Recently, the team of BlockPublisher got in touch with the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Storj, Shawn Wilkinson. Shawn explained briefly all the aspects of the project. Starting with the basics, he shed light on the basic difference which makes Storj stand out among all the other cloud storage providers.
According to the Co-Founder, Storj doesn’t provide storage by itself, it only manages payments as this aspect of blockchain is the most usable aspect and provides better speeds. He also recognized the fact that blockchain isn’t the technology for data storage as it is slower as compared to other technologies like AWS.
The main difference between Storj and other decentralized cloud storage platforms is that Storj only uses blockchain to manage payments and not to store data. This is due to the high cost and slow speeds found in blockchains. For example, even the fastest blockchains process data/payments in seconds. Meanwhile, traditional cloud storage solutions, like Amazon S3, can store files in milliseconds – many orders of magnitude faster than even the fastest blockchains.
He further explained the security of the data stored through the platform saying that Storj manages payments while the storage is provided by farmers or storage node operators which provide data spaces of their hard drives. Even if the hackers are able to access the data on the cloud, they won’t be able to comprehend the information present in the encrypted information.
The idea behind decentralized networks is that it doesn’t matter if anyone accesses the encrypted data on the storage node operators. It is encrypted client-side, meaning it’s encrypted before it ever touches the cloud. The encryption we utilize on the network is the same encryption used to secure the most sensitive data in the world, including data managed by the US military and NSA. The feasibility of a hacker downloading encrypted data on the Storj network and accessing files is nearly non-existent. The only person who has the private encryption keys, which is needed to unlock and access the data, is the data owner. Not even the Storj team can see the data stored on the network.
Storj also provides incentives for the farmers on the basis of bandwidth and the storage capacity offered by them. They return maximum revenue to the farmers which is generated by the rents paid by the users, and the network running fee is minimum. The two biggest factors related to how much a Storage Node Operator can earn are uptime and available bandwidth. Once V3 of the project would be in production, the network would be optimized for nodes that would stay on all the time providing greater network speeds. Shawn further explained the incentivization process saying,
In terms of incentives, beyond renting out hard drive space, we have an open source partner program that have built-in incentives for driving new user sign-ups and incremental use of the platform. Next year, we will also be rolling out a referral program for developers.
Finally, Shawn explained his views relating to blockchain and storage of data/cloud services. He firmly believes that blockchain isn’t made for data storage, hence the decentralized system that it provides should be leveraged at best.
Blockchain is great for a lot of tasks, however storing data is not one of them.
The V3 white paper of Storj would be out in a month or so once the project moves into the alpha stage. The V3 phase of the project, however, is set to come in production in early 2019. The project has shown great potential as of yet, but will they be able to achieve their set plans in 2019? Only time will tell.