We are experiencing an internet that is in need of an upgrade.
The internet is an amazing and very important development that levels the field for information availability. Suddenly you can learn about anything you want with the click of a button.
Over the years the amount of people who use the internet, the way that we access the internet and the things we demand from the internet has changed.
The rate of users is multiplying due to smart phones becoming more affordable, especially for those in developing countries, and the amount of data being demanded by the users in developed countries is skyrocketing.
We are demanding more and more expensive bandwidth, think Youtube, Netflix, Hulu and all of the video streaming we now expect to have at our fingertips.
Providing this bandwidth is nearing the point of no longer being profitable.
The problem with the centralized internet that we have now, is that there is a single point of power, and a single point of failure.
Our information highway is not resistant to crashes or censorship.
The way that our computers retrieve information now (HTTP) is reliant on the server that is maintaining the information you want. Your computer or smart phone has to interact with that particular server, even if it’s location is very far from you. This can and does result in slow downloading times or a failure to download altogether, and also is costly when considering bandwidth for heavy traffic sites. Not to mention the fact that if a server is removed or under maintenance the information that you want or need will not be available to you.
There’s a man named Juan Benet who has developed a new way for the internet to work. It’s decentralized, efficient and trustless.
Keep your eyes and ears open for a thing called Interplanetary File System, or IPFS.
It’s a new way to store information and a new way for you to access that information.
An easy way to begin to understand the basics of IPFS is by looking at how Bittorrent works.
Each user that downloads a file helps perpetuate that file to other users looking to download it.
IPFS allows users who run a node to work together to send and receive information with each other.
Instead of having to go through a far away, central server, you can get a file quickly, nearly instantly from the closest node that has what you need.
Imagine downloading a file onto your computer and then being able to send it instantly to your phone.
This is an example of what IPFS can do for you.
In addition to improving how files are shared through decentralization, IPFS will also bring permanence to the internet by ensuring that the files you want won’t be removed if a central server goes down.
In order to incentivize data storage on the IPFS network, they will add a blockchain-based currency layer called Filecoin.
The implementation of Filecoin will incentivize nodes to use the IPFS network. This is done through Filecoin’s “Proof-of-retrievability” which requires nodes to prove they store a particular file, this incentivizes the nodes to store as much of the network’s data as they can in return for a payment of filecoin.
Looking forward, video streaming centered companies, Netflix in particular, is searching for a better way to provide their customers with what they want but without the rising cost of the bandwidth needed thanks to today’s internet protocols.
IPFS can provide just that.
Great Medium Article Breaks Down How IPFS Works
View Alpha Video of IPFS In Action
Protocol Labs Moves IPFS from BTC to ETH
Juan Benet Talks About Filecoin