While blockchains provide a medium for decentralized state management, smart contract storage/execution, and transaction value, higher level applications require additional components. For frontend content like images, videos, and GIFs, blockchain storage is prohibitively expensive and inefficient. Decentralized storage fills in this gap.
One solution is the Interplanetary File System, or IPFS, 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 has surged and often serves as the underlying storage medium for NFT media assets.
Another popular decentralized storage solution is Arweave which aims to incentive individuals to store data permanently. With the Arweave network, miners provide storage space in exchange for tokens and the protocol itself ensures that the data stored remains correct and in-consensus across all nodes.
A Developer's Guide to the Web3 Stack
At Alchemy, we define Web3 as a decentralized internet ecosystem built on blockchain technology. As developers and builders first and foremost, we understand that decentralization often evokes the notion of a fragmented tech stack. And while it is true that Web3 is still nascent and rapidly evolving, we have found that its underpinning building blocks have begun taking shape.