Storj is a decentralized cloud storage platform that aims to provide a competitive and secure alternative to traditional cloud hosting solutions. It allows users to upload their files, which are then shredded, encrypted, and distributed to multiple decentralized nodes across the globe. Users can negotiate storage contracts, transfer data, verify the integrity and availability of remote data, retrieve data and pay other nodes
This system provides multiple advantages to traditional solutions, not only are your files always accessible as there is no server downtime, but it also allows said files to be stored in a more secure and private environment since they are separated and encrypted, they cannot be “stolen” or viewed, not even by the nodes that store the files.
When a user uploads a file, It is first encrypted using client-side encryption (the reference implementation uses AES256-CTR) and divided into multiple files in a process known as “sharding”. These files will be divided according to the specifications of the uploader since shard size is a negotiable contract parameter in the Storj protocol. An audit pre-processing is performed for each shard, and they are then transmitted across the network to various nodes that have made their HDD space previously available for rental.
These nodes that are willing to share their HDD space are then rewarded with Storj coins (SJCX), a Counterparty asset issued on the Bitcoin blockchain. The payment is proportional to the amount of data they are safe-keeping for the uploaders.
The result is a decentralized service that is much more secure, private, efficient, and cheaper. At $0.015 GB / month for file storage and $0.05 per GB for bandwidth, Storj is currently ahead of the competition by providing a more advanced service for roughly half the price. With Storj there are no setup fees or minimum usage, you pay what you use.
“Decentralized file storage systems like Storj have the potential to eliminate high markup costs and market inefficiencies and provide a much higher level of privacy, reliability and quality of service than we see today” Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum
For those that want to learn more about Storj, a new version of the whitepaper (V2) has recently been released and can be read by anyone that is looking to get a more in-depth knowledge of the system. The process of setting up a node to store files is known as Mining or “Farming” Storj and can be done by anyone that has extra storage space to monetize (The more space you have, the more Storj Coins you’ll get). Click here to learn how.
Although still in Beta, Storj is currently being used by many and has managed to reach a remarkable milestone with 1 PB (1,000 TB) of data stored on their network, setting the stage for the next phase of development, the v6.0 release.
“We are also re-architecting tunneling and data channels for our v6.0 release. This new architecture will enable a very exciting integration coming at the beginning of next year. No details yet; we don’t want to spoil the surprise!” Storj Blog