Swarm Summit 2024 Recap

29 Jun 2024


Swarm is becoming a critical part of the web3 infrastructure. Today, video streaming on Swarm is blazingly fast and migrating from IPFS is seamless. Node operators are seeing increased profitability. With Swarm 2.0, video and IPFS migration are leading the way.

Thanks to Swarm’s high suitability for AI coupled with future developments such as multi-chain support, Swarm 3.0 is making the world computer real. The message is clear: decentralised storage is essential for web3; and Swarm is at the forefront. Dive into the future with Swarm and be part of the revolution.

Time for Growth: Swarm’s Ready Real-World Applications

On 20-21 June 2024, the developer of decentralised data storage and distribution technology Swarm held its sixth annual summit which was also Swarm’s first IRL summit in five years. This time, the Swarm team came to the vibrant city of Ljubljana in Slovenia, the land of mountains and forests in southern Central Europe. Themed “Upload the Future,” the event showcased Swarm’s rapid evolution and real-world applications, proving that Swarm is ready and already making waves in decentralised data storage and distribution.

This end-of-June cypherpunk wave raised by Swarm Summit has not settled down yet. It continues on 27 June at the webinar “The Promise & Challenges of DePIN” with Swarm and prominent DePIN projects Peaq and IoTeX participating.

Multichain Support: Use Swarm from Any Chain, with Any Token

One of the most exciting announcements was Swarm’s upcoming multi-chain support. Imagine accessing the Swarm storage from any blockchain, using any token. Whether you’re on Solana, Cardano, or maybe even Bitcoin, Swarm will seamlessly integrate, making decentralised storage more accessible and interoperable than ever before. At the same time, the reach and demand of Swarm will grow. While users won’t need $BZZ directly, the conversion to $BZZ and bridging to the base chain will happen under the hood.

The multi-chain move is set to bolster smooth interoperability between Swarm users coming from various public chains and facilitate quick user onramp within the broader crypto ecosystem. The solution is underpinned by a decentralised system of liquidity providers that act as bridges between a potentially vast range of cryptocurrencies and Swarm. Any blockchains that support transactions with an escrow contract and implement SHA-256 encryption are eligible.

Swarm and AI: A Natural Fit for Decentralised Intelligence

Swarm is uniquely positioned to support decentralised AI applications. With strong compatibility with decentralised data structures in storage and beyond, Swarm is a perfect fit for AI-powered dApps. The combination of blockchain and Swarm ensures immutable data provenance, making Swarm an essential player in the AI landscape.

Elad Verbin of the European DeepTech venture fund Lunar Ventures presented how decentralised storage (and especially Swarm) will be used for building AI-powered dApps. He explained what the landscape of decentralised AI-powered applications will look like, covered the engineering considerations of how to combine decentralised storage and decentralised computation for such dApps, and showed some rough system designs that can already be deployed today.

Tadej Fius, CTO of the Slovenia-based Datafund, a protocol for guarding personal data, safe storage, and ethical data exchange, talked about immutable data provenance and leveraging Swarm for secure tracing. Blockchain + Swarm can be used as a synergetic solution where Swarm stores immutable data while blockchain stores references and time stamps. Thus, transparency, integrity, and tamper-proof records are ensured. Tadej also presented Hubee Registry, a public decentralised registry for AI models, datasets, and resources that is integrated with Swarm for live, on-chain accessibility.

Decentralised Video Streaming: The Ultimate Censorship-Resistant Solution

Since the 2010s, instructions on how to set up your Bee Node, honey lemonade recipes, personal diaries, conferences, educational resources, and even ads have all become videos. Music tracks that have no music videos have visualisers instead. Video content is king; and Swarm is the ultimate solution for decentralised video streaming. At the summit, various projects demonstrated how Swarm can replace traditional video infrastructure components, offering censorship-resistant, decentralised streaming. From StreamETH’s Video as a Service to the seamless integration of Etherna, Swarm is proving itself as the go-to platform for video.\

On 17–19 June, at the Swarm Hackdays side event at the Ljubljana Computer History Museum that preceded the summit, participants built a hack that created a transcoding service for video from Swarm, meaning you can stream at a lower quality than the original directly from the network — if you need to.

Levente Kiss of SolarPunk showed how to stream audio and video in a decentralised way on Swarm in a functional PoC client-side application. In segmented streaming, Swarm can replace the transcoder, origin server, caching/edge servers, and a VOD archive for AVC, HEVC, VP9, and AV1 video codecs and MP3, AAC, and AC-3 audio codecs in MP4, HLS, and MPEG-DASH streaming. Levente tried it right at the summit; and it worked flawlessly.

Pablo Voorvaart of the full-stack video platform StreamETH (it streamed two most recent editions of Swarm Summit) presented their Video as a Service solution that can livestream to VOD in seconds and manage all your videos (including those stored on Livepeer, IPFS, and Swarm) from one place.

Sergio Marchese of the independent decentralised video platform Etherna made a presentation on how it can serve as a bridge to Swarm. Etherna has a bulk video importer and a gateway to upload/download data to/from Swarm without a local Swarm node. It uses Beehive Manager for node management, the Bee.Net client, Epoch Feed, MDBee & MongODM, and Etherna CSM.

And by the way, the upcoming Ethereum Developer Conference, Southeast Asia DevCon7, will host its videos on Swarm.

Expanding Ecosystem: Value-Aligned Cypherpunks, New Partnerships and Collaborations

Swarm’s ecosystem is expanding rapidly with new partnerships and collaborations. Projects like SolarPunk, StreamETH, and Galaxis are leveraging Swarm’s capabilities to build decentralised communities and applications. These value-aligned cypherpunks are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with decentralised technology.

SolarPunk Tech Lead András Arányi explored content access control on Swarm. With the future addition of Access Control Trie, Swarm will be the best solution for gated community content, confidential data, and paid content management. The Swarm ecosystem member SolarPunk has partnered with Galaxis, a web3 platform to build and grow sustainable decentralised communities without third-party interference, to implement ACT into their product.

Philippe Schommers, Head of Infrastructure at Gnosis who previously worked at Swarm, presented the vision for Gnosis 3.0 and announced that Gnosis has started to store L2 data on Swarm, ensuring the long-term preservation of it. L2 data in Gnosis, coming from financial applications like Gnosis Pay, will exponentially grow and require a private, secure, and permissionless enclave to be stored.

Swarm is excited to welcome more web3 services willing to store their data in its decentralised storage and contribute to the self-sustainability of the web3 ecosystem — like Lastic, a protocol-agnostic blockspace marketplace on Polkadot that can serve as DA as a Service for app developers so that they can choose the solution that suits the best case. Since Data Availability is something all scaling solutions need, Lastic allows scaling solutions to be subsidised for their Data Availability usage.

Swarm continues to push the vision of cypherpunk into the masses. Alexis Roussel, a member of the Swarm Foundation and COO of NYM, spoke on digital integrity, its legal concept, legal implications for data protection, and adoption. Digital integrity is a new fundamental human right to protect a person’s digital life and autonomy. This right was adopted in the Constitution of Geneva with a 94% approval rate in 2023.

Fellowships Driving Innovation: Data Availability, Provenance, and Video

Swarm is fostering innovation through fellowships focused on Data Availability, data provenance in AI, and video technologies. These fellowships are crucial for developing the next generation of decentralised infrastructure, ensuring that Swarm stays at the cutting edge of technology.


At the summit, Swarm announced a new fellowship to create a DA layer, offering the primitives needed for any DA challenge. It will require a new Swarm Data Layer that will submit an attestation that the data is indeed available, and will be able to do it for different blockchains. The Swarm Data Layer testnet and launch are expected later this year.

Swarm vs. IPFS: Easy Migration for Better Performance

\Migrating from IPFS to Swarm is a breeze, offering better performance and more robust features. Swarm’s seamless integration with existing systems and enhanced data handling capabilities make it a superior choice for decentralised storage, ensuring your data is always accessible and secure.

Swarm compares favourably with IPFS across all the major performance metrics. In the image above you can see that distribution of data on Swarm is on average at least an order of magnitude faster than that on IPFS. For files under 1,000 KB, Swarm is about 200 times faster. Swarm beat IPFS, although the IPFS server with content was in Ljubljana and the content was pinned.

Looking at download times for existing downloads (the IPFS server with content was in Ljubljana, all uploads were pinned), on Swarm, most downloads complete in under 20 seconds and all downloads complete in under 3 minutes, while on IPFS those indicators are 1 minute and over 16 minutes. For old data downloads, Swarm is 5 to almost 300 times faster than IPFS. Get more visuals of these tests here.

Feel the difference and move over to the best decentralised storage solution out there. On Swarm, the small 4 KB data chunk size, Kademlia forwarding, and the in-built $BZZ incentives do wonders.

\Swarm DevRel officer Ramesh Pallikara presented what everyone needs to know about IPFS and Swarm, highlighted the pros and cons, and showed a guide on how to migrate data from IPFS and use Swarm instead.

\Viktor Trón also presented the unique features of Swarm compared to BitTorrent and IPFS. In order to be sustainable, P2P storage networks need to have an adequate system of incentives. Unlike the above two projects, Swarm implements 8-component incentives: Proof of Replication, Redundancy, Responsibility, Relevance, Retention, Recency, Retrievability, and Resources, and adds a significant deflationary force.

In “Practical Use Cases of Swarm That You Can Do Today,” Aron S. of Swarm provided a complete guide to starting on Swarm, including setting up, uploading/downloading, blogging, and setting up access to web2. All it takes is a computer with internet access, a Bee node, NodeJS 18+, and some xBZZ + xDAI on the Gnosis network. You can find all the needed tools on howtoswarm.com.

Running Swarm in the Browser: Unstoppable, Data-Rich dApps in Your Browser

One of the most groundbreaking developments is the ability to run Swarm in the browser. This innovation makes it possible to run fully functional, data-rich dApps directly in the browser, significantly lowering the web3 entry barrier for web2 users and developers alike and making connecting to the network more convenient. Imagine, for example, having contacts from Safe stored securely and encrypted on Swarm.

Increased Profitability: Running a Bee Node

Running a Bee node has never been more profitable. With the launch of Swarm 2.0, node operators benefit from features like erasure coding, a storage price oracle, and enhanced incentives. These improvements ensure better earnings and make participating in the Swarm network more rewarding.

Swarm web3 cloud expert Črt Ahlin and Swarm Foundation researchers Callum Toner and Gyuri Barabas held the panel “Optimizing Node Operations in Swarm: Economic and Technical Insights”. They discussed the roles and interactions of node operators within the Swarm network who serve as both storage providers and stakeholders in the ecosystem, the economic interdependencies between storage providers, data providers, and data users, and the incentives and costs associated with running a Swarm node. Going forward, the Swarm landscape will evolve through improvements and challenges discussed publicly in Swarm Improvement Proposals.

Swarm 3.0 is Making the World Computer Real

Elad Verbin: “Where is the hard drive?”

As we look towards the future with Swarm 3.0, the vision of a decentralised world computer is becoming a reality. Swarm is leading the way with innovations in AI, multi-chain support, and enhanced Data Availability. The journey towards a fully decentralised internet is underway, and Swarm is at its forefront.

Swarm is not just another project; it’s the backbone of web3’s critical infrastructure. The time to get involved is now. Explore the endless possibilities with Swarm, support decentralised storage, and be part of the future of the internet. Join us in making the world computer real with Swarm. Follow Swarm on X to stay updated on upcoming events and developments.

P.S.: You can watch select presentations from Swarm Summit 2024 on StreamETH.

This story was distributed as a release by Btcwire under HackerNoon’s Business Blogging Program. Learn more about the program here.