Storj is a unique decentralized cloud storage platform that allows users to store files and data securely on a peer-to-peer network. The network uses blockchain technology and cryptography to provide enhanced security, privacy, and control over data storage.
The Storj platform was founded in 2014 by John Quinn and Shawn Wilkinson. It launched its mainnet for commercial use in 2019 after extensive testing. Storj has its own native cryptocurrency called STORJ that powers the network.
Storj aims to disrupt the traditional cloud storage industry by offering a secure, lower cost, private, censorship-resistant alternative to centralized players like Amazon S3, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.
How the Storj Network Functions
The Storj network connects users needing to store files (renters) with nodes who provide storage capacity to the network (farmers). It uses encryption, file sharding, and a blockchain ledger to keep data secure.
Some key participants in the Storj ecosystem include:
- Renters — Users who pay to store files on the Storj network. The files are encrypted client-side before uploading.
- Farmers — Network nodes that provide HDD capacity in exchange for STORJ tokens as payment.
- Uplink — The client library that renters use to upload and download files from Storj farmers.
- Storage Nodes — Individual farmer machines that store encrypted file shards on their drives.
- Satellites — Helper nodes that direct traffic, store metadata, facilitate payments and coordinate file repairs.
A user’s files are split up into encrypted chunks called shards. Each shard is replicated 30 times and distributed randomly across separate storage nodes on the network. This provides security through redundancy should nodes go offline.
Unique Benefits of Storj
Storj offers many advantages over traditional centralized cloud storage providers:
- Lower Cost — Storj can be up to 80% less expensive than big cloud providers by leveraging underutilized disk space.
- Enhanced Security — The decentralized nature of Storj makes it more resilient against various attack vectors and outages. Files are encrypted client-side before being sharded.
- No Vendor Lock-in — Users are not locked into proprietary formats or platforms. You can take your data and leave the network anytime.
- Censorship Resistance — No single entity can block access to files or ban users from the network.
- Privacy — Files are encrypted on the client-side so the network nodes have no visibility into your data.
- Open Source — Storj is non-proprietary, open source software with a transparent technical design.
The STORJ Token
The STORJ token is an ERC-20 utility token used to pay for services on the Storj network. Renters use STORJ to pay farmers for storing files on their hardware.
The STORJ token has several key functions in the Storj ecosystem:
- It is the medium of exchange used for renter payments to farmers in exchange for storage capacity.
- STORJ provides an incentive for farmers to offer unused storage space on the network.
- It allows renters to efficiently pay farmers in a decentralized manner without intermediaries.
- The token can be staked to participate in the network consensus process. Staking earns rewards.
- Holding STORJ may provide governance rights relating to the network’s policies and development.
STORJ supply is uncapped but issuance is capped at 463,402 new tokens per month. The token sale in 2017 raised around $30 million. STORJ is currently trading at $0.53 as of August 2023.
Storj brings decentralization, transparency, privacy and security to data storage — an arena long controlled by big tech monopolies. Users worldwide are now empowered to store files securely in a decentralized manner.
Looking ahead, Storj has massive growth potential as demand for secure, private, censorship-resistant storage rises among individuals and businesses. Wider adoption could lead to considerable upside in the STORJ token as the network’s native currency.