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Author: Kyle @ Contributor of PermaDAO
Translator: Kyle @ Contributor of PermaDAO
Reviewer: Bananaa @ Contributor of PermaDAO
In the digital age, our lives are becoming increasingly digitized, with almost all important information and assets existing in digital form. To protect these digital assets, the digital vault has become the modern guardian, better suited to today's needs. This article will focus on exploring decentralized digital vaults, with a special focus on the Akord protocol, to uncover its advantages and market potential.
Image Description: digital vault
Image Source: https://www.istockphoto.com/
A digital vault is a highly secure online platform that essentially serves as a safe for storing and protecting users' important documents, data, and information. Just as a physical vault is used to store and protect valuable physical assets like cash, certificates, and jewelry, a digital vault is designed to safeguard important and valuable digital assets.
For individual users, a digital vault offers secure, convenient, and privacy-controlled data storage and management services, including estate planning. For corporate and institutional users, a digital vault provides services related to structure, security, compliance, operational efficiency, and customer experience, helping companies better manage and protect their data and files.
Why Do We Need a Digital Vault?
With the advent of the digital age, people possess an increasing number of digital assets. According to data from Dashlane in 2022, the average American has about 300 digital accounts and assets.
Common digital assets include (but are not limited to):
- Account login information: online banking accounts, social media accounts, medical accounts, etc.
- Multimedia files: photos, videos, digital music, etc.
- Financial investment documents: tax records, performance reports, cryptocurrency mnemonics, or private keys, etc.
- Estate planning documents: wills, trusts, power of attorney, etc.
These digital assets are crucial to people's lives. While cloud storage services offer convenience, there are security risks associated with directly uploading important files to cloud drives. A digital vault can provide security and protection on par with that of a bank, reliably safeguarding this data.
Convenient and Efficient Services
Compared to ordinary storage services, a digital vault allows users to more conveniently manage their files and data. It also excels in customer interaction, making it easier for clients to access the information they need and providing high-quality services. In general, a digital vault can offer more efficient and secure services compared to regular storage services.
Limitations of Traditional Digital Vaults
In the digital age, a digital vault may be the best choice for maintaining digital privacy and data security, offering great convenience and protection for users and businesses. However, traditional digital vaults also have limitations, including the risk of a single point of failure, audit issues, unauthorized usage, and monitoring challenges.
- Risk of Single Point of Failure: Traditional digital vaults typically rely on a single server, so if the server fails or is attacked, users' data and files become inaccessible, leading to data loss or unavailability.
- Audit Issues: In some cases, software-as-a-service providers may revoke users' data access due to government or legal demands, raising audit issues. This can significantly impact users' work and personal lives, reducing their control over their data.
- Unauthorized Usage: In traditional digital vaults, users' data may be accessed, analyzed, or traded without authorization, and users often find it difficult to obtain reasonable compensation. This raises issues of data ownership for users.
- Monitoring Challenges: Malicious actors, government, and hackers can sometimes infiltrate data storage providers through technical means, leading to surveillance of users. This poses a potential threat to customers. Therefore, effective measures are needed to enhance anti-surveillance capabilities to protect data from unlawful intrusion.
The Emergence of Decentralized Digital Vaults
What Is a Decentralized Digital Vault?
A decentralized digital vault is a digital asset management and storage solution that uses blockchain technology to store digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, NFTs, important documents, in a decentralized network, rather than relying on a single centralized entity or server.
Advantages of Decentralization
Resistance to Censorship
Traditional SaaS providers sometimes revoke data access under government or legal demands. However, decentralization can technically achieve powerful anti-censorship features, effectively safeguarding user data from potential illegal viewing or misuse, maintaining data privacy and security.
By adopting decentralized data storage and processing methods, users have greater control and can independently manage and protect their data. This autonomy reduces the risk of unauthorized data access and potential data analysis, while strengthening data privacy and user data ownership. Decentralization technology gives users greater data autonomy, making them the owners of their data.
Traditional data storage services may face threats from hacking and data breaches. However, decentralized storage technology significantly enhances data security by distributing data across multiple nodes. Hackers need to attack multiple nodes simultaneously to access and steal data, significantly increasing the difficulty of data theft. Therefore, decentralization technology helps safeguard data security and reduce the risk of malicious access to data.
Akord: An Emerging Choice
Image description: Akord official website
Image source: https://akord.com/
Akord is a decentralized digital vault protocol developed by the Zero Knowledge Collective (ZKC) and built on Arweave. The protocol offers key features such as permanent storage, support for public and end-to-end encrypted storage, key rotation, and the ability to send private messages and collaborate with multiple users.
The Akord application is developed based on the Akord protocol, providing users with a convenient way to access decentralized digital vaults, eliminating the need for third-party wallets or AR tokens to use Arweave storage.
Why Akord Is the Solution?
- Privacy: Akord employs advanced encryption technologies, including quantum-resistant end-to-end encryption, ensuring that user data is encrypted using their private keys on the client-side, with no storage of private keys on Akord's servers. This also includes zero-knowledge encryption, collectively ensuring the privacy and security of user data.
- Permanence: Akord is supported by an auditable, immutable, and permanent blockchain storage network, currently built on Arweave, to ensure the permanent storage and long-term accessibility of data.
- Composability: Akord features modular design with support for composability, allowing various cryptographic primitives to be combined, creating dynamic and resilient proof systems. Akord's vaults are highly flexible, customizable to meet various use-case requirements.
In the Arweave ecosystem, there are other applications offering storage services, but Akord stands out with several distinguishing features:
- Ease of Entry: Using Akord eliminates the hassle of creating an Arweave wallet or obtaining AR tokens. Users can easily create a wallet when registering with Akord and gain access to 250 MB of free storage.
- Secure Collaborative Environment: Akord goes beyond storage, offering a secure environment for users to collaborate with others and supports end-to-end encrypted messaging.
- User-Centric Experience: Akord acknowledges the user experience issues in many products and has carefully planned the path to becoming a fully decentralized application. They have introduced many convenient and user-friendly features.
Use Cases for Akord
Individual Users, Developers
- For individual users, Akord allows the creation of private or public data vaults. It supports the uploading of files in any format, which are encrypted end-to-end and then uploaded to the Arweave network. Users can view and manage file information, set access permissions, collaborate with others, and send private messages.
- For developers, Akord provides open-source tools, APIs, and development documentation to assist in rapid development. They can integrate the Akord protocol into their applications, providing users with a private, permanent, and composable digital vault. Developers can build custom vaults as needed and map them to various business workflows. In the vault, data objects are organized hierarchically, supporting version auditing for easy data management and tracking. Akord abstracts data objects as nodes, allowing developers to create custom objects to meet different application requirements and provide high composability.
- Traditional Industries: Akord's data is permanently stored on the Arweave network, providing traceability and immutability, strengthening an enterprise's control over data ownership, increasing compliance and audit capabilities, and reducing the risk of data breaches. From another perspective, Akord reshapes the relationship between enterprises and users; data ownership lies in the hands of users, and enterprises need user authorization to access data.
- Web3 Space: Akord enables NFT holders and projects to securely store their digital assets and grant access to specific users. It will also offer token-gated access in the future, promoting the development of the NFT ecosystem. In addition, Akord provides transparent and decentralized data management for DAO organizations, ensuring the implementation of democratic governance.
Akord brings innovation to the management of public resources. Whether it's public projects or historical archives, Akord provides permanence and openness. This means researchers and historians can more easily access and share this critical information, actively advancing public welfare.
The Future Outlook for Akord
The Digital Vault Market
Image description: Digital vault market size growth trend
Image source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database
According to data from MRFR Database, the digital vault market's size was $800 million in 2022. Furthermore, the digital vault industry is expected to grow from $880 million in 2023 to $2.04 billion in 2032, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.00% during the forecast period (2023-2032).
In comparison, the digital vault market can be contrasted with the more mature cloud storage industry, which reached a substantial $83.7 billion in 2022. According to IMARC Group's projections, the global cloud storage market is expected to continue rapid expansion, with market size expected to reach a remarkable $247.5 billion by 2028.
These data points highlight the substantial growth potential in the data storage and management sector to meet the growing demands of digital assets and information storage. As digital assets continue to increase, the need to protect vital data and assets becomes more pronounced, and the digital vault market offers significant incremental space. Additionally, government initiatives for data protection and increased usage of digital vaults by the BFSI sector (banking, financial services, insurance) are driving market growth.
In summary, the digital vault industry will become a crucial component of the digital era, offering substantial market opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs. This industry is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years and play a vital role in data protection and digital asset management.
As the digital vault market size continues to expand, the limitations of traditional centralized digital vaults become increasingly evident. In a market environment where the need for data security and privacy protection is growing, decentralized digital vaults are rapidly gaining widespread attention, offering significant opportunities and substantial growth prospects.
Akord, with its innovative technology, end-to-end encryption, user-controlled authorization, and customizable diversity of applications, is meeting the urgent needs of users for digital asset protection and privacy. Akord's comprehensive features position it as a standout in the digital vault market, full of potential for continued development.
As of the end of the third quarter of 2023, Akord's key focus areas include:
- Akord Explorer: Akord Explorer will be deployed on Arweave to ensure the permanent storage of data. Even if Akord as a company and application no longer exists, users can still easily access and decrypt the data they uploaded on Akord through Akord Explorer.
- Cloud Vaults: Akord will provide various cloud storage options, allowing users to choose from four different vault types, including encrypted on-chain storage, public on-chain storage, encrypted cloud storage, and public cloud storage. This will give users greater data control and the ability to delete data in temporary cloud environments, providing a more flexible data management solution.
- Token-Gated Access: Users will be able to set access rules for Akord vaults and can require specific tokens as one of the conditions for access. This will allow DAO organizations and brands to provide unique incentives and services for data that needs long-term storage while providing flexibility for specific users' access.
Digital vaults play a crucial role in data management and security in the digital age. They introduce new dimensions to individual users, corporate entities, and public resource management. By protecting critical digital assets such as account information, financial documents, multimedia content, and estate planning files, digital vaults offer highly secure data storage solutions.
However, traditional digital vaults have limitations, including single-point failure risks, audit issues, unauthorized usage, and monitoring challenges. In this context, decentralized digital vaults are emerging with advantages in privacy protection, censorship resistance, data ownership, and data security, gaining significant attention.
Akord, as an emerging decentralized digital vault protocol, offers users and businesses advanced technologies such as end-to-end encryption, permanent storage, diverse services, and the upcoming token-gated access. It achieves permanent data storage through the Arweave network, ensuring the privacy and security of user data, while providing substantial composability and customization. Akord's development not only benefits individual users, developers, and enterprises but also brings innovation to public resource management, facilitating better sharing and protection of research and historical archives.
The digital vault market is rapidly expanding, indicating significant growth potential. With the increasing digitization of assets, government data protection initiatives, and widespread usage in the BFSI sector, the market outlook is substantial. Akord, with its innovative and comprehensive features, is poised to become a critical part of the digital era, offering vast market opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs.
In conclusion, digital vaults are a key element in data and asset management and security in the digital age. Decentralized digital vaults like Akord represent the future, providing users with higher levels of privacy and security and introducing a new paradigm for data management.