What exactly are IPFS and Filecoin?

Source|IPFS Ronglai Technology

1. Introduction to Filecoin, background and vision of the project?

Filecoin is a decentralized storage network that transforms cloud storage into an algorithm market. Among them, miners can obtain native tokens by providing data storage and retrieval services. This process is generally called mining. At the same time, users can hire miners to pay for services to store, distribute and retrieve data. In addition to being a decentralized network, Filecoin is also a project, token, and agreement.

Filecoin’s vision is to lay a solid foundation for human information.

IPFS is not a blockchain, Filecoin is. The IPFS project is one of the five projects created by the protocol lab. IPFS is a decentralized network protocol that benchmarks HTTP. IPFS has many advantages such as content addressing, distribution, anti-shielding, and anti-DDoS. These advantages make the decentralized network, which we often say, web3.0, faster. , Safe and open. Filecoin and IPFS are actually complementary protocols. Using IPFS allows each node to store the data they think is important. However, it does not inspire others to join the network or store specific data. So Filecoin has to be a persistent data storage system at the beginning of the design, and customers can store data above a certain level of redundancy and availability. 

libp2p is a modular network stack. libp2p brings together various transmission and peer-to-peer protocols, allowing developers to easily build powerful large-scale p2p networks. The nodes in Filecoin are using libp2p to ensure a secure connection. It is worth mentioning that on Devcon5 in Japan last October, Ethereum 2.0 has confirmed the use of libp2p as its new line protocol. 

IPLD is a data model of a decentralized network. It uses cryptographic hashing to connect all data. IPLD will be used as the underlying technology of cross-chain technology in the future. 

Multiformats is a collection of protocols for future proof systems. Due to his self-describing format, the system’s interoperability and scalable performance are greatly improved.

According to industry rumors, http founder Berners Lee is also a fan of filecoin because the filecoin logo was stuck on his computer when he attended the meeting. Berners itself is a decentralized information group. In fact, Berners and Juan are very good friends. At the beginning of 18, Juan gave a speech on decentralized network at MIT. Berners was the host at that time. Interested friends You can go to search video. In terms of relationship, I think the relationship between http and ipfs is like the relationship between Berners and Juan. One is the old protocol, although there are many shortcomings, but it has supported the booming development of the Internet in the past few decades; the other is a rising star, although It’s still very green, but it gives more possibilities for the next generation of Internet, and a better future for the next 30 years or even 50 years.

2. Why storage needs to be distributed? 

Distributed storage is very natural. It is not a group of people who put a good centralized storage solution on it. They don’t have to revolutionize, they have to engage in distributed storage. First of all, there are many defects in centralized storage itself, such as being vulnerable to attack, easy to be shielded, data security, single point of failure, low bandwidth utilization and so on. Second, classical computers have a natural upper limit for Moore’s Law, that is, there is an upper limit for the performance of single-point systems. Nowadays, applications are becoming more and more abundant, smartphones have brought a large number of users to the Internet, and the volume of data has also increased geometrically. Traditional storage systems have long been overwhelmed. Although distributed storage will increase the complexity and management difficulty of the system, the blockchain system can perfectly solve a considerable part of the problem. Therefore, the distribution of storage is very natural and smooth, and cannot be avoided. 

filecoin If you want to become an airb&b in the blockchain field, then the problem comes. Airb&b is to let all owners share their rooms. The relationship between the room and the customer is not strongly bound. When the owner closes his shared room for temporary reasons, the customer can find him However, when the storage space sharer of filecoin shuts down, or the storage space is not online due to other reasons, the customer’s data cannot be accessed, what should I do?

In fact, users will adjust the redundancy factor according to their own needs, which is this redundant parameter, also called erasure coding. If the user stores relatively important data, he can adjust the redundancy parameter to 50, which means that the number of data copies of the user on the Filecoin network is 50, unless the nodes that store the 50 copies are offline at the same time. The user can still continue to access the data.

In addition, Filecoin’s economic model also restricts the evil behaviors of mining work. Good services can get block rewards, and evil behaviors will be punished by mortgage deduction. 

3. What distributed storage projects are there in the world and which are doing well? How does it compare with Filecoin?

This is a long question. First of all, Storj, Sia, MaidSafe and Filecoin all have a storage market built locally. Users and miners can buy and sell storage space in this market. They all support the reputation system. Both Filecoin and Sia support smart contracts that set storage rules and requirements on the blockchain, while Storj does not. All four projects support erasure coding, but only Filecoin’s erasure coding is available for users to adjust. Storj is more like a centralized storage company that manages the decentralized storage network. It settles monthly and settles according to the market price and the Storj price at the time. This is quite strange. In Sia’s words, it is actually mining through proof of work, and providing storage services does not earn much Siacoin. Moreover, Siacoin has recently forked out 4 currencies due to the parent company’s ASIC problem. .

Domestic projects either focus solely on encryption, and in addition to encryption, blockchain attributes and market applicability are inadequate; or the essence of centralized storage is hype into decentralized projects. 

Some people say that the filecoin project is likely to be a private cloud disk, similar to Baidu Cloud? Is this question reasonable? In other words, filecoin does more than this. 

This should be a question asked by a layman. First of all, the private cloud disk is an application, and Filecoin is to do storage, data storage. Storage and application are two different levels of concept, please do not confuse these two concepts.

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