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Understanding The Decentralized Storage

Introduction

There are a lot of resources available for developers, starting out with a web3 tech stack, each of which is fundamental to contributing to the web3 community.
For beginners in the technology, it can be sometimes overwhelming, to find a navigation route to begin working with web3 technologies.
On completing this article you'll be able to navigate you're web3 journey, understanding the different tools and technologies you'll need to get started with your web3 stack.

The Blockchain

The blockchain is a revolutionary technology that stands at the center of all technology and community in the web3 world. Therefore a good comprehension of what the blockchain is is only a head dive into the world of web3.
So here's a quick reminder of what the blockchain is.

The Blockchain

A blockchain is a data structure that of chains, and blocks of data mined in a chronological order creating an immutable, tamper-proof logic of the system.
In simple, you can think of the blockchain as a series of evaluated data stored in a data pool like the cloud, in such a cryptic way that it is almost impossible to tamper with.

Blockchain Network Layers

One of the basics of the blockchain is in the network layer. It is quite important to know exactly what these networks are and how they hold up a compatible platform for building in the blockchain. There are two essential network layers, accessible to web3 developers to build on the blockchain.

  1. The EVM blockchain
  2. Non-EVM Compatible blockchain

The Ethereum Virtual Machine Blockchain (EVM)

The Ethereum virtual machine (EVM) is an Ethereum-based network, that provides a pool of storage for executing smart contracts. They are essential to developers because they provide the framework for executing smart contracts in the blockchain.
This network layer provides the fundamental tool that makes inspires the global web3 space.
In simple terms, the EVM is a block of storage that hold important data like smart contract transaction details balances, and accounts.
Some of these EVM platforms are Polygon, Avalanche, Ethereum, etc.

Non-EVM Compatible Blockchain

On the other layer of the blockchain, The Non-EVM network is rather a vast and popular resource of innovatively designed structures. Applications like Dapp Decentralized Applications, DAOs Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, etc. are not compatible with the Ethereum framework, and thereby choose to be less constrained by the EVM, but rather motored by the design of high data and transaction scalability, which provides advantages or niche products and specific applications
Some of these Non-EVM platforms are Solana, Flow, Near, Terra, etc.

In the early web3 space, the use of a data access layer for developers required running a self-hosted, self-maintained node that would be readable and writeable in the blockchain. They were quite expensive and time-consuming in the process this system was prone to bugs, regressions, disk issues, CPU spikes, etc. from nodes.

Interacting With The Blockchain Data Access Layer

The introduction to Alchemy AIP (Application Programming Interface), brought about the solution to data wrangling.
Alchemy provides APIs that allow developers to interact with blockchains without having to deal with node management.
Alchemy’s API offers multichain support across Ethereum, Polygon, Arbritrum, Optimism, and Flow within a single familiar API framework.

The Decentralized Storage

Before the surfacing of Web3, application platforms were operated on a centralized server. In Web3, where we have a decentralized internet ecosystem built on top of blockchain technology, the distribution of storage model for decentralization applications is rather enlightening.

Initially, the idea of decentralization posed an easy way to solve the storage of data, by simply storing everything from databases to frontend media components directly within the blockchain network layer.

Unfortunately, this methodology does not hold up in practice. Due to limitations in blockchain scalability within the current network layer, it is not possible to store large amounts of data on-chain.

Alternatively, the network layer stores information in the form of transactions as a blockchain ledger. However, storing massive data like a 4GB image still isn't possible. With the rise of the famous NFTs and the complex visual image assets involved in the PNGs, GIFs even animations, There had to be a means of decentralizing storage to be able to handle large media files.

The Decentralized Storage Solution

The Interplanetary File System or IPFS is one of the most popular solutions used for NFT asset storage, They are a distributed network made up of nodes where individual people store and share files, websites, applications, and data. With the rise of NFTs, IPFS usage serves an important storage medium for NFT media assets so that there is no fear of the visual asset disappearing from a centralized source.

Other popular decentralized storage solution like Arweave aims to provides permanent data storage, and space in exchange for tokens. The protocol ensures that the data stored remains intact and in consensus across all nodes. Arweave builds upon IPFS and offers tokenomic-based rewards for decentralized storage which provides a framework for guaranteed permanence of storage.

Conclusion.

Congratulations on taking another big step in learning about the cutting-edge revolutionary web3 space.

Now understand the basics of the blockchain and how you can come about a solution to decentralized Storage.

Follow the link to access Solidity Basics, and other free resources to learn Ethereum, Blockchain, Fullstack Dapp & smart contracts to get you started in understanding web3.

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