Pascal Barry
Pascal Barry
26 Aug 2021 · 3 min read

Integrating Arweave

Akord Arweave Integration

On September 9, all going according to plan, we’ll be deploying a new version of Akord that will integrate the Arweave blockchain for Akord’s storage. In this short post, I’ll discuss what this means in practical terms for Akord and our users.

Introducing Arweave

Arweave is a protocol for decentralised, sustainable and permanent storage of data with a one-off payment. The network is decentralised, like Bitcoin, and miners on the network provide hard drive space to those individuals and organisations looking to store data. ‌

The storage is backed by a sustainable endowment, which operates similarly to a traditional endowment. The user pays a 'principle' upfront which generates interest and the ongoing resources required to pay those who provide hard drive space for storage in perpetuity.‌

The endowment is based on very conservative figures extrapolated from historical data on the price of storing data, which has been decreasing at a steady and predictable annual rate of decline of 30%.‌

This data enables the mathematical calculation for a finite cost for indefinite storage.‌On top of this core storage layer lives the 'permaweb' – an unalterable, censorship resistant web where applications and web pages exist indefinitely.‌

You can read about the protocol in more detail in their 2017 white paper, 2018 light paper, and the detailed yellow paper.

Arweave Open Web Foundry

We’ve been taking part in the fourth Arweave Open Web Foundry (OWF) – a 6-week programme helping startups who are building decentralised apps on the permaweb. We’ve been working on the integration of Arweave to store our data and crypto ledger as our main goals for OWF.

September 9 is the demo day for projects taking part in the OWF, which is why we’re planning on deploying this big update to Akord on this date.

Our co-founder, Richard Caetano, will be presenting Akord on the demo day and the presentations will be streamed online, so follow our twitter @AkordTeam for more updates there!

What this means for Akord

Integrating Arweave is a key step in our overarching vision to enable people to truly own their data. It helps facilitate this by decentralising storage and removing reliance on a third party to store your data. It’s permanent storage that also frees people from typical cloud based solutions that require monthly payments to continually store data.

Arweave has also shaped our focus on digital heritage as the key use case for Akord. Our app was always designed with a user experience focused on collaboration and security, and when you add permanent storage into the mix it makes for the perfect setup for a group of people to come together and collectively archive data they want to preserve for generations to come.

You can read more about our vision for the digital heritage use case in our previous blog post, Ensuring Digital Heritage, and read, Permanent Data Storage is Inherently Social, to find out more on why Akord is adapted to these use cases.

This integration is the first major step in a broader pathway that will lead us to becoming a fully decentralised web3 app. Once the whole of Akord is deployed on the permaweb, the final stage will be complete to ensure that your digital heritage will be preserved for generations to come.

Paying for permanent storage

From the 9 September, you will have to pay for storage in Akord through a ‘top up’ screen. You’ll be able to pay per GB, or pay for 10 GB and 50 GB packages to get discounted prices.

Once you’ve paid for this storage and used it to upload files, you’ll never have to pay again to store that data. For example, if you pay for 1 GB of storage and upload 1 GB’s worth of photos to Akord, even if you don’t use Akord for many years that data will remain stored on the Arweave blockchain indefinitely. Pay once, store forever.

The price of 1 GB will cost something in the region of 15-20 USD, and you’ll be able pay for this with your credit card. This charge covers Akord’s service and the cost for storage on the blockchain, which Akord pays behind the scenes using Arweave’s native token, $AR.

What this means if you already use Akord

If you’re already using Akord and have data stored in our vaults, then you have nothing to worry about. As a thank you for being one of our early champions, we’ll continue to host the data you’ve uploaded to Akord on our cloud storage service provider, Amazon S3. These legacy vaults will be clearly marked as ‘Cloud Storage’, so you know that any data within them is not permanently stored.

But from September 9, any new vaults you create will by default by integrated with Arweave, and you’ll need to have some permanent storage available on your account to upload any digital assets.

Any concerns or questions?

Please feel free to contact us via email or on Twitter if you have anything you’d like to ask us.

We look forward to you joining us on this journey through the permaweb!