Storj: next-generation cloud storage through the blockchain

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Storj provides next-generation cloud storage by using the blockchain
An early screenshot of Storj. The next-generation decentralized cloud storage project is nearing alpha release.

A few months ago, I started reading about Bitcoin 2.0. Technology cannot stand still and, if you want it to become bigger, it is imperative that people keep developing. Because of Bitcoin’s open-source nature, this development is forever ongoing. Yesterday, Kyle Torpey reported on sidechains and what they could mean for Bitcoin and the vast collection of altcoins. It’s safe to say the whole community is very excited about this idea. While these are somewhat troubling times for Bitcoin, projects like this shine a light. Today, CCN brings you another Bitcoin 2.0 story. One that shows that the protocol can be used for more than just virtual money. Meet Storj.

Next-generation cloud storage

Storj is a software project about next-generation decentralized cloud storage. It seeks to disrupt the cloud storage industry by lowering costs to cloud storage users. The team explained what Storj is and how it works like this:

“Storj is a proposed decentralized storage system that seeks to disrupt the cloud storage industry by dramatically lowering costs to cloud storage users.  It would do this by paying incentives to storage providers in the form of a “blockchain-based dual purpose token” that would also store information about file integrity and storage locations.  The Storj network would autonomously issue, collect, and distribute these tokens so that users could pay for storage and be paid for providing storage.  All data would be encrypted, preferably client-side, before being uploaded to the network. We believe that Storj should simply be a mechanism for users to store their data, and the end user should have control over their data and privacy.”

Basically, Storj aims to provide a solution that improves the existing cloud storage providers in four key areas of the service provided. These areas are:

  • Less expensive for the same industry standard redundancy, uptime, and reliability;
  • Preferably client-side encryption and hashing automatically enforced prior to upload so all data on the Storj network is encrypted and anonymized;
  • Open source code released under the MIT license;
  • Decentralized, autonomous, and implements multiple blockchains thereby making it resistant to interruptions of service and security risks.

This all sounds promising and very ‘high-tech’, but most people will ask themselves why they should even consider leaving services like Dropbox or Google Drive behind. The team behind Storj anticipated this question and answered it on their website.

 

  • Save money: Our numbers show you are overpaying for data storage by 10-100x. When you pay for data storage you also are paying for employees, servers, and profit margins. We eliminate those costs by automating the entire network.

 

 

  • Trustless & secure, by design: When you have central sources of data, security breaches occur. Because our network is decentralized, we don’t have this problem. There is no database to breach, no cache of data to hack. Do not trust us, you don’t have to.

 

 

  • Token & blockchain driven: Bitcoin is the largest computing network in the world. Why just use that for money? So, we built a decentralized storage with the same technology. Some day soon, you will even be able to sell your unused storage space to our network.

 

 

  • Free, open-source: We are currently preparing our code for the alpha launch. At launch, our code will be open sourced under the MIT License. Feel free to experiment, hack, add features, verify, and bug test our code.

 

Power of the blockchain

Using the blockchain is a key project development goal for Storj. The main target is using the blockchain to store information about file integrity and storage locations using structured metadata. To do this, the team plans on releasing a new cryptocurrency that allows them to accomplish this and to get the network running immediately with the help of their web nodes. The new digital currency will also be used as a crowd funding model. More information on this new cryptocurrency will be released soon, according to their Bitcointalk thread.

Storj is being developed as we speak. The team is getting alpha software ready for general testing. If you are interested in this promising initiative, you are able to sign up on the Storj website. This will grant you early access and puts you on the mailing list.

Anyone can think of other new technologies that can benefit from the Bitcoin protocol? Let us know your ideas here.

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