.
3. Arweave Dev Discord
Support for permaweb development is well worth joining the Arweave Dev community. It has the core developers of the Arweave team and its ecosystem. It’s a helpful server for developers to give and help each other with development-related issues. There are also more channels for app ideas, SmartWeave help, gateways, testweave and more.
4. Arweavers Telegram Community
Another tool for community engagement is Telegram, where you can join the Arweaver Telegram community. This is a less technical chat tool, where people are more focused on price and general utility of the agreement. Even this year, the community held a meetup in Lisbon.
In addition to chatting with like-minded people, you can also consult people on how to buy AR, how to upload data, and the location of miners and other similar types of information.
5. Arweave Web Extension
Arweave Web Extension is both a wallet and a web archiver. With the Arweave Web Extension, you can archive web pages and online PDFs, videos, and anything else that could make everyone a victim of the dreaded 404 error.
It also allows you to manage your AR token wallet directly in your browser, export your wallet history and download it as a CSV file. It is supported by a variety of wallets, so you can easily switch between them. You can send and receive AR tokens, as well as generate new AR wallet keys.
The library makes it easy to generate a new wallet, transfer AR, sign and publish data to the network, and more.
everPay is a real-time payment protocol for Arweave and Ethereum. Its purpose is to provide everyone with a trusted, decentralized payment application, as well as an SDK for developers to make it easier to build DEXs.
Since the everPay transaction was not packaged, the transaction was uploaded on-chain within minutes. The everPay protocol currently supports Ethereum and Arweave, and will even soon support Arweave Profit Sharing Tokens (PSTs).
Finnie is a browser extension for the Koii wallet. You can use it to mint NFTs and store them forever (for example, you would use Finnie to get evolving Atomic Zombies). You can also use it to store your NFTs and collect KOII from participation.
After downloading the Finnie browser extension, you can build a new wallet or add to your existing wallet, and at the end you can get a small amount of AR and KOII tokens to get started.
Verto is a universal exchange for Arweave profit sharing tokens and NFTs. AR is exchanged for various PSTs in the ecosystem, which also represent stakes in various products such as ArDrive, decent.land, PermaBot, and Verto itself. Verto Space is also used as a gallery to showcase all NFTs minted by Verto, which also includes articulate.eth’s Bark Blocks series.
Every blockchain needs to have a way for the public to monitor transactions, addresses, blocks, and network statistics – ViewBlock, as permaweb’s primary block explorer, provides this for Arweave. In order to monitor whether currency transactions are currently mined into blocks, or whether SmartWeave contract interactions have failed, they can be easily resolved by using ViewBlock. Here you can also get statistics such as the total size of the blockchain, the number of daily transactions, node locations, and more.
11. Wrapped AR
Wrapped AR, or wAR, is an ERC20 token created by everFinance. ERC20 token means it is derived from the Ethereum standard. Each wAR Token has a 1:1 value with AR Tokens, and they are a way for Arweave Token holders to interact with the Ethereum ecosystem.
Like if you have AR, you can swap it for wAR and vice versa. EverFinance has created a decentralized way to earn AR tokens.
4. How to upload data to Arweave
We often see the originator of Arweave asking what is the best way to upload data to permaweb. The pay once, store forever value proposition is universally appealing, but there is no one path forward.
If you heard about Arweave from a friend and did some Googling, you probably still don’t know how to store files permanently. Since Arweave is a storage layer – like a database rather than a full-fledged application – there are many ways to upload data to permaweb, the best of which depends on your specific use case.
Do you want to:
Privately store files and photos like Dropbox; archive a web page forever in its current state; host your app’s frontend; store app data on permaweb in an easy-to-query way; upload NFTs and get rewarded for following; bulk uploads document……
Arweave has dApps for all of these use cases, which we will explore below.
1. Get a wallet, and some AR
Arweave dApps require a wallet login, usually via ArConnect. The best first step is to download the ArConnect browser extension, with which you can send/receive AR and log in to Arweave dApps with just one click. In web3, your wallet is your identity, just like the “Sign in with Google” feature in web2.
To interact with Arweave dApps, you will also need some AR – the currency of the Arweave ecosystem. You can get a small amount of free AR from a faucet or send some to your wallet after buying from an exchange.
If you’re going to get a small amount of AR through a faucet, you’ll need to generate a wallet from that traffic. Otherwise, you will need to use the ArConnect extension to create a wallet to which you can send AR from an exchange or on-ramp of your choice.
To see how much AR is needed to store the necessary data, check out arweavefees.com
As long as you have AR in your wallet, you can store data on permaweb.
2. Use ArDrive as a permanent replacement for Dropbox
ArDrive is a file storage tool built on top of Arweave. With it, you can store any kind of private files or publish them for everyone to see. ArDrive makes it easy to organize files into folders, save them to yourself, or generate unique links to share them publicly with anyone.
ArDrive works great on both desktop and mobile web. Additionally, users who upload more than 50MB in a day are eligible for rewards in ArDrive’s native profit-sharing token, ↁ.
3. Use Evermore to automatically sync local files to Arweave
Evermore is a file storage application with a desktop client that allows users to configure a local folder that will be automatically backed up to Arweave.
Evermore is also able to download synced files from your other local machines, which means every computer you own can share the same set of permanently stored files.
Every time any user uploads 1GB of data, they are rewarded with 1,500 Evermore profit-sharing tokens.
4. Archive web pages with the Arweave browser extension
Arweave was originally envisioned as a way to easily archive web pages and keep them exactly as they were when they were saved. That’s still a huge use case for the protocol, and has helped save publications like Apple Daily from becoming irrecoverable.
After downloading the Arweave web extension browser, click it on the browser toolbar to archive a page and revisit your previously saved pages.
You can also see feedback on everyone’s most recently archived projects via the arweave.news web app.
5. Host the front end of your app
For web3 dApps, the front end is the main point of centralization failure. While the backend may consist of smart contracts or code that queries the blockchain, the frontend can — and often is — censored.
Here are a few easy ways to host your frontend on Arweave, depending on how fancy you want to get.
The easiest tool for this job is akb, a command line tool that can be used to upload the /build folder of a built web application. However, your web application will be running at a long, impossible-to-remember URL that you have no control over.
A richer option is ArGo, which makes it easier to upload frontends to Arweave and provides custom URLs – traditional .com style, or ENS (.eth!).
6. Store application data (and query it) on permaweb
Developers building on permaweb only need to use Arweave on the backend and the framework of their choice on the frontend. The “API server” for the application is Arweave – either querying the transaction directly, or querying the status of the SmartWeave contract.
For reading data from Arweave, GraphQL is a popular choice. You can write GraphQL queries, as documented here, or use ardb to query Arweave, which is a SQL-like tool.
7. Upload an NFT and get rewarded for following
If you’re a creator looking to publish your work, probably the best way is to mint it as an NFT – that way, you can earn follow rewards, sell your work, and even earn commissions from resale.
Koii is a blockchain that uses Arweave for storage — its flagship product, koi.rocks, allows users to spend AR as NFTs and mint files into NFTs. When someone loads a file, the uploader earns KOII tokens as a reward.
There are a few different ways to mint NFTs with Koii; if you’re not sure where to start, just download their Finnie browser extension.
8. Batch upload files in bundles
Want to submit a lot of files to permaweb at once? Bulk uploads are possible using bundles, a recent Arweave innovation. Now, you can use arkb (-use-bundler) or write code that uses the arbundles library. Read more about when and why bundles are used on this dedicated ArWiki page (https://arwiki.wiki/#/en/preview/WUAtjfiDQEIqhsUcHXIFTn5ZmeDIE7If9hJREBLRgak).
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/in-depth-disassembly-of-important-infrastructure-in-the-web3-era-arweave/
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