Behind ArDrive lies a global, decentralized network of computers running a protocol called Arweave.
Arweave allows users to store data permanently and sustainably over time, for a single up front fee. It is a data storage platform as a service, where data is stored on an immutable blockchain, owned by a global community and accessible over common web browsers.
Similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum, Arweave is free and open source software. It runs across thousands of nodes across the world, operated by hobbyists, small and large mining enterprises. Each node is responsible for the security of the blockweave, Arweave’s version of a blockchain. The blockweave was purpose built for the storage and replication of data over standard HTTP and TCP/IP. Data on the blockweave is timestamped, tamper proof and cannot be altered, granting a level of censorship resistance unmatched by centralized storage platforms.
Users must use the native Arweave token (AR) to pay for permanent storage space. The price of data is calculated by the network and includes an endowment paid to the node operators (also known as miners). This endowment covers the cost of storing the data for at least 200 years, modeled after declining storage costs over time.
Having an immutable storage layer allows for a new, permanent and decentralized web built. The Arweave PermaWeb is a global, permanent web of pages, and applications that live forever. PermaWeb apps use a set of open, modular and interchangeable protocols designed and developed by the community and Arweave core team. Also being a part of the PermaWeb, ArDrive uses many ecosystem standards and protocols that like Smartweave while building new composable tools and frameworks like Arweave File System.
In order to view the raw activity on Arweave, a block explorer can be used. There are two major Arweave Block Explorers that offer viewing details like your wallet balance, send and received transactions, network health and stats.