What is AR.IO?

As we have seen from our Why AR.IO? article, AR.IO has created a network that has developed a decentralized and incentivized infrastructure that will allow gateway operators to interact with permanent data on Arweave.

These new decentralized gateways will not only provide an incentive for the data to be served, but will also level up network performance so modern apps have the fast downloading, data indexing, and robust querying they need to be viable.

Practically speaking it is exciting to see what is being produced from this new network.

It will be fascinating to watch what others do with this network because we have already seen how the network has transformed in what has become in both what is produced and who it helps.

So, what is

🐘 a community.

🐘 a decentralized network of gateway nodes.

🐘 a protocol to facilitate indexing, sharing, and serving of permaweb data.

🐘 a currency to align network incentives and promote ecosystem health, the IO Token.

The AR.IO network has benefits for all types of users of the Arweave protocol including Gateway Operators, Developers, Creators, and IO Token holders.

Are you a Gateway Operator?

The Arweave protocol doesn’t exist on its own.

The various nodes on the Network, known as Gateways, are the interface between users and the Arweave network. Each Gateway acts like a “Permaweb Service Provider” and supports multiple, value-added, low-trust services for users and applications that need to read and write data on Arweave. Gateway services are modular, extendable, and configurable to include: was successfully transferred over to the custody of Network in early 2022. As this occurred, new opportunities emerged. The first one was the need for a new protocol for open-source gateways to the permaweb. This protocol has been developed and gateways using the new Network protocol are in private beta testing.

  • seeding layer one transactions to the greater Arweave network

  • caching and serving chain and transaction data

  • resolving friendly names to transaction data with the Arweave Name System

  • indexing and querying layer one and two transactions

  • proxy for Arweave nodes serving the Arweave HTTP API

Gateway operators keep the front doors to the permaweb open by running reliable and performant systems for their own use cases, their community or even the whole Permaweb.

Are you a Developer?

A common misconcpetion of Arweave is that is just for storage. Arweave is also a great place to build dapps and already has a robust ecosystem with numerous projects.

Arweave is easier, cheaper and more fun to build on than most developers ever imagined.

Within the Arweave community there are many great development tools to help build your app such as arweave.js, warp contracts, and many other community tools and protocols. One of the best places to start is with the Arweave Cookbook.

A premier tool for building on Arweave is the Arweave File System (ArFS). ArFS enhances the Arweave protocol by adding the ability to create data hierarchy (folders), private encryption, file versioning, controlled sharing and more. It lets you harness the power of the permaweb for the projects you have in mind.

As Arweave’s founder Sam Williams says:

ArFS really is awesome! Arweave is a hard drive at heart — focused purely on permanent data replication. ArFS turns that hard drive into a filesystem, complete with directories, file names, updates etc. Pretty sure ArFS will end up in the stack of most Arweave apps. — Sam Williams, Founder of Arweave

Get started. We’re developers building for developers. And we’re available to help you get launched. To see how ArFS can help you get started on your first Arweave dapp, head over to our GitHub to browse through docs, connect with us on Discord to ask the team and community questions, or visit our YouTube channel for coding demos.

Are you a Creator?

One of the first groups to explore web3 technology were artists and creatives. Digital artists, electronic musicians and video game creators were intrigued by the blockchain and what they could build with it.

They quickly learned that provenance and permanence matters to maintain the value of their art. This led many to Arweave and the importance of permanent data. It also opened new possibilities as permanent data pushed their work in new directions.

AR.IO has tools to help artists and entrepreneurs take advantage of the permaweb. For example, the Arweave Name System (ArNS) enables creators to assign a friendly name to permaweb data. So instead of being stuck with a random, 90-character URL, your art or new business website could launch with a more memorable name.

Art explores the unexplored. We are excited to see what sparks your imagination as you tap into the power of permanent data.

Join In!

The best way to learn more about AR.IO and the permaweb is with AR.IO Experience: Our incentivized program that rewards people who engage with the ecosystem. 

Engage in quests to gain Experience Points (EXP) - onchain tokens that represent potential eligibility for the AR.IO airdrop.

In other words, EXP lets you level up for the IO token mainnet airdrop! 

Go to the AR.IO EXPerience