ArDrive, a blockchain-based permanent storage application, has raised a tidy $17.2 million in a seed round of 13 investors led by Arweave Team, Blockchain Capital, and Sino Global Capital.
ArDrive currently houses over 6 million files from across the globe, including text, articles, photos and videos.
While many users trust services like Dropbox or Google Drive to steward their data—services potentially susceptible to data leaks—ArDrive allows users to maintain ownership and control of their data on the Arweave blockchain.
ArDrive popped up on people’s radars last summer, after Hong Kong activists used the service to store content that was being suppressed by the Chinese special administrative region’s government in a sweeping crackdown on pro-democracy media.
One of Hong Kong’s most popular pro-democracy papers, Apple Daily, was forced to shut down under new “national security” laws, but an anonymous group called dAppleDaily, led by crypto-savvy 21-year-old developer Ho, managed to save around 5,600 pieces of news from oblivion by uploading them to ArDrive.
Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey cited dAppleDaily’s feat as an example of how blockchain technology “makes it impossible for the Chinese govt. to destroy Apple Daily's work, no matter how hard it tries."
Sen. Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) praised the applications of crypto beyond a form of currency by mentioning @ArweaveTeam in a senate hearing on Tuesday.
"This technology makes it impossible for the Chinese govt. to destroy Apple Daily's work, no matter how hard it tries". 💣 pic.twitter.com/e0Y7rycOHn