From the release of the white paper and ICO at the end of 2017, to the launch of the mainnet on the evening of October 15, 2020, Filecoin made everyone wait for about three years. During the “Space Race” test before the mainnet launch, the market was full of gunpowder-flavored debate scenes, but in a blink of an eye, the Filecoin mainnet has been running for a year. Has this “Big Mac” project, which raised more than US$200 million in half an hour, met market expectations? What are the “stories” worth remembering in the past year?
Efforts for ecological construction, empowering the infrastructure construction of Web3
In essence, Filecoin is just a low-level broker market. Demanders and storage providers use the blockchain to establish trustless connections, and the applications built on Filecoin in the future are the real value of Filecoin.
The first to see this is probably the Ethernet Square developers ConsenSys up, Filecoin main line online soon, ConsenSys announced between the project development team and Filecoin integration, allowing developers to Infura, Codefi, MetaMask and other items will ConsenSys IPFS and Filecoin functions are integrated into its application. In addition to ConsenSys, Canadian technology company ChainSafe and other technology companies have also supported Filecoin and launched storage applications based on IPFS and Filecoin.
In terms of storage applications, Filecoin has reached cooperation with NFT projects or companies such as Dapper Labs and OpenSea so that such projects can store metadata or NFT content data through the Filecoin network. In addition, Textile has also created a cross-chain bridge using Filecoin storage for NEAR and Polygon to facilitate interaction between users and developers. In addition, Ninth City, a U.S.-listed company, also cooperated with Polygon and Filecoin development team Protocol Labs on NFTSTAR and GameFi, the NFT platform of the Ninth City.
It is worth mentioning that two months ago, Filecoin and Chainlink jointly initiated a funding program to support developers to develop a “hybrid smart contract” that integrates Chainlink oracles and Filecoin storage, and for Filecoin to enter DeFi and other areas that require a large amount of oracles. The native blockchain market has opened the door.
In terms of investment in ecological construction, Filecoin also spares no expense. It has jointly launched an incubator and tens of millions of dollars in ecological investment funds with institutions including Huobi, Ouyi OKEx’s Block Dream Fund and Fenbushi Capital, which are the upper level of Filecoin in the future. Building construction provides abundant funds and resources.
The layout of Filecoin in the field of Web3 is too numerous to enumerate, so I won’t repeat them here. In addition to Web3, Filecoin has also launched a real data storage reward program to promote applications in traditional fields. The program designated several “witnesses” “The miner can submit the actual data storage requirements to the witnesses. If passed, the effective data capacity stored by the miner can be recognized by the network as 10 times the effective storage capacity. That is, if a miner stores 10G of real data, the Filecoin network will use it as 100G of effective storage capacity to issue mining rewards. After the implementation of the plan, companies including the photography company Taopaipai have tried to use Filecoin to store data and files, because compared to traditional cloud storage, the use of Filecoin to store the service provider is the agreement rather than the customer. , Directly reducing the cost to zero.
Amazing effective storage growth rate and skyrocketing gas
Compared with the steady progress of ecological construction, Filecoin network gas fees have been one of the most concerned topics in the market in the past year, and it is also the most dramatic “memory point”.
The Gas fee model on the Filecoin chain basically replicates the Ethereum that implemented EIP-1559, and the gas fee can be better predicted through the basic fee + tip. And over time, the basic cost will be adjusted with the previous total gas cost, and most importantly, the basic cost will be directly destroyed instead of paid to the miners.
At the beginning of Filecoin’s launch, due to fear of its strict penalties and most miners still experimenting with the best and most cost-effective configuration, although the computing power has been increasing in an orderly manner, the gas fee has been kept at a low price. Within one month after the launch, the cost of encapsulating effective storage gas was only 0.4FIL/T. In addition, the FIL price was not high at that time, so these costs are still affordable. Most miners sell their machines. The profit is enough to cover this expense.
In addition, the original rule of linear release of mining revenue was quickly revised through FIP-004 to release 25% immediately after it was launched, so that miners are more confident to face a series of on-chain costs.
But soon the market changed dramatically.
With the determination of the miners’ configuration and the stability of the operation, everyone began the process of copying and pasting, and with the continuous improvement of computing power, various miners began to compete to ensure their own packaging by optimizing the copy proof, improving the gas, and so on. Speed of effective storage capacity. However, under such circumstances, the effective storage space of the entire network package quickly reached 1 EB in mid-November, which also opened the era of calculating revenue by comparing the effective storage space of the entire network with the baseline. Since then, effective storage space has soared all the way, and successfully surpassed the baseline at the end of March. Currently, the effective storage space of Filecoin’s entire network has reached an astonishing 12.37EB.
Google vice president Kent Walker once said that as of 2000, the total amount of data stored in human history was about 12 exabytes. In other words, the effective storage space accumulated by the Filecoin network in less than a year is enough to carry all the “civilizations” of mankind 2000 years ago. If you use a 36-bay server full of 12T hard disks to calculate, the capacity needs to exceed 30,000 servers.
As with the effective storage space, there is also the gas fee. The first is the soaring of basic costs. Due to a series of reasons such as the SubmitWindowedPoSt (part of the copy proof) link in the process of packaging storage space, which needs to be quickly submitted to the chain, miners who want to quickly package capacity have begun to compete without cost, just like The scene when certain NFTs are released on Ethereum.
The 32G sector package Gas consumption was close to 7 FIL/T (approximately US$161) in early February of this year, and reached 9 FIL/T (approximately US$1600) in early April, plus the basic handling fee. The gas cost required to package 1T capacity exceeded 15 FIL at one time, and these gas fees were actually destroyed.
At these two points in time, the revenue per T is only about 0.1 FIL/T. That is to say, the storage capacity packaged in these two months does not count the cost of machinery, electricity, etc., just the consumed gas fee. It takes 2 to 4 months to pay back. This does not take into account the plummet of FIL prices after April and the decrease in average revenue brought about by the further increase in the effective storage of the entire network.
This unusual change caused a lot of turbulence in the mining circle. At that time, a considerable number of investors who invested heavily in the deployment of mining in the early stage of Filecoin’s launch or even before the launch were faced with a very embarrassing situation at this time: because they did not know the trend of subsequent gas fees, they did not dare to continue to package storage capacity for a while. “Customers are afraid that the gas fee will continue to rise in the future, but they are also worried that if the official measures are introduced to reduce the gas fee, the gain will not be worth the loss.” A miner told the author. A lot of money has been invested on the Internet, and now there is no money to pay for Gas.”
Faced with such a situation at that time, the ubiquitous miners came up with a variety of methods. Miners with larger scale and voices chose to let customers pay for Gas in full. Of course, some small miners took advantage of the company’s own Funds are supporting, all to keep customers. “Customers don’t listen to you at all,” some small miners said, “These are not written in the contract. Many customers don’t understand what Gas is. They just want to know why the hard drives they bought can’t be put on the shelves now, so we You can only post with the company’s money. It’s hard to live now.”
Seeing that the development of the situation is gradually out of control, Filecoin officially began to find ways to reduce the high gas fee. By putting some of the certifications off-chain, and optimizing the process of aggregation of proofs through the code, the Gas fee was reduced to a reasonable level at the end of April. Through a series of subsequent upgrades, the gas cost was finally stabilized within 0.5 FIL/T.
Rising hardware prices and “never so busy” computer room sales
The hardware components of Filecoin mining are not only hard disks and servers, but also AMD CPUs (which also gave birth to the demand for servers with this architecture) and higher-performance GPUs. AMD’s CPUs and server market stocks are relatively comparable. In addition, the high-performance GPU has long been monopolized by Ethereum miners, and the hardware cost of Filecoin mining is also rising.
However, even if the total amount of data in Filecoin’s entire network exceeds 12EB, there is still a gap with the data centers of Internet giants such as Alibaba and Tencent that can easily accommodate 100,000+ servers. Therefore, the price fluctuation is not very large in theory, but according to the author’s actual observation, it is not the case.
Filecoin miners may have in-depth research on software technology, but most miners, especially small and medium-sized miners, have weak bargaining power with hardware brand agents, and even many miners do not understand the price of hardware at all. The author learned through a hardware procurement intermediary in the industry that according to his understanding, some agents’ server quotations to Filecoin vendors are basically “extraordinary asking prices”, and the industry’s rule is that when a company makes an inquiry, it will “lock” that company The company’s right to inquire, that is, other agents can no longer make quotations.
On this basis, the final quotation given by the miner to the customer will give people the illusion that the market terminal price has risen sharply. Although this situation may be an isolated phenomenon, it has to be admitted that Filecoin mining has “contributed part of the force” to the return of AMD’s server market share to 16% and the continuous increase in prices.
In addition, due to the extremely high stability requirements of Filecoin mining, the IDC computer room has become the best choice. The author learned from a salesperson in an IDC computer room that many Filecoin miners and miners have come to consult about computer room leasing this year, and their requirements are relatively not so demanding, unlike previous customers who required bidding and so on. A series of procedures have caused them to be extremely busy in the first half of this year. They have to connect with customers while constantly looking for suitable computer rooms. “
Just like Bitcoin in the early years, Filecoin has received a lot of criticism along the way. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin also said that the scalability that Filecoin can bring to the blockchain may be very limited. But we cannot predict the future. Projects such as Arweave, Crust, and Swarm, which are the same storage infrastructure as Filecoin, have not seen the explosive demand similar to DeFi on Ethereum for the time being. Can blockchain-based storage make up for cloud and local The disadvantages of storage, whether the blockchain can evolve quickly to the point where large-scale storage needs are generated, is worth waiting for in the next year or the next decade.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/what-happened-during-the-year-when-the-filecoin-mainnet-went-live/
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