Storj is a software project seeking to develop a next-generation cloud storage solution that improves upon existing cloud storage providers in four key areas of the service provided.
Storj – Free & Open-Source Software
We are passionate about decentralization, and we love free and open-source software. Our mission is to rethink cloud storage, to provide the security, privacy, and transparency it’s missing. That’s why we are building an open-source cloud platform that aims to fundamentally change the way people and devices own data. We welcome your feedback, bug reports, and pull requests.
Less expensive for the same industry standard redundancy, uptime, and reliability;
Preferably client-side encryption and hashing automatically enforced prior to upload so all data on the Storj network is encrypted and anonymized;
Open source code released under the MIT license;
Decentralized, autonomous, and implements multiple blockchains thereby making it resistant to interruptions of service and security risks.
A key project development goal is for Storj to include a blockchain-based dual purpose token scheme that serves as:
- An incentive payment mechanism within the Storj network between consumers and providers of storage space and bandwidth
- An information storage mechanism to record the hash and location of files stored in the Storj network.
Storj won first place in the Texas Bitcoin Conference 2014 hackathon contest, by unanimous decision. The prize is a guaranteed $250,000 donation from the backers at BitAngels for their initial round of “kickstarter-style” crowdfunding soon to be announced. Storj team members Shawn Wilkinson and James Lowry made the final scheduled presentation of the contest, which included a working proof of concept software demo. The founding devs are now getting the alpha software ready for general testing release while putting the finishing touches on the whitepaper and crowdfunding model.
Storj is a proposed decentralized storage system that seeks to disrupt the cloud storage industry by dramatically lowering costs to cloud storage users. It would do this by paying incentives to storage providers in the form of a “blockchain-based dual purpose token” that would also store information about file integrity and storage locations. The Storj network would autonomously issue, collect, and distribute these tokens so that users could pay for storage and be paid for providing storage. All data would be encrypted, preferably client-side, before being uploaded to the network. We believe that Storj should simply be a mechanism for users to store their data, and the end user should have control over their data and privacy.
At the Texas Bitcoin Conference 2014 we debuted a proof of concept web node for Storj. We have since been refining that software. You may upload your files to these web nodes and after about 10 minutes your files become accessible network wide. This requires no central server. Any web node connects to the prototype blockchain and may upload and download files at very little cost. This software will be made available to early backers and supporters.
Most cryptocurrencies use their blockchain as a ledger for coin balances. We would also like to use the blockchain to store information about file integrity and storage locations using structured metadata. To this end we will be releasing details about a new cryptocurrency that allows us to accomplish this and get our network running immediately with the help of our web nodes. We will be including this new cryptocurrency as part of our crowdfunding model.
Many of you are hungry for the technical details. We have received great technical and conceptual feedback from Maidsafe and BitAngels. We are in the process of rewriting out initial whitepaper and finalizing crowdfunding details and timeline.
Decentralizing Data Storage With Storj
Look at this decentralization movement gaining in scope and marching across the industries. Uberization is unstoppable and we certain about it. Data storage market is getting largely influenced by the trend as well. Cointelegraph caught up with James Prestwich, Storj Co-Founder, an open source and cloud storage platform, that can’t be censored, monitored, or have downtime. In an interview with Cointelegraph Prestwich shared his views on the ongoing trend, the place of Storj in this decentralization revolution, and some of the security concerns.
Storj is real, and it works. Computing is likely still a few years out. You might see some application-specific tools but there’s a major breakthrough required before secure distributed computing is real. Storage is really the low-hanging fruit here. It’s expensive, necessary everywhere and easy to verify. Both Storj and Sia use auditing schemes that are fast and compact, so you can be 100 percent sure that a file is being stored: there is no trust required.
Storj is the first decentralized, end-to-end encrypted cloud storage that integrates Blockchain technology and cryptography to allow for higher security of data. It started as a platform to allow for crowdsourced P2P data storage. By decentralizing the data storage, Storj team was aiming at building a service similar to existing, but faster, cheaper, and more secure.
Thus, guys are aiming at building a service that is 10 times faster and 50 percent less expensive than traditional cloud storage solutions. It can be achieved by taking advantage of parallel downloads.
Storj started as an open source project in 2014 and was launched with a crowd sale. Storj has designed its own token to act as a means of exchange to buy and sell space within the network. SJCX token allowed users to purchase storage and bandwidth, and get paid for renting out hard drives and bandwidth. Storj managed to raise half a million dollars through a crowd sale and kickstarted the project and launched Storj Labs Inc, a company built on top of the Storj platform to provide additional services and support. Since then the ICO industry has definitely evolved into a more established setup. Prestwich says that ICO industry has really exploded within the last few years. He explains:
“We were one of the first token sales back in the day and the entire market was much smaller then. It’s fascinating to see projects with a white paper and an explainer video raising millions of dollars in such a short amount of time. We hope there will be some major successes coming out of it, but it’ll likely be awhile before any real results come in.”
Migration to Ethereum
Prestwich shared that over the past couple of months there have been numerous discussions within the Storj team and community about the Counterparty platform. A few important aspects came to the fore, including the need to significantly update the official Counterparty wallet software, a significant increase in the transaction processing times due to issues with backlogs in Bitcoin Blockchain and increase in the transaction fees. Additionally, there has been uncertainty over the future of other features following the multisig ceasing to function because of Bitcoin making multisig transactions non-standard, a decision to migrate the token powering the Storj platform from Counterparty to the Ethereum ERC20 token standard.
As Prestwich shared with Cointelegraph, the use of an Ethereum-based token offers clear solutions to some of the problems:
“Development is extremely active. Features are added regularly and bugs are dealt with quickly. Ethereum transactions are usually confirmed in seconds to minutes, while Ethereum fees are currently negligible. The ERC20 standard provides out-of-the-box interoperability with a wide variety of wallets and tools. Ethereum’s smart contract platform can be leveraged to build a more robust and decentralized storage system, opening exciting opportunities to provide data services to smart contracts and Dapps. As a result, we will be migrating SJCX to a new Ethereum-based ERC20 token that we feel better serves the Storj ecosystem and its stakeholders.”
In the current Blockchain revolution, opinions are largely divided. Some think that Blockchain technology is being overhyped, while others believe that it is actually underhyped and the actual impact of it will be much greater than we can imagine. Prestwich explained to Cointelegraph:
“We have some complicated feelings about this. We’re all fascinated by Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other Blockchains, and we’re building something incredible with them. That being said, here’s our advice for people thinking about using a Blockchain: Try very very hard not to. Blockchains are expensive, inefficient, and hard to scale. Blockchains are brand new, so there’s no technical, legal or financial roadmap. Everyone is still trying to figure out what they’re good at, and there will be a lot of projects that fail because they used a Blockchain when they didn’t need one.”
Storj has limited their use of Blockchains to things they think they’re good at payments between machines, provable computing, trustless interaction. The team has focused on building a distributed system, and Blockchains are just a tool helping to achieve that. He continues:
“We think that Blockchains will change the world. Everyone says they cut out the middleman, well, we’re going to realize that in these technical and financial systems humans are mostly just middlemen moving information around. They open the doors to a new generation of machine-to-machine transactions. Entire automated marketplaces trading without human intervention. It’s a long road to get there. And it will be a transition made in fits and starts. But it’s inevitable.”