Updated: Dec 21, 2019
Storj is a decentralized file storage solution that is available as open-source. It makes use of file sharing, encryption, and a blockchain-based hash table for storing files on a peer-to-peer network. The goal of Storj is to allow cloud file storage to be faster, cheaper, and more private.
STORJ is primarily used as a payment means on the network.
This post will discuss what Storj is all about, the reason it is designed for, the team behind it, how it works, and various uses and applications.
What Is Storj Designed For?
The team behind Storj hopes to provide a completely decentralized solution for cloud storage to its community. There are limitations to traditional cloud storage solutions, such as Google Drive and Dropbox. Access can be restricted to files due to unexpected outages and bandwidth from a data center. Also, files in these solutions are backed up redundantly.
There is also a glaring privacy issue with current cloud storage solutions. The Storj project makes use of a peer-to-peer network and blockchain technology to solve these basic problems. Redundancy is well established on the platform since the files are distributed. The network also guarantees that the user is the only one who has access to the files.
Who Is the Team Behind Storj?
It is important to differentiate between Storj, the open-source project and Storj Labs. Storj Labs is a non-profit company built using the open-source software that runs Storj, and already has a network of thousands of users.
The Storj project is created by Shawn Wilkenson and the team who is also the CEO of Storj Labs. Wilkenson got involved with the crypto world in 2012 when he dabbled in Bitcoin mining and development. Storj open source was created in 2014. John Quinn is the co-founder of Storj open-source who is also the Chief Revenue Officer at Storj Labs.
How Does Storj Work?
It works on the premise that a user is entitled to only that amount of space on the Storj network, as he or she makes available to the community. Users can receive additional payments for renting out their extra disk space. Files on the Storj network are split up into smaller components and dispersed across an array of devices, with users in control of their keys.
This grants them complete access and control over their files at all times. As a result of this decentralized cloud storage model, users get the benefit of creating additional security which is relative to centralized cloud storage providers. Storj works on a similar concept to Torrents, which makes use of a peer-to-peer network to download movies, music, and TV shows for free, usually illegally.
Storj makes use of file sharding that divides a particular file into smaller pieces. This makes file transfer quicker and increases privacy at the same time since no single entity holds all pieces of the file. Also, a user is the only person who knows where all file shards are stored.
To prevent loss of access in case one of the computers that stored the file gets turned off or stops running Storj, the team implemented redundancy into the system. Users can choose their level of redundancy required for a file that creates parity shards. However, too much redundancy can bog down the system for which the team implemented erasure codes.
What are Current and Future Applications of Storj?
Storj token is the only means of payment on the Storj network. Fee in the form of STORJ that is paid by tenants goes directly to the farmers, who contribute to bandwidth and storage space on the network. It is important to understand that open source Storj is payments agnostic, and STORJ is primarily and exclusively used by Storj Labs.
Here are some use cases of STORJ:
Storage node operators: It is used to provide incentives for contributing towards a stable and performance-oriented storage and bandwidth network. Today, all storage node operators are compensated for their storage and bandwidth usage in STORJ.
Storj Labs: STORJ enables efficient and effective payments on the network. It enables Storj Labs to compensate large numbers of operators (over 70,000) located across the globe.
Users: STORJ provides an efficient and effective solution to users for paying for their storage and bandwidth. However, BTC and ETH can also be used on the network. It can also be used for crypto payments.
Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin, claimed decentralized storage solutions, such as Storj to have the potential for eliminating market inefficiencies and high markup costs. This only means that Storj has a great future ahead.