Filecoin is a decentralized digital storage marketplace, protocol, and cryptocurrency. The project launched its mainnet in October of last year, following a $250M token offering in 2017.
The project aims to disrupt the public cloud market. Instead of hosting files on centralized servers like Amazon, Filecoin encrypts these files and hosts them across a large computer network.
According to the project, this should significantly decrease the storage costs for end users and make the data much safer.
Filecoin was developed by Protocol Labs. The company is also known for developing the InterPlanetary File System or IPFS. The technology allows users to receive and host content in a manner similar to BitTorrent. For example, IPFS was used to create a mirror of Wikipedia, allowing users in countries where the website is blocked to access the content of Wikipedia.
Filecoin is built on top of IPFS, where FIL (Filecoin’s native token) acts as a payment token that connects buyers and sellers in the IPFS ecosystem.
The project’s mainnet launch was arguably one of the most anticipated crypto events of the last year. Filecoin has attracted a large community of supporters, especially in China. Chinese investors heavily invested in Filecoin mining hardware, betting on the project’s future success.