IPFS, the New-gen Tech Revolution, or Another Illusion?
Founded in 2014, after 6 years of R & D as well as its expansion, and after nearly a year of extensive testing and preparation, IPFS (Interplanetary File System) was officially launched on the afternoon of October 15, 2020, UTC time. 12 hours after the mainnet went online, Its token price fluctuated between 50~70 USD/FIL. However, panic and pessimism began to spread between the IPFS community and FIL token holders. Based on the total amount of FIL (2 billion) and the unit price of 50 US dollars estimation, its market value has exceeded 100 billion US dollars, second only to BTC. As such a mega valued IPFS/FIL went online, if there is no enough application to support, the selling pressure after the FIL is gradually unlocked will become huge. According to calculations, on the first day of the mainnet launch, there will be 239,000 FILs to be sold. Assuming that the unit price is 30 USD, the released circulation will be 8 million USD. Assuming the unit price remains unchanged, the market will usher in a similar value on the 10th day. With a release amount of 15 million USD, it is very likely that the corresponding token price can be supported.
IPFS is a network transmission protocol designed to create persistent and distributed storage and sharing of files. In terms of its current active projects and companies, IPFS has added more than 5 billion files, involving multiple industries, and there are also many blockchain companies using this technology. When the IPFS mainnet and its Filecoin goes online, the market value will be based on the applications brought by the IPFS network. After Bitcoin and Ethereum, Filecoin is an upstart in the blockchain industry with a revolutionary technological breakthrough. The market predicts that Filecoin's market value will surpass Bitcoin. Now let us analyze this project together that was given high hopes:
IPFS major features and disadvantages
The basic application of IPFS, Filecoin's financial attributes and its incentive mechanism make it a very exciting global collaborative open source project. On this basis, the data of all mankind is stored in the IPFS network, and no one can tamper with it. This magnificent scene provides at least three values for us:
1. It creates a storage network service that is license-free and trust-free. This is very important. When you want to access a digital file, you don't need to get approval or filing from any organization, and strict certification. As for non-centralized trust, it does not require user to trust the supplier that provides storage services, which significantly reduces the cost.
2. The successful application of IPFS will most likely enable all idle storage resources in the world to be gathered to form a network and be effectively used, and such a network is unprecedented.
3. Through such a model, network redundancy can be effectively reduced, and the complete separation of data can be achieved. There is no need to store files in a fixed location, only the content needs to be stored in an IPFS and Filecoin network.
However, Plentiful in ideal yet bony in reality. The design flaws of the IPFS project make it difficult to truly apply in the practical environment. Its design flaws mainly focus in the following aspects:
1. Cannot support hot data storage. Based on the principle of data timeliness, the higher the frequency of data access, the greater the value of the data possess. At present, IPFS only supports cold data storage scenarios. The lack of support for network transmission makes it impossible to establish a transmission network for hot data, which means the lack of the most valuable support for the network.
2. The disaster tolerance mechanism is missing. Disaster tolerance means that when an IT system stops working due to an accident (such as fire, earthquake, etc.), the entire application system can be switched to another location so that the system functions can continue to work normally. IPFS / Filecoin does not provide reliable disaster recovery and recovery mechanisms for storage users. Storage miners arecentrally handling disaster recovery backup and recovery works, resulting in an increase in storage space redundancy by 2-3 times.
3. The storage performance is reduced by more than 60 times. The IPFS data verification mechanism is too ideal and complex, and its storage performance is more than 60 times lower than that of a traditional centralized storage system. 1TB files usually need to be verified for more than 10 hours and cannot be stored normally and efficiently.
4. Centralized technology architecture. IPFS requires pretty advanced hardware, which leads to a very high threshold for joining its storage network. At present, only specialized storage devices can join the IPFS network as storage nodes. This means that IPFS initially advertised to users that connecting ordinary idle storage and reducing storage costs, has become a flubdub. It is difficult to store the entire network in a centralized structure in a disguised form, which cannot greatly reduce the storage cost of the entire network and ensure the security of the entire network.
5. Due to the lack of the decentralized governance mechanism, its governance is too despotic, leading to a certain harm to the participated communities.
The above are the main obstacles currently hindering IPFS and Filecoin. The good news is that some of them can be improved and perfected, while some are design mechanism problems and cannot be fixed. Let's take a look at another project initiated in the tech circle in 2017 ---HOP:
What is HOP
The HOP protocol provides a decentralized and completely anonymous traffic service for people all over the world based on block chain. HOP combines P2P network transmission and block chain technology to establish a block chain micro-payment protocol based on the block chain transmission encryption protocol between P2P network bandwidth contributors and bandwidth users, and merge it into traffic mining. In the mining pool side, the whole protocol is built on the main network, which has Micro Payment and mining functions. In addition, HOP also supports traffic mining of ERC20 in any currency. So far, HOP is the only protocol that combines the above functions and is officially available in commercial application. It can provide terminal nodes for secure access to decentralized networks.
HOP features and comparison with IPFS
HOP and IPFS have certain similarities. The following table is a comparison of the two projects in terms of technology and application characteristics:
Why HOP might be a phenomenal project in the future
Compared with the disadvantages of IPFS which are not supporting for hot data storage, low storage efficiency, low disaster tolerance and the high threshold of providing storage capacity, The advantages of HOP are summarized as follows:
1. High operating efficiency. The smart micro-payment system runs payments with unlimited TPS, and the efficiency is 90% higher than Ethereum.
2. High level of open source. Supports all ERC-20 token access.
3. Low threshold of participation. Any participant who has a certain fundamental knowledge of computer science and network technology can set up mining pools and miners.
4. High scalability. It can be combined with Starlink satellites, repeaters, sim/esim cards and mobile phones in actual application scenarios to form a next-generation distributed interconnected communication network globally.
At present, most of the participants of HOP are top tier tech specialists, famous investors and politicians with global vision. We believe that projects like HOP, due to the open source and far-sighted technical foundation, which can not only achieve internal self-consistent circulation, but also integrate well with external ecology. Just as water conservancy is invisible, HOP has unlimited inclusiveness and scalability, and has a strong platform-level vitality! We are looking forward to the accumulation of HOP, bringing a revolution in technology and applications to the blockchain and the practical universe!