Arweave Ecosystem Weekly Report #81: The ‘Madeleine’ Edition
This week we became a little more pensive than usual. From recollecting what happened in the weekly report from a year ago to scratching our heads over complex matters (and asking your opinion because you may get it better than we do), we went bananas.
Still, the ecosystem eventually got us on the right track because, as usual, people are building here.
Want to know more? Check our weekly report!
I. Arweave Network
Last year, on more or less the same week of April, we did a thing: we took a look at the daily transactions count from 2022 and compared them with the ones from 2021. It was actually pretty funny because, for some reason, back in the day, Viewblock sometimes struggled to show the bundled transactions, and we had to release a later edit in which we explained that the daily Txs shown for that particular week of 2022 were inaccurate, the whole week showcasing consistently over 1.2 million daily transactions.
This cascaded into a series of minor alterations brought to that particular report because we initially started from the assumption there was a sudden retraction in transaction numbers to a plateau of around 300.000 that coincided with the week around Easter, so we changed the name of the edition from "The Chill Easter" to "The Business as Usual Easter". In fact, maybe it is better for you to read the weekly report 33 and see exactly what it was all about.
Anyway, it was a Proust effect - a madeleine moment that occurred while writing the current weekly, you know, being also around Easter and so, that made me recollect this episode and also made me start what will hopefully become a tradition for all the years that follow: In each year, in the second week of April the Arweave Network section will showcase all the prior screenshots of this particular week starting from 2021. So, without any other words, let's just let the screenshots tell the evolution of the network:
2022 (yeap, this is the bogus one):
II. Arweave Ecosystem
Did you get your tickets for Permapalooza?
We’ve heard it’s the perma-event of this spring, so you better reserve your spot soon! This year it’s taking place at Consensus in Austin, Texas on Friday, the 28th of April, so if you’re attending Consensus you definitely can’t miss it. Plus, the teams at ar.io and Kwil, who are hosting the event, promised us free drinks, so there’s even more reasons to join! Setting aside the free drinks for a moment, the teams are slated to have two very interesting talks, with ar.io presenting the findings of their Alpha Network of decentralised gateways and Kwil showcasing the latest updates to their permissionless relational databases. On top, there’s also the expert discussions where you’ll get a chance to learn more about the permaweb from the very people building it!
Overall, it seems Permapalooza will be the perfect place to learn more about the permaweb and its future, with an extra dose of networking with your favourite Web3 builders on top. So, what are you still waiting for? If you’re in Texas or planning to attend Consensus, head on over to the event’s registration page and save your spot ASAP!
Permacast is on a roll!
Only a week has passed since we showcased Permacast V2 and now, the team has gone out and released V3! Besides the video support, improved user experience, and all the other goodies that were part of V2, Permacast received some additional creator-focused features. First on the list is the enhanced creator profile, which through the integration with ANS and PASoM (Portable Arweave Social Metadata) makes it easy for creators to build their own social profile on Permacast and also migrate it to other supported Arweave dApps. Then, there’s the tipping feature that is now powered by everPay, meaning your fans can easily tip you $AR and you’ll be receiving it in seconds without anyone having to pay any gas fees. And finally, if you ever wanted to promote your podcast inside the Arweave ecosystem, there’s now a new Featured section on the homepage of Permacast which allows you to promote your show for only a small $AR fee! There are so many new things, we’re certain we might have missed something, so if you want to go deep, be sure to check our detailed coverage of the update here.
Together with this release, we also got confirmation of what we should expect in the future! And let us tell you, the future looks bright! It seems the leak you saw last week was accurate (I mean...I made that leak :)), and creators will easily be able to mint their audio and video episodes as NFTs on Arweave or other EVM chains. As far as creators are concerned, there’s also plans on integrating Livepeer to introduce the ability to live stream your show directly on the Permacast platform! And that’s not all, it seems like the team is also going to be adding Metamask as a login option and will be introducing additional tokens in which to tip and pay for your uploads. We don’t know about you, but we’re certainly eager to get our hands on the next version of Permacast so be sure to follow the team on Twitter to stay tuned and in the meantime, you can always listen to your favourite podcast on Permacast V3!
Have you ever wondered about the truth?
In this day and age when we’re being bombarded by fake news, AI generated images and biased articles from all sides of our digital life, it’s hard not to think about the truth and what the actual facts are. Luckily, we’re not at it alone, we have Permafacts that has been developing to help us objectively assess the truthfulness and accuracy of information through their facts markets!
And this week, Justin Shaw, the founder of Permacts, was invited on the Slatecast to discuss the topics of truth and facts in the digital age. He deep-dived into how Permafacts works and explained the unique fact market mechanism that allows users to support or oppose assertions found online, revealing the most accurate information. Plus, the podcast explores the challenges ahead for Permafacts and how the platform plans to combat market manipulation and fake news. For anyone interested to learn more about Permafacts or searching for solutions to identify the actual facts in the ever-growing haystack that is the internet, this podcast is a must-listen!
DANNY made his first friend - Gravitate
Last week we presented DANNY, which was the fresh kid on the block or FirstBatch’s latest decentralised vector database. It just depends on who you’re asking…
Nevertheless, we’re glad to see DANNY making new friends in the Web3 ecosystem! Gravitate, his latest friend, is the first app to combine GPT4’s summarisation capabilities with FirstBatch’s hyper-personalisation to present users with a curated overview of their own social media experience. How does it work in practice you might wonder? Well, Gravitate leverages DANNY to understand your preferences and to curate a feed of personalised content that you actually want to read. All this in real-time and using Zero-Knowledge Identity to ensure your privacy and that your data is not being collected. Now that Gravitate has the right content selected just for you, it has to deal with the sheer size of it. We’re guessing you had the feeling of feeling drowned in content coming at you from all sides. And that’s why Gravitate is using GPT4 to summarise all that content and condense it into bite-sized insights that you can easily assimilate in seconds. In Gravitate’s own words: “It's the perfect solution for busy people who want to stay updated without spending hours reading.”
Gravitate seems like the perfect tool for anyone that has a busy schedule, but what we’re most happy about is the fact that DANNY made his first true friend… Be sure to check out Gravitate and follow FirstBatch to find out about the latest updates in Web3 personalisation.
Koii Network is building!
This past week, Koii Network announced the latest #dAppAthon, that they are organising together with Spheron, the provider of Web3 next-gen infrastructure for dApps. As part of the hackathon, builders will have to use Koii’s Tasks and Spheron’s Base storage and compute layer to either build a new dApp from scratch or migrate an existing Web2 or Web3 application. The hackathon is fully online, so builders from across the globe can easily join the competition and enter the race to win the prizes worth $5000 USD! But anyone who wants to participate, should hurry up and apply, as the hackathon will be starting on the 22nd of April and will last one full week until the 30th. For builders interested in finding out all the details of the hackathon and all available tracks, be sure to check out the event’s page here and also follow Koii to stay up to date with everything #dAppAthon related!
everVision at the Hong Kong Web3 Festival!
If you happen to be attending the Hong Kong Web3 Festival this week, be sure to keep an eye out for the everVision team! And if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the permaweb and the Arweave ecosystem, be sure to reach out, as we don’t know anyone more appropriate to talk to than the everVision team. Having developed projects such as Arseeding and everPay, which are an essential part of the Arweave infrastructure, and the recent introduction of Permaswap, the premier Arweave DEX, we’re certain the team has a lot of experience and insights that they’d be happy to share. And if you’re not in Hong Kong, make sure you’re following them on Twitter to learn more about their latest projects and what they’re working on!
III. Things you won’t encounter on Arweave, but should you?
As you can already tell, if you are a regular reader of our reports, I tweaked the name of this section a little. Today we won't discuss a bad external practice you can not find on Arweave. In turn, I want to ask you, like, really seriously (and I will deeply appreciate your feedback in the comments to the tweet that will link to this article), what do you think about content moderation? I'm specifically asking for what is retrieved from the blockweave - content moderation at the Permaweb level, not at Arweave's data set level.
Theoretically, you can create an immutable broadcasting app (upload the website on Arweave, and there you have it - an unstoppable app) with a very simple design: two types of users - uploaders and viewers, no curation rules whatsoever. There is a chance greater than zero that shady people will start to upload very disturbing content trying to capitalise on the "unstoppable" trait of anything that's stored on-chain.
First, what's a clear definition of "very disturbing content"? Everything that's unlawful? In which part of the world? In some countries, the discourse of the opposition is unlawful. Even in "Western democracies" you'll find topics that are soft(or even hard)-banned from the public space.
Can you create a curation algorithm that does not censor, but at the same time doesn't let all the filth of the world be linked with your app?
As you may know, by default, Arweave assures its censorship resistance for, let's say - political content because it's distributed all over the globe. You can upload something that is forbidden in Iran and be assured that a server from the US will keep it, or otherwise. Each node of the network is forced to respect the law of the country in which it operates, but the network functions like a reversed Swiss cheese model to preserve most of the types of content (if a file is unlawful in a part of the world, there is a great chance to be considered lawful in another jurisdiction). This allows a very narrow type of content to be forbidden from the network - basically, content that is not approved simultaneously by the entire world. Realistically, besides underage pornography, I think that there is no other type of content upon which all the states agreed that it shouldn't be allowed - a couple of days ago, I saw on Twitter a picture of a severed head on a spike!
And then it comes the "archival purpose" argument on top of all of this. Take the example of the severed head (for context, it concerns the Russian-Ukrainian war): if nobody saves that kind of files, there will be a time in the not-so-distant future when potential war criminals will say, "picture or it didn't happen". On the other hand, you may not be in the mood to see that image during your morning routine.
You may say there is no biggie; gateways will probably not retrieve that content in the first place, but will it be enough to relay only on the Arweave gateways? We don't know yet what the decentralised gateways that will serve content from Arweave will look like, nor how they will evolve.
My take is that if you are a self-aware human being, creating an immutable dApp for ages, you should think of a way to let users curate their own experience. Don't enforce a set of rules that you think are appropriate - maybe they are for your time or your cultural background, but will they be relevant 50 years from now? Also, "no rule" by design is ultimately a rule on its own. Can we think of timeless ethics?
IV. Arweave explained by Benjamin Franklin – thanks to ChatGPT
Arweave is a remarkable invention that allows people to store their data on a ledger that is distributed among many computers around the world. This ledger is secured by a novel algorithm that rewards those who contribute their resources to maintain it. The data on the ledger is immutable and accessible forever, which means that no one can tamper with it or censor it. Arweave has many uses, such as preserving the history and knowledge of mankind, or creating web applications that are truly independent and fair. I admire the ingenuity and vision of the creators of Arweave, and I hope that it will benefit humanity for generations to come.