In our previous announcement we hinted that Swarm MVP release is around the corner bringing first guaranteed persistence on Swarm with local file pinning. With this blog post we are diving deeper into what Swarm MVP release is, what it brings for DApp developers and how we make a step towards unstoppable apps the world computer promises.
If you’re a DApp developer and wondering how you can use Swarm today, keep reading.
Swarm MVP — the gist
Swarm MVP release enables DApp developers with a staging environment, where app data can persist through local pinning until Swarm 1.0 is launched. Furthermore for popular DApps it can be used as a production environment because they can be accessed through any gateway. A more technical definition of what Swarm MVP includes is provided here. In this regard, Swarm MVP provides a new option for decentralised storage that can be used by DApps (or others).
Your popular DApp can be unstoppable on Swarm now
If your DApp is popular, meaning people actually use it, then you’re already in luck as right now you can be free-riding on popularity i.e., your content is cached by nodes en-route to delivery. Testnet bonus: you pay nothing! Kind of like bittorrent.
The only thing you need to do is to upload your website to Swarm. Spoiler: you can do this literally with one click using Swarm-based dapp fairdrop.xyz (instructions here). After uploading you only need to link the Swarm hash with your ENS name at ens.domains and voila! You got yourself an unstoppable DApp. Every Swarm gateway that connects to the network will serve yourdapp.eth. If your DApp is popular, it will stay there. Also, did you notice that you don’t need to run your own node? So, in essence, you’ve just successfully made your DApp serverless and unstoppable. With compliments of yours truly, Swarm.
However, as this is just the MVP, there are some caveats (besides being a testnet, of course). First, the above works well if your DApp doesn’t really need any app data storage, for zero-data DApps like MyCrypto.com and MyEtherWallet.com. It would work also for some #defi DApps such as Instadapp, Maker, Uniswap or similar (please, let us know!). If your DApp stores user data or app data some of which is rarely accessed, then you need to continue with the next step.
Your less popular DAapp or data need a bit of help — pin it!
Swarm’s MVP release brings to the forefront local pinning that has been silently waiting in the codebase. With local pinning a node gets told to store also the whole file and in case data is garbage collected in Swarm, pinning comes to the rescue as the file is still available on the DApp’s node. For more information on local pinning, check Zahoor’s awesome blog and video tutorial.
How can this be used in real-life by a DApp developer? Every DApp developer has at least 2 challenges: one is to build the DApp and the other is to actually get users. While local file-pinning does not yet fully deliver on the decentralised dream, it does enable to setup a gateway connecting to your node at yourdapp.com through which you serve yourdapp.eth. You can start onboarding users today and also guarantee data persistence. At the same time, yourdapp.eth will be available through every gateway while yourdapp.com acts as fallback. Isn’t that sweet? Just like honey, your app data persists.
*Do not be mistaken. Less popular data just means rarely accessed data, for example for private data. This is where we actually go deeper into Swarm territory; private, decentralised and big data.*
Start Building Your DApps On Swarm Now — Get An Early Start
The MVP is an important step for Swarm and DApp developers. Files are now persistent and the file pinning feature works. You can get an early start on building truly unstoppable DApps today where the app data can persist and you’ll be ready when Swarm 1.0 launches later this year without any major config changes.
Using the MVP DApp developers can focus on developing their application with the confidence that their DApp will become truly unstoppable with the launch of Swarm 1.0. Small step for a developer, big step towards the free internet.
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