The Dara mission has always been to save and record human knowledge using the most resilient and censorship-resistant technologies available today, namely blockchain.
For this reason we created the world’s first dictionary on a blockchain with our partners at V Systems, and then developed the Dara Extension and Dashboard to empower our users with an original and immutable publishing and archival platform.
Dara has formed many partnerships and collaborations in the two years since our launch, notably Larry Sanger and the Knowledge Standards Foundation, and Brave browser through the vehicle of the Brave Wallet Partner Program.
Today we are announcing the next phase of Dara.
Ashurbanipal’s Library at Nineveh
In 668 BC Ashurbanipal, the last great king of Assyria, sent his men out into all known kingdoms to gather and copy all knowledge in existence; from medical treatments to legal documents, literature, science and philosophy. These texts were mostly recorded on clay tablets, written in cuneiform, and housed on the shelves of Ashurbanipal’s Royal Library at Nineveh.
Like the more famous Library of Alexandria built hundreds of years later (285–246 BC), Nineveh was consumed by fire and destroyed. But unlike Alexandria many texts survived because the fires baked and hardened the clay tablets which were ultimately pulled out of the sands in the 19th century, some 2600 years later.
As the Rosetta stone was used to decrypt Egyptian hieroglyphs, equivalent stones discovered in the 19th century led to deciphering ancient Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian cuneiform texts written on tens of thousands of tablets recovered at Nineveh and now housed in the British Museum.
So why are we talking about an ancient Mesopotamian library? The simple answer is because we can, and by that we mean the tablets at Nineveh survived.
In terms of long-term “forever” archival there is simply no comparison in recorded history, and as it turns out Nineveh is one of the first places scribes started its recording.
Dara has always taken inspiration from ancient myth and culture. Our use of the Oak Tree echoes the symbolism of the Celts who revered the oak as a representation of enduring knowledge, strength, and immutability.
DARA 2 will be a Layer 1 (L1) network of our own.
Currently DARA token hangs off Binance Smart Chain aa a BEP-20 token and powers the DARA Dashboard and Browser Extension. This enables the archival and publishing of personal files and web page snapshots to IPFS with the option of saving corresponding metadata of the saved files to Binance Smart Chain.
While Dara Dashboard marks a dramatic improvement in terms of censorship-resistance compared to platforms like Twitter, Facebook or Medium, it lacks a more rigorous decentralization of storage.
The nodes we run on IPFS do not meaningfully augment that protocol’s durability and we cannot guarantee data redundancy should our own IPFS servers catch fire.
A Digital Ark
To address this shortcoming, and others, Dara Network will permit community members to stake DARA token and receive rewards for running Dara hybrid storage nodes to validate transactions in a decentralized fashion.
Dara Supernodes will require high capacity storage (4 terabytes to start), so that they can store not only metadata of IPFS saves but also human-readable text directly on-chain. The storage requirements will double every epoch and in our estimation as little as 16 terabytes would be enough to archive the vast majority of valuable knowledge, from literary canons to encyclopedias, recorded in the English language.
The network will support EVM so that our existing smart contracts and development can be migrated to the new chain. All existing and future code will be published to Github.
Dara believes in open access (OA) and will operate with open source principles. We welcome the scrutiny and contributions of developers inside and outside of the Dara community.
Following the release of L1, scheduled for Q1 2024, Dara will likely be the first blockchain network to store copies of The Complete Works of Shakespeare and The Epic of Gilgamesh plainly legible on any number of blockchain explorers.
Dara Network is not about saving all information but only that which people regard as being collectively or personally important. Those who make use of Dara are as to modern day scribes at Nineveh, and curators of human knowledge.
In pursuit of L1 we have consulted with many industry experts including but not limited to Sunny King, Peerchemist, Zheng “Bruce” Li and Jacob Gadikian. We have also met with developers and teams whose goals are in line with our own and with whom we might collaborate to expedite the release of Dara Network.
We aim to onboard Chris Columbus and retired advertising executive Michael Rosenberg to advise on marketing for Dara.
This announcement was delayed in the hope we could share more specific details with the community about technology, development and roadmaps, and those details will now be shared following further discussions.
In the meantime we encourage the use of our existing products and services while we make preparations for this ambitious plan to redefine libraries through blockchain.
The long-anticipated Immutable Gutenberg Library has become something of an albatross around Dara’s neck. We will make the necessary arrangements to release this priceless collection of human knowledge and art as soon as possible.
Dara Network will launch with a DAO. Project DARA started life as “The Immutable DAO” and we are committed to providing decentralized governance mechanisms to future-proof this project beyond the lifetimes of its founders.
A New Partner
During this research phase we have met another potential partner and will share more details after our next meeting.
The Immutable Foundation
Dara is notable for its long list of partners and collaborators; Artificial Intelligence (PAAL Mind), Encyclopedias (KSF), blockchain projects (V Systems), investigative journalism (Shifter), browsers (Brave/BAT), politics (America Mission).
In all cases we are philosophically intertwined with our shared goals.
In 2024 we will launch The Immutable Foundation and invite all our partners past and future to join us in a new vehicle designed to defend free speech and open access.
We apologize for the time it has taken to release this update and will provide regular updates on our progress every Thursday, every week.
We are happy to fly under the radar as we reorganize ourselves for the fight ahead.
We thank the Dara community without whom we wouldn’t be here, and reaffirm our commitment to pushing envelopes and expectations; “Why didn’t anybody else think of that?,” are words that have often followed Dara, and this is still just the beginning.