Cloud storage has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional storage solutions. That being said it is still vulnerable to problems like data breaches, Storj hopes to provide a cryptocurrency based cloud solution
Cloud storage is incredibly useful. It allows us to easily store large amount of data without relying on hardware or laptops. Every day millions of people use cloud based storage to back up photographs or vital data.
Despite being a powerful tool cloud storage is not without its problems. There have been a number of high profile cases where cloud storage has been hacked and thousands of images, often deeply personal, have been leaked into the wild.
Storj hopes to use cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to deliver a safer, faster and more reliable online storage system at a highly competitive price.
What Is Storj
First established in 2013 Storj is a cloud storage service that makes use of native tokens to facilitate internal transactions. The goal of the project is to create an environment that promotes faster cloud storage capabilities and lowers the utility prices for these kind of digital services. This is achieved by using a decentralized cloud server, as opposed to the centralized data centers used by most large companies today.
Storj’s main advantage is that it comes with a market-ready ecosystem that has already received the support of some major digital players. For example the company has partnered with Microsoft Azure and Heroku to integrate STORJ tokens with various third-party platforms.
One of the most important aims of the Storj project is to make it much cheaper to purchase and use online storage. Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum Storj coins are designed to be used for daily payments within the Storj network. The fees charged per transactions are incredibly small by design, especially when compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum or traditional credit and debit card transactions.
How does Storj Work
Storage makes use of a peer 2 peer framework composed of farmers and renters. This process is somewhat similar to that used by Substratum. Farmers offer up their spare hard drive space and bandwidth for rent. Renters are then able to purchase this space and bandwidth for use a form of cloud storage.
Storj claims that this kind of decentralized network could provide users with speeds that are nearly ten times faster than traditional cloud computing companies. It also allows them to keep costs down by avoiding the purchase of expensive centralized storage servers. Another key advantage of this decentralized system is that it allows for some pretty impressive encryption to take place.
When a file is stored on the Storj blockchain it is stored in multiple “Shards”. Before the sharding process begins the user should encrypt their file on the client-side, this is to protect the content from the farmers running each node. Once the file is placed on the network it can be broken up into a series of shards, one shard can even be composed of multiple files.
These shards can then be spread across a huge number of nodes, making the source file almost impossible to locate. Another advantage of this system is that it helps to ensure that content can be easily accessed. Users are able to create “mirror” shards that act as redundant data. That way if a node goes offline it won’t impact availability of the content. This is particularly useful for video or audio content.
Shards represent the most interesting part of the Storj system. By ensuring files are “shredded” and scattered across the network they become almost impossible to steal. This protects users from data breaches and ensures that their private files actually remain private. In order to ensure that farmers can’t simply alter or delete Shards the network runs a check once an hour to ensure that each farmer still has their shards. If the check doesn’t find the shards present then the farmer will not receive any Storjcoins.
The Storj token, STORJ, is a means of payment on the network. While Storj Labs’ implementation of Storj uses the token exclusively the open source version of Storj is payment agnostic, meaning that any cryptocurrency can be implemented. STORJ is currently on the Ethereum blockchain and there is a total suppy of up to 500 million tokens, 25% of which were issued during the ICO.
One of Storj’s main competitive advantages is that is is incredibly cheap.users can rent storage space for around $0.015 per GB per month and $0.05 for bandwidth per GB, which is incredibly cheap compared to existing alternatives.
Storj Has A Vibrant Developer Community
Storj is designed to act as a platform for developers and Storjcoins can be used to power apps built on the Storj ecosystem. The Storj code itself, like many cryptocurrencies, is completely open source and available for anybody to view on Github. Their development team also includes contributors from around the world.
The Storj platform currently uses Filezilla to upload files. FileZilla has incorporated the Storj multi-platform C library that enables encrypted file transfer on the Storj network and helps to maintain the performance and stability of the entire network.
A wealth of technical documentation and tutorials built by the Storj community have made it simple for new developers to start building apps for the Storj platform. The team also welcomes contributors to the main project. Open source projects are good, especially in cryptocurrency, as they help to build a dedicated community who feel that they are able to contribute.
Should You Invest In Storj?
Storj is an interesting coin with a strong existing product. The fact that it is open source is a huge boon as it allows thousands of developers around the world to scrutinize and contribute to the code. Up until now STORJ has broadly followed the rest of the cryptocurrency market and has seen the same ups and downs.
That being said Storj is a product that is likely to persist into the future. The Storj team believe that their project is fully scalable and will actually become faster and more secure as more people use it. If there are more farmers then there will be more nodes, which leads to a more efficient network.
The low cost of purchasing data and the enhanced security alone should be enough to help increase the price of STORJ. Storj also has a significant first mover advantage and any new cryptocurrencies built are likely to be based on the Storj open source solution and may well continue to use STORJ tokens.
While things are never certain, especially in the world of cryptocurrency, Storj is definitely one to watch.