Arweave Ecosystem Weekly Report #88 & #89: The ‘Bulwark Against the Flame’ Edition
Arweave "The bulwark against the flame" It's official - AI caught better the essence of Arweave than I would. Check our section dedicated to ChatGPT-generated content to see what I'm talking about. And yeah...it's not Friday, and it's again a bi-weekly. That happened mostly because we were away for almost a week: we met with a big part of the ecosystem IRL in Berlin to mark five years since the network's inception and to connect with Arweave's history.
Would you like to know more? Check our report.
I. Arweave Network
If you visit Viewblock, you'll see two new stats displayed. Sam already talked about "proof rate", so I'll focus on the "network size".
I think that even I sometimes I referred to the "weave size" as the "network size". Now, for the first time, the difference is shown undoubtedly clear: the "weave size" is the entire Arweave data set counted only once. But Arweave aims for data permanence through extremely high redundancy, so it incentivises the participants in the network to create as many copies as possible of that single data set. This means that the actual storage used by the network is quite higher in comparison to the weave size. Doing some simple math, you can see that when this snapshot was taken, the weave size represented only about 0.15% of the network's capacity. This means that in the current state, the network could gulp quite large amounts of new data without breaking a sweat. In the case of Arweave, "to break a sweat" is to go under an average of 20 replicas/file, which will trigger the opening of the endowment that will extra-incentivise the miners to bring even more storage at the network's disposal.
At the time of publication, the network size is already at over 92 petabytes, so if I get it right, one could upload 4 petabytes, more than 3000% of the current weave size and the network would be capable of assuring more than 20 copies of the new, highly extended data set. To put it in perspective, at the current price, uploading one single petabyte will cost over 960.000 $AR, from which the majority will go straight to the endowment (I don't want to produce a rough estimate here, I know that are more tech-savvy guys in the ecosystem that can tell you exactly how much).
I won't even try to speculate on the price movement that's involved in the case an action like this would happen; let's just say that it would be a day to be remembered.
II. Arweave Ecosystem
Talking about days to be remembered...there's a concert hall in Vienna...well, actually, it was more of a former factory hall in Berlin and even though there was no waltz involved, there was a lot of passion to be felt.
On the seventh of June, arweavers gathered in Berlin to celebrate five years since the network started to be "the bulwark against the flame". The event was a mix of presentations made by project Founders from the Arweave eco and open discussion panels.
I won't gab much about it, I'll just put in an almost orderly fashion each presentation and panel that were recorded and let you tap directly into what was talked about there:
Sam Williams, the co-founder of Arweave and CEO of Forward Research, had the opening speech
Justin Shaw, founder of Permafacts - check here for his presentation
Nick Juliano, co-founder of Alex. - check here for his presentation (yeap, I'll just repeat the same phrase)
Outprog, the founder of everVision - check here for his presentation
Jakub, the founder of Warp Contracts - check here for his presentation
Tom/Rakis, the founder of Stamp Protocol - check here for his presentation
Reffo, the founder of Timbre- check here for his presentation
Arweave awareness & adoption panel - it featured Sam, Tate from Community Labs, Greg from Longview Labs - this guy is a legend, if you are in Arweave, you definitely know him from Twitter because, let's say that for him, it's only Arweave! And yeah, I was also invited to chat with these awesome guys. You can check the result here.
Then Tate had an in-depth presentation on what Community Labs was up to lately, Josh presented the process Bundlr went through in order to answer an apparently simple question: "What the f is Bundlr?" and Ivan Morozov - a very old friend of Arweave that until now preferred more the light of a computer display than the stage's spotlight presented DataOS, a little something that we believe you'll not only hear a lot about it in the not so distant future, but you'll use it quite intensively.
Now, with your keen power of observation, you undoubtedly saw that I grouped these three presentations without providing any link whatsoever. Don't fret; this means that those presentations were just some sneak peeks into ideas that will be fully backed and presented extensively during this summer.
Building the composable web was the title of the second panel and had Ivan, Justin, Tom, Nick and Sam sparring ideas on how the composable web is created as we speak - check it here
As I told you, this event happened on the seventh of June, one day before the actual birthday of the network, and arguably, it was mostly about the present and the future and for most of the other protocols, this would have been enough. Still, one can not have a complete image of Arweave if it doesn't address the past also.
First, let's have an appetizer and enjoy a part of the chat between Sam and Romain that they graciously offered exclusively for Permaweb.News. Wait for the full version in the next days only on permacast.app.
You may have seen that the cover for this weekly report is slightly altered, and to be honest, I don't know if you can understand much from the picture I took in a slightly "exalted" state. It depicts a memorial placed in Bebelplatz, Berlin, located directly under the gaze of the arweavers that were present at Arweave's birthday party on the 8th of June.
Check what's inside the red frame. You can be near it and don't even realise that it's there. It's an underground structure with a tiny glass ceiling that lets you a way to gaze inside only to see empty bookshelves. It's called "the empty library" and it was put to mark the spot where in 1933, nazis gathered the books they deemed unfit and burned them (the burning of books didn't happen just in that particular place and time, it was a recurrent theme carried out by the nazi regime). Signalling the spot is there is a cast iron plaque (I wasn't aware of it when I photographed the memorial) that, besides a short explanation, it contains a quote from Heinrich Heine that translated sounds like this: "Where they burn books, so too will they, in the end, burn humans".
You may know that Arweave was practically built in Berlin and apparently, this place had its significance for its creators since those very first days. As the protocol grew, the weight of this place apparently grew also. And year after year, on the 8th of June, they gather on this rooftop to celebrate while remembering why they are doing what they are doing.
Arweave has both the vocation to fill the empty library and to ensure that it won't happen again.
A seed for the social layer of Web3
Lens Protocol, the Web3 social media layer, has announced the successful conclusion of their seed round, raising a whopping $15 million in funding. This latest influx of capital comes from a diverse assembly of VCs, angel investors and DAOs.
IDEO CoLab Ventures led the fundraising round and was joined by other Web3 VCs such as General Catalyst, Variant, and Blockchain Capital. The list of VCs was complemented by multiple angel investors and DAOs, including Flamingo DAO, DAOJones, and Punk DAO.
In a Web2 world increasingly constrained by the siloing of social media experiences, Lens Protocol leverages Web3 and decentralised storage to create a new paradigm of ownership and portability on the social web. Since the protocol’s release in May 2022, it was designed without a dedicated front-end, encouraging third party developers to design new social experiences. Today, the ecosystem boasts more than a hundred 3rd party social dApps that are pushing the boundaries of social networking, with companies such as OpenSea and Stripe already integrating the user-centric tech into their platforms.
As per Stani Kulechov, founder of Lens Protocol, the additional funding will be used for the continued development of the Lens ecosystem and progressing towards the company's vision of building the "people-powered social layer".
So, for everyone tired of a disjointed, privately-controlled online social existence, it's time to take a closer look at Lens Protocol. Because, let's face it, who wouldn't want to be part of an Internet governed by its participants, where you own your digital identity? To keep up with the team’s latest developments, follow them on Twitter or @LensProtocol on Lenster!
More perks for ANS holders
Another week, another new perk for Arweave Name Service (ANS) holders! This week, we found out from the team that $ANS token holders are set to share the protocol's revenue. Following last month's token airdrop, this announcement is another step the team is taking towards building the ANS community.
Starting June 15th, a portion of the domain minting revenue, 10% to be exact, will be distributed among the token holders. As of the latest estimates, that equates to approximately 550 $AR.
But here's where it gets interesting. 70% of the total will be apportioned to the $ANS token holders, on a pro-rata basis, ensuring a fair distribution. The remaining 30% is set aside for Ark NFT holders, the allocation of which depends on the number of Arks held.
The good news is that this is not a one-off windfall. Revenue generated prior to June 15 will be shared retroactively. Thereafter, snapshot updates and distributions will be made monthly, on the 15th of each month.
In order to partake in the revenue-sharing, $ANS token holders need to ensure their tokens are housed within their everPay balance. Balances in external wallets are not eligible. And if you’re not yet a holder, $ANS can be purchased through everVisionHQ's everPay or Uniswap, and subsequently deposited to everPay balances. To find out all the details, make sure to check out the team’s full announcement at the following link.
And that’s not all that’s happening in the ANS universe! To celebrate the listing of $ANS on Permaswap, the Permaswap team has kicked off two events to rewards its users!
For the first event, the team is offering a shot at a piece of 300 ANS to those providing liquidity to the $ANS-$AR pool on Permaswap. Simply dive into the pool via the Permaswap Client or their website and keep the client online constantly. And remember, the more liquidity you add, the bigger your slice of the ANS pie. Rewards will be distributed daily to those who provide liquidity during the period of the campaign (8th of Jun - 8th of July).
As for the second event, it’s a two week sprint for the top 30 traders with the highest trading volumes of ANS to share a 50 AR prize pool! All you need to do is start swapping away and if you’re one of the lucky ones, your reward will land in your wallet just three days after the campaign ends.
Keep in mind, in order to qualify for any of the two events, you need to be running the latest version of the Permaswap client and to keep it online. So, get set and start swapping for a chance to grab those free $ANS and $AR! And if you have any more questions, check out the team’s blog post.
Your WeaveTransfer is ready!
This week we also received news of a new product launch in the permaweb - WeaveTransfer! Born from the constant struggle of fleeting file transfers, WeaveTransfer offers a tantalising alternative - a permanent digital solution to your file-sharing needs.
You know the pain - attempting to send a massive file over email just to have it rejected or uploading something to iCloud, only to have your patience tested with every passing minute. One might say, why not use WeTransfer? Well, for a while it seemed like quite a good solution. That is until we discovered that an un-clicked link meant that your precious family photos, your important documents, were gone into the digital ether…
That is until now. WeaveTransfer, powered by Arweave is here to save the day! It brings us a service where you can send files of any size with the assurance that they will stay accessible forever. No private key? No gas fees? No problem. All you need to do is sign in with a Google account and you’ll be on your way!
So, say goodbye to your important links expiring because WeaveTransfer ensures your files remain accessible longer than the life span of an elephant! But remember, with great power comes great responsibility, so make sure to keep those embarrassing karaoke night videos well hidden…
A bold step towards decentralisation
In a move towards decentralisation, the Warp Contracts team has announced that they are embarking on the journey of decentralising the Warp sequencer, an essential cog in the Warp machine!
The Warp sequencer, an essential component of the Warp infrastructure, handles the nitty-gritty of preparing and sending transactions to the Arweave network. Currently, this sequencer runs in a centralised fashion mainly for the users’ benefit of performance, which means in can become a failure point for a decentralised protocol.
That’s why the Warp team has outlined a comprehensive approach to decentralising the sequencing process. In short, it's no small task, especially when the team has to meet multiple requirements such as decentralisation, robust security, smooth performance, and simplicity.
So, how will this work exactly? Well, with the help of the Warp Contracts SDK, users will create and sign Arweave transactions, and the SDK will then send them off to the sequencer network. The network nodes will receive and validate the transactions, ensuring they are up to par before sending them on to their next destination - Bundlr, where all finalised transactions are collected before being delivered to Arweave.
As for the implementation plan, the Warp Contracts team already has a step-by-step roadmap. They'll kick things off by building a new sequencer network using the Tendermint BFT consensus engine. Then, they'll move on to decentralising the relayer component, followed by implementing transaction encryption. Following that, they'll introduce order mechanisms and finally, open up the network to external participants. Essentially, it's like building a spaceship, piece by piece, until it's ready for launch.
Congrats to the team for taking this massive undertaking in the name of decentralisation. Be sure to follow them on Twitter to receive their latest progress updates! As for the full details of their decentralisation roadmap, these can be found in the team’s blog post.
4EVERLAND introduces new payment options
Ever wanted to launch host Web3 dApp with 4EVERLAND? Starting this week, it’s easier than ever through their integration with everPay! Users can now instantly purchase 4EVERLAND resources through everPay, using popular stablecoins such as $USDT, $USDC, and $DAI.
everPay's integration into the 4EVERLAND ecosystem simplifies transactions, taking away the hassles traditionally associated with cryptocurrency transactions, especially since users can use a credit card to purchase the required stablecoins in everPay directly. And as we all know already, by using everPay, users can expect secure, smooth operations when buying resources, aiding the team’s vision to make Web3 development as effortless as possible.
For those new to the process, the team has prepared a comprehensive video tutorial which can be found in their announcement below. So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to 4EVERLAND and migrate your website to the permaweb today!
And if you ever had any doubts about the future of 4EVERLAND and Web3 infrastructure, you can now rest assured. The team has also been recently selected as one of the participants in BNB Chain’s Zero2Hero incubator! Kudos to the 4EVERLAND team as they set off to take another step towards their end-vision, armed with newfound resources and industry expertise.
4EVERLAND | Web3 Infrastructure🌱: "⚡️We're honored to be selected by @BNBCHAIN for the Zero2Hero Incubator program! This incredible opportunity will propel us forward in developing the #web3 infrastructure🚀 👀Stay tuned!"
Please present your EverID
Did you ever experience a love-hate relationship with the tiny fox living in your favourite browser? Did you love it for giving you access to a decentralised internet but hated it for being a bit overwhelming to use and constantly displaying pop-ups? Don’t worry, everyone’s been there once in a while… And it looks like in the near future, you might finally get to break out of this relationship!
The team at everVision has given us a glimpse of their upcoming release - the EverID! From the short teaser we’ve seen, it looks like a paradigm shift might be coming to the way users interact with Web3, effectively eliminating the need for wallets and replacing these with just a Gmail account.
The announcement is an indicator of the changing landscape of Web3, and especially in the Arweave ecosystem, focused on replacing the traditionally intricate blockchain interfaces with a more streamlined approach. By embracing simplicity, everVision aims to mitigate the prevalent complexities that often discourage non-specialist users from interacting with Web3.
Now, the team has mention the EverID is currently a prototype and is still in the design and development phase, so we still have to wait to see if this is the right solution for simplifying the access to Web3 for the next generation of users. Nevertheless, the potential implications of the technology are great and it could usher in a new wave of user adoption.
We’ll make sure to keep an eye out for any updates and report back, but to ensure you’re always up to date with the latest progress, follow the team on Twitter!
Permacast can’t stop building!
By now, our readers are probably familiar with Permacast, our podcasting platform built on Arweave. After all, it’s the second, but permanent, home of Arweave’s Voice, our very own Twitter Spaces series! Which, if you haven’t already, you should definitely check out to learn more about the projects present in our lovely ecosystem! We’ve been using the platform since the first version and we're very happy to report on the launch of Permacast v2, which introduced a whole bunch of improvements to the UI and UX, and also leveraged ArSeeding and everPay to provide instant episodes upload to Arweave.
Now, only a couple of months away from the release of v2, we're ready to launch the next big feature! In the coming weeks, the team will be launching the capability for creators to immortalise their works of art (or just their rambling podcast episodes) as NFTs on Polygon. Best part? It’s free of charge! Creators need only come armed with an Arweave and Ethereum wallet, and Permacast will take care of the rest. For those less technically savvy, there’s no need to worry as the team has promised we’ll be able to mint our NFTs with just a few simple clicks.
As an added bonus, we'll also going to reward users who are actively using the Permacast platform by airdropping testnet $TWPT tokens. This means you might finally fulfil your long-time promise to yourself and have some diversified income streams. We all know the creator's life can be harsh and daunting sometimes…
Now our readers might wonder why Polygon and Arweave? In the team’s words, Permacast is tapping into the strengths of both platforms to simplify the onboarding process for EVM-based creators in the Arweave ecosystem. And it seems the foundation is solid enough to expand to other chains later.
Also, a road map just popped:
Othent opens up Web3
This week also marked the release of a new protocol, Othent, which takes a significant step towards bridging the Web2 and Web3 ecosystems! Othent is a whole new authentication method for Arweave, that enables anyone with a social media account to possess their own wallet and engage seamlessly with any dApp in the Arweave ecosystem.
Web2 authentication services, such as Google and email, can now be harmonised with the security and functionality of decentralised applications. This combination aims to transform user experience, bypassing the often intimidating intricacies of private key management and wallets. Othent is effectively reducing the barrier to entry for a more diverse global population to engage with blockchain technology.
The advanced integration offered by Othent assigns unique RS-256 JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) to users, serving as fungible keys to individual smart contract wallets. The advantage? A dramatically simplified authentication process, as per the developer, removing over 50 steps compared to traditional wallet authentication methods. The protocol also introduces an innovative feature for data transactions on Arweave, by embedding the hash of user's data within the JWT, Othent creates a verifiable link between the user and the uploaded data, ensuring data integrity and transparency.
Othent’s goal is clear: to foster mass adoption of Web3 by facilitating a smoother transition from the Web2 ecosystem, and we think that’s a goal worth pursuing! So if you’re a developer interested in leveraging the benefits of Othent make sure to access the documentation here, and if you’re a user that was previously intimated by wallets and the complex authentication systems of the Web3 world, make sure to sign up for Othent!
P.S. WeWeave is already using Othent for seamless login, so if you want to see the technology in action, be sure to head on over to their website and use the permanent WeTransfer alternative!
Othent: "0/ Introducing Othent, a protocol bridging traditional Web2 authentication to Web3 enabling anyone with a social media account to have their own smart contract wallet! Official announcement at https://t.co/332VNc9Lv0, a 🧵 https://t.co/doIgIYXio8"
Fair Protocol introduces MusicGen
Fair Protocol, the project working on building the Arweave powered AI marketplace has announced the release of a new model this week! For this update, the team has made MusicGen, an impressive audio model, trained by Facebook and now available for the entire Web3 ecosystem!
The introduction of the model will surely create new avenues for audio-based applications powered by the permaweb. However, the enhancements don't end there. The Fair Protocol team has also unveiled support for login with wallet, currently supporting ArConnect and Arweave App. It also implemented numerous improvements throughout the user interface, underlining their commitment to provide an enhanced user experience.
Fair Protocol emerged in response to a key concern within the Web3 community - the increasing centralisation of AI computation and development by major tech companies. This concentration of power has raised alarm bells, as it limits the access of smaller organisations and individuals to AI technology and potentially introduces biases in AI models, reflective of the larger tech firms' values and interests.
Addressing these critical issues, Fair Protocol uses Arweave, to decentralise AI inference computation. This offers a significant step forward in challenging the dominance of central entities, promoting wider accessibility, transparency, and equity in the deployment of AI technologies. So if you’re a developer be sure to keep an eye out for Fair Protocol, and if you just want to create a sweet tune, head on over to Fair Protocol and play around with MusicGen!
Fair Protocol: "🚀 Big news! Our new release is here! ⭐️ We've added a new model, MusicGen, which is an incredible audio model powered by Facebook. But wait, there's more! We've also introduced support for the Arweave wallet and made UI improvements at various points in the application. https://t.co/3qPTjTTjzr"
Are you ready to become an Arweave dApp developer?
Because starting this week, it’s become a whole lot easier! The wonderful team at Community Labs just released Arweave Kit, a modular toolkit that will substantially simplify and accelerate the development and creation process on Arweave.
The Arweave Kit is a carefully curated toolbox spanning four integral components: Wallets, Transactions, Smart Contracts, and Authentication. These represent the fundamental pillars of Arweave development, acting as the core around which all Arweave based dApps are built.
The toolkit is drawing upon many innovative projects from the ecosystem, such as Warp Contracts, Bundlr, ar.io , ArConnect and others. Each of these has a unique specialty area, thus ensuring that the toolkit is comprehensive, reliable, and robust.
For new developers, this toolkit is more than just a convenience; it might just be the entry point into the Arweave universe. Not only does it streamline the development process by providing key resources at their fingertips, but it also introduces developers to a variety of functionalities and components that they may not have previously considered or had access to.
No matter if you’re a developer just starting out in the Arweave ecosystem or already have some permaweb experience under your belt, be sure to check out the Arweave Kit as it will make your life easier and also give you the opportunity to learn some new, Arweave powered tools.
Community Labs | we're hiring!: "1/ We’re excited to be rolling out v1 of Arweave Kit- a modular toolkit for supercharging the development of Arweave apps. https://t.co/m4QpfYOvnn 🧵👇 https://t.co/DOFp45v8HA"
III.Casual talks about blockchain and Arweave
This section was called "Things you won't encounter on Arweave" and to be honest, I was getting tired of picking on humanity's shortcomings when it comes to the ways it deals with its data. Almost it was depressing: I was constantly feeding myself with the last censoring attempts machinated by states or corporations, the last books that were banned, the last social app aiming to purge some content and so on.
Enough it's enough. Instead of looking into what's wrong with the world, let's try and have some casual talks. I recently discovered @slowblogger - a Twitter user with quite an inquisitive nature. I like his takes, so let's use one of his tweets as a premise for dialogue:
So, what do you think? My two pennies on the matter is that the financial side of the blockchain is not as linked with its nature as many crypto bros want to make us believe. However, it isn't related to a lack of imagination either. Until the advent of Arweave, blockchains tried to optimise for fast/faster resolution in spite of the size of transactions. In simple terms - due to a rather technical constraint, advertising it as a "financial ledger" was the easiest path to put an incipient technology to work.
The fact that right now, we are following the price movement of crypto mainly in reference to the dollar, it can be interpreted as a fiasco for the initial narrative for "sound money, without the need for banks". Probably it wasn't about greed at the beginning, but it sure transformed into greed. It turned out that most of the people didn't check in for the "freedom to transact", but for an unregulated gold rush.
Given Arweave's unique characteristics (the capacity to upload big chunks of data) - as many arweavers say, it's like we're experiencing the third blockchain renaissance (the first one being Bitcoin and the second Ethereum). As a direct effect, in our ecosystem, the "financial part" encounters pretty low interest from the builders' side. They are still exploring a vast uncharted galaxy of use cases that were opened at the moment when with the amount paid for some KBs of data on Ethereum, you can upload 1 GB on-chain.
I do believe that expanding the technical capabilities of blockchains will lead to more meaningful use cases than finance, and yes, I do believe that there are a lot of topics more meaningful than finance.
The fact that currently, most people that are involved in crypto are seeing mostly the financial angle made me state during the panel from Berlin that probably Arweave's main audience is still to be found, probably still lingering in Web2 or academia. However, totally dismissing the financial side/ the way of dealing with the blockchain that's currently known by Web3 people, won't necessarily be the sensible move to make. Let's not forget that for better or for worse, the current data set of Arweave is composed mostly of NFT files uploaded by degens.
We may see in the future the Library of the Vatican uploaded on Arweave, but let's never omit that before that, some of the first adopters were "crypto addicts". I think that we can find ways to make both crowds feel welcome on the Permaweb.
IV.Arweave explained by Heinrich Heine – thanks to ChatGPT
In the grand opera of existence, I have oft been spectator to the somber prelude; the incendiary spark of oppression, ignited by the fears of despots and fanatics. Where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people, for both carry the same intoxicating elixir - the power of knowledge and thought.
Ah, but behold this Arweave! .
Here, in this ethereal realm, power is not hoarded in the hands of the few, but spread among the many. As the waves of the mighty Rhine are formed by countless droplets, each node in this network contributes to a torrent of information, crafting a grand symphony of data in harmonious decentralization.
From the smallest byte, a simple, humble note, to a symphony as vast as the cosmos itself, Arweave crafts a limitless library of knowledge. Thus, they may burn our books, but our wisdom, our thoughts, are forever preserved, unyielding, in the heart of Arweave.
In the face of book burners and tyrants, Arweave stands tall, a bulwark against the flame. For even as the fires of oppression rage, the ashes of knowledge rise anew in the ether, giving testament to the resilience of human thought.