Solana, a public blockchain protocol known for its proof-of-history consensus mechanism, and Arweave, a decentralized data storage protocol that permanently stores censorship-resistant data, have partnered on a bridging solution called “SOLAR Bridge.”
Solana will be the first blockchain network to deploy a bridge to Arweave.
The partnership seems to be a win-win. It brings traffic and use cases to Arweave. It also takes the need to design an in-house data storage solution off Solana’s shoulders.
“We were going to build our own storage layer,” Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana, told Decrypt, “but when we interacted with the Arweave team, we realized that their protocol has some very nice properties, such as censorship-resistance, perpetuity, and decentralization.”
Think of the SOLAR Bridge as a way for Solana’s node validators to achieve a state of “store and forget.” That is, once a transaction is validated, it will be stored on Arweave permanently so that such a transaction does not need to be verified again.
Unlike in Web 2.0, where monthly recurring credit transactions require a verification every month, a Solana-empowered transaction is verified once and for all.
Data storage is a key issue for Solana. Compared with Bitcoin and Ethereum, Solana has a higher demand on data storage because essentially all historical data needs to be stored permanently. Specifically, the Solana blockchain has produced more than twice the number of blocks from the Ethereum, Bitcoin, Polkadot, Algorand, and Cosmos blockchains combined. Storing these data safely, securely, and permanently is fundamental to Solana’s growth.
Compared to some other decentralized storage solutions, Arweave is differentiated by its ability to store data permanently. Its native token AR allows users to pay an up-front fee; the interest they earn covers the cost of storage over time. This enables developers to build decentralized applications that are owned and controlled by no centralized figure.
Indeed, the SOLAR Bridge partnership could potentially opens new doors for Arweave as the data layer for other public blockchain protocols.
“The issue that every network will face one day is how to indefinitely store the massive number of transactions that highly scalable blockchain solutions inevitably generate,” explained Arweave founder Sam Williams in a press release.
The deal was made possible by a shared investor behind Solana and Arweave, Kyle Samani, co-founder of the Austin-based Multicoin Capital.
Samani connected the dots when he realized that Solana could outsource its data storage to Arweave. “A lot of people in crypto tend to prefer building stuff on their own, even though someone else might have already built it,” Samani told Decrypt. “For me, the Solana-Arweave partnership is the first-ever real protocol integration in an intelligent way and meaningful way.”
The Bridge was implemented by another investor of both companies, Bering Water Group, which facilitated the product implementation and commercialization.