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Akord protocol – open for builders

Richard Caetano
Richard Caetano
26 Sept 2022 · 5 min
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Internet publishing is changing, again

We have seen the internet evolve from the early, read-only web1, to the dynamic read/write web2 that social media is built on.

Now we’re seeing how blockchains are enabling a new dimension to the web: ownership. Yet, for data ownership to be practical, we need data to persist just as an object in physical reality can.

Arweave enables that persistence, and true data ownership, by providing a public, global and permanent hard drive.

The Akord protocol, built on Arweave, will further advance true user ownership of data, which is the foundation of web3.

User-owned storage is a new paradigm

In the classic client–server model, the application must have direct access to the data, usually behind the same firewall. The ‘backend’ of the website needs direct access to your data before it can render a website.

However, this opens several issues that work against the user:

  • Privacy: most software-as-a-service providers, at a minimum, have a backdoor to customer data at rest, in transit or when processed.

  • Censorship: SaaS providers can revoke access to your data, especially if forced to by a government or legal authority.

  • Lacking consent: your data is often bought and sold, analysed or traded, without your consent or compensation.

  • Surveillance: nefarious actors, governments and cyber criminals can exploit customers by hacking data storage providers.

To address these issues, we are introducing the Akord protocol, allowing developers to build applications on a new web3 decentralised architecture.

With Akord, users’ data is encrypted and audited by the protocol. This gives the users the ability to store personal, private or sensitive data in a private vault.

Since users control the keys to the vault, they can consent to who accesses their data. Without a backdoor, backend services cannot have direct access to the data.

Vaults – features to facilitate data ownership

Akord vaults have the functionality and properties needed for data ownership:

  • Privacy: secured by quantum resistant end-to-end encryption.

  • Consent: access controlled by the user’s consent.

  • ZKP: containers for verifiable claims and zero knowledge proofs.

  • Composable and extendable protocol, enabling custom extensions.

  • On-chain permanent storage for files and folders.

  • File versioning and auditing.

  • Messaging and collaboration.

Vaults are multi-user. The owner can control who has access to the vault and the members who have access to contribute.

Inside the vault, we can store files, messages, images, structured or unstructured data, and much more. Auditing and file revisions are built-in features of the vault.

Designed for composability, vaults enable developers to program functionality such as submitting a document for signature or storage.

Protocol use cases, so far

Here’s a short summary of the types of projects we’re helping to build on the Akord protocol:

  • Web3: NFT projects, DAOs, funds, exclusive membership access.

  • Public goods: reforestation data, historical archives, documenting art objects.

  • Enterprise: Health insurance data, genetic data, business archives.

For web3, the private vaults enable decentralised sharing of sensitive data.

For public goods, vaults are enabling dynamic access control, as well as perpetual and open access to data from reforestation projects to historical archives.

For enterprise, our partners recognise the importance of having secure and permanent data. Health, genetic and personal information can be coordinated and shared with a user directly to their vaults, changing the relationship between company and user.

In all cases, the user becomes the owner of their data. Then the company seeks the consent of the user to access their data.

Calling all builders: your new toolkit has arrived

We invite all builders to check out the following latest releases.

We'll be releasing a migration tool that will enable users to transfer data from v1 version of the app to the new v2.akord.com, which will not cost users anything to migrate.

Now, seize control of what you build

These tools are just the first step. We need you to imagine the possibilities. A future, built on user-owned data, is still yet to be written.

We’re excited to help grow and support the developers and the dreamers who will take the Akord protocol to seize control of their data. We’ll soon be announcing details of the Akord Builders Grants to kickstart this journey.

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