MEM's path to decentralization with Akash Network

MEM's path to decentralization with Akash Network

December 07, 2023

MEM is a serverless functions platform for web3 developers built on the Verifiable Atomic Computing Paradigm. With this paradigm, MEM applications benefit from a trustless record of interactions and state, enshrined onchain.

But as is often the case when building developer-friendly tooling that offers web2-like UX, certain elements of the MEM stack rely on centralized endpoints and servers. Similar to RPCs in Ethereum land, while MEM data is eventually settled onchain it is broadcast to the network and consumed by users with the help of trusted endpoints, like

Until now, this was a weak point - what if the server hosting the API goes down or is censored by its provider? Even though application state is always retrievable from Arweave and data loss is not a factor, outages can render applications built on MEM temporarily unable to be interacted with.

This is a problem we are starting to solve by migrating core piece of MEM infrastructure to Akash, starting with the testnet API and molecule library dependencies.

MEM infrastructure on Akash

The introduction of the MEM testnet API on Akash provides developers with two endpoint options: one provided by the MEM team, and one powered by Akash. In addition, it is also possible to self-host the APIs — to deploy on Akash or your own hardware — ensuring additional layers of redundancy.

MEM’s move towards decentralization brings several practical benefits:

  • decentralized infrastructure reduces single points of failure
  • introduces a greater degree of censorship resistance
  • different endpoint options allows developers to select the most performant or reputable, and swap between them for redundancy
  • this shift aligns MEM’s operations more closely with the decentralized ethos of web3, and further differentiates the platform from web2 alternatives

The journey ahead

Moving the API and molecule library onto Akash is just the start for MEM’s journey to full decentralization. MEM is working to deploy a custom Arweave gateway with AR.IO which will be a MEM-only alternative to current defaults like

Beyond that, MEM’s endgame form has always been an appchain; the VACP model makes it possible to add a decentralized layer of validators which would work to idependently verify the inputs and outputs of MEM functions match the code being run. Watch this space. 👀

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