Let's talk about the Arweave Blockchain.

What is Arweave Blockchain?

Arweave is a Decentralized Storage Network (DSN) that connects people who have extra available computer disk space with those who need more computer storage. Designed to provide scalable, cost-effective, and permanent data storage, Arweave is built on a blockchain-like data structure called the blockweave.

The blockweave underpins what’s called the permaweb — a collection of data, websites, and decentralized applications (dApps) that form a permanent, decentralized information network that’s accessible through regular internet browsers, and which motivates users to participate. Key to Arweave’s function is its native Arweave token (AR), which is used to incentivize miners to maintain copies of data and pay for transaction fees.

What is Arweave Token?

The native token used to make transactions of the Arweave network is the AR Token. When Arweave’s genesis block was mined 55 million AR tokens were created, and an additional 11 million tokens will be introduced into circulation as mining rewards. To store data in the blockweave, you must pay fees in AR tokens.

Arweave miners receive these tokens in exchange for mining new blocks, which obligates them to store data. However, transaction fees do not go entirely to miners. The majority of the transaction fee is allocated to a storage “endowment,” which is distributed to miners over time. Effectively, the user pays an upfront fee that accrues interest and is later distributed to the miners.

What is mining?

Mining is the process of adding new transactions to blockweave by validating them against the historical record of blocks. When an app makes a transaction (like stores data on Arweave) these transactions are in a pending state before being mined into the next block. Sending data is not immediate – transactions sit in the memory pool with other pending transactions and the miner mines them into a block.

In the context of Arweave: People with mining software (miners) group transactions into blocks and commit them to blockweave if they can prove access to other data.

What are miners?

Miners are the machines running the Arweave mining software. This software mines blocks automatically, but miners can make a blacklist of certain file types they don’t want to add.

For example, a miner could choose to not support video uploads but only store pictures and audio files. On Arweave miners are incentivised to store more rare data by rewarding its storing more highly. This makes all data be more permanent and replicated by more miners. Miners are also rewarded higher the bigger the data stored is, for example a video will reward them better than a photo.

In the context of Arweave: Miners are the machines (and people!) responsible for adding and validating new data transactions to the blockweave.

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