Storj – Blockchain Based Cloud Storage

Blockchain is everywhere. It is undoubtedly one of the best data security technologies to come out of the early 21st century. Basically a distributed database, the records are named blocks with a timestamp, and resilient to data modification after a block has been recorded. Meaning once a block has been entered into the database it cannot be changed, and if it is other nodes in the distribution network will show the modification. The more nodes on the blockchain, the faster and more secure the distribution network is. This technology is exactly what Storj.io is going to capitalize on.

Storj is storing data on rented drives (or paid peers). Most likely these drives are going to be consumer drives on individual computers all throughout the world. With AES256-CTR encryption before the data is broken down, this is an extremely secure option. As with most cloud storage providers, the client is still responsible for all data integrity and security.

To break Storj down simply:

  • Client side selects data to store
  • Storj then encrypts data with AES256-CTR
  • Encrypted data is broken into Blocks or “Shards”
  • Shards are uploaded into the Blockchain network with time stamps
  • Encryption is saved to the local client

The best feature of Storj is it acts just like Google Drive, or Microsoft’s Onedrive on Windows. For Linux distros it operates just like Git. So the operation is already familiar for which ever application you utilize this tool for.

The downfall for Storj will be the Cryptocurrency the company bases its financial operation on. If you are renting space it will cost you $0.015 per Gigabyte for Storage and $0.05 Gigabyte for Bandwidth each month. SJCX is sold on 4 exchanges currently. One StorjCoinX will cost $0.1260 at the moment.  This is pretty reasonable, one SJCX will get you 1GB of Storage and Bandwidth for one. However, all cryptocurrencies are tied to the Bitcoin market, so as Bitcoin market fluctuates so does your storage costs with this solution. Which for me, in my daily administration tasks, I would not consider this solution.

All things being considered, StorJ is a great idea built on a great technology and is still under development. There are several use cases that this application could be considered for at the moment, but none that Truecrypt\Bitlocker and an existing cloud storage service with good administration could serve.

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