Frequently asked questions
Quick-fire answers to some common FAQs.
What is Arweave?
Arweave is a new decentralised protocol that makes permanent data possible for the first time.
The traditional web that you know is full of broken links, ever-evolving information, and monolithic data warehouses. Have you ever clicked on a broken link or been served a 404 page? Well, that’s evidence of the problem, and exactly what Arweave solves. We’re making a new, permanent web called the “permaweb.”
Arweave helps you to save important information and build websites that live on forever, all while keeping costs low and speeds high.
What is the permaweb?
The permaweb is a collection of knowledge and web applications that are built on top of the core Arweave protocol. Unlike the centralised web you know today, all content on the permaweb is immutable and designed to last forever. Once something is stored in the permaweb, it is accessible from an unchangeable URL that can never be modified. The URL is mathematically tied to the content itself.
Who is Arweave for?
Arweave is for everyone! One of the ways to use Arweave’s permanent storage is through the available Chrome, Firefox, and Brave extensions that are free and easy to use.
Arweave is perfectly suited for use in labs by researchers, in universities by academics, at publications by journalists, in companies by developers, and in courtrooms by legal professionals. It’s also used by people just like you all around the world who have information that’s worth preserving.
What can I store with Arweave?
Just about anything you want! Today, Arweave is mostly used to save documents, PDFs, webpages, Tweets, and even entire webapps.
How do I store content to the permaweb?
Saving a webpage, PDF, or app on the permaweb can be accomplished through a free Chrome, Firefox or Brave extension. Once installed, the extension prompts you to set up a wallet, which is subsequently funded with one free Arweave token to help you get started. Once set up, just click the “Archive this Page” and the protocol handles the rest.
How much does it cost to store something on the permaweb?
When you add a file to the Arweave, you are paying for a contribution to a decentralised, autonomous endowment which ensures that the storage of the data can be paid for indefinitely. Generally speaking, saving an average web page costs less than one cent.
How does the Arweave network actually work to store content on the permaweb forever?
Arweave is not a company. Arweave does not own the content on the permaweb, nor the network itself.
Instead, Arweave is a protocol that defines how computers can talk to each other in order to achieve a task -- that of storing data permanently. The protocol connects those with data that they need to store for long periods of time, with people that have spare hard drive space that they would like to rent out -- without any middlemen.
It’s a radical new idea. But it works! It’s been live for over a year, and there is a rapidly growing community of people running Arweave nodes, and getting paid to store content!
What is a storage endowment? Does “permanent” mean, like, forever forever?
A storage endowment is created every time you save something to the permaweb, and it’s used to ensure that your information is remembered forever.
Here’s how it works: a small percentage of the fee you pay upfront to store something goes to the miner (maintainers of the permaweb) who adds your file to the network. The rest of the fee goes into the network’s endowment which incentivizes other miners to remember your file forever. Over time, the endowment is paid out slowly to maintainers while they prove your file is safe and sound. During this process, however, the storage purchasing power of the fee that you have already paid increases -- typically at a rate of around 30.5% per year (as averaged over the last 50 years). The Arweave network uses extremely conservative estimates for this decline in storage costs (expecting an average rate of 0.5%) in order to ensure there are always sufficient rewards available to pay for your storage.
For a more technical explanation of how Arweave storage works and the mathematics behind it, please read our yellow paper.
How do I get more Arweave tokens?
Today, you can claim your first free Arweave token by setting up our Chrome, Firefox, and Brave extensions. In the near future, you will be able to buy and sell Arweave token freely on crypto exchanges around the world.
How do I take something down from the permaweb?
Saving something to the permaweb is serious: you need to be absolutely sure that you want something to be stored forever before you upload it.
Arweave is a public, open source network, owned by nobody and run by an international community of maintainers -- just like the internet. These maintainers (the ‘miners’ in the network) work together to adjudicate which content should or should not be part of the system. Anybody can run a node, and become part of this democratic system of content governance.
How do you handle potential issues arising from misuse of the permanent web?
Abuse of the permaweb is a serious issue, and is treated as such by those that work together to maintain it. Unlike the traditional web, the permaweb has tools for democratic moderation of its content built right into the core of the protocol -- putting control of the web back in the hands of the people.
In short it works like this: when someone submits a transaction to the Arweave network, all of the maintainers have the opportunity to vote on whether it should be accepted into the network or not. The maintainers of the network are able to filter and screen the transaction in whichever manner they choose, checking against known illicit material, scanning the data with computer vision software, et cetera. You can learn more about how content is moderated in the Arweave protocol in the yellow paper.
The core Arweave team is working with the Internet Watch Foundation to provide the maintainers of the Arweave network with the capabilities that they need to keep their systems and the permaweb safe from abusive material. Maintainers can also elect not to replicate any material from the network if they feel that it is inappropriate for storage. Finally, those that maintain gateways (the servers you will likely use to view the permaweb) can also apply content moderation policies to further safeguard their users. If you would like a piece of content found on an arweave.net gateway to be removed, please fill in this form and you will receive a response shortly.