Cloud storage is a platform for your data to be stored on a centralized server. You’re trusting a company to hold your data on their server that they say they will keep it safe and 7/24 available. But what if they get hacked or can’t be available 7/24 on the contrary they claim? How can you trust that they will keep your data secure? Wouldn’t it be better if you could hold your data on your own locked cloud storage? Decentralization allows you to achieve freedom and blockchain is giving you the maximum security.
Working principle of a blockchain system
Blockchain is decentralized. Blockchain technology in cloud storage gives maximum security by storing your data not in one centralized server that can be affected by hackers/outside elements but across all platforms that are interlinked to the blockchain through hashing. Decentralized means is your data is divided into thousands of pieces in hindsight and each piece resides in a different decentralized location across the mainnet. Blocks that store information is decentralized in the blockchain.
Advantages of Blockchain;
- Decentralized structure. Meaning no one holds all the power in one hand.
- Higher security and validation come from the nature of the Blockchain working principle.
- Accessible anywhere and anytime without the requirement of any centralized server or workforce to keep it up.
- Visibility and traceability of any actions done on-chain.
- Speed of the information exchange.
- Reduced costs because of the decentralized nature.
- Individual control and ownership of the data. You own your own data, nobody can touch it or see it.
The more blocks in the blockchain, the safer it is. Every user that enters the chain increases the decentralization of that mainnet as well as increases security by adding more blocks. That’s why Ethereum is one of the most decentralized networks that are available. Every miner in the ETH mainnet adds more blocks to the system making it more secure and decentralized.
Peer-to-peer cloud storage “P2P”
P2P cloud storage is shared data between clients that keep uploading a portion of the data. This way, without physical server need, people could share data over the internet. In the early days of the internet, we learned P2P through torrents. But that system had a fatal flaw in which people had to continuously upload a portion of the total file and keep the file in their computers for others to access. It was first decentralized cloud storage sure but was unreliable.
Advantages of P2P cloud storage;
- P2P cloud storage works by utilizing individual nodes. Even if the server crashes, given enough seeders, the cloud will still stay active.
- High performance and efficiency similar to that are of Blockchain.
- Reliability and adaptability to a degree. But still lower than centralized cloud storage and blockchain.
- Reduced costs because of the lack of centralized mechanism and easy file sharing.
Blockchain, however, doesn’t require you to be keep uploading or holding the data on your computer. As soon as you put your data on the blockchain, it is now a part of a gigantic chain of blocks that keeps authorizing one another in complicated hashed codes. This means no new “fake, scam” blocks could be injected inside the chain, as well as not a single block can be withdrawn without authorization from your private key. The maximum security with minimum inconvenience.
Cloud storage on-chain
On-chain, data storage has been first introduced with Bitcoin on 3 January 2009. Firstly, it was only for transferring information instead of files and general data that you would store on cloud storage services.
Cloud storage on centralized cloud services and their advantages;
- Security, you’re paying for people to keep your data secure as opposed to trying to keep your own data safe.
- Accessibility, there is a company, and workers are paid to keep your data accessible at any time.
- Data replication and redundancy/recovery. They keep your data safe by storing it and making it recoverable if you accidentally delete it.
- Cost-efficient, it is cheaper to store a GB of data in any cloud service compared to buying physical drives.
- Updating and synchronizing. The devices will automatically upload your new data to cloud servers. Keeping your daily data safe even if you lose your physical drives.
Cloud storage on centralized cloud services and their disadvantages;
- Vulnerability to cyber attacks. Cloud services are known to keep thousands of gigabytes of data on the internet. Hackers will try to reach that information that is stored on that centralized server.
- Costs, even though it is cheaper compared to physical drives. It still costs money to maintain memberships.
- Privacy and the most important problem, you’re giving your data to a 3rd party company. They have full control over your data.
As blockchain technology progressed and become mainstream, people started to think of storing actual data in blocks. This was because blockchain could be viewed/downloaded and can be accessed all across the world over the internet. And was very secure and fast.
We’re securing our data on cloud services more and more. We no longer rely on physical storage options as the internet becomes more and more available. After realizing physical storage can be damaged/compromised and couldn’t be reached at any time and anywhere. People use cloud services more and more.
But some of them thought we could still improve cloud storage since it’s still a physical storage device stored in a centralized location. Those guys are blockchain innovators that know about cloud computing and storage.
Decentralized cloud storage has become available with the efforts of innovators that established a new protocol for the distributed web wichs name is IPFS “InterPlanetary File System”. Now we have been using HTTP “Hypertext Transfer Protocol” for the internet we love so much. HTTP itself was decentralized by nature when it was first created. But thanks to companies like Amazon/Google it’s been centralized over the years.
IPFS and blockchain-enabled cloud storage help eliminate a central authority for users to store their data. Causing big data breaches and hacks to cease or decrease their effect on the blockchain.
Blockchain technology is like a newly born child of the internet. And cloud store on the blockchain is much newer than blockchain itself. Blockchain is getting more and more popular by day on the internet. The reason for this new interest and curiosity is because the blockchain works and is a revolutionary technology. Currently, there are a handful of cloud storage services on blockchain, a few could be named as; FileCoin, Storj, MaidCoin, SiaCoin. The term “coin” in these projects doesn’t mean currency. in the crypto world. coin means a smart contract that has its blockchain. Anything built OVER that blockchain is named the “Token” of that coin.