Sarcophagus is an on-chain dead man’s switch (DMS) whose unique functionality bridges two distinct decentralized ecosystems: Ethereum and Arweave. On one side, Ethereum’s immutable contracts house the DMS and coordinate the outer encryption keys; on the other side, Arweave provides the network for data storage, monitoring, and retrieval.
To create a sarcophagus, the user (aka the “embalmer”) first encrypts their data through the dApp, then an Ethereum contract containing a DMS (aka a “curse”) is set to trigger the data’s release once it expires. This data is wrapped in a second layer of encryption and permanently stored on Arweave by a third-party, incentivized node operator (aka the “Archaeologist”) for future retrieval. Once the DMS expires, the Archaeologist “resurrects” the sarcophagus by providing their shard of the encryption key for the outer layer. This allows the recipient to use their own private key to decrypt the inner layer and retrieve the data. Arweave’s permanent storage ensures the data is present and uncensored when it is time to be retrieved.
Sarcophagus has been entrenched in both the Ethereum and Arweave communities since its inception. Decent Labs—an on-chain venture studio and the predecessor to today’s Decent DAO—connected Sarcophagus to the inner workings of the Ethereum builder community during early development. In addition, Sarcophagus engaged Arweave’s developer community via backend development support, using the weave to upload data from the first test versions of the Tomb dApp. The Arweave team also helped with Sarco’s initial funding to build the dApp. Once it was time to raise sustainable funding for its DAO, Sarcophagus hosted an on-chain funding round in the Ethereum ecosystem, setting a precedent for decentralized funding. These initiatives, collaborations, and contributions from multiple blockchain communities have built a strong decentralized foundation with open communication.
With V2 development underway and plans to build out the Tomb on L2s like Polygon (for increased scalability), Sarcophagus continues to establish itself as a use-case bridge, connecting multiple crypto developer and user communities. These connections will prove to be vital building blocks in the coming Web3 landscape, as collaborations across these decentralized ecosystems are bound to strengthen the foundation of DeFi.
Nelson, J. (January 2022). Crypto Dead Man’s Switch Sarcophagus Raises $5.47M From VCs via DAO. https://decrypt.co/90032/crypto-dead-mans-switch-sarcophagus-raises-5-47m-from-vcs-via-dao
Sarcophagus. How It Works. https://sarcophagus.io/