Emerging use cases
The State of Filecoin Q4 2022 report, published by Messari and commissioned by the Filecoin Foundation, notes that “Filecoin is primarily geared toward providing cold storage solutions to enterprises and developers.” Cold storage is used for data that is accessed infrequently, purportedly making Filecoin “an appealing choice for Web [2.0] clients seeking cost-effective alternatives for storing large amounts of archival data.”
“By the end of Q4’22,” according to the report, “a total of 1,320 clients have onboarded datasets on Filecoin, out of which 271 clients have onboarded large datasets (e.g., datasets that exceed 1,000 TiB in storage size), up 96% from 138 clients in Q3’22. Filecoin clients range from New York City and the USC Shoah Foundation, to web3 platforms such as OpenSea.”
Web3 is definitely a big use case for decentralized storage, and several companies are going after it. Storj has a slightly different focus: It is going beyond both cold storage and web3, instead focusing on being a bridge between Web 2.0 and web3.
One of its growing use cases, Golub said, is video. “If you’re creating video, those are large files that need to be delivered super fast to people who are [using] phones anywhere.” There are also applications for scientific data that research institutions weren’t previously able to share. This hints at a broader use for large machine learning data sets, said Rosie Pongracz, Storj’s chief marketing officer.
Its compatibility with S3 helped Storj onboard Web 2.0 customers, but some of its competitors hope to take the focus on user friendliness even further. For instance, Internxt told TechCrunch it hopes to be “the Coinbase of decentralized storage” and make usability by nontechnical customers a priority.
Meanwhile, Variant investment partner Mason Nystrom noted in a tweet that “firms like [Pinata and Filebase] leverage decentralized storage networks like IPFS, Storj, and Sia but provide cleaner interfaces [plus] enterprise features.” That may be yet another reason for people to adopt decentralized storage.
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