Today we’re happy to announce the official launch of the permaweb: an immutable, decentralised web that puts the power back in the hands of the masses. The permaweb is the only one of its kind, offering incentivisation and information permanence across a globally distributed network. It’s the web you can own and run.
Think back to the humble beginnings of web 1.0, where information sharing was revolutionised. The web was intended to be open, without a central controlling node, with no single points of failure. Today, monolithic power structures (such as Amazon, Google, Verizon, etc.) have dominated the infrastructure of the web, turning open networks into a place where information and freedom of speech are vulnerable to censorship and loss.
On the permaweb, your voice lives forever. Only when you imagine how the web began and how it has grown to transform our lives, can you fully comprehend the possibilities of the permaweb.
To put it simply: for users the permaweb looks just like the traditional web, except everything published on the permaweb is available forever — no more 404s! For content creators, the permaweb offers low-cost, zero maintenance, permanent hosting of their web apps and web pages. Now, Arweave’s permaweb enables you to store information and build websites that live forever on a smart blockchain, all while keeping costs low and speeds high.
The permaweb is a layer built on top of the Arweave’s global permanent hard drive. For the nerds (like us!) among you, this is similar to how HTTP is the protocol that exposes the web, which itself is built on top of TCP/IP. This may sound confusing, but don’t worry — you don’t need to know how it works in order to benefit from it, just like the traditional web!
One of the most groundbreaking aspects of the permaweb is that it is run by people like you! In order for data to remain freely accessible to everyone, somebody, somewhere must have an incentive to store and serve it. In the case of the current web, entities (like Google and Facebook) are incentivised to store, perform queries on, and return your data, because they can use your personal information to generate revenue. However, miners in the Arweave network are incentivised to serve the permaweb by earning tokens for putting their unused storage space to work. This system provides an incentive to store your data without compromising your privacy, solving one of the key issues facing the current web.
A web without servers?!
The traditional web is backed by millions of under-utilised, overpriced servers. These machines sit in warehouses waiting for requests to provide you with web pages, often owned by huge companies like Google and Amazon. This means that website creators are often paying for capacity they never use — this is not the case with the permaweb. The permaweb’s serverless structure is much more efficient, saving you time and money. Just like Uber or AirBnB lets you make money from your unused car or home, Arweave helps you make money from your spare hard drive space by connecting you with people that need web hosting.
The emergence of the traditional web enabled billions of people to create and disseminate information freely around the world. However, what started as a grand experiment in the free-flow of information has become increasingly controlled, monitored, and modified by governments and corporations alike who abuse their power to censor information. This is hugely alarming because the web has become so central to our way of life — it has become an integrated part of our thinking and decision making.
Take for example, the Kerch Strait incident that happened in late November. When the incident occured, initial statements from both Ukrainian and Russian official sources were published online. Thanks to the Arweave community, the statements were immediately archived on the permaweb just moments after publication. Recently, we discovered that Sputnik International silently removed one of these articles from their website, but no matter how much Sputnik attempts to censor and deny this information, it will always be available via the Arweave’s permaweb. Permanence matters.
How do I get involved?
Since 2018, you have been able to transfer existing web pages onto the permaweb. Today, we’re proud to launch a brand new deployment tool that allows developers to publish apps and sites on the permaweb directly! Permaweb hosting is quick and simple: once you’ve uploaded your application using our brand new deployment tool, your site or app will be hosted instantly and permanently.
Become a permaweb pioneer now and help build the next web — let’s keep information control firmly in hands of the many. Claim your free tokens to deploy your application here!
Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be sharing lots of innovative projects and companies who are already using the permaweb for their own infrastructure. Stay tuned to find out more!