Before we get to Filecoin, a little backstory. *Cue title track*
We use the internet for everything, to talk to our loved ones, to work together, to play together. The wonder of the web is that people have, over the last 25 years, shared so much about themselves freely and openly. Unfortunately, the internet has been built upon a very fragile foundation. And as the load increases, cracks are beginning to appear. You see, the amount of data generated has grown, vastly. Now. it is of vital importance to store and secure data in efficient ways.
The Problem with the Internet
Due to the way the internet evolved, there are single points of failure everywhere. One of the few companies working on this problem is Protocol Labs. Their idea is to improve the properties of the internet with decentralization & P2P (peer-to-peer) networks. They have built a protocol called IPFS to remove central points of failure. This will improve the flexibility of, and give permanence to, our data.
IPFS – A Decentralized Internet
IPFS aims to make HTTP ancient with decentralization. It was developed by an amazing community of developers that are interested in building decentralized technology. Being a large scale open source effort – people have contributed to it from all over the world. IPFS was built by people who really care about the future of the web and want to address the problems we face. A small number of data monopolies currently control the web. Protocol Labs is a big believer that re-decentralization (damn, that’s a lot of syllables) of the web can be made possible.
Filecoin – A Decentralized Storage Network
The next phase, is to improve upon IPFS and take the concept further. Filecoin, a new protocol, aims to do so. With cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin & Ethereum bringing decentralization into mainstream discussions, the concept has been adapted and applied to other fields as well. Massive decentralized networks have formed, where anyone can dedicate their computer to run the network – and earn crypto tokens for doing so.
Mining for tokens has become so profitable that these networks have spread globally. This has created one of the most powerful computing systems. The boys and girls over at Protocol Labs realized that they could use this same kind of incentive structure to create a decentralized storage network. There are massive amounts of unused, latent storage out there. Filecoin’s vision is to create a decentralized storage market, a network kind of like an AirBnB for gigabytes.
Earn with Filecoin
With this vast amount of supply joining a network that’s not currently connected, the resources can be greatly optimized. That’s going to lead to an eventual drop in the cost of storage. The key point of this network is – it has a token that is native to it’s system, called the Filecoin. It’s the medium of exchange for this decentralized market. Users spend Filecoin to store their files on the network. Meanwhile, Filecoins are paid to the storage providers. The amount of storage added and the distance from the user affect your earnings.
One of the powerful things about Filecoin is that it gives individuals, incentives to act as a part of the network. Each individual is paid for their contribution. The sum of all the individual contributions will create a network that is much more powerful than the systems we have today.
The token can be exchanged for USD, BTC, ETH, EUROS & so on. Users can also hold on (Check out this ‘Keep Calm & HODL’ tee by TechieScoops) to their Filecoin so that it can appreciate as the network grows.
Filecoin re-imagined data storage and delivery. This is important, especially in places where internet services are weak. Just like how people mine bitcoin all over the world, local entrepreneurs will realize that they can mine Filecoin by bringing together as many hard-drives as they can get. Not only can they earn significant amounts of money but they can provide a valuable service to their community. This system can help move valuable and precious data on the internet into those regions. This data can then be served locally, thus giving access to billions of people who are currently locked out of the web.