January 16, 2021

The A, B, C of the Swarm Incentives

If you attended the Swarm Live release online event, you probably know that all the research in recent months has paid massive dividends. We have made significant improvements and now have a very good idea of how the Swarm incentives will work. And while the team is working hard to integrate all parts of this system into what is to become the Swarm 1.0 release, you can do some homework in the meantime and learn more about the mechanics of the Swarm incentives.

The best way to do that is by watching Rinke Hendriksen (Swarm’s product owner ) explain the mechanics in his presentation from the Swarm Live release event. This short, but information-packed presentation will give you an idea of how it all comes together.

Watch the presentation here.

In the presentation, you will learn about the three types of Swarm incentives:

1.Bandwidth incentives — build trust relations to exchange bandwidth for bandwidth

Swarm uses bandwidth incentives to facilitate the upload and download of data. As Bee nodes communicate with each other to facilitate the private and secure uploading of content, they keep score of consumed and received bandwidth. In Rinke’s presentation, you will learn about this process, the trust limits and settlements of bills between nodes by means of the blockchain equivalent of the well known chequebook.

2. Discovery incentives — opportunistically, without cost

These incentives are indirect. This is because it is in every node’s interest to have a well-connected Swarm network. For example, as new Bee nodes appear, they get connected to the existing Bee nodes. The number of connections on a Bee node is represented in the form of a “connectivity level”. As the node gets connected to another node, it also communicates its connectivity level, and the other (older) node can then suggest new connections for it to increase the connectivity level of the new node. Learn more about this in the presentation.

3. Storage incentives — a permissionless gatekeeper to Swarm which ensures that storers are fairly compensated

Swarm’s storage space is limited by the sum of the storage contribution of all individual nodes to the network. The postage stamp system allocates the right to write to Swarm optimally by attaching a cost to uploading data to the Swarm network. With this signal, storer nodes can make decisions on what content to keep and what content to disregard and thus allocate the storage space in such a way that those chunks which are valued most will be preserved.

Using the money that is paid in via the postage system, we compensate the nodes who can prove that they are storing the data. A lottery-type system is envisioned to provision this. In the storage lottery, storing a chunk is like purchasing a lottery ticket. Thus, by storing more chunks, you can increase your chance of winning!

Take advantage of the early stages of the Swarm network — install your Bee node ASAP!

By understanding how the incentives work and how to install and run your own Bee node, you are equipped with all the knowledge you need to profit from running a Bee node and to help decentralize data storage by making Swarm Network stronger.

As with any ecosystem, it is wise to join as early as possible. The network is getting bigger day by day and the number of nodes is growing. While this is good for the network, it is also good for you, especially if you join early and have a data-rich and well-connected node from day one, when Swarm goes live on mainnet.

Liberate Data Week — Join the hackathon (8–14.2.2012)

We will discuss all this in detail at the Liberate Data Week hackathon organized by Fair Data Society that will happen on 8 February 2021. The main theme of the hackathon is fair data economy, but you can read more about the event here. And of course, don’t forget to sign up for the event too.

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