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.
Using IPFS in the Browser
Visit try-ipfs.theblockchaininstitute.org to explore IPFS from your browser. No download required!
Using the IPFS Command Line
In this module, we cover how to set up your own IPFS node, and how to push and pull files from the network. We’ll also go over the addressing structure and get you caught up on the background of this technology.
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 it seems like a simple issue, paying someone to store a file is actually much more complex than most other decentralized activities. In particular, the main issue comes when the network is expected to store more than one copy of a file.
Proof of Replication
In a trustless system, this means that the network must be able to verify that the file exists on multiple devices simultaneously. This is important since devices must be permitted to leave and rejoin the network as they see fit.
The complication in Proof of Replication is that a node might pretend to store a file by downloading it from another node only when the network contacts it to ask for the file. While this still provides a useful activity and can increase download speeds, it creates difficulties since it is uncertain whether a particular node has the file, or simply has a sufficiently fast connection to another node which is storing it.
Proof of Spacetime
While this might sound like something out of Star Trek, it’s genuinely the greatest innovation by the Filecoin team. Once this problem is resolved, the network will be able to sufficiently prove that a file is not only currently present on a particular node, but that it has been there over a particular period of time.