Arweave 2.0 is live: The road to permanent on-chain data storage of unlimited size

After over a year of dedicated planning, coding, and testing, Arweave network 2.0 is officially live! In this blog post we describe some of the key changes and what the next steps are for the protocol’s future.

Arweave 2.0 represents a significant milestone for the Arweave protocol, dramatically increasing the practical block size of the network today, and paving the way for on-chain data storage of virtually unlimited size in the future in Arweave 2.1, without a further hard fork.

Primarily, Arweave 2.0 introduces the innovative Fast Write mechanism, removing limits for how quickly data can be written to the Arweave network. In essence, with Fast Write, data written to the network is no longer stored within the transaction itself, rather a Merkle root of what makes up the data is written. The decoupling of transactions and data simultaneously means data can be written to the network much more quickly, and the communication of transactions throughout the network is much more efficient. This is because rather than every node having to see every byte of data, only nodes that want to store the data must download it. With the inclusion of the data root, we seamlessly maintain the cryptographic integrity of the data stored, while effectively lifting the limit on network write speed.

Simultaneously, the core Arweave team is releasing the specification and implementations for our ‘layer two’ scalability solution — bundled transactions. When coupled with Arweave 2.0’s new Succinct Proof of Access scheme, bundled transactions offer the ability to store enormous quantities of individual Arweave data entries inside a single ‘layer one’ transaction on the network — moving scalability limits to hardware processing speeds, rather than network consensus times. Together, these two technologies allow Arweave to scale far beyond the infrastructure requirements for even the largest traditional web 2.0 apps. Combined, these improvements also enable “delegated transactions”, allowing third-party applications to pay transaction fees on behalf of their users, greatly improving usability. For example, in practice this means that third party applications can allow their users to pay for Arweave transactions in fiat or other currencies on their platform, while the network itself continues to use its native token, AR. The maximum transaction size (at a protocol, not implementation level) with 2.0 will be 2²⁵⁶ bytes — with each base layer transaction potentially containing a bundle of ~2.7x10⁷³ transactions. Each block will be able to contain at least 1,000 of these ‘base layer’ bundle transactions.

The upgrade also provides some key benefits to miners of Arweave, including reducing the mining software’s memory footprint by 1GB, reducing the costs of mining bookkeeping by removing wallet list storage, and improved data synchronisation speeds. These improvements offer a more efficient and streamlined mining experience for all. If you’re interested in becoming an Arweave miner, check out our mining guide here.

The next major step for the Arweave protocol will be Arweave 2.1, to be released later this year, which will harness the power of Arweave 2.0’s much improved block and transaction formats to enable a total lift of all data size limits, while keeping network speed and reliability high.

The core team would like to offer thanks to the whole community for their support on our journey to Arweave 2.0 and beyond!

If you would like to keep up to date with all the latest developments for the Arweave protocol and the community, consider subscribing to our mailing list here for newsletters, or over on Twitter.

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A novel data storage blockchain protocol enabling a permanent serverless web and creating truly permanent data storage for the first time.

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