Swarm is a decentralized, peer-to-peer storage and communication network based on the Ethereum sidechain xDAI. The platform uses its native token, BZZ, to create economic incentives and to reward honest, reliable network participation.
Swarm aims to provide a scalable and self-sustaining infrastructure for the decentralized internet economy. Once the vision is achieved, users remain sovereign owners of their data, aligning with fair-data principles.
The team behind Swarm believes the current model of centralized data storage is fundamentally at odds with online privacy and security. Swarm was designed to address these issues and provide the base layer of a more decentralized internet.
Nodes running Swarm's Bee client are incentivized to provide excess bandwidth and data storage to the system using the BZZ token. The permissionless network's design gives rise to various properties not found in centralized storage solutions. They include privacy and immutability. Swarm's flexible framework also enables any decentralized application to leverage the network for data storage and messaging.
The idea for Swarm predates Ethereum and several notable members of the Ethereum Foundation contributed to its early development. The first stable version of the network, Swarm 1.0, went live in June 2021.
As of July 2021, just less than 70 million BZZ tokens had been issued. Precise details of the project's tokenomics are absent from the white paper and the extensive project overview, titled "The Book of Swarm."
BZZ tokens were initially distributed to early investors, those partaking in the public CoinList sale and via an airdrop to existing node operators. The Swarm team has stated that no tokens from this initial distribution are subject to a vesting period. In justifying this decision, the team claims that forcing someone to hold tokens into the future does not align with the original cypherpunk ethos.
Although future issuance is unknown, if Swarm's data and messaging solutions prove popular, demand for BZZ tokens could be significant. Node operators earn BZZ and end-users pay BZZ for data storage and retrieval, respectively. When buying pressure outweighs selling pressure, BZZ price should increase.
Swarm's vision of providing a blockchain-based decentralized storage and communication network began before Ethereum's launch in 2015. The Ethereum Foundation itself contributed heavily to the original concept.
In 2020, the Swarm Foundation was founded as an independent group. The project's documentation credits Viktor Trón as Swarm's actual founder. He previously served as a core developer for Ethereum.
The Book of Swarm features an extensive section dedicated to past and present team members. In addition to notable Ethereum developers and many developers that wish to remain anonymous, Trón thanks Daniel A. Nagy, Aron Fisher, Gregor Žavcer and Rinke Hendriksen for their contributions.