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P2WDB is an acronym for pay-to-write database. It's a peer-to-peer (p2p) database that operates over IPFS, is anchored in a blockchain, and strikes a balance between blockchains and modern web-based databases. Visit for documentation.

This code repository is the 'server' or 'service' side, for operating a P2WDB locally. If you simply want to read or write data to the P2WDB, check out the 'client' JavaScript library: p2wdb.

The P2WDB has the advantages of a blockchain:

  • There are multiple nodes on the network hosting their own copy of the database.
  • These redundant copies make it very difficult to censor content in the database, and ensure high availability of the data.
  • The nodes sync their databases using consensus rules.
  • Writes are paid for by burning PSF tokens. This provides incentive to improve the software and services.

The P2WDB has the advantages of a web-app database:

  • Up to 10KB of data can be included per write.
  • Reduced size, since P2WDB prunes data over a year old.
  • Easy backup of data to Filecoin for long-term storage.
  • REST API interface for CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations over web2.
  • JSON RPC interface for CRUD operations over web3 (IPFS).
  • Webhooks for triggering events when application-specific data is written to the P2WDB.

Read more documentation at


There are three primary communication interfaces for a P2WDB:

  • REST API over HTTP is the modern way that web 2.0 apps communicate with one another. It's fast and efficient, but it's also centralized and easy to censor. It's important to provide this interface so that the P2WDB can be accessed by web apps or phone apps.

  • JSON RPC over IPFS is a censorship resistant replacement for the REST API. It's a little slower, but this interface can be accessed by web apps and phone apps while being able to easily tunnel through firewalls and thereby prevent attempts at censorship. Read more about it at

  • (not implemented yet) On-Chain Read and Write is the most censorship resistant, but also the most expensive. Interfaces will be built for each blockchain that allows reading and writing to the database directly on-chain.

P2WDB Architecture

Each blockchain will have its own P2WDB instance that is specific to that blockchain. The local P2WDB can be written-to by providing a proof-of-burn on that blockchain. A proof-of-burn is simply a transaction ID (TXID), where a specific quantity of a specific token (e.g. $0.01 USD in PSF tokens) was burned in that transaction. That is the 'ticket' that lets a user write new data to the database. Anyone can read from the database for free.

The first P2WDB instance focuses on the BCH blockchain. In the future, when other blockchains are incorporated, the blockchain-specific P2WDBs will feed into a global P2WDB, which will be blockchain agnostic. This does not require any effort on the users part. Any data written to a blockchain-specific P2WDB will be automatically added to the global P2WDB. In this way, the P2WDB can function as a cross-blockchain communication medium and data provider.


Because the P2WDB is based on IPFS and OrbitDB, anyone at any time can backup the database onto Filecoin.

Keeping the P2WDB small and nimble ensures it's easy to replicate by many service providers. The more service providers participating in the ecosystem, the more censorship resistant the data becomes.


  • node ^16.15.1
  • npm ^8.11.0
  • Docker ^20.10.8
  • Docker Compose ^1.27.4


ipfs-p2wdb-service is a fork of ipfs-service-provider. This project ports the pay-to-write (P2W) database (DB) specific code to the ipfs-service-provider boilerplate code. ipfs-service-provider provides both a REST API over HTTP interface (web2) and JSON RPC over IPFS interface (web3) to access the P2WDB services.


Setup Development Environment

TODO: This section needs more information added to it.

There is additional developer documentation in the dev-docs directory.

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Pay-to-write Database Service using REST API over HTTP and JSON RPC over IPFS







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