In Filecoin, users pay to store their files on storage miners. Storage miners are computers responsible for storing files and proving they have stored the files correctly over time. Anyone who wants to store their files or get paid for storing other users’ files can join Filecoin. Available storage, and the price of that storage, is not controlled by any single company. Instead, Filecoin facilitates open markets for storing and retrieving files that anyone can participate in.
Filecoin includes a blockchain and native cryptocurrency (FIL). Storage miners earn units of FIL for storing files. Filecoin’s blockchain records transactions to send and receive FIL, along with proofs from storage miners that they are storing their files correctly.
The Filecoin infrastructure is a distributed, peer-to-peer network whose main purpose is to provide a new way for organizations and individuals to store data around the world. When people have free storage available, they can become storage miners, who are essentially responsible for storing data on the Filecoin network. Clients pay FIL tokens both to store and retrieve data.
Retrieval miners are another class of participants. As you’d expect, they facilitate the data retrieval process between clients and storage miners and also receive a small amount of FIL for their services. Filecoin uses end-to-end encryption, and storage providers don’t have access to the decryption keys. Since it’s a distributed system, files are kept safe across multiple storage locations.
So, what makes Filecoin potentially better than its centralized competitors? Well, it offers a peer-to-peer cloud storage solution for businesses and consumers. Because the same item (storage) is offered by different sellers potentially at different prices, the consumer may benefit in the end. While at times you might not have enough storage for all your data, sometimes you’ll have excess, and you can sell it. That’s the promise of Filecoin.
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