Yes — I finally found something!
My own company!!!… actually no, a cryptocurrency business… hmm no, not that… actually more of a decentralized Community with autonomous governance… oh and its all using resilient data storage in a peer to peer network, backed by a decentralized endowment structure!!!
Okay let me take a step (or two) back.
Like many others living on our planet, 2020 has affected me in several profound ways. Having such an event like a pandemic shifts how we live, raise our families, view our health, work and many other things. All of these things have triggered me to reevaluate the world around me and the things I do. Technology has always been engrained in my life, starting with my first home built Pentium 2 PC, through the endless instant messages, P2P file shares, chatrooms, FPSs and MMOs, up through my entire IT career and current passions for Bitcoin and taking part in decentralized networks that drive the next generation of the Internet. The older I got, the more I realized (like many others) that Technology has gone in the direction opposite to what I grew up with… endless streams of junky data created by our phones… fake news and truth censorship everywhere… incredible corporate theft and mismanagement… sophisticated analytics tracking of everything we do and upload… and I wasn’t doing enough about it.
But what can I do within my tiny remote slice of the internet?
The past 13 years in IT have shown me so many apps, platforms, vendors and “as a Service’s”. The crypto world has shown me so many tokens, dapps, mining schemes and impossible claims of how blockchain will all but deliver your baby. But there was one particular network and protocol that I was drawn to as soon as I heard about and immediately used.
Arweave uniquely solves a problem that nearly everyone in the world has — storing data for a long time. It does it in such a way so you only pay a one time fee, for each file uploaded. This applies not just to docs, pics, videos and music but entire client-side web applications. This data isn’t stored in the hands of the giant companies, rather it’s stored by anonymous, decentralized network node operators, who only care about storing and serving it for as long as possible. Its cryptographically locked on a blockchain and immutable, so that it cannot be censored or changed by you, or anyone else. Its not for ALL your data — just the real important stuff you don’t need to change, and want to keep forever.
The real trick, is that thanks to the decaying rate of hard drive prices and increasing rate of hard drive space, Arweave may have found the right algorithm to balance and incentivize a permanent, decentralized storage platform.
Once I understood this, there was no turning back.
If the files uploaded to Arweave were encrypted first, then the owners also would have complete and total privacy of their data. No more middle men. The Web3 “new new internet” that people fantasize (and joke) about finally may have its storage back end.
And that’s what gave me the vision and unique opportunity to build an intuitive way for anyone in the world to use this powerful platform. So I founded the ARDRIVE, a private, secure, decentralized, pay-as-you-go, censorship-resistant and permanent data storages solution, for everyone.
I don’t just have an opportunity to get permanent storage in the hands of everyone, but to also reinvent how a typical centralized business is run. I’ve been lucky enough to participate and learn from such an experiment with the first Arweave Community DAO, in dealing with decentralized governance, management and app building.
A Decentralized Autonomous Organization or DAO is “An organization that runs autonomously, in a decentralized manner, that functions without the need for centralized parties to make decisions for the organization to grow, to be profitable, or *physically* exist.”
What better to pair such a decentralized vision and network with an actual community of people, instead of a small group of decision makers that drive a top down business structure and culture. Making key decisions like policies, strategic spending, fees and whatever other challenges thrown our way would be left up to the members of our community who care enough about the future of our app. Maybe, just maybe, decentralized governance owned by like-minded, passionate people across the globe could also be the next way to really bootstrap or “meme” such a bold idea.
So what did I find? The courage to be a founder and build something I think the world needs. Courage to join the ranks of many others who believe that blockchain technology can solve a few fundamental issues plaguing our society. Courage to take a chance on myself and strangers I have not even met yet to band around our mission in delivering the best, permanent file sync app you could get your hands on.
Its already been an exciting run up to now, and I can’t believe the support I’ve already seen from friends, colleagues, Arweavers and people in the crypto community. Crazy to think that this show has barely started, and how unifying our mission actually can be!! We have features to figure out, partnerships to create, communities to engage and lots to build. By the end of this year, we hope to have our first apps out and in the hands of anyone who want to take control of their data and pay once to store it permanently.
If you made it this far, then you would fit right in with our budding group! Laugh, cry, nerd out and learn with us by hanging out in our Discord. Follow our Twitter for announcements and hot takes on other decentralized storage apps and narratives. Take a look at our new site, https://ardrive.io and start thinking about what YOU would store if you could pay once, to save something forever.