IPFS: Inter-Planetary FileSystem

IPFS: Inter-Planetary FileSystem

IPFS is the Inter-Planetary FileSystem. It's used to direct people to content instead of addresses. When you look for a file on the network, you typically type some URL into your browser that navigates you to some website. The address contains the "who" your browser should talk to in order to receive data back. Data may only ever exist on that website and cannot be found elsewhere (unless you download that content and host it yourself).

In IPFS, you can have multiple gateways that serve content from a decentralized backend filesystem. Data is stored on IPFS and a hash of that data is rendered back to you. In this way, anyone hosting an IPFS gateway can serve any file that was previously stored on the IPFS network without having to go through a central authority. You could even host your own IPFS gateway to have faster access to the files that matter to you most.

People can upload content into an IPFS and that data can be stored indefinitely. People host full-blown websites! Blockchains based on currency (like RVN, ETH and SOL) use these as utility to store blob data like videos, images and music. This enables these blockchains to focus on what they do best while letting other blockchains focus on storing the data that they want to track.

Cryptocurrency Examples

There are a few cryptocurrency projects that leverage IPFS. The most notable is FileCoin (ticker: FIL). Other projects include Siacoin (ticker: SC), Storj (ticker: STORJ) and Swarm (ticker: BZZ). These projects enable folks to utilize IPFS and earn rewards for keeping your data safe.

The general idea is this:

  • There are people who have extra disk space not doing anything.
  • They can allocate some of this disk space to the network.
  • They would receive rewards for keeping your data secure in this decentralized cloud filesystem. For some projects like FileCoin, rewards for them are slashed or even removed if their node ever goes down. In this way, there's a high level of incentive to maintain stability of the storage space available on the network. Anyone ever had a drive fail on them in the middle of a torrent download?

You can find out more about this technology at docs.ipfs.io. They have everything from running your own node, uploading files to the network and much more!

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