Filecoin is a peer-to-peer storage network that was created by Juan Benet, the founder of Protocol Labs and creator of the Interplanetary File System. The project launched in 2017 during an ICO raising over $200 million, while the mainnet started later in October 2020, and was likewise successful.
Filecoin network has a cloud storage mechanism that is intended to be a blockchain-based cooperative digital payment system. Its mechanism uses the FIL tokens to motivate various types of nodes to contribute to the network through two main types of deals: storage deals and retrieval deals. Storage deals are contract agreements between clients and storage miners to store certain submitted data on the network. Once the deal is complete Storage miners earn FIL tokens as deal fees. In Retrieval agreements retrieval miners have to extract data that is stored in the network in a fast and reliable manner. Unlike storage deals, these deals are fulfilled off-chain, using payment channels to gradually pay for the data received.
Filecoin’s blockchain technology is based on both Proof-of-Replication (PoRep) and Proof-of-Spacetime (PoSt). Using PoRep, miners demonstrate that they have received all the data submitted in a specific time and that they have encoded it in a way unique that no other miner can replicate. Additionally, when a deal is active and during its lifetime, PoSt uses cryptographic challenges to prove that the miner is actually still storing a copy of the sealed data associated with the deal.
FIL tokens are limited to a maximum supply of 2 billion, with new FIL tokens being released as rewards to miners for every new block created.
Miners update new blocks to the chain every 30 seconds.
Filecoin’s decentralized system allows clients to be their own custodians of their data and make the web more accessible to people worldwide.
Filecoin leverages its decentralized nature to protect the integrity of a data’s location, making it easily retrievable and hard to censor.
Initial Pledge Collateral
Filecoin Miners must upfront collateral to participate in the economy. The protocol uses miners' stake to ensure rational behavior that benefits the network rewarding the creation of value, otherwise, the collateral will be slashed if the miner is found to have divergent behavior. The size of the skate aims to motivate the fulfillment of a sector's promised lifetime and to provide assurance of consent.
Block Reward Collateral
To reduce upfront collateral, block rewards are also used as collateral. Block rewards for miners are subject to slashing in case that a process terminates before its expiration. This way clients have more reliable agreements with storage miners to store their files for the promised duration.
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