Cloud Storage is already being disrupted by Blockchain Technology
Let’s talk about the cloud today! No, not that cloud you are looking from your window, let’s talk about cloud storage and more specifically Blockchain Cloud Storage!
Cloud storage is just another form of data storage. A USB is a form of data storage we are all familiar with. You go to the store, you buy an 8GB USB, you plug it into a computer and begin storing files on it e.g. photos, videos, programs etc. The cloud is exactly the same, you are given a certain amount of storage (e.g. 8GB), you put all your data in and you can access it from different locations or devices making it different than physical storage like a hard drive or a flash drive.
Definition by Wikipedia ‘‘Cloud storage is a model of data storage in which the digital data is stored in logical pools, the physical storage spans multiple servers (and often locations), and the physical environment is typically owned and managed by a hosting company. These cloud storage providers are responsible for keeping the data available and accessible, and the physical environment protected and running. People and organizations buy or lease storage capacity from the providers to store user, organization, or application data.''
As the definition says the physical environment is typically owned and managed by a hosting company. The main cloud services include DropBox by Microsoft, Google Drive obviously by Google and iCloud by Apple. These companies own enormous futuristic facilities where they keep all the servers used to store the data.
This is an example of Google’s multiple data storage centers in secret locations. Looks like a mining farm, isn’t it?
Could Storage on the Blockchain
Today we will examine how the Cloud Storage industry will transform from a highly centralized industry with vast storage centers owned by tech giants to a decentralized ecosystem with Blockchain technology.
Storing your data on traditional Cloud storage services is fine if you trust that third party doing it for you. But that’s a big if! Blockchain protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum are built on the concept of eliminating this trust we have to have in order to do really anything these days. Therefore it’s no surprise that the Cloud Storage industry is one of the earliest industries that are set to be disrupted by Blockchain technology.
There are 4 main Competitors in the decentralized data storage field Filecoin, Sia, Storj, and Maidsafe. In this article, we will concentrate on Filecoin as it has managed to raise the eye-watering amount of $257m in 2017 during their ICO, the biggest amount in the history of ICOs.
Protocol Labs’ Filecoin is a decentralized storage network built on a blockchain with a native token. It utilizes the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) – a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol, also by Protocol Labs – to address and move content, while providing the surrounding auditing, verification, and incentivization structure. Clients spend tokens on storing and retrieving data, while miners earn tokens by storing and/or servicing the retrieval of data, as well as mining new blocks and processing transactions. Storage and retrieval requests are handled as orders in two respective decentralized verifiable markets, allowing clients to tune their storage strategy to a custom balance between redundancy, speed, and cost, and incentivizing vendors to offer flexible options at competitive prices. Miners receive their payments only if the network can audit that their service was correctly provided. Filecoin employs Proof-of-Replication (whereby providers prove that data has been replicated to its own uniquely dedicated physical storage) and Proof-of-Spacetime (proof that data has been stored throughout a specified amount of time) as Proofs-of-Storage.
Blockchain is slowly finding its way into our lives with real-world applications being built every day. Do you have any other examples of blockchain real-world applications? Let us know in the comment section below!