Protocol Labs’ Filecoin is a decentralized storage network built on a blockchain with a native token. It utilizes the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) – a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol, also by Protocol Labs – to address and move content, while providing the surrounding auditing, verification, and incentivization structure. Clients spend tokens on storing and retrieving data, while miners earn tokens by storing and/or servicing the retrieval of data, as well as mining new blocks and processing transactions.
Storage and retrieval requests are handled as orders in two respective decentralized verifiable markets, allowing clients to tune their storage strategy to a custom balance between redundancy, speed, and cost, and incentivizing vendors to offer flexible options at competitive prices. Miners receive their payments only if the network can audit that their service was correctly provided. Filecoin employs Proof-of-Replication (whereby providers prove that data has been replicated to its own uniquely dedicated physical storage) and Proof-of-Spacetime (proof that data has been stored throughout a specified amount of time) as Proofs-of-Storage.
Storage is what counts as power toward the Filecoin consensus: storage rewards are proportional to the amount of storage miners contribute to the service. However, miners collect strong rewards not only for distributing content to clients, but also for doing so quickly; therefore, the strongest rewards will go to miners who are well-located within the network (i.e., close to many clients). Also, using Erasure Coding and Information Dispersal Algorithms, the Filecoin network is capable of detecting missing nodes and re-allocating their pieces to other miners who can reconstruct them.
Filecoin’s ICO is open to accredited investors only, making it compliant with SEC regulations, and is being conducted via CoinList, a joint project between Protocol Labs and startup investment platform AngelList. Given that the platform itself hasn’t been launched yet, investors aren’t actually buying tokens right now, but rather signing a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) – the default agreement for investments on CoinList.
Nearly halfway into its ICO, Filecoin has already raised nearly $200 million, of which $186 million were raised within the first hour of the sale. This brings Filecoin’s fundraising total to a record-setting $252 million, when combined with the $52 million raised prior to the sale from VC investment firms including Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, the Digital Currency Group, and Sequoia Capital.
Filecoin is employing a pricing model for its ICO whereby the token price is equal to max($1, amountRaised/$40,000,000), causing it to rise with every investment made (over $40 million), while presale investors received a discounted price (maximum $0.75 per token) in exchange for providing strategic advice and committing to a minimum vesting period of 1 year.
The measures taken by Filecoin with regard to its token sale reflect the company’s intentions not only to remain within regulatory bounds, but also to attract investors who are committed long-term to seeing this vision realized. Some might say, however, that excluding the actual network participants from the sale could damage the platform’s network effect and lead them to prefer other decentralized storage solutions such as Sia, Maidsafe, Storj, or others down the line.
|Token Sale Dates||10-August to 7-September|
|Total Supply||Sale Cap: 200,000,000 Filecoin|
|Pricing Structure||max($1, amountRaised/$40,000,000)|
|Technical White Paper||See all documents here: https://coinlist.co/currencies/filecoin/docs|
These include: Filecoin Primer, Sale Economics, How to Invest in Filecoin, Filecoin Whitepaper, Proof of Replication, Research Roadmap 2017, SAFT, and Private Placement Memorandum.
|Team||Protocol Labs is headed by founder and CEO Juan Benet along with a professional, experienced core team and many contributors.|
|Location||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Blockchain||Filecoin, based on Ethereum (?)|
|Project Code||N/A, but there is a repository for IPFS (and also for libp2p, which is used by IPFS).|
|Token Rights||Trading in the storage and retrieval of data on the network.|
*Disclosure – At the time of writing, cryptorate staff owned no Filecoin tokens.