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The Future of the Data Economy Is Here: Filecoin Is Live

Amid a Rising Threat to the Foundations of the Internet and Access to Information, the Decentralized Storage Network Is Designed to Store Humanity’s Most Important Information

Filecoin, the world’s largest decentralized storage network, has launched its mainnet, enabling people from all over the world to store, request, retrieve and transfer data, independently of privately owned gatekeepers.

Filecoin is a completely open-source, decentralized network that allows users to store, request, and transfer data via a verifiable marketplace. Following a period of rigorous network testing and development, the novel data storage and distribution network is set to revolutionize the $46 billion cloud storage industry and spearhead a more robust, efficient, decentralized foundation for humanity’s datasets. Exhibiting the vast capacity of the network, in less than 2 months, 557  miners securely stored over 598 PiB of data in the testing phase — that’s enough to store 170M HD movies, 2,500 Wikipedias, or 100 Netflix Movie Archives.

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The datasphere is estimated to grow to 175 zettabytes by 2025, yet 93% of data created doesn’t currently get stored. The current architecture makes the web brittle, undermines privacy, allows the price of storage to remain artificially high, and creates bottlenecks that prevent innovative new uses of data. The Filecoin network is an alternative to costly cloud storage for the data-centric economy, where individual storage clients and storage miners compete for transactions based on price, reputation, reliability, retrievability, and latency. This model allows clients to get the best possible price from storage miners as well as creating an efficient marketplace for miners to operate storage bidding.

Harnessing the world’s underutilized storage assets, Filecoin’s marketplace creates a unique sharing economy, aligning incentives and pragmatically rewarding useful and reliable storage, that has the power to drive an unprecedented economy of scale for pricing storage solutions. Distributing the world’s data storage, and moving it away from the current cloud oligopoly which relies on physical servers kept in a concentrated number of data centers, will also serve to enhance data security and resilience by reducing the threat of damage, loss, theft, firewall or attack.

Juan Benet, CEO and Founder of Filecoin, said, “It’s been a long road, but paradigm-shifting technology takes time, effort, research, and collaboration. I am extremely proud of the Filecoin community, the many teams of scientists, builders, miners, and users across the globe, persevering in their vision for a better internet. The internet is humanity’s most important technology, it’s our shared nervous system — our shared brain. Most of our lives exist online — it’s where we work, play, and learn together — but the foundations are fragile. Right now the internet is in the middle of a revolution, and, with the launch of Filecoin, it is beginning the transition back to its decentralized roots so we can all work together to safeguard this valuable resource for the world. Here’s to a better web and a brighter future.”

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Filecoin has been rapidly gearing up to mainnet launch, revealing several crucial developments and initiatives in recent months;

  • The Filecoin Discover store, an initiative aimed at cataloging a continuously-growing store of important public data, was launched. Filecoin Discover provides miners the opportunity to select datasets spanning literature, science, art, and history to store, and which are all now open and accessible to the public following mainnet launch. The catalog of open-source datasets includes: ENCODE, 1000 Genomes, Project Gutenberg, Berkley’s Self Driving Data.
  • Space Race, Filecoin’s testnet incentives initiative, also saw 360 miners across the globe participate in an intensive program to test the capacity of the network in the most realistic conditions ahead of launch. Over 3 weeks, more than 230PiB was sealed on the Filecoin network.
  • Engineering Filecoin’s Economy, the protocol’s cryptoeconomics report, detailed the operations of the network and important characteristics for miners on the network.

Brad Burnham, founding partner of Union Square Ventures and an early investor in Protocol Labs, said, “The launch of Filecoin is an important milestone in the evolution of the open Internet.  The exuberant, emergent innovation of the early web has been stifled by the market power of a few large data monopolies. We now understand the Internet’s decentralized, open communications infrastructure is not enough to ensure the freedom to innovate. Only with a decentralized, open data storage network like Filecoin will we fulfill the Internet’s original promise. I am proud of the team for getting us to launch, and thrilled by the prospect of a new wave of Internet innovation.” Filecoin’s ecosystem is composed of hundreds of companies and projects, and thousands of open source contributors who have been responsible for its development. The economic design of the Filecoin network aims to align incentives and pragmatically reward useful and reliable storage. The Filecoin launch aims to decentralize data stores to safeguard their preservation and eliminate the risk of a single point of failure.

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