Arweave is a cryptocurrency platform whose aim is to offer a decentralized data storage system. This network has a native token called AR. Stay with us up to the end of this article to find out what Arweave is, how it works, and what functions the AR token has.
What is Arweave?
Arweave is a decentralized digital data storage network, or a cloud storage network, that aims to offer a foundation for unlimited storage of data. Arweave describes itself as a hard drive hosting “Permaweb”. Permaweb is a decentralized web consisting of community-centered applications and operating systems. In other words, Permaweb is a layer created obove the Arweave hard disk and is something like an HTTP protocol. Considering its function, Arweave is similar to some other cryptocurrency platforms like Filecoin and Sia. The whole project was developed based on and is backed by the Blockweave technology. Users can use this technology to store data permanently and access it through their websites. You will learn more about this technology in the following section.
How does Arweave work?
Arweave is not exactly a blockchain since it doesn’t store its data on a chain of blocks. Instead, Arweave stores the data on a graph of the blocks. Each block in Arweave is connected to the previous two blocks and creates the whole design of Blockweave. Arweave is not the only cryptocurrency project that uses the graph design. Some other cryptocurrencies including Hedera Hashgraph do so either.
Arweave uses a unique consensus mechanism called Proof of Access. In other words, Arweave requires all computers connected to the network to figure out if a new pack of data includes an accidental mark of the previous pack or not. If the mark exists, the new pack will be added to the network. Any computer that adds the new pack will be rewarded in the AR token. Proof of Access ensures that nodes validate all transactions and that previous transactions had not been malicious.
Who created Arweave?
Arweave was named “Archain” at first. It was released in August 2017 and was renamed to Arweave in February 2018. Arweave was developed by Sam Williams and William Jones. Sam Williams had worked on decentralized distributed systems and William Jones had focused on the graph theory. While Arweave started its work as a centralized project, it launched its decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in January 2020 and let all its token holders participate in the governance process.
The AR token; market cap and price history
At the time of writing, each unit of AR is being traded at $11.24. Its all-time high goes back to November 2021 when its price went above $86. It is the ninety-ninth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Its market cap (at the time of writing) is around $377B. Arweave has a maximum supply of 66,000,000 units. 33,394,701 units have been issued and are in circulation now (around 51% of the maximum supply).
Since Arweave has an independent network, you must use Arweave-specific wallets to store your AR tokens. Arweave.app is the native wallet of Arweave. It is an open-source web-based wallet you can easily access through any browser. Among other wallets that support AR, we can refer to Ledger and Trezor.
As we previously mentioned, Arweave is a decentralized data storage network. More than 50 applications are now using Arweave. This network may gain more popularity and also more users with the passage of time. However, it is not the only cryptocurrency project with a focus on data storage. Filecoin and Sia are two other well-known options and are serious rivals to Arweave. Only time will tell if Arweave will succeed to establish its position as the number 1 decentralized data storage network or not.