Thoughts on the first anniversary of the genesis block: What kind of applications does the Filecoin ecosystem need to “take root”

Wu said the introduction: Filecoin was “lucky” to go online at the beginning of the bull market, and it has also experienced huge fluctuations. It is now steadily entering the stage of ecological polishing and application landing. What kind of applications Filecoin needs to truly “take root”, this article provides a good overall thinking.

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As of this week, the first anniversary of the founding block of Filecoin mainnet, ecological development has begun to take shape, and more and more developers are building application platforms based on Filecoin. As of August 23, the Filecoin network has 2865 active miners, providing 9.5EiB effective computing power, and growing at a rate of nearly 50 PiB per day, surpassing any cloud service provider.

Thoughts on the first anniversary of the genesis block: What kind of applications does the Filecoin ecosystem need to "take root"

But when we put aside all the hustle and bustle, calm down and think; what kind of application does Filecoin need? Where will the ecology go in the future? In this way, the original problem will come to mind.

For an ecosystem to develop, it must first be the construction and supplement of the underlying network, and then it will be the turn of applications to emerge endlessly. For the development of a new ecology, the underlying infrastructure and underlying network must be supplemented and improved first. The early dividends of the development of network effects are very high, and with the rise of later applications, the dividend period of infrastructure applications is relatively sustainable.

Therefore, in the early stages of ecological development, we are more inclined to pay attention to some projects that build the underlying infrastructure and can form network effects. These projects are more suitable for the current development stage of the Filecoin ecosystem than application projects.

In fact, this rule applies not only to the current Filecoin ecosystem, but also to other ecosystems in the blockchain, and even to the development process of the entire blockchain industry. Currently, there are still sufficient valuations for the big public chain projects, which are developed through the network. As a guide, the development of ETH ecology to the stage of ecological application is still going back to supplement the infrastructure (ETH2.0). The dividend of infrastructure in the early stage of network development is very high, and with the rise of later applications, this dividend period will continue And zoom in.

We categorized and divided the ecological projects in Filecoin:

Thoughts on the first anniversary of the genesis block: What kind of applications does the Filecoin ecosystem need to "take root"

Looking at the entire Filecoin ecological project, we can sort it out in two latitudes: vertical and horizontal. Now the Filecoin ecosystem needs a lot of related service layouts horizontally. Filecoin is now the main mining machine manufacturer, the upstream service industry of mining machines, Filecoin asset management value-added, Filecoin Lending, Filecoin hosting; vertical perspective, mainly distributed cloud storage service architecture, distributed The bottom layer of cloud storage technology must be the IPFS network itself; the second layer is Filecoin, which is the IPFS incentive layer; the third layer is related to tools, which are some friendly client and storage technical services.

Combining this information, we sort out the three types of projects most needed at the current stage of the Filecoin ecosystem:

(1) Filecoin endogenous Defi serving mining machine manufacturers

(2) The combination of Filecoin and NFT may become the first application scenario of Filecoin, and an important storage application

(3) Do basic service applications for Filecoin storage and matchmaking market

Defi in the Filecoin ecosystem

At present, the best developed Web3.0 application is decentralized financial Defi. It can even be said that through Defi, you can get a glimpse of the future Web3.0 form, but there are two reasons that have been restricting the application of Defi on the chain. Expansion:

(1) On-chain data storage and (2) On-chain transaction costs.

Filecoin and DeFi can be realized in the short term. The first is the distributed storage of a large amount of Defi data. According to a survey published by the cloud service provider Chainstack, centralized cloud services carry most of the Ethereum network, of which 61.6 % Of Ethereum nodes run on the cloud. According to the report, Amazon Web Services (AWS) indirectly operates nearly 25% of Ethereum nodes.

With the release of Filecoin, the storage on the Ethereum chain can be transferred to Filecoin to complete some heavy tasks, such as massive transaction records and historical status information. The most important thing is that DeFi applications can share access to these data. I think we will see complementary connotations between the Filecoin storage network and the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem.

The Ethereum smart contract development tool Truffle also announced on Twitter that it has reached a cooperation with Filecoin to help developers around the world create and deploy fully decentralized applications. Through this cooperation, Truffle will integrate the Filecoin network into its tool suite to help users deploy directly to Filecoin. Then, Truffle will add new features to Ganache so that users can easily simulate the Filecoin network during development and testing (Truffle is the development framework for the Ethereum Solidity programming language).

Thoughts on the first anniversary of the genesis block: What kind of applications does the Filecoin ecosystem need to "take root"

The Filecoin network is in great need of smart contracts at the current stage, as well as the support of development tools. A few years ago, the Ethereum ecosystem developed in this way. At that time, it was very difficult to create things without these tools and libraries. So I suggest creating more tools and libraries to help other developers and users.

On the other hand, Filecoin’s endogenous DeFi makes the ecological future full of greater imagination.

Taihe Capital’s mining fund is also deeply involved in Filecoin mining. We understand all the challenges, difficulties and needs encountered by miners. Because the Filecoin economic model delays the release of miners’ earnings and requires pre-staking, this is a funding threshold for many miners, and the utilization rate of FIL funds will also be very low.

The current solution is to map FIL ​​to the Ethereum network through a transfer bridge, and then use the Defi network on the Ethereum network to pledge BTC or ETH. In this case, the miners actually leap from the Filecoin ecosystem to the ETH ecosystem to use Defi. Moreover, excess pledge is required, and the whole process is relatively complicated.

At present, there are some FIL Lending or mapping protocols based on the Ethereum chain , such as HFIL and renFIL; and DeFIL projects based on the protocol on the Ethereum blockchain. In fact, they all rely on smart contracts based on the Ethereum technology architecture. There are indeed some innovative services in loan interest rates, which can indeed supplement some FIL liquidity problems caused by excess pledges.

However, in the Filecoin network, miners have many assets, such as pledge coins, computing power, data, machines, etc. If Defi is generated in the Filecoin network, these assets can be easily verified, and loans that do not require pledge can be realized. Thereby lowering the threshold for participation of some miners.

For example, the HashMix project, through its own powerful on-chain database and algorithm design, can provide FIL loans with only miners in the pledge node owner. This kind of FIL loans using on-chain information and floating interest rate projects are very suitable for the future FIL ecological endogenous Defi gameplay. (Strictly speaking, HashMix does not belong to Filecoin endogenous Defi.)

Not only that, the endogenous Defi can also provide more playability to the Filecoin ecosystem. In addition to borrowing, there are futures and insurance, as well as the transfer of revenue rights between computing power.

These will all flourish based on the rise of Filecoin’s endogenous Defi network. We look forward to Filecoin’s launch of smart contracts as soon as possible. Fortunately, Juan has stated on Github that a Filecoin-based virtual machine may be launched by the end of 2021.

No Filecoin, no NFT

Hu An, the founder of IPFS, once said: “NFTs that are not stored on IPFS are not your NFTs.” NFT is a radical new form of digital ownership, trying to get rid of the control of centralized companies, but NFT storage has centralized components.

The reason why NFT can be sought after is that NFT represents ownership. However, most NFT projects use traditional centralized storage methods. For example, if you purchase an NFT, the token itself is decentralized and exists on the blockchain. However, due to the high cost and difficulty of storing files on the chain, especially large files such as videos are usually stored off-chain, including Nifty Gateway, SuperRare , Rarible , Opensea, and so on. This means that the NFT assets are not in their own hands, or even forced to be stored in the hands of storage service providers. That is to say, NFT projects are fragile under the cloak of “ownership”.

(1) You may lose access to your NFT assets;

(2) Your NFT tokens point to the storage location outside the chain of HTTP URL. Relying on the location-based addressing method of HTTP, your NFT is at risk and possibility of being tampered with

Therefore, NFT is very fierce for the storage of data on the chain, and with the introduction of NFT concepts such as “Meta Universe”, the demand has become stronger. The IPFS official protocol laboratory officially launched the NFT.Storage project, which can store NFTs on the entire chain safely and reliably. Users can store NFT content or metadata in IPFS and Filecoin for free, in addition to decentralized data backup, tamper prevention, etc. In addition to the advantages, the most important thing is to solve the problem of real NFT data ownership and provide strong data supply chain support for decentralized data property rights verification.

However, in order to allow more NFT projects to store data on IPFS, the FIlecoin ecosystem needs to have endogenous NFT infrastructure projects, such as allowing users to directly mint NFTs on IPFS, and destroy and renew the centralized storage of NFTs with one click. Generate a completely consistent version on IPFS.

Therefore, in the initial stage of ecological development, the network effect must be formed first, and higher requirements are put forward for the network infrastructure. Therefore, more projects of the underlying infrastructure are needed to participate. We are also extremely optimistic that we can help NFT in Items saved on IPFS.

Filecoin storage service infrastructure

Thoughts on the first anniversary of the genesis block: What kind of applications does the Filecoin ecosystem need to "take root"

As can be seen from the above figure, in the FIL storage market, as of July 8th, 932,047 real storage transactions have occurred, and an effective storage capacity of 24 Pib has been completed (Source: File is valid throughout the network The computing power is 7.208Eib, and the ratio of effective data to the total data storage is only 0.33%.

It can be seen that the proportion of real user data storage in Filecoin network storage is very low. That is because the storage mechanism of the Filecoin network requires the storage party (user) to find the storage party (miner) in a certain way to store the data. At present, the summation mechanism used in the network is relatively complicated, and moreover, for the stable and reliable miners who store data, a screening and judgment is needed.

There are currently 569 users using the Filecoin network for storage. The number of miner nodes participating in mining also exceeds more than 2,000 service nodes. The increase in the number of participants in the network places higher requirements on the ecological service providers in the network. Who can provide high-quality storage services? How to store a file quickly and easily? How to retrieve stored files quickly?

This requires the emergence of transaction matching platforms in the network (similar to Didi and Airbnb), so that users with storage needs can quickly find trustworthy storage providers (miners), and on the other hand, the screening and selection of miners’ orders A sound system must be established.

In the current ecosystem, there are FileDrive, Filswan, Slate and other projects that provide basic distributed storage network services in the Filecoin ecosystem, but among the three projects, only Filswan is a miner and storage matching service; the other two FileDrive and Slate are Preference for IPFS content retrieval services. (The content retrieval service is indeed an important part of the IPFS and Filecoin ecology, but the direction of the retrieval ecology is still unclear, and many projects are in the testing stage. This article will not discuss it for the time being. This content will be explained in another article in the future.)

One of FilSwan’s current main business directions is to provide a matching and computing service platform for data order transactions in the Filecoin network. On the FilSwan platform, you can easily search and discover global storage nodes, release orders, and storage providers can also be on the platform. Orders are matched, but there is no miner node to score and provide matching suggestions. Generally speaking, it is still in the initial stage of construction, and there are many unsmooth points in use.

Thoughts on the first anniversary of the genesis block: What kind of applications does the Filecoin ecosystem need to "take root"

However, we learned from FilSwan that FilSwan will improve and optimize the matching system as soon as possible, and will also establish a complete evaluation system for the most suitable storage miner sorting. Not only that, Fileswan will also match services related to computing needs in the future, expanding from a storage matching platform to a computing power matching platform. In addition to storage resources, the Filecoin network also contains a large number of computing resources. In the computing power service market other than storage services, there are obviously huge business opportunities. This piece of imagination has huge potential.

IPFS distributed storage is obviously more fragmented, more decentralized, and more uncertain than centralized storage. In this case, as an intermediate storage matching platform, it is necessary to ensure that a large amount of commercial data can be safe, stable, and efficient. The requirements for storage matching platforms are very high.

It can be seen that to improve storage efficiency, reduce data loss risks, and realize commercially available storage systems in large-scale application scenarios, storage service infrastructure is indispensable, and it is also an important task before IPFS storage services are officially commercialized.

Concluding remarks

When we were on the mainnet for nearly a year, we were lucky to see a large number of ecological projects. There are filscan and filscout teams that focus on browsers and other related services, the Texile team that focuses on online deposit and forwarding services, the Livepeer team that cooperates with the Filecoin ecosystem, and a large number of teams in various longhash and Tachyon incubators, and their agreement on Filecoin Continuously improve and complete the entire storage, computing, and financial ecology under the layered model.

But we still have to reiterate our initial view. To develop an ecosystem, we must first do a good job in the underlying network, lay a solid foundation, and then welcome the application explosion wave under the network effect. Now the Filecoin ecosystem is still building a distributed web3 service network. , What is needed more is the underlying application that can solve the basic functions.

Author: Taihe Capital Calvin & Min

Wu said that the blockchain has been exclusively authorized to reprint and edit


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