Filecoin is a decentralized storage system that aims to “store humanity’s most important information.” The project raised $205 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017, and initially planned a launch date for mid-2019. However, the launch date for the Filecoin mainnet was pushed back until block 148,888, which is expected in mid-October 2020.The project was first described back in 2014 as an incentive layer for the Interplanetary File System (IPFS), a peer-to-peer storage network. Filecoin is open protocol and backed by a blockchain that records commitments made by the network’s participants, with transactions made using FIL, the blockchain’s native currency. The blockchain is based on both proof-of-replication and proof-of-spacetime.
Who Are the Founders of Filecoin?
Filecoin was founded by Juan Benet, who also created the Interplanetary File System. Benet is an American computer scientist who studied at Stanford University. After founding Protocol Labs in May 2014, he attended Y Combinator in the summer of 2014 with the intention of supporting both IPFS and Filecoin, as well as other projects.
What Makes Filecoin Unique?
Filecoin aims to store data in a decentralized manner. Unlike cloud storage companies like Amazon Web Services or Cloudflare, which are prone to the problems of centralization, Filecoin leverages its decentralized nature to protect the integrity of a data’s location, making it easily retrievable and hard to censor.
Decentralized storage systems like Filecoin allow people to be their own custodians of their data, as well as makes the web more accessible to people worldwide. Since participating in the Filecoin network by mining and storing is directly related to winning more block rewards, Filecoin incentives participants to act honestly and store as much data as possible.
How Many Filecoin (FIL) Coins Are There in Circulation?
Protocol Labs describes Filecoin’s tokenomics, or economic model, as a “market for data” where users can sell their storage space to other users, who are looking to rent. Five stakeholders will be able to trade tokens: developers, clients, miners, token holders and ecosystem partners. There will also be three Filecoin markets, according to Protocol Labs: file storage, file retrieval and on-exchange token trading.
In fall 2020, 400 miners participated in what was called the “Space Race” testnet phase, increasing Filecoin’s network data capacity by over 325 pebibytes; approximately 3.5 million FIL tokens will be released to the Space Race participants.
How Is the Filecoin Network Secured?
Filecoin is secured through proof-of-replication and proof-of-spacetime. In the Filecoin network, nodes that are also known as retrieval miners are in competition to serve clients with data as quickly as they can. They are then rewarded with FIL fees, which encourages a network of nodes that want to replicate and preserve files.
Storage miner nodes are constantly competing for contracts to provide storage to clients to a specific length of time. When a storage miner and their client agree on a deal, the storage miner holds the client’s data in a sector and “seals” it to create a unique copy of that sector’s data. Storage miners are rewarded with FIL by clients as deal fees, and these miners can also mine blocks and receive a block reward.