Daniel Nagy, the chief developer of Swarm, ethereum’s storage layer has probably fought the longest legal dispute in crypto history. The 7-year long legal battle is fought over the right to host a file-sharing node.
A precursor to the peer-to-peer file sharing service Bittorrent, Nagy ran a DC node. According to him, the technology is now obsolete. After his legal disputes, Nagy found himself joining the Ethereum foundation. There he found the motivation to delve deeper into anti-censorship technology.
His legal fight essentially gave him the drive to work on Swarm. Swarm was originally categorized as a highly anticipated storage layer for ethereum. The emphasis was on the systems’ architecture and privacy-preserving cryptography.
Swarm is the perfect opportunity for Nagy to make a decentralized storage, which is reliable enough to prevent such legal repercussions. He believes this can be interpreted as an “arms race” between developers and regulators.
Swarm has been active since ethereum’s earliest days. Swarm’s main objective is to provide a mechanism for the blockchain to dispose of its historical data. Additionally, a wider file-storage is desired.
There is a strong emphasis on efficiency, speed and security. The decentralized storage layer is designed to render the attack so costly, that the legal system will have to resort to update itself to respond.
Swarm will probably exceed expectations
Nagy believes that a fully robust network can inform decision making to such an extent that it even accounts how judges and enforcers interpret laws. With a desire to provide a reliable base infrastructure for a decentralized Internet, Swarm also divides information between the computers of different network users.
In order to keep censorship away from the layer, Nagy believes that decentralization and privacy are paramount. The term “redundancy”, which is used by developers is a key part of how Swarn defends itself against censorship. Redundancy refers to the duplication of critical system components, essentially creating a “swarm” of machines.
Information can also be stored on Swarm in a transparent way. Nagy focused much of his attention on ensuring sensitive information remained secure despite it being saved on another computer. This is done with the “counter mode” encryption. In the case of a dispute, the protocol shares a fragment of encrypted data, which can verify the ownership without any information reveal.
The stored information can be accessed remotely by Swarm with the use of public and private key pairs. This allows participants to host encrypted data chunks on their computers and within most jurisdictions, can do so with a degree of plausible deniability. This means Swarm nodes, aren’t in possession of the keys required to unlock the data and are essentially entirely legal.
With the storage protocol currently being in public alpha, a lot of changes can be expected. In the future, developers believe that a lot of incentives will be offered in the form of ether. Of course this can be subjected to a complete remodel if the need arises. The encryption is also smart contract-friendly to the limit. This is done to ensure DApp developers can easily integrate the new technology.
Nagy is also working on BeeFree, which is a fully censorship-proof social media. Even though it sounds ironic when we look at all the biggest social media websites, Nagy believes an alternative platform can be created.
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