Decentralised Cloud Storage: Practicality in Blockchain

tl;drAs we’re witnessing, the world of blockchain is rapidly innovating various branches of technology. Certainly, you know some things about blockchain, and you are here to learn more. Although blockchain is an ocean of wavy data, it is just a small part of a decentralised system. You may have some questions about the terms and conditions of where blockchain stores our data and the source of decentralised storage. Or How they provide security and facilitate our requirements. This article focuses on decentralised storage and covers all its related concepts. The only thing you need to do is scroll down!
Decentralised Cloud Storage: Practicality in Blockchain
Decentralised Cloud Storage: Practicality in Blockchain
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An Introduction to DCS

Rather than utilising outdated, traditional and physical storage, like hardware, blockchain represents a resilient and economical storage service that stores data on multiple servers. In decentralised storage, you have complete control over your data, and your data is in your own hands. In this secure and transparent model with its well-known algorithm, all the data is distributed across numerous cloud storages. Let’s see how these could storages really work.

How Does Decentralized Cloud Storage (DCS) Work?

Blockchain is the primary solution for the problem of centralisation, and everything in blockchain gets decentralised to minimise fraud and manipulation. Although blockchain-based storage systems never store data directly on their blocks, they persuade users to store and host servers and distribute their data in decentralised locations. The decentralised storage is manufactured by various operators. People who participate in the network and operate the nodes (the computers connected to the network) are known as storage nodes, and these nodes host all the data. So, instead of gathering all the data in one place, it scatters them among various drives.

To scatter data, the system will break your encrypted files and information into 80 pieces and distribute them across several drives with different nodes worldwide. Additionally, decentralised storage allows everyone with an extra hard drive space to participate and earn passive income. Various platforms like Filecoin, Sia, MaidSafe and Storj are designed to join them and start earning!

DCS Advantages and Disadvantages

Like any other technology and system, DCS offers a number of advantages to its users while suffering from some drawbacks. See for yourself what these positive and negative points are.

Advantages of Decentralised Cloud Storage

Decentralised Cloud Storage consists of more than 150’000 nodes around the world and comes with so many attractive features, including the following:

  • It is fast: Data will be delivered and distributed at high speed.
  • It is secured and safe: Your data is always stored close to you, and each file you upload to a decentralised storage app would be encrypted with its unique private key, meaning nobody has access to your private key but you.
  • It is cost-efficient: Decentralised cloud storage reduces costs and does not require high-performing machines. It consists of billions of nodes, creating a significant increase in the available storage space.
  • It is reliable: Decentralised cloud storages are reliable, i.e., instead of storing data within a single provider's data centre, it scatters data across multiple cloud storage devices in a variety of places. Therefore, all the data will be protected against centre-level failures.

Disadvantages of Decentralised Cloud Storage

Decentralised storages optimise productivity, facilitate manufacturing processes and offer users the ability to access their data remotely. However, there are some concerns and issues that come with decentralised storage:

  • Despite their reliability, trusting a peer-to-peer network would be concerning and challenging due to a lack of accountability for lost data or misplaced transactions.
  • Decentralised storages are relatively nascent and modern. In some cases, it would be difficult for businesses and consumers to transfer to decentralised storage clouds.
  • Like most new technologies, it takes a while for DCS to go mainstream and be accepted and used widely.

What to Consider When Choosing a Decentralized Storage Provider?

You need to keep an eye on the following factors because they will help you choose the proper decentralised cloud storage provider based on your needs.

Persistence Mechanism

Persistence Mechanism is an assured structure to ensure the data is safe and secured. Each Decentralised Cloud Storage comes with its unique persistence mechanism. There are two types of persistence mechanisms, blockchain-based and contract-based, that will be elaborated on in the following.

Blockchain-Based Persistence Mechanism

Blockchain-Based is the primary type of persistence mechanism. This mechanism is designed to store the whole data permanently. All the data is kept on the chain, and every new data will be attached to the top of the chain, making the chain grow constantly.

Contract-Based Persistence Mechanism

Instead of storing data forever, contract-based persistence comes with another ingenious idea. With this mechanism, data is stored only for a given period of time, and nodes aren’t allowed to reproduce data and keep it forever, and the nodes only store the hash of the data’s location.

Consensus

To reach an agreement in a network or blockchain, each decentralised storage provider implements its own consensus mechanism. Proof of work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) are two of the most popular consensus mechanisms, which you can learn more about here. You need to check what consensus mechanism the storage provider uses.

Data Retention Enforcement

In Decentralised Cloud Storage, for the purpose of saving time and space, all data should only be kept for as long as it is required. Data retention works as an advisor that provides guidelines to help the organisation know how long its document needs to be kept and after its retention time data should be archived.

Decentralisation

Another main factor refers to decentralisation. You should consider the type of structure in any organisation or company, i.e., whether it’s controlled by a centralised authority or it’s decentralised. Instead of relying on one individual in a centralised structure, in decentralised systems, responsibility is shared among network providers, solution providers, and customers instead of one central authority. It means using decentralised systems reduced the risk of corruption.


Popular Projects in the Realm of Decentralised Storage

Now that you know what decentralised cloud storage is and how it works, it is time to look for some top projects that offer what you are looking for.

Storj

Storj is an Ethereum-based platform, and it is one of few decentralised cloud storages that provides a platform and aids all the nodes on blockchain to store their files. But the noteworthy point is that in order to store or share files on Storj, users have to pay Storj tokens to other users on the network. Over 6,000 active nodes are able to store their data with Storj.

Does Storj Have Accessibility to What I Store?

You are the owner of your data, and all your data is encrypted. A provider cannot read the data, and no one but you has access to your files. Such a relief, right?

Filecoin

Filecoin is another popular open-source, cloud-based decentralised storage network with many eyes on it. Filecoin employs its own native token known as FIL. Storage providers on the network receive FIL tokens as rewards based on the reliable storage they provide on the network. It means as a provider, the more storage you add, the more FIL tokens you will get. All the nodes in this dynamic distributed network can share their contract data, security archives, personal files or other data and be blessed with its secure ecosystem.

Skynet 

To realise where the concept of the new Skynet comes from, we need to understand what Sia is. Sia network was founded in 2015, and it is a decentralised blockchain-based cloud storage network, which comes with its own native token known as Sia. The Sia project uses Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. Sia protects your encrypted data, and it is broken into pieces and stored. Skynet is an application platform based on the Sia blockchain and allows users to store files or data. It doesn't require running on a node or Sia wallet.

How Does Sia Work?

As a Sia user, if you have extra space on your storage, you can rent your storage to those who need storage space and receive money in the form of Siacoins. This process runs on the Sia network.

MaidSafe

MaidSafe was founded in 2006 and is known as the world's first autonomous data network. Users can create and host safe websites and store and share their security data. In the case of DCS ( Decentralised Cloud Storage), MaidSafe is considered a beginner and is not a tough competitor. However, its mission is to be a greater opponent and get into the realm. It is self-healing, self-configuring, self-managing and permissionless. It means you don't need any central authority to create an account.

Conclusion

Blockchain powers its fundamentals like decentralisation and security to bring trust and safety to users. While it grows continuously, we need to educate ourselves and stay updated to grasp the moment and not fall off the wagon! To be an educated and updated crypto investor, follow Cryptologist.st to learn step by step. However, remember that we are no financial advisors and do not provide financial advice.

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