This technology didn’t just pop up overnight! In this section we’ll cover the background of decentralized storage from torrents until now, and go through some basics terminology to get you up to speed.
While Decentralized Storage is a catchy buzz word, it's important to understand where this new technology can be used, and where it should not.
State of the Industry
IPFS is just the beginning - in this module we'll catch you up on the developments currently affecting the space, and cover the various cryptocurrencies and tokens that have proposed incentive models for peer to peer storage.
WHILE DECENTRALIZED STORAGE IS VERY APPEALING FOR MANY APPLICATIONS, IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT LIKE ANY SYSTEM, IT CAN ONLY BE EXTENDED SO FAR.
Once a piece of information is uploaded to a public storage network, there’s no way to know who may have stored a copy and whether they still hold this copy. Unfortunately, even if the file is encrypted, it could be stored indefinitely, and the encryption technology used could eventually be broken.
In a peer-to-peer network, files are only stored if payment is provided. As a result, services can be interrupted if payments are not made as expected. In some of the proposed decentralized storage networks, payment is made when a file is served, which means that a dramatic increase in traffic could result in funds being depleted. By comparison, traditional networks such as Amazon Web Services usually operate on credit, so they will usually not interrupt services for weeks or even months after a dramatic increase in traffic.
Because decentralized storage networks are mostly anonymous, there is minimal legal recourse if things go wrong. For many traditional organizations, this can be a substantial bottleneck, since this means that lost revenue during a site crash or other similar scenarios cannot be recovered through litigation.
In the next lesson, we’ll explore how this and other qualities of decentralized storage can provide major advantages in the right applications.