How will the Arweave ecosystem develop in 2023? Arweave is identified as a significant player in the data storage track, with distinctive features that provide permanent storage and secure access control for individuals. Jessica, Founder of Relation discussed the socially programmable privacy solutions being developed on Arweave, which enables users to customize their privacy settings based on their social relationships and the context of their interactions. Relation presented our latest product, the Semantic SBTs with socially programmable privacy, at the Arweave booth during the ETHDenver conference.
In Relation Talk #9, a group of Web3 builders from Relation, Ar.io, everVision, and 4EVERLAND came together to share their thoughts on the opportunities and challenges for building on Arweave in 2023. The discussions among the speakers are recorded as follows:
Jessica, Founder of Relation. Relation is building a Web3 social graph infrastructure that will host the next generation of billions of DApps, and empower souls and communities to co-build reputation and a better society on Web3 with SBTs and relationship data. Relation has launched Web3 social Dapp Relation ONE and the Semantic SBT standard which will create a chain native data layer that is easy to query, share and reuse with lower friction.
**JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io). **Ar.io is a global network,protocol and currency that enables the permaweb.
Romain (Branding Manager of everVision). everVision provides Arweave-based infrastructures for anyone who wants to build on Web3 using everPay, Permaswap, PermaDAO, and the development tool: Web3Infra.
**Val (Global Marketing Head of 4EVERLAND). **4EVERLAND is a Web 3.0 cloud computing platform that integrates storage, computing, and network as its core capabilities. It aims to help users make a smooth leap from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 and become the infrastructure for millions of Web 3.0 developers and applications.
In the last episode, we ran a Twitter Space discussing the AR ecosystem, and over 1000 audiences tuned in. We discussed the merits of Arweave about data storage and the permanent web. You can listen to the last Relation Talk here.
We believe Arweave is attracting more Web3 users to this data-perpetual track at an extremely impressive rate. Today, we would like to talk about what kind of plans the project working on the AR ecosystem will have in 2023, what kind of development goals AR will have this year, and how users can get involved and enjoy a wave of dividends if the market has a chance to rise this year.
Arweave is entering 2023 with a new wave, as one of the ecological cultivators, do you see this as a positive signal for the market? From what you have known, what are the developments for the Arweave ecosystem this year? How can developers or users get involved?
JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io): As far as the ecological cultivator and health of Arweave, I would say we talk about it internally too. The greatest thing is that the Arweave ecosystem is not paying full attention to the broader crypto Defi market.
It matters for the health of crypto and balance sheets especially, but the Arweave ecosystem is really super product focused, super builder focused too. Despite all the negative sentiments of the bear market, all the teams of 4EVERLAND here and everVision and the other teams keep on building.
This is healthy because in the end for a crypto project to be successful, it really needs to add traction to the use of the blockchain to begin with and really create a user-friendly experience.
So, that’s for the first part, for new releases throughout the year, I think the biggest one coming out is Arweave 2.6. It is an upgrade to the overall network which should allow for cheaper and more energy efficient data storage. We are really excited to see it being adapted and rolled out. We recently released a quick sync feature which basically allows a quick syncing of your large drives or files quickly.
As far as getting involved, the ecosystem is super friendly and welcoming. There’s tons of ways to get involved. The Ardrive website, ardrive.io, has tons of educational materials on it. Its also a project called cookbook, you can go to cookbook.arweave.dev, it’s in development and there’s been a lot of great contributions already.
Any team’s website will have links to resources to get started in the ecosystem.
Romain (Branding Manager of everVision): I don’t know what anyone else has to add about the ecosystem, because I think you’re spot on. You cannot get any better than that, to be honest. I mean the ecosystem is just the friendliest, like you said its not about the money, what I’ve raised, so and so. It’s all about building.
I think a good thing about 2.6 is also you will be able to mine with Hardrive. With HDDs not just SDD, the faster Hardrive. There’s not much to add.
Val (Global Marketing Head of 4EVERLAND): Personally, I think it’s important to mention that in 2022, Arweave was doing pretty well with the involvement in the web 2 sphere. We all know about the integration with Instagram and Meta. So, we would love to see if Arweave currently has any plans to integrate with other social media platforms,
There are some interesting names, and we definitely would love to see what Arweave might integrate with next. I think this is like one important step towards mass adoption, not only for Arweave as a blockchain but also for Arweave as a sphere.
So, in terms of plans for the future, I would personally think of some kind of deep integration into the web 2 world for sure.
Jessica (Founder of Relation Labs): For us, because we are building in the web 3 social and have introduced the socially programmable identity primitives, AR is a very good ecosystem for us to build on. We can leverage it to design a lot of the tools that we can utilize to record some privacy preserving data storage and have some access control designed on top of it.
So, there are a lot of innovations and instances we can just explore. One thing we have is that we are now trying to design a socially programmable privacy on Arweave. The solution allows individuals to configure and control their privacy settings in a social context, to control the access of the encrypted information that they uploaded to Arweave. This means that users can customize their privacy settings based on their social relationships and the context of their interactions, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach. We also have a deep interest in and will later develop products on personal data space for keeping everything about oneself inside of this data package.
Also, having access control within each social interaction and contacts. For those who are interested, for example, web3 developers can get involved with us to build together within the Arweave ecosystem. As a user, if you are interested, we are also developing some templates.
There are many different competitors in the data storage track. What are the distinctive features of AR in the data storage track? How do you enable users to quickly understand the need and security of data storage by using the tools and services you provide?
**JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io): **As far as the competitors, Arweave’s biggest difference is the permanent data storage angle. It’s a layer one network optimized for permanent data storage. The competitors out there are kind of like renting a home, you have to continuously pay to keep your files secure.
There are solutions coming out like those in Filecoin and Solana which are taking a perpetual storage angle. It’s great to see that imitation is the highest form of flattery. However, having Arweave as a layer one network whose pure function is permanent data storage with a proven four plus years of operation. It has proven to be a successful protocol for incentivizing miners to store data for the long term.
That key of permanence unlocks a lot of cool things. Its not just storing your files and family photos, and things forever, which is obviously an awesome part of it. But you are also able to store applications and websites, functional things on the network. Our CEO recently posted a tweet of hosting the Ardrive app permanently on Arweave.
This means that the version of the app at that moment is forever stored on the network, and any user can still go back to use it. If we update the app, you don’t like the app or a team disappears for whatever reason, that version of the app will always function.
It is a really cool aspect once you start thinking about all the different features.
Romain (Branding Manager of everVision): I don’t really see a competitor for Arweave. If you wish, I don’t think they do the same thing that Arweave does. The Permaweb is something very important, but if the company decides to shut down, all the users lose everything. However, if Ardrive decides to, its always going to be there with the user. That is something important.
It gives users trust which is important for now and the future. A couple days ago, I don’t know what company decided to stop using or allowing storage, I can’t remember, but that’s something users are going to lose. If you do not want to lose something, Arweave is definitely the place.
I honestly just don’t see that there’s a competitor to Arweave right now. Jonathan talked about Shadow drive and what not but the biggest difference is Arweave is an L1. We can actually build on Arweave.
Val (Global Marketing Head of 4EVERLAND): For 4EVERLAND its actually pretty easy to explain why our users should use Arweave instead of any other products. It won’t be a surprise if I say Permaweb storing information for the time that any other product won’t be able to store it. There was a question about how we make the users utilize Arweave?
Well, we just explain that the data that you have, for example, data for NFTs could be stored for much longer compared to any other protocols. This idea actually comes across as how could it be? Lots of people have heard of Arweave, they would love to have their data stored somewhere, but they do not know the right platforms or protocols.
For products coming with NFT collections or any type of data they have to store, like Defi or SocialFi, Arweave would be the best solution for them. So, its not even a challenge, explaining the possibilities Arweave has in store.
It is a great solution, the main feature of storing information can hardly be beaten by anyone. That makes it really awesome.
JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io): I think for people already in crypto and web3, Arweave is a much easier pitch. They already know the lingo of crypto and what not. Trying to convince or educate a web2 customer, say someone using Google Drive, will definitely be more of a challenge.
First, we are guilty by association with the broader crypto market. Then there’s the user friction: private key, wallet management of your own data, it’s all intimidating at first. Getting through that hurdle is tough, I think what we have done with Ardrive is, once you’re done with that step, it’s a really intuitive interface.
It should all be familiar. We have created a lot of content around making users comfortable using the product.
Romain (Branding Manager of everVision): I agree, Ardrive is so easy to use my girlfriend actually uses it and she has no idea what web3 is. The only thing that was difficult was getting AR. It was the only hurdle or obstacle, but once you get over that, its super easy and intuitive to use.
There was one thing that Val said, and that was misconceptions with Arweave, and that’s totally true. Most people don’t even know, they just think, yes you just store your stuff and all that, but it’s so much deeper than that. A thread was posted outlining the misconceptions within Arweave. I’ll post that in the comments.
Whoever is interested in seeing what misconceptions there are about Arweave can go ahead to go through that. It’s a really nice, detailed and cool thread.
Jessica (Founder of Relation Labs): I love the part about you and your girlfriend using Ardrive.
Romain (Branding Manager of everVision): Yes, her former Hardrive was actually corrupt, it had ten years’ worth of pictures and then she lost a whole bunch of pictures. She was gutted. Now, she knows that with Ardrive, no matter where, she can break her phone, her PC can explode, she’ll always have her pictures. She just needs her private key and she goes into Ardrive, easy-peasy.
Jessica (Founder of Relation Labs): Yes, I had a kind of a similar experience using web2 services. Sometimes the service was discontinued and then we had to struggle to move everything from here to there before they shut down. And there are cases of missing the period of transitions and everything is gone. It’s good that people with little or no Ar or technology background can easily use Ardrive to upload information to Arweave.
I also agree that the concept of permanent storage is especially important in the identity data field, what we need is the persistence of identity information. Not only the identifier of the identity but also many identity-related information that is evolving over time. All these have to be kept as a record in a persistent way that never expires. Makes information available and able to find it when necessary. Regardless of whether it is private or public, we need to have confidence that our social data is always there when we need to find it. No matter if we change devices or it’s been a long time, we don’t always have to be extra mindful of fee paying. It’s really important in building the decentralized social graph with decentralized public data storage.
Enthusiasm sweeps through the Blockchain industry as ETHDenver kicks off. As the world’s largest and longest-running Ethereum conference, we are sure that many eco-headquarter projects, developers, and community members will be there. This is one of the rare times of the year when friendships and ideas collide and new projects are born and launched. So, can you share with the audience whether your project will be present at ETHDenver and what information you will share with developers at the conference? In what form will you be attending?
**JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io): **Our team is organizing Arweave day on March 2nd. Romain has been instrumental in that. It’s basically a day full of Arweave adventure, there’s going to be a panel and discussions. I am not sure but I think registration might have filled up already so you could check our social channels.
So hopefully, we have lots of attendants. Our team will be on a panel on infrastructure, and Phil our CEO will be on a panel as regards decentralized applications. Plans aren’t fully baked but the day after, we are going to try to host a smaller event, a community event. We will also be at the Arweave booth on Friday and Saturday, the 3rd and 4th.
Those are our plans and we are really excited to meet the community, meet Romain and a bunch of people.
Romain (Branding Manager of everVision): Just to go off with what you just said, the day after we are actually planning a little “walkathon” Sam for example likes to walk and just talk back on all these ideas. So, that kind of grew on me. The next thing after Arweave is Arweave day made by you guys.
We are planning to do the walkathon from about ten in the morning to maybe like lunch time. So, I guess we will have to talk about that, you and I. We can see if we can make that happen. I know that Phill is definitely down to doing that as well. I’m doing what he’s doing by the way, whatever Jonathan is doing, I’m doing because we’re basically going to be in the same spot.
**JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io): **That’s pretty cool. Phill has been on one of those walks before, so I’m sure he knows what’s up, he’s down.
Romain (Branding Manager of everVision): You know what, I think you have to come as well. Maybe we can actually combine it or do something after the walkathon like that.
JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io): As far as the trends for ETH Denver, NFTs have always been hot. I think we will continue to see NFTs trending from just profile pictures and trading card equivalents to utilities, features and assets with actual utility. For example, token gating, access to premium features or ticket type utilities. I see those as a kick up for NFTs.
The current use of them isn’t very exciting to me, I know a lot of people think they are. However, I do see the actual technological use for them that I look forward to.
Jessica (Founder of Relation Labs): For ETH Denver, there are certain events that will happen there. A lot of communities will be posting some meetups, conferences and that’s really interesting.
We are definitely interested if you want to share those. I’d be happy to join. So, we are joining the Arweave booth and presenting our latest product which is the Semantic Soulbound token with socially programmable privacy.
That way, people can actually configure and control their privacy settings in the social contacts and customize their process ID on social relationships in the context of their interactions rather than using a one size fits all approach.
You know the social sphere is a very complex thing that in one case we might want to show up about ourselves. While in other cases, we might need to put up our privacy. So, it should be able to give people the right to customize the settings in terms of privacy and protect themselves. This is the one thing that we developed, leveraging Arweave and lead protocol to balance the desire for privacy with the need for sovereign interaction and building the circle of intimacy.
This is one thing that we are going to present at the Arweave booth and during the ETH Denver. If you are interested, please join us to see the demo or the try out.
Val (Global Marketing Head of 4EVERLAND): Well, we are planning to go to ETH Denver but unfortunately, we won’t be. We would love to follow through, and see some new projects coming there. Apart from decentralized storages, Defi is also worth looking out for, merging science and technology especially the blockchain and web3 fusion. Personally, I would love to see new names there and follow them for sure.
JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io): For Arweave day, on March 2nd, for anyone who can attend we are planning to have it totally recorded and live streamed. So, I figured if it’s going to be on our channels, stay tuned, it will be posted all over.
Let’s pick up on the last topic, what are your expectations and what do you hope to achieve at the conference? Which Web3 trends do you think will be most likely to be pointed out at the conference? Is the social protocols track likely to be a popular topic?
JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io): For me, my main goal of going out is to meet all these people I just know by avatars and digital texting. Bunch of us have met already but a lot of us have not. Even our team, I think there’s like twelve of us going out there. Some I have not met in person, So, I’m really excited about that.
Romain (Branding Manager of everVision). I think there will definitely be a topic, there’s a huge overlap with Arweave and social networks, the whole censorship and having things available and access taken away from you, Arweave addresses a lot of that. If you post a social network on Arweave, there’s no single entity or governing body committee that can delete, censor your profile or take down your post.
It’s really like a fundamental concept for where social seems to be trending in the ecosystem; integration with Lens, Relation to mention a few. Protocols that can leverage permanent data storage. It’s not just by being censorship-resistant, it’s also immutable. Once something is posted you know it can’t be changed. That version of it is the version that was posted.
So, you need to be more careful before posting, people can’t juts change their opinions, especially when approaching deep fake videos. The time stamps and knowing original videos were on certain dates, would really be powerful in letting the user figure out what is true than having central authority do that for you. It’s a really fundamental concept.
Jessica (Founder of Relation Labs): I agree with Jonathan, I think the Blockchain based identities certificate, the information stored or hosted anywhere must meet the design goals. People need decentralization, privacy, security, proof-based, discoverability, interoperability and many other features.
We need to make sure they are tamper proof, transparent and verifiable without need for a central authority. That way, no one controls or dominates most of the information people or those who are underrepresented in other social networks or groups, can have a way to be discovered here. They may also gain the opportunity to be represented in the social network, while protecting their privacy.
I think this is really important so I think Arweave is the best solution that empowers most of the design goals of the identity and social. It helps to empower the storage within the decentralized society. We would love to see that more and more people are being aware of Arweave and building on Arweave. If you would like to collaborate with us while building the structure of the decentralized society.
We specialize in building the structure of organizations such as this; the DAO, the individual, or the governance bodies or entities. Those actually empower the whole structure of the whole society and we will be happy to see more people building from the other perspective of non-financial applications including social, so that we can have this built in web3 to solve the problems we don’t have specified solutions for.
Let’s move on to the final topic, the theme of our Twitter Space. Could you share what you think the opportunities and challenges for Arweave will be in 2023? Also, what are your project’s plans or activities for this year?
JonnieSparkles (Director of Ecosystem Operations at ar.io): We already touched on the user onboarding, and token acquisition experience, web3 people know what’s up. It’s getting people outside of the crypto sphere to try our products. I think that’s going to be a focus of the ecosystem this year. We have some new features coming out that we hope will make the experience easier for teams.
Another trend I think we’re seeing is standardization around specifications and things in the ecosystem. Till date everyone’s kind of running around doing the same thing, developing what they think is the best version of a thing. You can see that the ecosystem is trying to come around to like, okay, lets get organized now, lets get together and figure out the best way to standardize these things.
It happened with the atomic asset, ANS 108, and standardization is really important. It allows teams to create products that are interoperable. You don’t have to start from the ground up every time. Every time you want to create a product, there are already tools available in the library to refer to. It is just like in the US, the railroad standardized the size of the railroad tracks, unlocking the whole railroad network making them interoperable.
Once that process gets started it’s going to be pretty exciting to see how quickly the ecosystem develops. On our end, other than the Ardrive, we are working on the launch of the Rio network. Asides from Arweave 2.6, we feel like this is going to be one of the biggest contributions to the ecosystem.
Arweave has formalized itself as a protocol for storing data permanently. Pay once, store forever, lots of teams use it, nearly everyone uses it. It incentivizes miners to store their data, but there’s really nothing in the protocol incentivizing anybody to serve that data in a performant way. Like if you are reacting with an actor for example, there are gateways. Anybody who has interacted with Arweave has probably interacted with Arweave.net specifically, Arweave.net slash transaction ID to get to a file.
That is a gateway our team currently operates, it was founded by the Arweave team, it’s a single gateway. It is responsible for the entire Arweave, however, because it is centrally controlled, it’s a single point of failure. We are trying to create this network of decentralized gateway services.
So, it’s a network, it’s a token, there will be a token, the IO token. We are trying to attract gateway operators to come on board and operate their own gateways whether they want to create one as big as Arweave.net for the community or smaller ones focused on making their applications woek for whatever reason.
We hope this will bring Arweave to the next level of decentralization and robustness. We are really excited, and we are working on the whitepaper right now. Should be coming soon.
Romain (Branding Manager of everVision): Arweave is still in a sense young, not a lot of people know it yet, but there’s tons and tons to do on Arweave in terms of development. Just like Jonathan said, user acquisition or making it easier for users. Right now, I think that’s our main issue, just making it easier for users to onboard or use Arweave without wanting to smash their computer. I think that’s the main thing for Arweave.
In terms of opportunities, whoever is a developer looking to build on Arweave, there’s just so much to do. We can’t really get enough developers right now. I guess that’s pretty much what we are looking for, the best devs for this beautiful ecosystem to turn it into this beautiful tree so that it can prosper forever.
That’s my key idea.
Val (Global Marketing Head of 4EVERLAND): I think fellow guests have nailed it down for me. In terms of the possible challenges in 2023, Romain you mentioned making Arweave as easy as it could be for ordinary users. I think that with integration with some web2 platforms, there would be some type of opportunity for that.
For 4EVERLAND, we are planning to launch services for different groups of users. Right now, we have got some plans and studies right now, understanding the best way to realize these services. So we are on secret mode, working on that. Stay tuned.
Jessica (Founder of Relation Labs): From our point of view, we believe Arweave is really building one of the most important parts of web3. For the internet or the web, one of the most important things is storage. The others might be computing or something else but storage is really important.
How the data is going to be hosted and accessed as well as shared is really one of the important topics in web3. Arweave is one of the key players here and this is the main opportunity for Arweave and the ecosystem in terms of building. In the near future, we will definitely explore more integrations and tools leveraging permanent storage along with helping people build and utilize more applications or customized social related tool kits.
We would like to collaborate with more builders who are onboard Arweave. Lastly, I’m really looking forward to seeing you guys in real life.
Relation is building a Web3 social graph infrastructure that will host the next generation of billions of DApps, and empower souls and communities to co-build reputation and a better society on Web3 with SBTs and relationship data. Relation has launched Web3 social Dapp Relation ONE and the Semantic SBT standard which will create a chain native data layer that is easy to query, share and reuse with lower friction.