Filecoin, But Forever: Arweave Raises $5 Million to Build Out 'Permaweb'

Published on by Coindesk | Published on

A startup drawing on ancient history for modern-day inspiration has raised $5 million to decentralize the permanent storage of the world's information.

"The big goal is to build this Library of Alexandria that just never forgets the valuable knowledge in the world," Arweave founder Sam Williams told CoinDesk in an interview Tuesday.

Arweave makes decentralized permanent storage possible by relying on "a new blockchain-like data structure called the blockweave," according to technical documentation published by the startup on Tuesday.

The Arweave protocol undergirds what the startup refers to as the permaweb, an "Array of data, websites, and decentralised applications" hosted in perpetuity.

Miners are paid AR tokens to offer up their computers' unused storage space, using what Arweave calls a "Proof-of-Acces" algorithm similar to Proof-of-Work.

Roughly 100 apps have already been built on the Arweave platform, with projects ranging from social forums to article publishing to sticky notes.

Arweave is also in the process of expanding to the U.S. as it ramps up its commercialization efforts.

The funding round - Arweave's first aside from a limited token sale in 2018 - puts the company in the same breath as other decentralized file storage systems such as Filecoin, Sia and Storj.

"Definitely not all ways of applying Arweave will be positive. All technology can be used for good and for bad, starting with humanity's earliest technology, fire," they wrote.

"Sam and the team at Arweave have given a lot of thought to that and have from the start designed features, including a democratic process where participants collectively decide on the network's content policies, to help address this issue."