Arweave vs. IPFS: What Is the Future of Decentralized Storage
There is a big battle going on in the decentralized storage world. IPFS (full form Inter Planetary File System), the cornerstone of decentralized storage, is now under serious competition with the new Arweave protocol.
The battle deals with the storage of big data or data chunks. In the case of NFTs, the metadata (or the JPEG) is generally stored in a decentralized storage facility. This storage of data generates an identifier string which is then minted by the NFT smart contract.
What Is Decentralized Storage?
Decentralized storage is about storing big file content in a manner that no one person can control it. Unlike popular big storage frameworks like AWS S3 bucket, decentralized storage allows miners to store your content for a fee.
IPFS came out in 2015 to solve the issue of centralized servers. Miners store your encrypted and hashed content so that no one can read your data if they do not have the key to unlock it. This key was the IPFS hash generated each time you submitted data for storing it. So the data privacy issue was solved.
You have to pay the storage miner a fee for them to continue storing the file for a given period of time.
While this approach is good, there are concerns over data not being stored permanently. And if you miss a payment, you can run the risk of the deletion of your data. This is why Areweave was invented.
Arweave wants to make your data live permanently on the internet instead of paying fees regularly to miners. In Arweave, you only have to pay a fee once to get your content stored permanently. Arweave achieves this through its unique tokenomics model and combines it with blockchain technology!
Working with IPFS
IPFS has been in the market for a long time and has proved its capability. Many thought there would not be a new platform for decentralized storage. Arweave took everyone by surprise.
IPFS works based on nodes. You upload your big file to a node that generates the IPFS hash. This data can be further pinned by one of the miners on the network. These miners take fees depending upon the size of the storage block and duration.
The network is also responsible for delivering the data. The network ensures that the data is stored completely, and miners are punished for not fulfilling their obligation.
Filecoin is the coin that is associated with the whole IPFS pinning network. All mining activity and transactions are done in Filecoin in the network. After a contract is set, miners receive coins after they comply with their obligations, like storing the data for x amount of time.
While this may seem complex, some startups streamline this process. One such project is Web3.storage which allows you to store data on this network for a basic fee every month. Web3.storage has a free plan for up to 5 GB.
Is Arweave the Future of Decentralized Storage
Arweave launched in 2017 and has proved that its network can handle data at the current scale. Arweave has been accepted by many of the top dApps as the industry standard. Arweave has its own blockchain to which this file storage system is attached. The Arweave blockchain also has the ability to run smart contracts so that you can build dApps with their ecosystem.
Arweave network believes in the concept of the perma-web, and its whole network is based on this concept. Perma-web, in principle, wants any data uploaded to the internet to be archived for the foreseeable future. This approach appeals to the decentralized world, as it relies on peer-to-peer connections. Guarantee of the perma-web helps Dapps and its users to have a strong sense of security and trust in their product.
You only have to pay once to store your content on perma-web. The fee is calculated by this equation –
Image by arweave.org on the price of storage Select an Image
The fee formula takes care of AR price fluctuation and thus has it stabilized to fiat currency. Inflation and deflation in the price of AR will not affect the storage price by a margin.
Arweave also has chosen a dynamic approach to handle bad players on their network. Instead of hard-coding bad karma rules to the blockchain level, Arweave uses a dynamic karma pooling system that can evolve to beat any new threats to the network that might appear.
You can also pin your IPFS data using the Arwaeve network, thus having the best of both worlds. This may come in handy if your app is already using IPFS and you want to switch.
Are You Secure by Using These Services?
Well, your data may be permanently stored on the blockchain, but that does not entail the security of your data. If this data is open to the public, it can be easily stolen, plagiarized, and modified against the author’s will.
To establish the property of data, there is a requirement to store the data on a public blockchain using NFTs. This way, you are guaranteed to own this data, which can help you solve your data’s security issue.
Apps like dArticle.io will help you get your data on the decentralized storage and then tie your ownership to it by minting an NFT.
New technologies are popping up in the decentralized world currently. Decentralized storage is a very important keystone for Dapps to function. To summarize-
- IPFS is a decentralized storing system that works on nodes to secure your data
- Filecoin is a decentralized network of miners who pin your data for a fee for a given duration.
- Arweave is a new solution to decentralized storage that allows you to store data permanently with a single upfront fee.
- You can pin your IPFS data with the Arweave network for data permanency.