Decentralized storage such as Filecoin, Sia, StorX are better alternatives for the centralized cloud storage namely google drive, dropbox, etc. moving towards a new era of storage.
Decentralization is understood as the transfer of authority from a central entity to a more localized and ‘liberal’ system. The concept itself has been around for a while and an earlier concept might be paralleled to the introduction of the web where the spread of data was democratized. The term is now being coined against Blockchain technologies and applications like Bitcoin and Ethereum which decentralize financial transactions and computing power. Storage is defined as the retention of retrievable data on a computer or other electronic system. We use storage on a day to day from the mobile and computers we use, and it’s easily understood from the files we put onto a USB stick. From the times of getting to put files on a diskette to having the ability to place files within the ‘cloud’, storage has come an extended way.
The current solutions of Google Drive and Dropbox still work great; there’s no reason to vary something if it works just fine. However there are growing concerns on why users want to modify these systems thanks to the restrictive nature of some services and also because the more commonly understood reports of recent company data leaks. Data breaches are happening since the web started and corporations have learned to affect them but it also involves attention that new infrastructures might help fix parts of the solution paths, a way to decentralized storage.
Decentralized storage aims to address the general problems in traditional cloud storage systems:
- Because the data is spread out over a large network it is more difficult to attack or censor.
- Files are encrypted with a private key, keeping ownership of the data with the user
- Files are broken down into multiple pieces and spread across multiple nodes. This makes it impossible for any single node to read the file in its entirety.
- The efficient use of existing storage leads a reduction in cost
- Multiple copies are stored on different nodes, avoiding the bottlenecks on central servers and increasing download speeds.
Decentralized storage is a potential solution that Blockchain companies are researching and implementing. It is a system of being able to store your files without having to rely on large, centralized silos of data that don’t undermine important values such as privacy and freedom of your information.
Several platforms offer decentralized storage networks with no central storage or monitoring facility. The data is stored across multiple locations, with the servers hosted by independent operators rather than large entities. Individuals or businesses can participate and rent out the unused storage space on their computers. Some platforms operate on their own independent blockchains, while others run on open public blockchains.
Dive into the current projects that are trying to tackle the decentralized storage problem.
Filecoin is an open-source cloud storage marketplace built on top of Interplanetary File System (IPFS), a peer-to-peer distributed network protocol. Filecoin allows anyone to participate in renting out extra storage space to “clients” and earn Filecoin (FIL) tokens in return. These storage providers or “miners” register with the network and can bid for storage requests. The Filecoin system breaks the user’s data file into smaller parts and encrypts it before sending it to the storage provider, who has no access to the decryption keys. The Filecoin service has been live since October 2020.
Stage: In development
Tech: Proof of Spacetime and Proof of Replication
Token Economics: Max supply of 2 billion
Sia also connects users who need file storage with hosts worldwide offering underutilized hard drive capacity. Renters pay using Siacoin (SC), which can also be mined and traded. Sia encrypts and distributes the files across a decentralized network, with only the users of the data having access to the private encryption keys. In 2020, Sia launched Skynet, a decentralized file-sharing and content delivery platform for developers, built on top of the Sia cloud storage network. The Sia software has been downloaded over a million times since inception, with thousands of TB uploaded to the network.
Tech: File Contracts, Proof of Storage
Token Economics: Maximum token supply of 425 Million
Token Circulation: 98.5 / 425 Million
StorX is a decentralized cloud storage network, Which empowers users to store their data securely on the cloud. Each file uploaded on StorX is split and encrypted into multiple fragments to autonomous storage nodes operated by individual operators across the world who rent their spare disk space to create a decentralized network of storage nodes that is used to store data. The hosts of the storage nodes are rewarded in SRX tokens for leasing their disk space to those who require it. StorX can be considered as the UBER of cloud storage that brings those who require disk space and those who want to rent their unused disk space together.
Tech: Decentralized Cloud Storage
Token Economics: Token Supply of 500 million.
The rapid growth of decentralization in cloud storage with blockchain technology has led to an inflow of new players and innovations in the space that has potential to create a new era of decentralization Storage.