Fileverse Arxaiv - Grant Application

  • Project Name: Fileverse Arxaiv
  • Team Name: Fileverse
  • Payment Address: 0x4aF147188bfE1c02D18D752eD5E473d8394F2300
  • Level: :evergreen_tree: Tree Grant

- If the name of your project is not descriptive, a tag line (one sentence summary).

Fileverse Arxaiv, a web3 archiving tool.

- A brief description of your project.

Fileverse Arxaiv is a tool that enables crypto wallet users to participate in the public archiving of webpages, public content, open software and code. Its goal is to mitigate the massive problem of link rot and the disappearance of important digital artefacts from the web, including scientific journals, research papers, and open-source software and code.

- An indication of how your project relates to / integrates into Radicle.

This project seeks to advance the free open-source software and web3 movements at large by growing p2p networks that offer an essential infrastructure for the sustainability of these movements. These include Radicle, Arweave, and IPFS amongst others.

The Radicle network provides an ideal hosting and indexing layer for softwares and code repositories at risk of disappearing from the face of the web. Indeed, thousands of software and code repositories disappear from the web every year due to the inadequate architecture of popular platforms, hosting and storage services, and a lack of accessible coordination mechanisms.

We believe we can build an application that relies on the Radicle network and p2p storage networks like Arweave and IPFS to onboard thousands of new, anonymous archivists (using their crypto wallets) and by so doing, grow the count of supporting nodes as well as content on both Radicle and Arweave and/or IPFS. The Fileverse Arxaiv will be developed with the objective of enabling people to use the archiving tool from their laptops as well as mobile phones while also having the option to become nodes for content they consider important. Indeed, a part of this project will be to research light Seed nodes and IPFS pinning support on mobile phones.

A major part of this project will be to create a new web3 convention. Fileverse Arxaiv provides a structure that facilitates community development around the act of digital preservation through archiving, indexing, curating, and growing the storage capacity of underlying p2p networks. The self-sustainability of Fileverse Arxaiv will come from the mixing of existing communities and creating a common thread among them –a web3 convention of digital preservation and archiving.

We go into more details in the sections that follow.

- An indication of why your team is interested in creating this project.

Archiving is essential for the preservation of knowledge, culture, and human progress. Millions of web links become invalid every year, thousands of webpages, public files, code, software and other digital artefacts (cultural artefacts included) disappear from the web every day for the wrong reasons. For example, due to financial hardship over 100 scientific journals have disappeared in just two years, taking with them thousands of research papers and associated data and evidence of human progress.

As a university researcher (Andreas) I swear by Sci-Hub, the Internet Archive, Perma.cc, LibGen and others that have ensured that the work of others is still available for everyone looking to contribute to the human project in one way or another. For example, over 800 000 softwares are kept available today thanks to the voluntary work of the Internet Archive.

Fileverse Arxaiv is about complementing the work of these entities by creating a web3 “on-ramp” to this pro-social activity. In other words, to make it extremely easy for anyone with a digital wallet to archive public content and contribute to the growth of the p2p networks that secure the availability of such content.

Finally, our team believes that it is uniquely positioned to take on this ambitious goal of creating an intuitive web3 on-ramp to web archiving. In the past five months, we built the Fileverse DApp (beta.fileverse.io) which lets people share files between blockchain addresses and do access permissions based on on-chain data (eg. token gate) in just a few clicks. We got to test our knowledge of p2p storage networks, try the full extent of the existing web3 tech stack, and test our skills in making intuitive and low barrier to entry tools for crypto wallet users. From day one, the file sharing DApp we built became one of the most popular (top 5 in contributions) grants on Gitcoin. We want to apply everything we learned to make a new kind of public good that will benefit everyone –web3 and web2 users alike.

Team :busts_in_silhouette:

Team members

  • Name of team leader

Andreas

  • Names of team members

Vijay

Constantin

Sumit

Akash

Joshua

Contact

  • Contact Name: Full name of the contact person in your team

Andreas Tsamados

Andreas@fileverse.io

  • Website:

Legal Structure

  • Registered Address: Address of your registered legal entity, if available. Please keep it in a single line. (e.g. Main Street 1, London N17LJ, United Kingdom)

41 Cornmarket Street, OX1 3HA, Oxford, United Kingdom

  • Registered Legal Entity: Name of your registered legal entity, if available. (e.g. Developer DAO Ltd.)

Fileverse Ltd.

Team’s experience

Andreas is a PhD researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, specialised in human control of automated systems (ML/AI mainly) in information security. He has published research papers on privacy, AI, digital technologies and social good. For example: A definition, benchmark and database of AI for social good initiatives | Nature Machine Intelligence. He also received an honourable award from the GitcoinDAO for his proposal for a new kind of public good: the Algorithmic Resistance Cookbook (released soon).

Vijay was a senior software engineer at Indorse. He led the creation of a native NFT marketplace, the BlockBots game and the CV PFP model. He was also the ETHGlobal 2022 Hackathon winner for token-gated apps (Video conf./streaming).

Aakash is a young developer that helped develop the Fileverse DApp and has recently ranked 12th globally and 1st in India out of 21 000+ participants in the LeetCode Biweekly Contest 83.

Sumit is a full stack developer and competitive programmer, mainly involved in the frontend development of the Fileverse DApp.

Joshua is a software developer with over 2 years of experience developing and deploying scalable and distributed software systems.

Constantin is a meat popsicle.

Team Code Repos

Please also provide the GitHub accounts of all team members. If they contain no activity, references to projects/repos hosted elsewhere are also fine.

Team LinkedIn Profiles (if available)

https://www.linkedin.com/in/vijaykrishnavanshi/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/aakash-jakhmola/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/artificial-intelligence-ethics/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ethereum-tsamados/

Project Description :page_facing_up:

There has never been a better time to build a mainstream, non-financial/speculative web3 application. Thanks to the incredible advancements that have occurred in the past four years, including Proof-of-Stake, Layer 2s, the growing user-base of crypto wallets like MetaMask, and ZK tech research, developing DApps designed for mass adoption is within reach. What is more, these DApps can be uniquely centred on privacy, self-certification, and empowering individuals to coordinate for social good purposes. The Fileverse Arxaiv project is about building such an application.

Our research and product development efforts for this project are driven by four core objectives:

  • Building a public good that makes it extremely easy for every crypto wallet user to become a pro-social actor that helps save the open web. This is the main objective of the project and seeks to develop a new web3 convention centred around digital preservation and archiving.
  • Populate the Radicle network with a swath of public code repositories that are at risk of disappearing forever.
  • Grow the Radicle and p2p storage networks (eg. Arweave, IPFS) by giving Fileverse Arxaiv users the ability to become supporting nodes on the networks and host by themselves some of the content they wish to archive.
  • Make web3 more mobile friendly and open the space up to over [2.5 billion people accessing the Internet via mobile only.

Fileverse Arxaiv builds on the crucial work that projects such as the Sci-Hub, Internet Archive, LibGen, and Perma.cc have done to save the open web from important public content disappearing forever. The Internet Archive is solely responsible for the availability of over 600 000 softwares today. If something were to happen to that organisation and their servers (eg. they are often targeted by costly and multi-party lawsuits), much of the information they archived would be in jeopardy. So, the first step of this project is securing another layer of storage for this content and creating a low barrier to entry to archiving via crypto wallets and publishing proofs on-chain (TBC). We have already built the skeleton of this tool by creating the Fileverse DApp which allows encrypted file sharing between blockchain addresses. Fileverse Arxaiv will build on this earlier work and leverage the Radicle network as an underlying infrastructure to secure the availability of thousands of softwares and code repositories at risk of disappearing or being censored for the wrong reasons.

The second step is to onboard thousands of new, anonymous archivists (using their public address) and nodes on both Radicle and p2p storage networks like Arweave and/or IPFS. To achieve that we need to develop an extremely simple and intuitive UI/UX for the Fileverse Arxaiv, reduce the technical knowledge requirements for people to use web3 tech. Ease of access to the Fileverse Arxaiv, and a low barrier to entry to begin archiving public content like open-source code are crucial to the success of this project –that is to the development of a new web3 convention. To facilitate this, we propose to also develop a web extension which would enable people to archive content in just a few clicks.

Ease of access also means making the archive content accessible and visible to people that may be interested in exploring the Fileverse Arxaiv and look for specific content without having to necessarily know the associated content hash or on-chain proof. It is thus part of this project to develop a “feed” or “discovery page” for people to be able to explore archived content and look for specific public content given enough information. We will open this to outside contributors and on-chain query by building a Fileverse Arxaiv sub-graph using The Graph protocol.

Another important step will be to develop the skeleton of a functional mobile app for Fileverse Arxaiv. The work for this mobile app would start with the development of the DApp and research into how to enable (and if successful, develop and integrate it) light Seed node support for Radicle and IPFS pinning on the mobile app.

Finally, Fileverse is exclusively funded through donations and grants. The goal of our work as a team is to create public goods that abide by the web3 ethos, uses the web3 tech stack, but is as useful and appealing to web2 users as it is to web3 users.

Deliverables :nut_and_bolt:

  • Total Estimated Duration: Duration of the whole project

13 months / 390 days. Note that multiple milestones will be developed and achieved in parallel. We estimate that the working product will be shipped within the first five months / 150 days (more on that in the milestones).

- Full-time equivalent (FTE): Amount of time (in days) required for a single person to complete this project

IF the efforts to complete the below described milestones were sequential, the total accumulative number of days would be 753 days.

HOWEVER, Fileverse is not comprised of one single person and we work in an agile manner to develop parallel work of sequential tasks.

THUS, we estimate that Fileverse will be completing all 12 milestones within the Total Estimated Duration shared above: 390 days.

- Total Costs: Amount of Payment in USD for the whole project.

USD 247,950

> :exclamation:The more you can organize your milestones into manageable chunks that are conducive to iteration, the better!

Milestone Deliverable Specification Duration Cost
Milestone 1 Web3 archiving research Research on webpage capture, web crawling and anonymous archiving. Includes research on publishing proofs of archiving on-chain with proper metadata. 45 days / 1.5 Months USD 14,700
Milestone 2 Storage proofs on-chain Research and development of an efficient smart contract for publishing storage proofs on-chain (TBC). Includes recruitment, testing and auditing costs. 60 days /2 Months USD 30,000
Milestone 3 Arxaiv v0.1 Development and shipping of Fileverse Arxaiv v0.1 (web app). 105 days / 3.5 Months USD 52,500
Milestone 4 Seed nodes Set-up and running of four seed nodes by our team to help support initial archivists and the porting of software and code repositories onto the Radicle network (shipping costs included) as well as ensure availability. 21 days / 0.7 Month USD 15,000
Milestone 5 Mass porting Research on enabling mass porting of existing software and repositories onto Radicle. 30 days / 1 Month USD 8,800
Milestone 6 Kick-start Software Archiving Dedicate 1 full-time archivist from our team (to be recruited) to identify and begin archiving software and code repositories on Radicle. Specifically, software and code currently deemed at risk. 180 days / 6 Months USD 25,400
Milestone 7 Indexing & discoverability Build a discovery page for archived content and build a Fileverse Arxaiv sub-graph on The Graph (indexing protocol) for people to query and explore archived content 90 days / 3 Months USD 38,200
Milestone 8 Web3 browser extension & archiving incentives Develop better UX and incentives for people to adopt the practice of archiving and digital preservation. This will comprise of the development of a web extension giving people the possibility of archiving in a few clicks; and of a potential referral or incentive program (eg. using storage credits) to reward early archivists. 90 days / 3 Months USD 27,100
Milestone 9 Mobile light seed nodes & pinning Research into enabling light seed nodes and IPFS pinning on a native mobile app.Potential angle: Federated App which works with master nodes. Would only act as backup for the system by storing erasure code of the files/content instead of full content. They reduce the availability constraints on the Main Node Infra and are more mobile friendly. Work and areas that’s already explored by IPFS team: GitHub - ipfs/mobile-design-guidelines: Making IPFS work for mobile. Light nodes on mobile would act as back-up to main nodes on the network and be required to “come online” much less regularly. We will also publish the findings as open source repo similar to above one. 45 days / 1.5 Months USD 16,400
Milestone 10 Mobile light node POC Development of POC. Use finding from the research milestones and put them in practice on an app with minimal functionality. User should be able to input a hash and pin it on the network seamlessly. User should be able to install the app on their mobile App should be able to auto initialise and register itself as a light node App should support pinning ipfs hash App should support pinning radicle hash 45 days / 1.5 Month USD 7,950
Milestone 11 Adapt POC to work with Fileverse Arxaiv Light Node POC compatible with Fileverse Arxaiv Setup - Auto Seeding using Fileverse Arxaiv’s Smart Contract. Focus on removing the need for manual steps from the user to give more integrated experience. 21 days / 0.7 Month USD 6,900
Milestone 12 Arxaiv Education Creation of educational blogposts, videos, documentation. 21 days / 0.7 Month USD 5,000
Total N/A N/A N/A USD 247,450

Future Plans

Please include the following:

- How you intend to use, enhance, promote and support your project in the short term.

Produce a series of educational blogposts, threads and videos on the technologies that underlie Fileverse. That includes archiving, distributed storage, public key cryptography, p2p networks, smart contracts, covering the themes of decentralisation, censorship and privacy.

- The team’s long-term plans and intentions in relation to it. In other words, how will it be made sustainable?

A major part of this project will be to create a new web3 convention. Fileverse Arxaiv provides a structure that facilitates community development around the practice of digital preservation through archiving, indexing, curating, and growing the storage capacity of underlying p2p networks. The self-sustainability of Fileverse Arxaiv will come from the mixing of existing communities and creating a common thread among them –a web3 convention of digital preservation and archiving.

Fileverse Arxaiv will be hosted on Radicle, with the long-term objective to have it be maintained and developed by open-source contributors. Onboarding as many people as possible (focusing mainly on web3 users) to the pro-social practice of archiving, making the project a collaborative, crowd-sourced effort. However, our team is also dedicated to building a multi-faceted public good by developing and maintaining a suite of Fileverse DApps, meaning that our core team will seek to participate in the archiving / digital preservation community.

Additional Information :heavy_plus_sign:

How did you hear about the Grants Program? Medium / Twitter / Discord / personal recommendation / etc.

Personal recommendation.

Here you can also add any additional information that you think is relevant to this application but isn’t part of it already, such as:

- Work you have already done.
We have already shipped the Beta version of the Fileverse DApp thanks to 10,000 Gitcoin contributors. You can test it out here: https://beta.fileverse.io/

This version is mainly focused on enabling basic functionalities of file storage and sharing through on-chain identification and permissions (access rules).

We have gotten support from several web3 communities and developers, including DeveloperDAO, Gitcoin (through the quadratic funding rounds), protocol foundations, etc. We were in the top 5 most funded grants during Gitcoin’s GR13, the biggest developer event in web3. We have also reached ~1100 followers on Twitter completely organically. We believe all this will contribute to the success and adoption of Fileverse Arxaiv.

- Previous grants you may have applied for:
We have participate in two Gitcoin grant rounds: Fileverse.io - File sharing between blockchain addresses. | Grants | Gitcoin
We applied to an IPFS grant: GitHub - ipfs/devgrants: The IPFS Grant platform connects funding organizations with builders and researchers in the IPFS community.

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