I will compare these three decentralized storage networks in several different ways.
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.
Filecoin designs storage miners and index miners for data storage and data distribution. However, the project is more focused on storage than distribution.
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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
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.
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.
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Below is a table showing a quick summary of some of the technical differences between projects.