Aï Miyuki
Aï Miyuki
4 May 2022 · 3 min

Why web3 storage matters

Web3 storage


I’m sure you’ve used cloud services such as Google Drive and OneDrive?
These services are helpful to store and share your data with friends and family… until they are not. Users store their data on these cloud services, assuming it will not disappear.

However, most web2 services are controlled by a single company; so, if one day, they decide to close down a service or the company itself, it means that users would lose access to their data.
Conversely, a Web3 service like Akord is decentralized, meaning that no single party can prevent you from accessing your data, ever. Akord’s digital vaults allow you to save your data securely, forever. With the “Pay once, store forever” model, you never need to look back. So, how does this all work? First, let’s understand what Web3 is. Or actually, what Web2 is. Let’s even start with Web 1.0 and have an initial overview of what the internet was back in the day.

Between the years 1990 and 2000, the internet was mostly a bunch of static web pages, meaning that whenever you loaded them, they would just show some content on your screen, and that was it. This is often referred to as “read-only” content. At the time, there were not any interactions between the user and the website. No logging in, no posting comments, no uploading photos. In addition to that, most of the early internet wasn’t profitable because it was mostly just like one big Wikipedia with everything hyperlinked together and no ads.

Of course, things did improve. First, it became possible to add images and even animations. However, at that time, users went to the internet to consume information. Around 2000, Web2.0 arrived, and the Internet bubble. The main differentiator was that the web became more and more interactive. People could use the Internet for everything: buying products online, chatting with friends and family, booking hotels and restaurants, you name it.

However, the way that companies were monetizing their services evolved rapidly.
Companies were striving to collect more and more data about users. Initially, it was simply to customize the products they were offering. Then, it was to customize the ads users were seeing. Eventually, data even ended up being sold to other companies.

Although some Web 2.0 companies have slowly started to take privacy more seriously, their business model makes it impossible to do so. Indeed, most Web 2.0 companies live primarily out of advertising and have to collect vast amounts of data from users to increase their revenues.
One of the main issues with Web 2.0 is that these companies ended up having too much power, to a point where it is now impossible to navigate the web without being permanently tracked by one of the large tech companies. In some way, this can be seen as an extreme centralization of the Internet.

This is where Web3 comes in. Gavin Wood, who coined the term Web3, defines it as follows:

Web 3.0 is an inclusive set of protocols to provide building blocks for application makers. These building blocks take the place of traditional web technologies… but present a whole new way of creating applications

Why We Need Web 3.0

The main vision of Web3 is that the web should be decentralized and that companies and content creators should be able to monetize their services directly rather than by leveraging users' data for this purpose.

However, only decentralizing payments does not solve the issue fully. If the data is still centrally owned by large companies, we are back at square zero. This is where Akord comes in. Akord allows users to store their data permanently and privately. This means that only the user who uploaded the data can access it and that nobody can ever prevent the user from accessing his data. To achieve this, Akord leverages a blockchain called Arweave, whose goal is to store data permanently.

Arweave is a blockchain where all the participants running the network have to periodically prove that they are currently storing all data. In exchange for this service, these participants receive rewards paid in the network cryptocurrency $AR. This incentive is distributed not only when storing the data, but also in the form of an endowment to incentivize these providers to store data in the long term and to pay for their costs. All the data on the Arweave blockchain is unencrypted, which works well for public content but not for personal, private data.

Arweave's "Proof of Access" (PoA) is a simple extension of PoW. Each PoW puzzle round is related to a block from the past (a recall block), and only miners who have stored the selected recall block are eligible to participate in the PoW competition. Since recall blocks are randomly determined and cannot be predicted in advance, the more blocks a miner stores, the higher the chance of participating in the PoW competition and the higher the probability of getting a block reward. If a miner has limited storage space to save the entire block history, he will prioritize the blocks that have fewer copies in the network. Because each block has an equal probability of being selected as a recall block, when a scarce block is selected as a recall block, only a few miners are eligible to participate in the PoW contest, so it is more beneficial for miners to store scarce blocks. This ensures that scarce data is also stored by miners.

Unlike other centralized or decentralized storage solutions, Arweave makes data persistent and reliable. As of today, several NFT markets or organizations have adopted Arweave as a solution, such as Mintbase, Avastars.io, and so forth.

However, all the data on Arweave is public by default, meaning that it is not appropriate to store any sort of private data.
Akord provides a missing privacy layer. When a user uploads data through Akord, the data is encrypted and can only be decrypted by the user himself/herself or other users with whom the data has been shared. The encrypted data is then uploaded to Arweave to be stored forever. This altogether provides the next level of security and resilience for storing data.

Akord also inherits this feature as the upper layer application of Arweave network, whether it is family group photos, songs of favorite bands, or NFT metadata, Akord is able to store them permanently.

So, if you have data you truly care about, start using Akord today. Sign up and get started with 500MB for free: https://app.akord.com/signup