January 22, 2021

Swarm 2020 Recap

As 2020 is becoming a thing of the past, it is time to evaluate what Swarm achieved throughout the year and share its plans for this year. The entire team is extremely proud of what we delivered. 2020 was the year of many opportunities and challenges, organizational as well as code-wise. In many ways, the project matured ready for the release of 1.0 which is just around the corner. In this post, you’ll find a recap of the defining moments of 2020.,

A new Swarm Network, four versions of Bee

In 2020, a new Swarm Network was created, parallel to the “old” Swarm network. There were also four Bee releases. Bee is the brand-new client implementation that saw the light in 2020. It took courage from the whole team to start from scratch, and it’s clear that the effort is already paying off. The Bee node became much more stable and modular, paving the way for the 1.0 release and beyond!

However, each release was not only a Bee release. With each release, the organization and community also grew and became better organised.

  1. June 2020 — Swarm Alpha release This release lay down strong foundations and the Bee client base protocols.
  2. August 2020 — Swarm Summer release New features were added and bugs from the Alpha release were resolved.
  3. September 2020 — Swarm Beta release With this release, new features for dApp developers were enabled.
  4. November 2020 — Swarm Live release Improved stability, improved performance. All high-level features of Swarm 1.0 were implemented and released with the Live release.

Book Of Swarm

In early 2020, the research team consolidated their findings. Book of Swarm, like Swarm itself, is free and open source and available freely for download from the Swarm network. Book of Swarm takes a deep dive into the system architecture, specifications, protocols, potential use cases, APIs and the formalizations and evidence underlying the Swarm protocol.

The Swarm team invites everyone to comment, try the implementations and prove or disprove any of the materials presented. This book also prepares the ground for multiple client implementations.

Fair Data Society

Fair Data Society is a non-profit initiative that is reimagining the data economy and creating a fair and decentralized data layer. Fair Data Society recognizes online privacy as a basic human right and the basis for progress for all.

In 2020, Swarm and Fair Data Society came closer together than ever before. Swarm is seen as one of the solutions for FDS to reach its long-term goal of liberating data.

With the support of Swarm, FairOS and Fairdrive were launched. Both projects aim to become the standard of user data storage and management. Through its principles, Fair Data Society creates solutions that can inspire the broader ecosystem of the decentralized web.

In 2021, Fair Data Society will enjoy incubation at Swarm Foundation, giving it every opportunity to grow and stand on its own two feet.

Swarm Enterprise Hub

Swarm enables new fair data business models and ethical services that respect human rights and enable a fair distribution of value. Adoption by enterprise is thus key to facilitate paradigm change. Questions like “how should an enterprise deal with GDPR?” are common for many businesses. These are common challenges and it only makes sense that the enterprise ecosystem collaborates.

Clear answers and best practices related to satisfying regulatory requirements make the decision to build on Swarm easier, but even more importantly, faster, cheaper, and safer.

With Swarm Enterprise Hub, we created a knowledge base tailored to enterprise use of Swarm. Check out these valuable resources and get in touch with the team working on this topic.

We grew in numbers

Our team grew. We now number 32 people in the core team, working together like a well-oiled organization. Parting from the Ethereum Foundation required us to get our own legal entity (Swarm Association, formed in Switzerland) and our own funding source. We restructured our team several times during the year and we now finally have 8 well-organized sub-teams: Leet Squad, Bee team, Bee-JS team, Comms, HR, DevOps, Ops and Knowledge Management.

Swarm 1.0 is just around the corner

Our next big milestone is, of course, Swarm 1.0 which we are expecting to release in Q2 2021. Until then we will be pushing out updates regularly — every 14 days or so. Keep following our Twitter or Reddit for updates.

Projects are joining — our ecosystem is rising

2020 saw the start of Swarm Grant Waves. Many interesting projects are being supported through Swarm grants and online events. Those projects are already building their products on top of Swarm. Swarm not only supports these projects financially, but also mentors the developers and founders. The projects also enjoy public attention, as Swarm tries to be a podium on which they can shine.

Read the announcements to see the full list of grantees. The last, third wave of grants was announced at the Swarm Live event. There is still time to apply if you haven’t done so already.

Unstoppable towards Swarm 1.0 — and beyond

We are especially happy to have managed to ensure proper funding for the completion of a mainnet release. The cooperation with Bitcoin Suisse was a success. We are now fully funded and moving unstoppable towards Swarm 1.0, with enough funds to further expand the team and to ensure Swarm 1.0 will be executed on time. The final details are being attended to and a more comprehensive update will be published soon.

A look at 2021

We concluded 2020 with a feeling of satisfaction. All major milestones were met, all plans well-executed and we can’t wait to continue our work early next year.

The pace we established in 2020 will continue in the new year. In January 2021, we already have a few very interesting things in the pipeline:

Swarm incentives on Goerli

Node operators can now earn goerli BZZ tokens by running the Bee client. In early 2021, Swarm might launch a campaign to incentivize this testnet to simulate the economics of the real mainnet that will launch later this year.

Liberate Data Week & Hackathon

From 8–14 February, Fair Data Society is hosting Liberate Data Week.

Liberate Data Week is a hackathon packed with valuable announcements, talks, demos, and presentations. The programme is still being crafted, but from what we know already, each day of the hackathon is going to be dedicated to a specific topic, each relevant to the Fair Data economy. To join this event, register here.

Click here to read the announcement blog post.

Thank you for following us!

The only thing left to do now is to thank all of you who follow us and believe in our vision. Together we will revolutionize the web and make the vision of the World Computer a reality.

Happy New PLUR Year!

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