It is time to decentralise app stores

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Last Thursday, Google removed the Arweave web extension from the Chrome extension store. They did not provide any warning, or any reasoning. Thousands of Arweave community members use the web extension to archive pages from the centralised web to the permanent, decentralised web.

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We have reached out to Google in every way that we can — even through the privileged connections we are so fortunate to have through Techstars — and we still have not received a reason for the extension’s removal from the app store.

Fortunately, the Arweave ecosystem is decentralised: You can still send, receive, and archive using the Arweave Deploy tool, Upvest web wallet, Arweave node software, and even weavemail.app — the Arweave’s decentralised mail service.

But this is not acceptable.

If we ourselves truly do own our laptops, phones, and browsers, who should decide what apps we install on them?

We should.

It’s time to hack back

App Store integrity has been a major issue for years. The Arweave community is certainly not the first that this issue has affected, and no doubt we won’t be the last.

However, we now we have the tools to take control back for ourselves: building decentralised, immutable app stores without any single authority being able to choose how we use our devices.

We like to put our money where our mouth is, so today we are working with GitCoin to launch a prize of $5,000 for the individual or team to build the best and most user friendly decentralised app store infrastructure on the permaweb for: Chromium, Firefox, or Android.

Additionally we’ll be offering our support in helping the winners kickstart their marketing and PR operations by offering hackers $5,000 worth of incentives to on-board their apps to the decentralised app store.

Participate in the app store creation bounty, join our brand-new upcoming hackathon in collaboration with GitCoin, and join the developer community in building the permaweb over on Discord!

All the best,
-arweave-sam

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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