Blockchain-based Decentralized Cloud Storage: Storj And Competitors

SJCX has boomed on 28.11 that allows common computer users to test the software before devs will go live with the final version.

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Blockchain-based Decentralized Cloud Storage: Storj And Competitors

Storjcoin X (SJCX), is the token used as “fuel” for the Storj network allowing users to rent and buy storage through the DriveShare app as well as MetaDisk. SJCX has boomed on November 28th thanks to the release of a Graphic User Interface (GUI), that allows common computer users to test the software before devs go live with the final version.

Storj - the future of cloud storage, has just released the multiplatform GUI app for DriveShare, that allows users to share their available hard disk space without the need of particular IT knowledge. Previously it was only available as a command-line binary and not everyone was confident in its use. However, this is still a beta test release part of Storj’s Test Group B, where users that share their free storage could potentially earn real SJCX based on the amount of storage contributed and uptime.

Test Group B is concentrating on network capacity and monitoring uptime, it uses local test files that get generated by DriveShare on a user’s hard disk. This should last until the end of the year. Next year Test Group C will begin and it will be making progress on actually storing real user files. 

However, there have already been 4 payouts since the beginning of Test Group B for a total of about 347,000 SJCX. According to the team there will be another 800,000 SJCX available to distribute before the end of the testing phase.

By all accounts, SJCX has been available since July 2014 after Storj’s token sale to fund development of the platform. It has been listed on some exchanges including Poloniex, it had its ups and downs in the past, but this release has pumped up its value by about 30% in just a few minutes, and the trend still seems to hold.

At the moment, “farmers” need to hold a balance of 10,000 SJCX in their Counterwallet address to earn rewards from Test Group B using DriveShare. If a lower SJCX balance is held, users are free to farm but will not be entitled to rewards. This is because at the time of the token sale whoever contributed would have been given preferential access to Storj software as well as entitlement to rewards. This way, everyone can have a chance to contribute storage and earn SJCX as a result. This also helps prevent malicious nodes as without a SJCX balance someone could spin up tens of nodes and attack the network.

The bump in price on November 28th has been most probably due to the hype created by the GUI release, where some project supporters decided to buy SJCX while still cheap, and some other people rushed to enter Test Group B to earn rewards.

SJCX/BTC graph

The Storj network is already offering over 1500 Terabytes of storage with about 430 farmers, and its “fuel coin” is one of the oldest and most valued on the Poloniex exchange.

After this release, Storj has shown its solidity as a development team. CoinTelegraph interviewed Shawn Wilkinson, Founder and Lead Developer at Storj.

CoinTelegraph: There seems to be quite a bit of hype around Storj as it could be one of the first Distributed Cloud Storage platforms to take advantage of Blockchain technology, do you have an estimated release date?

Shawn Wilkinson: We are just starting to roll out the p2p stuff, communications and file transfers are working but disabled. Test Group B should be finishing up at the end of the year. Test Group C will start at beginning of next year, after the holidays. But I can’t really give a release date.

CT: I tried to use the software of one of your competitors, SIA, but for some reason it didn’t work, despite me trying to open my router ports and all that. I fiddled with this stuff for maybe one hour, to no avail. And I use computers since 30 years. Will your software be more user friendly?

SW: Yes, we are trying to make it simple, no port forwarding and all that stuff. This is also probably why SIA has few tens of people running the software and we have over 400. We will make it easy, but it will take longer to give users something really polished, we are not rushing for a release date.

CT: Is the Storj system built so that you can recall resources from inside resources? I mean, is it more than just putting files in it and being able to download them, can you hotlink them, like for example an HTML page that has image URLs referring to other resources?

SW: Yeah if you share the hash and decryption keys your friend can go get it, as long as it’s static, we have endpoints that can serve web content from the network. Documents, pictures, videos, etc., only you can't change those documents, because the blockchain is immutable: if you are saving a document it will delete the old one and create a new one.

CT: So if I link an image on a document, can I replace the image? I thought not, because it will never be the same location, it will be another image, another thing on the blockchain, right?

SW: No you can't replace, you can only create a new image and replace on the document really, but you don't have to worry about it, if you are creating a document via an application on Storj, you won't notice the difference. Just how the application handles the data behind the scenes might be a bit different.

CT: Thank you for your time, and best of luck with the project.

Shawn Wilkinson, Founder and Lead Developer at Storj

Competitors

Storj is in competition with few other similar services, like SIA, Maidsafe and Ethereum.

SIA is another interesting project, that plans to integrate its storage capacity with app development. For this purpose, they partnered with Cripty, a decentralized application platform that empowers developers to write their own applications. Crypti provides a full stack solution for deploying truly decentralized applications onto the blockchain, while also providing an excellent user experience for anyone looking to make safe and easy transactions within seconds.

But at the moment the SIA project seems to be lagging well behind Storj, even though they released a GUI client in October. Their forum lacks active members, and the introduction of SiaCoin (SC) on Poloniex didn’t go exactly well. It dropped sharply after entering the market at 6900 Satoshi, slowly declining to the actual value of 5 Satoshi per SC.

MaidSafe is an Open Source project that claims to bring the “decentralized internet” to the world, so the team is aiming high. MaidSafe boasts a team of 16 members and is in the works since 8 years, as stated on their website:

“Eight years in development, MaidSafe's network is nearing the point of public beta testing and can be seen operating in-house. A significant portion of the company's code base is available for download under an Open Source license.”

Safecoins had ups and downs in their history but they seem to keep up pretty well, despite the final release date of the project is quite far away in time from what can be read on the website:

“At this point, we are unable to provide any figures about mining speed, there are simply too many variables to even attempt to calculate this with any accuracy. However, as we get the test networks up and running through the course of the next few months, we will start to publish this test data which may lead to a clearer picture about what users can expect.”

Ethereum is probably the most dangerous competitor at the moment, having released a beta version named Ethereum Frontier few months ago:

“Frontier is an early access to the Ethereum network. Bugs and security issues might be present. Before downloading you have to agree to the terms that follow and the full terms linked below.”

The ETH coin is thriving on the Poloniex exchange as the most traded altcoin by far and the project looks in great shape and very promising. Even though it’s proposed as a “decentralized software platform”, to have software running you need to have storage space available for apps and data.

Ethereum also lists some very notable partnerships that nobody else can boast yet, like Microsoft, IBM, and Samsung with their project “Adept”.

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