The blockchain is immutable but not all data will survive

in steem •  22 days ago  (edited)

Source: GIPHY

This evening I was reading aggroed's Top 5 reasons to develop on Steem and a thought instantly hit me at the second line:

Users on Steem are able to post their thoughts through a (sic) multiple blogging interfaces and have immutable, protected, free speech. —aggroed

The Steem blockchain is immutable (unable to be changed) but I believe not all data will survive. How so, do you ask?

Let's take a little step back and imagine that you've just made a post. You've hit that PUBLISH button and now you're intermittently refreshing the page to see how many upvotes have come in. With each upvote, the dopamine kicks in and you feel really good about yourself. You re-read your post again, this time "perceiving" how the voter would have felt reading your glorious masterpiece...but wait...there's an error!

Quick, quick! You frantically EDIT the spelling mistake before someone notices and everything is good again. Is it really, 'good now'? Well, an EDIT doesn't really remove the mistake. Remember that the blockchain is immutable. That error is still there, but the frontend is designed to only show the most recent update.

OK, but what's your point? How can some blockchain data be lost?

The image hyperlinks!

The textual data can't change, but that doesn't mean the owner of the server hosting the image has to keep that data. They also have the facility to modify it.

What if eSteem disappears?

Then sorry, @fitinfunfood, the image above is gone.

What is Steempeak decides to call it a day?


Then sorry, @organduo, the image above is gone.

And the same for Steemit, al.

Hardfork 21 reminded us of the reliance on Steemit's API servers.

Yes, we may be a decentralised blockchain, but to get to this data, a decent percentage of dApps relies heavily on the centralised Steemit infrastructure.

How do we fix it?

I don't know, I'm just pointing this out 😂
Is it even possible to store image data directly into the blockchain? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Maybe someone can answer or suggest in the comments.

Yours truly,

I'm co-owner of witness untersatz with organduo!

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The blockchain only stores the text, if it had to store images, it would be immense and grow rapidly.I think there are no solutions at this point for pictures and images, but "speech" is safe :)

Perhaps in time though, there will be hosting solutions that either integrate into the blockchain to make them safer or, have the possibility to self host in various ways. Who knows, perhaps torrent type solutions could be used and have decentralized image hosting services that replicate images and links.

We should store images as ASCII art! Thanks for your insight. !SHADE 1 !DERANGED

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:) yes, ASCII will do fine. "zoom out for higher resolution" :D

deranged You just received DERANGED @tarazkp Keep up the great work, view all your tokens at

Nice. :)

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Interesting and I have no idea either.

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  ·  22 days ago (edited)

I came here to read 😳 wondering what does $Nan mean on the post value. Steem hiccups?

Looks ok here.

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What if everyone runs their own node? Then they are in control of their data, including images, videos and sounds.

The problem would be that while this is a solution not to lose data, it is also easy to manipulate what is being seen.

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The contents of all hyperlinks should be stored in the STEEM blockchain.

It would make it grow too large, too quickly.

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disappearing images.. you make me glad i use Imgur for all the images I put on Steem... until it disappears LOL

Hey, I’m just the messenger! 🔫

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  ·  21 days ago (edited)

That's why people should be using IPFS or LBRY for storing media files and just paste the link to it.

Interesting. I’ll look this up.

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Interesting information.
I am impressed you set up a witness server, I hope that is going well

Thanks for your support!

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For the time being, given it's unfeasible to store images in the blockchain, the only solution would be to allow users to add secondary/backup locations of their own choice to images they are uploading. If the main image is no longer available a backup image would be used.