The ultimate guide to understanding the differences between PPIO, Filecoin and Storj

First of all, I am writing this article not to argue which project is better than the other, which technical decisions are right or wrong, and the advantages or disadvantages of each project. I am writing this article to point out the design differences behind these three decentralized storage networks. Decentralized storage based on blockchain is a long-term business path where different teams can explore different directions in the same field. A victory in a group will only benefit the entire field. Please allow me to introduce these three storage platforms first.
Filecoin – Filecoin is an open source public cryptocurrency and digital payment system designed to be a blockchain- based digital storage and data retrieval method. Learn more on FileCoin's official website. Storj Decentralized cloud object storage, affordable, easy to use, private and secure. You can check out the official Storj website for more information.
PPIO – Provides developers with a decentralized data storage and delivery platform that values ​​affordability, speed and privacy. Documentation and access to the demo application can be found on the PPIO official website.

I will compare these three decentralized storage networks in several different ways.

Value proposition

The biggest problem with blockchain projects is the application scenario. Most DApps have no users. There are currently no popular products other than gambling-related games. Data storage and its related services are one of the scenarios in which a phenomenal blockchain application can be created. But decentralized storage is different from traditional digital currency projects. For example, Bitcoin and Ethereum are computation-centric digital currencies, and contracts are their primary route. All network requirements are block generators, which are nodes that execute contracts or package transactions. The consensus between Bitcoin and Ethereum is to choose this block node. But distributed storage is completely different. This is a shared economy that requires service users and service providers to run. The user pays the provider to share some of the provider's resources, such as how Uber and Airbnb operate.

From a value perspective, data storage and data distribution are two dimensions of decentralized storage. Storage allows data to be saved to the Internet and retrieved when needed. Data storage is available for backup, multi-device synchronization, file sharing in teams, and cloud storage. Data distribution allows data to reach people who need it quickly. It can be used for large-scale sharing of files, file downloads, VOD, live broadcast, video conferencing, VPN, etc. Decentralized data storage shared hard drives and distributed data distribution shared bandwidth.

Filecoin designs storage miners and index miners for data storage and data distribution. However, the project is more focused on storage than distribution.

Storj is designed for storage solutions.

PPIO is designed for storage and distribution, but with a focus on distribution. PPIO will soon improve its streaming output at the application layer to support mainstream video on demand and live streaming solutions.

Quick summary: What you need to know about data storage and distribution

Technical structure

The positioning of Storj and PPIO is relatively close. They are designed to serve frontline developers directly. Both Storj and PPIO support object-based storage interfaces and are compatible with the AWS S3 interface. PPIO is also compatible with the OSS interface and provides a better POSS interface for the user experience. It is very convenient for developers who use the AWS S3 interface. PPIO and Storj aim to productize products by providing developers with useful and simple tools for developing products. Filecoin is an infrastructure. It only implements storage and bandwidth layer functionality. Filecoin offers a data storage market where you can purchase raw storage. If frontline developers need to migrate from AWS S3 services to Filecoin, they need to adjust the original architecture of the migration. I think Filecoin is likely to be the underlying infrastructure for AWS S3. For example, AWS S3 purchases storage from the Filecoin storage market to replace its own data center and then implements AWS S3 services on distributed storage nodes.

All in all, PPIO and Stroj want to produce their own products. They are designing a toB product to implement a full stack. Developers can use their SDK to quickly and easily develop products on PPIO and Storj. This method is more like creating a storage version of Android. On the other hand, Filecoin is an ecosystem that designs storage infrastructure. Other parties can improve the ecosystem by implementing open source projects in the future to achieve a complete stack. Filecoin is more like a storage version of the Linux native operating system. Android includes the Linux kernel. This is the difference between a full stack and the infrastructure.

Quality of Service (QoS)

Because decentralized storage is essentially part of the sharing economy, service providers must provide services to users. Quality of Service (QoS) plays an important role in the service. For example, if Uber can't provide enough cars to the user, or if Uber drivers always cancel the request at the last minute, would anyone still use Uber? The same is true for distributed storage services. If a decentralized storage service provider is unable to provide a better user experience than centralized cloud storage, it will not provide any value to end users. In order for decentralized storage to be a truly disruptive technology, it must provide a better user experience than current existing cloud storage services, starting with some niche markets. QoS is not a TPS indicator that most blockchains use to measure performance. Instead, it refers to the QoS of traditional cloud storage services such as availability, reliability, durability, return testing, download speed, and more. For streaming media, specifically, QoS refers to the delay time of the program source, the time of starting playback, the number of jams during playback, and the jam time.

PPIO places the highest emphasis on QoS. PPIO is designed from the ground up to achieve high QoS. PPIO also has a complete QoS system that continuously adjusts and improves the network to achieve stable and reliable service.

Storj discusses some core storage metrics such as durability in white papers and blog posts. So I think QoS is one of the concerns of the Storj team.

Filecoin does not mention anything related to QoS in its white paper or its code. The Filecoin team is now focused on building the infrastructure. But they may consider QoS in the future.

Decentralization

Comparing three decentralized storage networks, Filecoin chose to disperse from the start, now a completely open source project. PPIO has decided to follow a three-phase plan of decentralization and gradual open source . Finally, Storj is more focused on its current storage and scheduling indexing system. However, it should be noted that its token is based on the decentralized Ethereum ERC20. I am not sure if Storj will become more dispersed in the near future. PPIO chose to gradually achieve decentralization for the following reasons:

1. The blockchain's very complicated proof mechanism requires long-term rest to meet safe and effective requirements.

2. Need to gradually optimize the quality of service (QoS) and adjust the algorithm in a more flexible way.

3. The economic model needs to be tested and run, and it needs to be updated.

Three methods of decentralization

Economic incentive design
1. Index market (bandwidth market)    PPIO, Storj and Filecoin all support transactions between download service providers (storage nodes/miners) and download service users (users). The miner provides data to download the service to the user, and the user pays the miner a download fee.
2, matching the market
Storj adopts the market-making model, and service demanders (customers/users) pay directly to the Storj platform and then receive services. The service provider (storage node/miner) gets tokens and rewards from the Storj platform. This trading model is a centralized trading model characterized by high efficiency but not sufficiently fragmented and transparent.

Filecoin uses a matching model in which all service consumers (clients/users) and service providers (storage nodes/miners) are freely paired in the Filecoin market, including the storage and index markets. It is completely dispersed.

The PPIO platform is very flexible. Users and miners are free to choose offline matching or commission a third-party scheduling platform for coordination and matching. PPIO itself has also developed a scheduling platform to allocate resources and nodes.

How to find a matching market model

3. Coin Pool Nodes Traditional Internet products provide storage and bandwidth services through packages. Users typically pay a one-time payment (legal) to use a service with a maximum storage limit for a specific period of time. For example, 5T storage space costs $5 per month and 500G traffic costs $4 per month. Therefore, you may be charged more than your usage fee. But in the blockchain world, all services are charged based on actual usage. In the blockchain algorithm, the service provides evidence that the basis for charging. There is a huge difference between the two models. PPIO innovatively introduces a role called payment gateways that can use economic actuarial measures to transform less-determined storage services in a blockchain into user-deterministic storage services. Same as package mode. This approach reduces the migration and cognitive costs of users moving from the Internet to the blockchain.

Storj accepts payments directly from users, with no services and billing on the blockchain . Therefore, the project does not have to consider the cost of migration.

On the other hand, Filecoin solves the problem of service and settlement on the blockchain . But it does not consider how to make the migration easier.

How the PPIO payment process compares to other projects

Transmission technology
1. Overlay PPIO supports Overlay Network. Each storage node (miner) will have a storage node with a faster physical connection as its neighbor. Therefore, in the process of data transmission and information interaction, each node can make full use of its neighbor nodes to significantly improve network efficiency.
Stroj does not emphasize similar features.

Filecoin itself does not provide similar functionality. Filecoin positions itself as the underlying infrastructure, so their team may want other third-party developers to implement a P2P overlay network at the top.

2. Optimization of media streaming

Both Filecoin and Storj are designed for file downloads. Therefore, there is no special consideration for media streaming.

PPIO implements a special data-driven download algorithm for media streams to ensure smooth streaming of streaming media.

PPIO data driven download algorithm

3. P4P P4P (P2P active network provider participation) is a method for optimizing connection between ISP and P2P software. It supports peer-to-peer selection based on physical network topology, reducing traffic on the backbone network and operating costs of network providers, and improving data transmission efficiency. Compared with the P2P of randomly selected nodes, the P4P mode can coordinate network topology data and effectively select nodes, thereby improving network routing efficiency. The PPIO team has extensive experience with operators during PPTV, so I believe we can successfully implement ISP-friendly P4P technology on our platform. Filecoin and Storj currently do not use P4P in their designs.

4. Adaptive scheduling of popular content

PPIO supports P2P-CDN. In P2P-CDN, adaptive scheduling of popular content is an important means to improve service quality. Adaptive scheduling of popular content is to automatically schedule popular content in the network to more storage nodes. The more nodes that host content, the better the user experience and the more nodes that are profitable. Conversely, when the file is no longer popular, the network will adaptively reduce the copy. Therefore, the network forms a dynamic balance. PPIO continues to design and improve this algorithm.

Filecoin and Storj did not design this mechanism at this stage.

Take a look at P2P-CDN adaptive scheduling

Storage technology

1. Erase technology PPIO implements full copy and erase method; Storj only designs erase code; Filecoin may not consider erasure. To understand why PPIO chooses different erasure methods, we must first notice that erasure code is critical to the storage system. Due to the erasure technique, the data loss rate can be significantly reduced. Durability is an indicator of erasing technology. The erase code is divided into n parts after proper expansion. As long as there are k parts, you can restore the complete file. If n pieces are placed on different machines, even if the nk machine is offline, it will not affect file recovery.

Since PPIO positions itself as a data storage and distribution platform, it has designed erasure code and full replication dual mode for the fragmentation of the upper file. A full copy is primarily used for distribution because full copy transmission ensures efficient data collection. Erase is to better ensure that data is not lost. Even when the number of miners fluctuates, the erasure code technology can help achieve high durability with almost no redundancy (99.999999999%).

2. Storage network preference based on overlay network

The storage node selection can be compared to BitTorrent's Tracker download, especially for resources and users.

PPIO designed a distance-first storage node algorithm. PPIO's node selection algorithm is multidimensional, including network distance (obtained in overlapping networks) and records of price, commitment time, node stability, and node credit, but network distance is the primary consideration.

Filecoin 's infrastructure, storage and proofing are complementary. Filecoin's supply and demand sides are completely self-matching. If the node has both signature and evidence, it will be rewarded. In other words, the entire Filecoin design does not have a role similar to BitTorrent Tracker, which is used to match the relationship between resources and miners.

Storj did not reveal too much detail at this time. But the team must have considered this issue. This is the problem that even the oldest P2P project has considered.

Blockchain

Storj only uses the ERC20 token to identify the contribution of its storage node, and its platform is not based on the blockchain. Therefore, transactions between the client (client/user) and the storage node (storage node/miner) are done through a centralized service node (Satellite). Storj is not a public chain project; it is an application in Ethereum. Both Filecoin and PPIO have their own chains. They not only realized the value circulation in the industrial chain, but also completed the transactions and certification in the industrial chain. They are true blockchain-based storage and distribution platforms.

1. Consensus algorithm

Filecoin was decentralized at the beginning of the design and invented a consensus algorithm called the EC algorithm. Storj uses the Ethereum public chain to achieve consensus without its own consensus algorithm.

PPIO will implement a combination of VRF and BFT in the final decentralized phase, similar to the mechanism of the DFINITY public chain. The PPIO team chose to adopt a more focused DPOS consistency algorithm in the early days to simplify any technical challenges.

2. Storage proof algorithm

Through the public chain project, integration algorithms and proof algorithms such as PoW, PoS, etc. are integrated. However, in distributed storage projects, it is very difficult to prove the algorithm design. I will analyze the storage verification algorithm separately.

Filecoin supports PoRep (Copy Proof) and PoSt (Time and Space Proof). PoRep is the proof that a node obtains after generating a network copy. PoST documents occupy a specific space and save time. Filecoin was the first project to propose both algorithms. In the Filecoin white paper, these two proof algorithms and processes account for more than 70% of the details.

Storj proposed PoS (storage proof) in its white paper. PoS is not as strict as PoRep and PoSt.

PPIO also uses PoRep and PoSt, and the two proof mechanisms are indeed very strict. In addition, PPIO has also created its own PoD (download certificate), which is mainly used to prove multi-point data download. PoD is very friendly to media streaming related services. PPIO also proposed LPoC (Light Proof of Capacity) to cold-start storage nodes in the white paper. Since then, the team has decided not to implement LPoC because LPOC is unable to produce services of real value. Like BurstCoin, LPoC consumes hard drive resources without providing anything of value; this is inconsistent with the value proposition of the PPIO project.

Three similar but different blockchain structures

3. Blockchain structure Filecoin has designed a main chain structure to make the structure very simple. Storj itself is not a public chain; instead, it is an ETH-based application with only one chain. In order to improve performance, PPIO has considered content compliance in different regions and designed the structure of the main chain + multiple contract chains. You can think of a contract chain as equivalent to a side chain. There are two main reasons why PPIO uses this design:

Multiple chains provide some flexibility when the performance of a chain is not sufficient. Side chains can be thought of as a slamming process.

Regarding the compliance of content regulation in different regions, PPIO will follow the laws of different countries. Therefore, it may be necessary to deploy a separate contract chain for each country, and contract details may vary.

4. Information about the chain

On the blockchain, once data is written to the block (this process is also called a winding), it cannot be deleted and cannot be tampered with. The nature of the blockchain is a distributed database. This information is synchronized and approved by thousands of machines around the world and is almost impossible to delete.

For the storage blockchain, it is natural for everyone to think that the data stored on the chain cannot be deleted or modified. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Filecoin, Storj and PPIO do not put stored data on the chain. In other words, the actual stored data is not written on the blockchain. Therefore, this data may be deleted and tampered with.

So what information is stored on these three public chains?

Storj is based on the ETH public chain. Information about the chain is written in the Stroj contract of the famous ERC20 contract ETH. Only assets and transactions are on the chain.

In addition to assets and transactions, Filecoin provides evidence and contracts on the securities chain.

In summary

Below is a table showing a quick summary of some of the technical differences between projects.

Original link: https://medium.com/@ppio/differences-between-ppio-filecoin-storj-20cdf7b3b02e
Original author: PPIO