ArDrive wants to change the access rails that feed files into Arweave’s blockchain.
The company told CoinDesk that it will spend its $17.2 million funding round on making a decentralized version of arweave.net, which is a gateway for uploading files to Arweave’s on-chain hard drive, the permaweb.
Founder Phil Mataras said gateways are like the front door to the permaweb. That’s where all the apps connect to, so they can push data up, search for it, or send money from your wallet to another.
Mataras said that almost all of the data on Arweave has come in through the core team’s old gateway service. In the planned AR.IO, anyone who knows how and has about one MacBook Pro’s worth of spare computing power could be able to host their own gateway.
It is one of a few blockchain-based services that are trying to make decentralized file storage more popular. Arweave is one of them. With Arweave, Filecoin and Akash, all of which offer free, uncensored file storage, they are getting bigger quickly. Cloud giants like AWS are huge, but they are small compared to them.
Sam Williams, Arweave co-founder that there are more than 1,000 Arweave servers, 150,000 users, and 157 million files. Most of the time, the network is adding about 1.5 million files a day.
Phil Mataras mentioned that more interfaces need to be made. It’s better if we can gather data as often as possible so it lasts. It also requires a decentralized network with several incentives to ensure that data is not only entered but also removed.
Major Role for AR.IO Token
People who get AR.IO tokens will get a lot of money in return. It will be made through a SmartWeave smart contract, like ArDrive’s own token, but without the profit-sharing features. Phil Mataras said that it will have some control over a DAO that comes out in the future.
Even so, the token will be used as a kind of gateway money. Operators will put AR.IO tokens up against the balance of their users to show that they are willing to work with the network, which is why they will do this. In the same way that other staking-based consensus mechanisms work, naughty people risk having their collateral cut up.
People who run gateways will be able to set their own rules, charge their own fees, and tailor their services to users, the people who want to store their files in a long-term, decentralized way. In this case, Mataras said that they’re ready for businesses that want to run a lot of big gateway hardware to do that, too.
It’s still a work in progress. Only a few weeks ago, the code for the central gateway was made public. This year, the AR.IO testnet will be up and running. It could start up by 2023 if everything goes well.
He said that Arweave’s core team is already interested in it. They helped lead ArDrive’s $17.2 million funding round with Blockchain Capital and Sino Global, as well. Post-money, it was worth $63 million.
In Mataras’ words, ArDrive wants to make long-term storage available to everyone. We need this new infrastructure to do that, so we need to build it.
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