Richard Caetano
Richard Caetano
7 Jul 2021 · 4 min read

Ensuring Your Digital Heritage

Heritage blogpost

We all have hard drives, USB sticks, cloud drives, old computers, and more that contain thousands of personal files, photos, PDFs, writings and music, all collected during our lives.

Have you considered how you will pass them down to your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren? How can you be sure this data will definitely be available to future generations?

Paying month-to-month for online space is not really an option. At some point, you will stop paying the bill and it’s unlikely that someone else will continue. Or worse yet, the service provider can go bust!

At Akord, we’ve been focused on building 'social vaults' to help you share your private data with the people that matter most. And now, we’re taking things one step further.

Imagine the option to pay for your data to be stored once, and available forever.

We’re announcing that Akord will soon run on top of the Arweave blockchain, a decentralized storage network that allows you to pay once to store your data for forever.

Yes… forever.

It’s actually quite simple. When you pay for a gigabyte of storage upfront with Arweave tokens ($AR), the payment goes into the Arweave endowment. Over time, as storage costs decrease and the value of the endowment increases, a strong incentive is created for miners to protect and keep your data available.

Arweave is a new type of storage that backs data with sustainable and perpetual endowments, allowing users and developers to truly store data forever – for the very first time.

~ arweave.org

The economics of the system is optimized to run forever. And the cost at the time of writing is as low as $5 for one gigabyte.

This novel approach to storage works nicely to support the Akord platform. With our strong end-to-end encryption layer and collaboration features, you can create a data room, upload your files and invite the people you want to contribute and/or administrate, facilitating a “social vault for your digital heritage.

Akord For Business

There are compelling reasons for business to maintain permanent copies of their corporate documents and data, e.g. legal compliance, auditing requirements, and regulatory provenance, for many years into the future. Leveraging permanent decentralized storage will deliver exactly that.

As business owners, you can be assured that the right documents will be available and unmodified forever, regardless of changes in management, hacking or corruption.

As a collectively owned hard drive that never forgets, Arweave allows us to remember and preserve valuable information, apps, and history indefinitely.

~ arweave.org

But what good is permanent data if the application is no longer available? What if Akord were to shut down tomorrow? Would a data scientist be needed to find, download and decrypt the data from the network?

Taking it to the next level, we will be making Akord, served as a standalone web app, available from the Arweave network as well. That means every major release of Akord, along with your data behind it, will be available forever.

You can always be assured that you have access to both the data and the application, giving you full confidence to use Akord as a secure data hub with perpetual access.

Restoring the Rotting Web

How many times have you tried to click on a link only to find that the original webpage is no longer available?

Link rot is a growing problem on the web. As more information is published with less incentive to maintain it, much of the web’s content is falling offline.

Overall, more than half of all articles in The New York Times that contain deep links have at least one rotted link.

~ The Internet is Rotting, The Atlantic

Now consider link rot in the case of NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens. When you purchase that next piece of digital art, what is preventing the URL associated with it from rotting?

Storing your public works, blog posts, writings and NFTs on the permaweb will protect and maintain it forever. Check out our recent article, Without Decentralised Storage Your NFT is Worthless, for more on this topic.

On top of this decentralized storage, we're building galleries in Akord that will give you control over how to present and share your digital assets and NFTs.

Perpetual Business Models

Building on the Arweave’s permaweb, Akord will be able to protect your data and your access to it indefinitely. This is revolutionary and unlocks new and novel business opportunities.

By offering an Akord token, users will be able to pay for only what they use in the app. Holding Akord tokens will enable you to pay for storage space, minting NFTs, and many other features in the app.

This induces a revenue stream as more and more users join the platform. This revenue stream is then paid back to the token holders creating an incentive to buy and hold more Akord tokens. This feedback loop helps to guarantee a healthy community and tokenomic system around Akord.

As this is all running on decentralized protocols, we can see a sustainable and healthy way to maintain a large ecosystem of users, investors, developers and miners, all working together to perpetuate your digital heritage.

Moving Forward

We built Akord with decentralization and blockchain in mind. We’ve documented our process, describing our crypto wallet first approach, the crypto ledger for maintaining a strong transactional history of user actions and our end-to-end encryption.

But as we couldn’t find the right blockchain project to build on we started off with the centralized Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, and focused on other aspects of the tech stack and product UX, waiting until we found the right technology to integrate with.

Moving forward with the Arweave integration will enable us to circle back and complete a key part of our vision. In practical terms it will involve the following phases.

  • Migration of the data from Amazon S3 to Arweave Storage.
  • Upgrade the application to run as a Web3 application on the Arweave Network.
  • Launch the Akord token, decentralized protocols and tokenomics.

We hope you’ll join us on this new phase of the journey, as we build the tools to ensure your digital heritage forever.