The beginning of Arweave is the end of Ethereum丨 8btc Twitter Space AMA
As the cornerstone of Web3, there is no doubt about the prospect of the distributed storage track. Among them, Arweave is the leader in permanent storage. It gradually builds a set of storage consensus paradigm ecosystems around storage services and develops toward the Web3 full-stack protocol. But there is still very little awareness of it in the public.
Recently, 8btc invited outprog, the founder of everFinance who understands the Arweave ecosystem best in the Chinese community, Yang Bit from the Arweave Chinese community, and Xu Xiaopeng from Mint Ventures to discuss the current situation and future of AR and distributed storage from the perspective of demand.
This is an AMA that was hosted by 8btc (a Chinese crypto media) on Twitter Space.
What is the current state of Arweave?
outprog: Arweave is a Buddha-like ecology. This Buddha-like behavior is manifested in many aspects, such as not doing BD, less motivation and so on. But this Buddha-like system also makes Arweave more decentralized. At present, Arweave is very similar to Ethereum in 2014-2015. Many infrastructures are not perfect, and the technology has not precipitated specifications. There is no easy-to-use wallet like MetaMask, no API interface facility for developers like Infura, and even tokens do not have a standard like ERC20. But these facilities have begun to be gradually replenished. Arweave’s native wallet, ArConnect, has begun to refactor its UI, and many blockchain wallets, such as BitKeep and MathWallet, have begun to enter the Arweave ecosystem. At the same time, our everFinance Team is also contributing to the ecosystem, building Arweave’s financial infrastructure, and allowing DeFi to develop in the Arweave ecosystem.
The goal of Arweave’s official team is only permanent storage. If you look at the official website, you can see that the background is “newspaper”. Officials hope to store all media information on Arweave. And will not interfere too much with the development of the ecosystem, which is why we say it is Buddha-like. The entire ecosystem is currently more like a DAO around the world, and each direction is being explored by the project side. For example, the infrastructure track is jointly built by everFinance, RedStone and Verto. We focus on the storage paradigm direction, while RedStone and Verto focus on the SmartWeave direction.
The strength of Arweave is WEB3. Many applications such as GameFi, SocialFi, etc. actually have no way to implement VMs on traditional chains. At present, GameFi and social applications are still very centralized, and some projects only integrate NFT on the chain to make some assets decentralized. However, using Arweave can completely decentralize these WEB3 applications. The storage provided by Arweave will become the cornerstone of WEB3. After the infrastructure is gradually improved, the WEB3 era will truly be opened.
Yang Bit: As a project which was launched at the end of 2017. Arweave has already been aware of the crypto industry even though it is still in the developing stage. ——Messari yearly report
In terms of data, storage capacity has grown rapidly from 11 T in August 2021 to 41 T at the end of 2021, and then to 59.5 T in Q1 of 2022.
In terms of revenue, among the Web3 infrastructure projects, the 30-day and 90-day total revenue rank first, exceeding the sum of the bottom 9 (Filecoin does not count).
In terms of ecosystem, as of January this year, there are 70-80 major projects covering DeFi, storage, bandwidth, data flow, wallet, media, NFT, development tools, etc.
Arweave is also working on smart contracts. What are the differences or advantages from public chains such as Ethereum?
outprog: Actually, all TPS calculated on-chain have an upper limit. Once there are more users, it is either expensive or blocked, and it is difficult to achieve large-scale applications. However, Arweave adopts the method of “sharding”, and the TPS of each application is completely independent. It can really be used for large-scale applications and can provide a better user experience.
Xu Xiaopeng: I may look at this project from a commercial perspective, and we have also allocated AR token positions for the following reasons:
- Permanent storage is a relatively new product-service model. Whether it is a cloud service with web2 or a Web3 model such as FIL, there are obvious differences in product positioning. It is very important to be the first proposer in a market segment and to be able to make the product and take the lead.
- The storage cost of Arweave is relatively low. The mode of permanent storage for a one-time payment is acceptable for users and project teams.
- Besides providing permanent storage, Arweave literally builds a smart contract ecosystem, to develop to the full stack protocol of Web3, exceeding market expectations.
- Arweave is one of the most practical projects in distributed storage projects, and there are many practical users.
- From the perspective of the business model, when a project stores a large amount of data on Arweave, there will be relatively high migration costs to another storage project which will increase user stickiness.
- The overall concept and technology of Arweave are easy to understand for developers and users, and the threshold for miners is not as high as Filecoin.
- The distributed storage space is a very important track, and almost no one will doubt the future development prospects.
What do you think the real demand for decentralized storage?
outprog: Permanent storage may not be a strong requirement for ordinary users. But it is a rigid requirement for decentralized applications. Permanent storage is the basis of decentralized consensus. Whether it is BTC or ETH, it is essentially based on permanent verifiable ledger data for calculation. Therefore, when we build WEB3 applications, whether it is a chain game or a decentralized social application, they all need to use decentralized consensus as to the bottom building foundation, so that these applications can be owned by the public and become a kind of anti-censorship. , with high robustness, can not be a closed application platform.
At present, there are many applications using Arweave. The project leaders of the Arweave ecosystem are ArDrive, Koii, Kyve, Verto, Pianity, Metaforo, and everPay. These applications cover a wide range. Unlike the Ethereum ecosystem, which can only be used in high-value application scenarios such as DeFi finance and NFT, 99% of Arweave’s applications are non-financial applications. These applications cover all aspects of WEB3, from the mailbox system to the domain name system. You can find everything from online disks, video media, and music media. A typical application using Arweave is Mirror, authors store everything on Arweave. Based on Arweave’s permanent storage, Mirror’s official website is not the only reliable gateway for Mirror. Any developer and organization can use the data on Arweave to develop their own Mirror applications. At present, AskMirror, RSS3, and other WEB3 applications directly integrate this data.
ArDrive is a network disk product. Users can permanently store any files on Arweave without worrying about the loss of files due to hard disk damage.
Pianity is also very interesting, a music NFT platform. They store their music entirely on Arweave, and the ownership of the music is also on Arweave. Here is a special mention: the NFT on Arweave may be the real NFT in technology. We know that Ethereum’s NFT is actually just an id certificate and the ownership of this certificate. The meta-info of NFT is often stored through other platforms, and there is a possibility of loss. NFTs on Arweave are called atomic NFTs, in which content and ownership are bundled together, and our digital information is decentralized from the beginning and never lost.
Of course, we also have to mention everPay. As a multi-chain financial infrastructure, everPay currently supports two blockchains, Ethereum and Arweave. Users can deposit ETH, ERC20, and AR and Arweave ecological tokens PST to Experience convenient and real-time decentralized finance in the everPay protocol. everPay provides users with a completely real-time and free token payment method, as well as an easy-to-use token payment method for WEB3. At present, the forum and discord tipping tool developed by metaforo have been integrated with everPay. Using these WEB3 products, users will be able to experience extremely smooth token payments. As a financial infrastructure, the application on everPay is gradually improving. Currently, there are various functions such as Swap and NFT auction, and it also provides basic services at the protocol layer for the cross-chain from Arweave to other chains.
The popularity of Arweave storage is very high, why are so many projects on other chains not coming?
outprog: This bull market actually began from DeFi. The entire market is generated around high-value application scenarios. The root cause of these scenarios is that there is an EVM. Since there is no EVM on Arweave, applications on other chains cannot be easily migrated. But we are not particularly optimistic about EVM. It can develop DeFi, but it may not be enough to develop Web3. No matter in terms of infrastructure or future development, further paradigm transformation is required.
Second, the technical paradigm of development has not changed, and now few developers will consider using non-EVM to develop projects. In fact, when Ethereum was just starting out, it was also faced with this situation. The Bitcoin community did not recognize Ethereum. The same is true for the Arweave ecosystem. It is still in the early stage and needs more precipitation before it can develop and be recognized by more developers.
Xu Xiaopeng: We can actually see what kind of data and information will need to use decentralized permanent storage.
The first is data and information with high intrinsic value. For example, high-priced NFT avatars are a collection of luxury goods, and orderly storage space is particularly important.
Another is the need for censorship resistance. Sensitive data stored on some centralized clouds may be subject to censorship or intervention by centralized agencies and may need to be stored in places that are not easily accessible and can be stored permanently.
The third is the need for verifiability+immutability+sustainability. Typical state backups of the entire chain like the public chain, as well as some legal documents that need to be executed, or very sensitive digital evidence, are also more suitable to be stored on Arweave.
From the perspective of developers, in fact, the current developers of the public chain are mainly concentrated on Ethereum, and they have formed path dependence. It may not be so easy to change development habits in a short period of time. But now a relatively good phenomenon is that since the second half of last year, a large number of content entrepreneurial projects have begun to be based on Web3. Many developers of such projects come from web2, and there is a great demand for data storage. It is possible to be a major force driving Arweave’s growth.
Many people think that 2020 is the direction of modular blockchain. What will Arweave do in this direction?
outprog: The term data availability layer has been proposed recently. And the existing ETH architecture is more and more similar to the existing Arweave + SCP architecture. For Arweave, the data availability layer is inherently implemented and supported.
Also, we are not optimistic about the on-chain VM model. Whether it is Solona with powerful performance or Layer2 with great scalability, once all the calculations of an application are calculated on thousands of nodes, the performance will be degraded. For example, Solona has a so-called 50,000 TPS, but it is actually only a few thousand. Then hundreds and thousands of applications have to be calculated in a VM, and we think that large-scale applications will never be possible.
In the application development method we promote, as long as the application can complete the decentralized trusted verification, these calculations do not necessarily need to be carried out on a large scale, but only when necessary. This is a fully sharded model. And decentralized storage is the foundation of it. In the future, we will find that the essence of consensus is storage consensus.
Xu Xiaopeng: Arweave still has an advantage in the current competitive landscape of public chains. In a public chain model like Ethereum, miners are the main operators to maintain this chain. They are responsible for both calculation and data storage. Therefore, the gas paid by the user to use the Dapp actually includes the operating cost of the miner, which is actually unfriendly to the user’s experience.
There are already public chains that solve this pain point. For example, in DeFinity, developers pay for gas, and the user’s usage cost is 0. Once the ecosystem starts rolling, the user experience will be greatly improved, which means that the EVM model is no longer the only option.
Yang Bit: The Arweave protocol supports DApps to truly achieve full decentralization and solves the scalability/cost issues of computing and storage that have plagued the public chain field for many years. In this sense, Arweave should be classified as a Web3.0 full-stack protocol, not just decentralized storage.
Where will the logic of the final explosion of decentralized storage be?
outprog: Decentralized storage is not only storage but also its verifiability, allowing various content to be decentralized on it. The explosion of the ecosystem requires some conceptual changes and requires new developers to participate in the ecology.
Bitcoin is blockchain 1.0 and it allows money transfers. Ethereum is blockchain 2.0, which can realize on-chain smart contracts and Turing-complete on-chain programming. Arweave takes it a step further. As a storage blockchain, it can make every bit of data non-tamperable and traceable, and the data can be trusted to allow developers to create new blockchain applications. Limit the development language, do not limit the user experience, and do not limit the performance. It is possible to build truly massively available WEB3 applications through the AR + storage paradigm.
Xu Xiaopeng: First, the demand has not come up. At present, the mainstream application on the chain is DeFi, and the demand for data storage is not high.
On the other hand, the maturity of the supply side of distributed storage products is insufficient. For example, Filecoin can only be stored at present, and the retrieval function has not yet been launched.
On the other hand, users in the crypto world are mainly investment-oriented, and products with a wealth effect can attract their attention, such as DeFi’s liquidity mining, NFT’s high-value collections, GameFi’s Pond’s design, etc. The flywheel of the distributed storage track still lacks a driving force. I think a better way is that if the project party is not so Buddha-like, it can try to do cooperation with more industrial capital and developer alliances. With the influx of funds and users, the outbreak of the ecology is also quite a chance.
Yang Bit: Storage is the cornerstone, and everything is inseparable from storage, but it is farthest from the user, and the user’s perception of storage is not so strong. Storage is a “to business” model, and end-users have a weaker voice. Because there are already mature solutions, no one will reinvent the wheel. Waiting for the real outbreak of Web3 and the Metaverse, the entire decentralized storage field has added 3000-5000 T of data in the past 6 months. In fact, everyone sees the importance.
What is the best way for ordinary investors to participate in AR construction and take the initiative to obtain dividends?
outprog: In addition to purchasing native tokens, it is difficult for ordinary investors to participate deeply because there is no perfect ecosystem yet. Some early projects will give investors airdrop rewards. Investors can experience these products as soon as possible and have the opportunity to obtain the earliest ecological dividends.
Xu Xiaopeng: The first is to actively experience the product, and the other is to enter the community of their product. Overall, the Arweave ecosystem has great potential for development. If you buy leading projects in the ecosystem, the rate of return on investment will definitely be higher. Moreover, participating in the community is an advantage for ordinary investors over professional investors, because the latter also have limited energy, and sometimes their judgments may not be more accurate than those of community investors.
Yang Bit: The most direct way for ordinary users to contribute is to use decentralized storage to store the data, materials, and content that they think are the most valuable in a decentralized way. There is no way to make a greater contribution than this. ——This should also be in line with today’s theme, starting from the perspective of demand;
From this perspective, the biggest dividend of decentralized storage is the dividend it brings to users and even society. Under this dividend, it is the dividend of ecological development, the dividend of participating in construction, and the dividend of token appreciation.