About Decentralized Storage

Data in general and data on the blockchain network, in particular, are increasing, forcing Centralized Storage to upgrade its data storage and retrieval capabilities continuously. It is increasingly expensive to build, operate, and maintain centralized servers. Centralized storage is easy to be attacked to steal data, and these data are easily manipulated and taken advantage of by a third party who manages that storage. In addition, the effects of the weather condition and natural disasters on the storage facility is also a matter of concern. And Decentralized Storage was born to solve these problems.

Decentralized Storage is a system where each component is responsible for storing some segments of the data. They work together and form a decentralized storage network.

Some outstanding projects of Decentralized Storage:

The similarity of projects

All projects use blockchain technology and peer-to-peer network mechanism in storing distributed data. Each technology has a token or coin that represents it.

There are 2 main functions in each project: the provider of data storage space and the data owner. The data owner will store the data in the storage space leased by the provider. All payments are made in cryptocurrency of decentralized storage technology.

The data is all broken down, copied, and stored in distributed databases around the world. Stored data will not be affected by agents such as natural disasters, hackers, or manipulated by third parties. Users can access their data anytime and anywhere, while those who provide data storage space only partially know from this data.

The differences between two projects/versions

 

Filecoin

Sia

Storj

Swarm

Network

IPFS - IPFS requests specify only the cryptographic hash (like a fingerprint or identifier) of the data instead of requesting data hosted from a specific location in HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

Sia network - Each file is broken into 30 segments by the Sia client software. Then, the segments will be distributed to different hosts.

Storj network - like Sia, Storj breaks data into smaller segments, encrypts them by using AES-256-GCM symmetric encryption, and stores them across the global network.

Swarm network - Like a distributed, content-addressed chunk store which makes use of Ethereum’s dev p2p network layer for peer discovery and communication.

Cryptocurrency

Filecoin (FIL)

Siacoin

Storjcoin

Swarm BZZ

Price

Anyone can participate in Filecoin, so any single company does not control pricing. Although this offers greater flexibility, organizations working within specific storage budgets may be difficult, especially when trying to calculate "gas fees," which are charges for resources consumed by messages.

The storage providers have to compete for business in the decentralized storage marketplace provided by Sia. That is why pricing is less predictable.

Users offer fixed pricing, so it is easier to budget storage costs. The amount of data the organization stores and downloads will decide the exact price.

Swarm has a close relationship with Ethereum as one of the three pillars of Ethereum. The price of the swarm is determined by the value of Ethereum.

Data Storage

A huge number of storage providers in the Filecoin network can satisfy the varying needs of different customers. Three distinct proof-based mechanisms:

Proof of Spacetime, Proof of Replication, Proof of Storage built into the Filecoin storage network’s consensus algorithm

Data is automatically encrypted, split up into 30 segments, and sent to various storage providers around the world when data is uploaded to Sia. The Providers are penalized for missing submitting Proof of Storage and compensated for proofing

By incentivizing users from all over the world to contribute spare storage space to companies or users who demand ultra-secure and private storage, Storj takes advantage of latent storage and under-utilized network capacity.

To ensure the availability of data, Swarm has built-in privacy protection, communication, and redundancy functions. Once a single node is required, any data and any device can continuously transmit data offline. 

Backup

Proof-of-replication - In filecoin, every single miner has to prove to the network that a unique copy of a data piece is stored entirely.

Reed-Solomon erasure coding is used by Sia to ensure redundancy and make it possible to recover a file from only 10 of its segments. 

A file is broken into 80 segments, so just by any 30 of those segments, a customer can reconstitute the file.

Swarm provides Bee clients service. Data is saved and backed up from Bee nodes

Conclusion

Each project aims to provide users with a decentralized data storage service. Thereby, data is protected better from hacker attacks, unaffected by natural disasters, and dominated by centralized data storage providers. Users can not only use the hosting service at a reasonable price but also can rent out the existing storage space to earn extra income. Decentralized storage projects towards an open community, where anyone can share and exchange data storage in a secure, resource-optimized way.

References

[1] Storj Docs, accessed 2 April 2022.

[2] Ethereum Swarm, accessed 2 April 2022.

[3] Gemini, “Filecoin (FIL): Cloud Storage and Data Retrieval.”, accessed 2 April 2022.

[4] Ford, Paul. “Storj Crypto: Decentralized Storage Solution.”,  accessed 2 April 2022.

[5] Sheldon, Robert. “7 decentralized data storage networks compared.” TechTarget, 5 January 2022,  accessed 2 April 2022.

[6] Sheldon, Robert. “7 decentralized data storage networks compared.” TechTarget, 5 January 2022, accessed 2 April 2022.

[7] “Sia 101.” Sia Support Docs, accessed 2 April 2022.

[8] Gemini, “Siacoin (SC): Decentralized Data Marketplace.” , accessed 2 April 2022.

[9] What is Filecoin?” Filecoin Docs, 4 February 2022, accessed 2 April 2022.