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.
The Berlin-based startup is getting fresh funding from a trio of prominent crypto investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Multicoin Capital and Union Square Ventures. The token-based funding round involved the sale of Arweave’s AR token.
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. In fact, users “pay for a couple hundred years of storage up front,” Williams said, based on laws of declining data storage costs. The Arweave mainnet launched in June 2018.
Miners are paid AR tokens to offer up their computers’ unused storage space, using what Arweave calls a “Proof-of-Access (PoA)” algorithm similar to Proof-of-Work.
Notably, the permaweb is accessible via normal web browsers like Chrome, Brave and others.
“Arweave is live and working today as promised, which says a lot,” investor Kyle Samani of Multicoin Capital told CoinDesk, adding:
“There are clear and immediate applications for permanence on the Web today in government, media, classrooms, courtrooms, and more. I expect developers to leverage the Permaweb as another critical component in the web3 stack, and to build new applications that augment existing services or create entirely new ones.”
Roughly 100 apps have already been built on the Arweave platform,