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What is Arweave (AR)?

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Luis Clark
Luis is a personal finance expert who has been passionate and writing about crypto for more than five years.
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    5. What is Arweave (AR)?
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      What is Arweave (AR)?

      Arweave is a decentralized storage network that enables users to store data permanently by connecting individuals or organizations in need of extra computer storage to people who have additional available computer disk space. The Arweave protocol is built to offer cost-effective, scalable, and permanent data storage. Arweave is designed on a blockchain data structure called blockweave.

      AR is the native currency of the Arweave network. Users that seek permanent data storage on the platform must purchase AR to buy distributed data storage. Also, computers that offer long-term data storage services on the network must support AR tokens as their payment method.

      Who is the Founder?

      Arweave was founded by Sam Williams in 2017, in London, the United Kingdom. Sam Williams is also the technical advisor at Minespider. The Arweave team is backed by investors such as Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Unanimous Capital.

      How does Arweave (AR) Work?

      Arweave’s blockchain is called blockweave, which is made up of a combination of blocks. Each of these blocks holds the data that makes all applications and websites on the perma-web accessible.

      In a conventional blockchain, each block is connected to the previous and subsequent blocks in its chain alone. However, with the Arweave data storage blockchain protocol, blocks are linked to 2 previous blocks and the following block. The 2 previous blocks include a preceding block and another block from Arweave’s blockweave history called its “recall block”.

      This recall block is crucial to the working of Arweave’s consensus mechanism called Proof of Access (PoA).

      The Proof of Access Arweave protocol requires that the blockweave is maintained by miners who offer disk space and replicate the data stored permanently in exchange for AR tokens. To mine or verify new blocks, miners need to provide cryptographic identification that they are allowed to access the network’s recall block – (PoA).

      Proof of Access is built to incentivize long-term data storage as miners need to access old blocks from the network’s history to successfully mine new blocks and receive AR tokens.

      how does arweave work

      Key Features of Arweave (AR)

      Content Moderation

      Content moderation refers to the process that allows users running the mining software on the Arweave network to choose the type of data they wish to store. This means that computers on the network can choose what type of content to host.

      In most cases, the content may not be as important as the size of the data. Sometimes the user can choose to store only audio files or images. When new content is uploaded to the network, the Arweave protocol will ask whether the computer wishes to accept it. If the user declines, it won’t be downloaded to the computer for permanent storage. To encourage users to accept newly uploaded files, users are incentivized. Incentives are more common for big files. The bigger the file, the more you store and the more reward you get.


      This is a smart contract protocol that uses the AR token to build smart contract applications with JavaScript. SmartWeave doesn’t run on the blockchain, rather it runs on each user’s computer.

      SmartWeave’s smart contracts are verified by the users. This is unlike how contracts are verified by the Ethereum blockchain. With Ethereum, the entire network verifies the transaction.

      SmartWeave can be run from the blockchain without a server. The contracts can be the entire backend for an application.

      SmartWeave can also run faster without needing any safety check or harness. This is because if anyone uses malicious code, the entire blockchain will not be affected.

      Interacting with SmartWeave contracts is cost-effective as it costs less than 1 cent. It also does not need much computing power.

      Proof Of Access Consensus

      Unlike the Proof of Work consensus used by other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Arweave uses Succinct Proofs of Random Access to check the accuracy of transactions.

      Instead of asking the computers to compete to solve a mathematical puzzle, the Arweave network asks each node in the network to confirm that a new block of transactions contains a randomly selected block from earlier. If there’s a randomly selected block then the new transaction can be added to the Arweave network. The nodes that add a new block are rewarded with AR tokens.

      The Proof of Access consensus is used to ensure that old transactions have not been tampered with and that new transactions are accurate.

      Weaknesses of Arweave (AR)

      Although Arweave’s technology is great and increasingly important, the network is still relatively young and encounters the obstacle of expanding its presence in the worldwide market.

      If Arweave is unable to scale in the global market, the entire network will be affected and the price of the AR token will nosedive. Since the token is the native currency of the platform its success is primarily dependent on the growth of the permanent data storage solution.

      Also, the innovative technologies of the network make it susceptible to competitors. If another network comes up with better and more feasible solutions before Arweave makes a breakthrough in the global market, the new player may cause the Arweave network to take a downturn.

      How is Arweave (AR) Created?

      Arweave (AR) tokens are created through mining.

      Here’s how it works. For users to secure data in the blockweave they must pay fees in AR tokens. These fees are received by Arweave miners as an incentive to mine new blocks, which demands that they store data. That said, all transaction fees do not go to miners at once, they are allocated to the storage endowment, which will eventually be distributed to miners over time with accrued interest.

      Mining Arweave

      There are 3 steps to start mining Arweave. The first step is to go to Arweave’s releases page and download the “.tar .gz” archive for your operating system. Then you’d need to extract the contents of the archive to a dedicated directory. The weave data by default will be stored in this directory.

      The second step is setting your file descriptors limit. The number of file descriptors available affects the rate your node can process data. Your default limit would usually be low so it’s recommended that you increase it. To check your current limit you just have to execute “ulimit -n”.

      The last step is running the miner. To do so, you need to use the following command from Arweave’s directory:

      • ./bin/start mine mining_addr YOUR-MINING-ADDRESS peer peer peer peer peer

      You should replace YOUR-MINING-ADDRESS with the address of the wallet you intend to credit after finding your block.

      Which Blockchain does Arweave (AR) Use?

      Arweave uses the blockweave which is a derivative of the blockchain. The blockweave underpins the permaweb (a collection of websites, decentralized applications, and websites that create a permanent decentralized information network, that you can access through regular internet browsers.

      How To Use Arweave (AR)?

      The importance of AR tokens in the Arweave network cannot be overemphasized. All transaction fees in the Arweave ecosystem are paid for in AR.

      Interacting with Dapps built on the Arweave network, as well as, truly permanent data storage and retrieving of data on the network are all paid for in Arweave (AR).

      This means that users who store data on the Arweave blockchain pay for this service with the AR token. And the computers on the network that offer data storage services receive incentives in AR tokens only.

      How to Buy Arweave (AR)?

      Arweave (AR) is a bit hard to obtain as it is only available to be traded on a few cryptocurrency exchanges. However, the token can alternatively be traded on certain exchanges supporting derivative trading as a USDT perpetual contract.

      The easiest way to buy Arweave (AR) is to find exchanges that support the AR token by checking CoinMarketCap. CoinMarketCap provides both a comprehensive list of exchanges where you can buy Arweave, as well as, a list of market pairs.

      Below is a step-by-step guide on how to buy Arweave on Coinmarketcap.

      Go to CoinMarketCap.com, click on the cryptocurrencies tab on the menu, and search for Arweave.

      Next, tap on the “Market” icon by the price chart. This will show you a list of where to purchase Arweave and the currencies you can use to obtain it.

      how to buy arweave

      Select your preferred exchange – Binance, KuCoin, Gate.io, and Huobi Global are all trustworthy exchanges in our opinion.

      If you don’t already have an account with the exchange, you will have to create one to make a purchase.

      Once you have created your account, you can proceed to buy Arweave.

      The process of buying Arweave on most platforms is straightforward especially if you are using a fiat currency like the US dollar.

      Purchasing Arweave with a different cryptocurrency can be more challenging as it requires a two-step process. Firstly, you’ll need to obtain the initial currency, and then utilize it to acquire Arweave.

      How to Store Arweave?

      The best way to store Arweave is on the Arweave Web wallet. This is Arweave’s native wallet. The Arweave web wallet lets users connect their accounts securely to decentralized applications and deploy permanent data from the browser.

      The wallet is self-custodial and enables users to create, import, and export wallets by key file or passphrase. Users can also upload permanent data and view transactions in the Arweave web wallet.

      The Arweave web wallet users can also use their Arweave accounts with any web application that supports the connector. Plus, plans are currently ongoing to make the web wallet available in the Ledger app store. This will make the wallet compatible with Ledger Hardware wallet devices.

      The Arweave web wallet is a browser extension on Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

      Arweave Cold Wallet

      You can also store AR tokens on the Arweave cold wallet. The cold wallet is a secure way of storing your tokens. Your keys are stored are not exposed to an internet computer which is easy to hack.

      The Arweave cold wallet is ideal for storing large volumes of Arweave tokens that you don’t intend to use for a long period.

      The process of creating an Arweave cold wallet is quite simple. The instructions can be found on the Arweave website’s doc page.

      Asides from the Arweave native wallet, the AR token can also be stored on other types of software and hardware wallet.

      Note that you cannot send AR tokens to MyEther wallet, another third-party wallet, or an ETH address. These are incompatible with the token.

      Best Place to Stake Arweave (AR)

      Arweave uses a Proof of Access consensus mechanism so you cannot stake the token.

      What You Need to Know About the Future of Arweave (AR)?

      AR is the native currency of the Arweave platform, which enables users to store data permanently in a decentralized manner. This means that the rise of the AR token ultimately depends on the widespread adoption of the Arweave platform.

      Conclusion: Should You Put Your Money in Arweave (AR)?

      AR has the potential to rise in the coming years, with some analysts predicting that the coin will reach a maximum price of $57 in 2023. However, you should only put money into AR if you understand the Arweave project and have done enough research to believe it will be widely adopted.

      Risk in Investing in Arweave (AR)

      Investing in AR as with any crypto is high risk. This is because cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile. So ensure you do enough research before investing and only invest money you can afford to lose.

      Our extensive analysis of the different Cryptocurrencies doesn’t stop here. You can also check out our “What is Helium?” guide to know more about another huge project.


      Most frequent questions and answers

      What makes Arweave different in comparison to its competitors is that its primary objective is to store data via unique rewards built around the AR cryptocurrency. Plus, considering how fragile data storage is in cloud computing, Arweave stands out by offering safe data hosting.

      Arweave charges storage fees in AR and these storage fees are deposited into a sustainable endowment. This endowment grows by earning interest.

      No Arweave is on its native blockchain-like data structure called blockweave.

      No, Arweave uses a custom consensus mechanism called Proof of Access.

      AR can be purchased on crypto exchanges like Houbi Global, KuCoin, and Binance.

      The stored files are encrypted and only data that you approve is backed up which protects you from ransomware.

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      Skrumble.com provides all its content for informational purposes only, and this should not be taken as financial advice to buy, trade, or sell any investment instruments or products, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies, or use any specific exchange. Please do not use this website as investment advice, financial advice, or legal advice, and each individual’s needs may vary from that of the author. Investing in financial instruments, including cryptocurrencies, carries a high risk and is not suitable for all investors. It is possible to lose the entire initial investment, so do not invest what you cannot afford to lose. We strongly advise conducting your own research before making any investment decisions. This post includes affiliate links with our partners who may compensate us.

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