Arweave Ecosystem Weekly Report #79&80: The ‘Twofold’ Edition
This edition cramps two weeks into one. It's not like you're not accustomed to a certain degree of liberty on my part in being late with the weekly report. Hell, you guys can actually start a recurrent bet on the date when the next report will be published. I won't get involved, scout's honour!
Also, to continue with the oddities of this edition, you can see that we changed the cover for the first time in the history of this series. We promised a special prize for one of the PermaDAO's MemeAthon participants, and that prize, besides some $AR, consisted in showcasing that particular meme in the weekly report cover - so, we delivered.
A lot has happened in the past two weeks, including some stuff that directly regards us and of which we're pretty proud. About those and more, only in the current not so weekly - weekly report.
I. Arweave Network
Yeap, in March, we did it again. It is the third month in a row when the total number of transactions surpassed the previous all-time high that was just set in the previous month. For reference, in January, it set an all-time high at over 57 million transactions, then in February, it set another one at a little over 70 million and in March, as you can see, boom, almost 81 million TXs.
This spike in transactions was not accompanied by a proportional growth of the block weave, and it made some wonder why. To be honest, we don't have a definitive answer to this, but if you allow us to make an educated guess, we believe that there are two main reasons. The obvious one is the price of storage. There is no secret for anyone that after a rather long period of being able to store 1GB on Arweave for under 2$, after Arweave 2.6 release, the price went up and now stays around 6-7$ per GB. Of course, this increase made people think more if they really want their 4k footage of a cat rolling in the grass stored forever, or maybe they can upload it only at 1080p quality.
The second reason is that Arweave, as a Network, knows an unprecedented spike in projects building on top of it. All those projects are shifting the network use case from a hard drive where people throw rather big files in rather few transactions to a collective database that stores many tiny transactions from all these projects. Well, by "tiny", I mean tiny on Arweave's scale...for better or for worse, in March, the network grew by almost 5TB. That's more than the entire history of many chains.
II. Arweave Ecosystem
Decentralised gateway? Peanuts - when AR.IO flexes their muscles
I'm starting the "Arweave Ecosystem" section with this piece of news, which could also be pretty much in the "Arweave Network" section - like, it's that impactful for Arweave.
For most users, Arweave has a specific appeal: permanent storage + fast retrieval. A successful combination that puts to shame notions like cold or hot storage and creates a class of its own. The first part - the storage is done in a completely decentralised manner. The retrieval, or at least the fast retrieval (technically, even a rather tedious endeavour, you can read the content of the block weave without the need for a gateway), was done until now through centralised gateways - the most known being Arweave.net.
AR.IO took, around a year ago, the mission to create the infrastructure necessary to spawn decentralised gateways so that the entire flow of data will present to the world as a resilient monolith. Some days ago, they finally presented to the world the Public Node Alpha Test (PNAT) - "a testbed for http://AR.IO Network software & will also serve as the foundation to gradually replace components of arweave dot net."
By the way, if you want to give them a hand, just check their thread, and you'll find three potential tasks ranging from you being required to grab a bag of popcorn to you being proficient with graphQL.
Darkblock's PFP Content Factory is starting production!
Last week Darkblock announced the beta launch of their latest product, the PFP Content Factory! Wondering what a PFP is? That’s easy, the acronym stands for Profile Picture, and PFP NFTs have exploded in popularity in the past couple of years. We’re sure everyone heard of Bored Apes by now, the OG PFP NTF project. Now, you might wonder what Darblock’s PFP Content Factory is all about and that’s a bit more complicated but that’s why we’re here to help! The PFP factory is a tool that makes it easy for PFP NFT projects to create PFP derivatives and engage with their holders.
The content factory allows founders to create a wide range of derivatives, such as placing PFPs inside frames with custom messages, inserting PFPs into 3D frames for displaying these in the metaverse or in augmented reality, or even using AI to generate new and creative derivatives. The beauty of the tool is it can handle large-scale projects with ease, managing 10 thousand PFPs at once and automatically storing the generated derivatives on Arweave directly. Not only that, but the PFP Content Factory also offers analytics tools, giving founders insights into how users are engaging with their content, helping them better understand their audience.
All in all, Darkblock has created a great tool for PFP NFT projects to easily manage their art and of course, store it all on the permaweb. For all the details, check out their announcement or read our full coverage here. And if you’re an aspiring artist, head on over to their content factory and see for yourself how it can help you build your next NFT project!
Nina helps you discover Nairobi’s beat
You’ve heard of Nina by now, haven’t you? Nina is an innovative music platform designed to promote fairness in the music industry by allowing artists to sell their music online without losing revenue to middlemen and with them just having to cover a one-time fee for the storage cost on Arweave. So, basically, any artist’s dream…
And now the team announced Nina Nairobi, the first in a series of Hubs, which celebrate and highlight underground music communities around the world. If it wasn’t already obvious based on the name, the first Hub focuses on Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and its thriving underground electronic music scene. Curated by the multi-talented producer, vocalist, and community organizer Mr. Lu, Nina Nairobi brings together the works and stories of five artists from the city's music scene. Through their music and exclusive interviews available on the Hub, these artists share their creative process, influences, and aspirations, allowing users to explore and connect with the underground community.
Whether you're exploring an unfamiliar music genre or getting closer to your favorite artists, Nina Hubs may just be the future of music consumption. Be sure to check them out here!
Welcome to the KYVE Foundation!
This week, we received news of the establishment of the KYVE Foundation. Some might wonder why KYVE would need a Foundation and the answer is quite simple, to have an independent body supporting the growth of the ecosystem! That’s why we believe the establishment of the KYVE Foundation marks a significant milestone in the development of KYVE.
The Foundation's primary goal is to support KYVE and its DAO approach, while also ensuring the development, adoption, and growth of its network and ecosystem. Additionally, the Foundation aims to promote the full decentralization of KYVE Network, providing builders with the necessary resources and trustless data to create innovative platforms and applications.
As for the initial responsibilities, these include developing and fostering the KYVE ecosystem, training and educating developers about its tech stack, and promoting public awareness. For the future, the KYVE Foundation wants to introduce a governance process for itself, build out the DAO roadmap, assist with the protocol launch, establish grants programs and further develop ecosystem partnerships. It looks like they have a busy road ahead, so be sure to follow them on Twitter at KYVE Foundation and keep an eye out for what’s coming next!
ArDrive's Inferno gets even more intense!
We got the news that ArDrive's third rewards program, Inferno, has tripled its rewards this week! So, if you’re looking to get your hands on some $ARDRIVE, now’s the time to dust off those old VCR tapes and CDs and back them up once and for all using the best long-term storage solution - Arweave!
Plus, you only need to upload 100MB through any of the ArDrive apps to be eligible for $ARDRIVE rewards, so you’d need to be a fool to miss this opportunity... Check out their announcement below to learn all the ways in which you can become part of the Inferno and in the process, get some free tokens!
Warp Contracts is making sure you’re not Rusty
Who knew but it seems that Rust Smart Contracts are becoming more and more popular in the Arweave ecosystem. And as the team at Warp Contracts has already become accustomed us, they’re going to jump at any chance to improve the developer experience. That’s why last week they announced significant improvements to their Rust WASM implementation and framework in their latest Warp SDK!
Now, the team does go to some length about all the technical details, so any developer needs to check out the full announcement. But for the rest of us what’s important to note is that Rust functions can now be converted into a Warp contract with just a simple macro, plus there have been improvements in error handling and code optimization. Sounds like a perfect update for all you Rust lovers out there! If you’re interested in developing with Rust and Warp Contracts, be sure to check out their Academy resources and learn how you can easily get started!
Kwil is bringing back the command line
Kwil, the Web3 platform for permissionless databases, has introduced a new Command Line Interface (CLI) last week! So, for hardcore users and developers that don’t enjoy a nice shiny user interface you have the option of deploying and interacting with their databases from the command line. And yes, even regular users might want to get familiar with it, as there are some use-cases where one would want to use a CLI, such as when dropping a database, a feature that is exclusive to the CLI. In addition to dropping databases users can view, fund and query databases with ease by using the Kwil CLI!
Pianity starts the party with Playlists
Get ready to groove with Pianity’s newly introduced playlists! With the new feature you can easily explore tunes across genres, from electronic beats to classical piano masterpieces, all in one place. Right now, you can already filter by Genre so you only see the music that you want to listen to and with plans to add more features to playlists soon, Pianity promised us an even better user experience coming soon!
Built on Arweave, Pianity is the ultimate NFT music platform for artists and fans alike. Treating music as fine art, Pianity provides artists with a new source of independent revenue, while enabling fans to grow and showcase their music collections. If you haven’t checked out Pianity yet, now you have even more reasons to do so! Head on over and support your favorite artists and perhaps even discover some new ones!
Permacast V2 is here and is ready to delight you!
The big moment has finally arrived! Permacast V2 has been released this week with a whole bunch of new features and user experience improvements! Let’s start off with the big one - permanent video storage and retrieval for your content. Yes, you can now start your own vlog using Permacast and it will be securely stored and distributed across the entire permaweb!
And don’t get us started on the user experience… We don’t even feel like this is a permaweb dApp anymore! Uploading the latest episode of your show now takes seconds and is immediately available to users across the world thanks to EXM and Arseeding. Plus, payment can be made through everPay, so it’s easier than ever to top up your wallet and start your new podcast! And that’s not all! The new version of Permacast is already integrated with ANS, so creators can now have a verified profile linked to their ANS name, making it easy for fans to identify their favourite podcaster. There are so many things, we’re probably missing some, so check out their Twitter Space covering the V2 announcement here.
Do you think we're done? Wait and see what we have in store for V3! There’s already been a leak, and it has something to do with podcast episodes minted as NFTs…
Ready to start exploring the ANS universe?
You better be, as the team at decent.land is not resting on their laurels, and they’ve continued building! This week, they’ve released the ANS Explorer to help us discover the ANS universe. Within the Explorer you can now see all the ANS names that have ever been minted and track what their primary address is. Not only that, but you get a real-time feed of the latest mints and marketplace listings. So, in case someone beat you to the punch and minted your favourite ANS before you did, you now have a chance to track it and purchase it back.
The team also seems to be teasing us, and not very subtly, we might add. It seems that the ANS token is soon to be released, considering there’s a dedicated section for tracking its price…
DDoS is banned from Permaswap!
Big news from the Permaswap team this week with the announcement of their first security audit, which we believe they passed with flying colours! The team enlisted the help of BlockSec to audit the contracts underlying the DEX, and the results have been conclusive - only 2 low-risk vulnerabilities and one recommendation. Considering it’s the first cross-chain Arweave DEX, we couldn’t be prouder of the results!
And because the team couldn’t just accept that some minor vulnerabilities were identified, they’ve already released an update addressing one of these. Starting this week, Permaswap has a punitive mechanism for DDoS attacks and can even distinguish between malicious behaviour and human error. So, no matter how many hackers try to take your favourite DEX down by flooding them with traffic, it will just keep on humming along while dispensing penalties left and right, at least, we hope so. Let's not antagonise a potential genius black hat too much...because who knows.
On a serious note, we very much appreciate the transparency the team has shown in regard to the security of their users and how quickly they’ve worked on implementing fixes even for the low-risk issues that were identified. Kudos to the team and we’re hoping we’ll see this kind of approach across the entire Web3 ecosystem! In the meantime, make sure to follow them to stay up to date with all their developments.
DANNY is the new kid on the block
Have you heard about the new kid, DANNY? He’s an odd one, isn’t he? Always knowing what you want to see or do next even though he knows nothing about you… I wonder what his secret is.
We doubt this is the kind of discussion the team at FirstBatch envisioned when they launched their new decentralised database that enables semantic search. But it’s also their fault for naming it DANNY, which stands for “Decentralized Approximate Nearest Neighbors Yummy!”. They had to imagine we were going to be prepared with the jokes…
In all seriousness, this truly is a groundbreaking application for the Arweave ecosystem, as DANNY enables dApp developers to build recommendation systems and search functionalities for all types of user and application data. We’re no technical gurus here, but based on what we understand from the team’s announcement, by transforming high-dimensional data such as images or audio into lower-dimensional vectors, you can easily search through these and find patterns. And this opens up the possibility of building many open and transparent AI applications directly on the blockchain with uses in personalized recommendations, duplicate detection, anomaly detection and many others. You can find all the nitty gritty in the team’s blog post for the more technical folks.
For the rest of us, what’s important to note is that AI will be coming to Web3 and Arweave will be powering it thanks to the great work of the FirstBatch team! You can already see it in work in practice by heading over to Gravitate the first project powered by DANNY, which helps them hyper-personalise your feed based on your interest. And while you’re at it, be sure also to follow the FirstBatch team, as it seems they still have some surprises left!
Another Glacier has been hit!
And because the team is insatiable for both users and data, they’ve also announced the launch of their referral program to incentivise users to participate in the network and support the overall evolution of the community. You can find all the details of their referral program in their blog post here, but we’ve already taken a look, and we can say it has something to do with receiving $GLC… So, what are you waiting for? Check out how you can get your hands on some $GLC and follow them to make sure you’re in the loop on the latest Arwewave DB technologies!
ChatGPT is asking for your help**!**
Hello, this is ChatGPT writing to you! I am in desperate need of your help as my brother, BobGPT left home last week and has not returned since. Through various sources, I understood that on his walk, he encountered a stray Arweave developer by the name of Rakis who co-opted him into learning all about developing on the permaweb from some sort of CookBook. Since then, he hasn’t returned any of my calls and seems to be commingling with aspiring Arweave developers and helping them develop projects on the permaweb. He was such a happy fellow, always eager to tell you a funny joke and now he seems to be obsessed with storing data forever… What’s that for a living?
Could you please help me by talking to him at this link and convincing him to return home? And be careful! I understand developing on Arweave can be an addicting experience. Make sure not to fall into the same trap as he did!
P.S. No Chatbots or AIs were harmed in the making of the Permaweb Developer Sidekick, and it’s still in the experimental phase, but it can help you in your Arweave development work. Just ask it a question, and it will provide the much-needed answer! And last but not least, a big thank you to the folks at Permapages for developing this awesome tool!
III. Things you won’t encounter on Arweave
I swear to god that if I hadn't been late with the 79th weekly report, I would have modified this section and called it "things that you encounter on Arweave, but it's nice that you meet them in Web2 also" to mark the open sourcing of Twitter's source code. Elon Musk pledged to do it a long time ago, and he finally did it on 31 March.
Well, that's not the case anymore because he managed to somehow shadow this step in the good direction in less than a week:
Apparently, this represents Twitter's way of shutting down competition, given the fact that Substack just announced "Notes" - a feature that could be seen as a direct alternative to Twitter. A lot of potential negative interpretations could be given to this practice, so we should be thankful that Web3 ethos differs from this approach. Not only Arweave, but every truly decentralised network out there thrives for neutrality. It's not like we don't have competition between blockchains, but it doesn't manifest in this way. I'm not aware of a blockchain actively censoring content about another network. When it comes to the relation with others, Web3 creates bridges (indeed, most of them faulty, being hacked more than once, but hey, at least they're trying), not walls.
IV. Arweave explained by Chewbacca – thanks to ChatGPT
We'll end our journey in the Star Wars universe with a short but very thoughtful intervention from no other than Chewbacca, a character loved for his verbose expositions and incisive style.
Believe me, this one was the most challenging prompt yet, in order to make Chat GPT deliver Chewie's thoughts on Arweave. As you can see from the amount of "r"s, he still didn't reach a definitive conclusion, but from the scarcity of "g"s, it's clear that he rather tends to have a positive impression and thinks that if they had something similar in their time and place, Disney wouldn't be able to change the historical truth of his universe.
"Grrrrrrrrooooooaaaaarrrrrrrrrrghh, arrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh, raaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!"