Arweave’s native AR token has mounted an impressive rally over the past few hours, rising from $20.24 to its current price of $24.78, according to Nomics

Even more impressive has been the token’s 66% rise over the past week.

Part of this run can be attributed to the growing non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem on the Solana blockchain too. An NFT is a blockchain-based digital certificate that gives the holder unique ownership rights over the content in that NFT, be it art, music, or concert tickets

This is because Arweave’s technology underpins some of the most popular Solana-based NFTs, including Degen Ape Academy, Sollamas, and SolanaDoges. Though activity on Arweave has steadily been increasing, there has been a clear spike in the past few weeks. 

Black and gray chart showing transactions on Arweave.
Weekly number of transactions on Arweave. Source: ViewBlock

On August 15, amid the launch of Degen Ape Academy, Arweave founder Sam Williams said that his team was “increasing the rate limit 2.5x” to make room for the influx of users. 

And as the AR token is the currency needed to pay for such storage, its latest price action reflects this demand.

What is Arweave?

Unlike leading cryptocurrencies in Bitcoin and Ethereum, or DeFi’s attractive blue-chip tokens, Arweave is tackling a much less sexy challenge: Permanent metadata storage. Like its peers in Filecoin and the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), Arweave is looking to decentralize the data storage monopoly that Google and Amazon currently enjoy. 

This is because data stored with large tech companies can be lost, corrupt, or simply inaccessible to the owners. When Google’s servers go down, for instance, any data stored on those machines also becomes unavailable. 

These days, this particular service has become critical during the latest NFT boom. 

Here’s why.

When NFTs are minted, whether it's a piece of music, a cartoon penguin, or an in-game reward, its metadata must be stored somewhere. Metadata in this case could be anything from the actual content of the NFT or its underlying code. And sometimes, this data is stored on a centralized server. 

Naturally, this storage choice becomes problematic if the server crashes or goes offline. That six-figure CryptoKitties you bought back in 2017 becomes immediately less valuable. Herein lies one of the value propositions of Arweave, Filecoin, and IPFS. 

Even metadata from NFTs can be stored on-chain, rendering the content as immutable as the underlying blockchain.