Holochain Forum

Saving content, data and files "forever"

Greetings from Goa, fellow Holo-ers, developers, dreamers and doers.

4 1/2 years later since I first started following and participating in the Holo project, things are moving to develop in the space. I have a valuable opportunity to present Holo as the recommended solution to European investors, as the platform for a long-long term project. The team intends to raise many million Euro in capital to proceed with development, and while I’m highlighting Holo’s more diverse capabilities, my research involves presenting all of the available major options.

What I need to be able to concisely communicate is the following: How does the Holo network facilitate storage of files/data/content, “FOREVER” - e.g. outlasting even our own lifetimes, and preserving content for centuries / millennia to come?

Are there any research papers or technical fundamentals to show how this might be possible? The associated risks / future technical compatibilities (e.g. much more efficient coding languages that will inevitably arise over subsequent decades / centuries), and in that any conversion / migration plans built into DAO/Roadmap, noting undoubted advanced in future computing power?

I realise that nothing is “forever” - Buddha’s Vipassana meditation teaches this! But in the technological sense, storing content for the lifetime of the Internet - beyond our individual mortal existences - that well surpasses stopping paying for cloud or server storage bills, and can preserve critical data, journalism, history and anything else alike a time capsule, across future generations… this is what this project is setting out to accomplish.

Thoughts / Ideas / tangible evidence… are most welcome. I hope to shed more light on these ideas soon, and maybe start building the first core Holo team for this.


If you’d like, I can explain how exactly that will work. Message me on Telegram (Telegram: Contact @bierlingm) and we can talk on the phone!

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Thanks for that, and in the future this might be possible. For the purpose of this particular exercise, we want to see the gist of it in writing.

Anybody? Otherwise I’m not sure it’s truly a valid claim, just like the nonsense these days of calling everything, “AI”. Coding performance and efficiency will be far better in the decades to come… particularly from true AI machine learning, so where will that leave applications and content built on today’s to-be-outdated frameworks?

Arweave - another major candidate being considered by the client - does a much better job spelling this out: Technology

Holochain devs able to articulate even the gist of this?

Interesting question, but you might need to rethink it?
I don’t think there is at the moment a satisfying answer to your question. At least there is no scientific provable answer or papers to find. That would be general the case with an every early stage tech project. But there are still some points where relatively related statements to your question are to find.

There are two areas where general observations are possible. The first is the underlying tech of Holochain; of course if a underlying component gets no further development the whole stack is at risk to get outdated over time. But as Holochain is build upon modern and widely adapted technologies I consider this as risks rather low.

Note: it is build with NIX, Rust, WebAssembly and SQL-Lite as database layer.

Secondly the more important issues that could cause a big data project to loose or get inconsistent data over time are less technical, but have to do how widespread is it used and if there might be still enough incentives around to host the data and maintain the code-base.

At last but not least, you can hardly find at the moment any other stack which can compete with Holochain in terms of hosting costs in relation to data security and power consumption. So in a case of major downturn of centralized technologies as data-centers for instance, Holochain would have still a great change to continue to work.


I’m just commenting on this from an armchair perspective from attending a couple of dev camps a while ago, but I think Holochain makes a good case for data/application longevity. In addition to what @lucode said:

  1. Application and data is a combined binary that can’t get out sync in various ways that applications targeting separate databases can
  2. Multiple versions of Holochain, the developer SDK, and hApps can run independently. Various collaboration features could fail, but as an archival tool that wouldn’t be the objective anyway.
  3. MessagePack requests/responses sent via Websockets on anything that can run WebAssembly seems like a very stable, lightweight, and long term collection of easily executable protocols.

My two cents on this topic: to store data “forever”, it’s most important for people to care about the data. If nobody cares about it, no economic incentive will keep it around. I don’t think there is a software solution to this problem; it’s a social/human problem.

Holochain may be a good fit if the data you are looking to store is something that many people spread out over the globe will care about a lot; its data redundancy and self-healing properties would get you quite far. But “permanent storage” is a problem that really needs to be solved for a specific use case. I don’t think it is a primary goal of Holochain, and that it is not something that will solve that problem universally.