What Is Filecoin (FIL)?
FIL is the native token of Filecoin, which is a decentralized storage network. Essentially, Filecoin is an open-source cooperative digital storage and data retrieval system, based on the InterPlanetary File System. It allows users to take advantage of unused hard drive space. Make sure to take a look at the Filecoin price if you want to see the live FIL price.
Filecoin crypto project is often perceived as a market for data because it allows users to rent or sell their storage space to others. Any participant in the Filecoin project who has free disk space can rent it out to others for the purpose of storing data. According to the Filecoin project plans, there will be three types of markets on the Filecoin system:
- File storage
- File retrieval
- On-exchange token trading
By utilizing its decentralized nature, Filecoin safeguards the physical location of data, making it simple to retrieve but difficult to censor. Overall, the main advantage of decentralized storage platforms like Filecoin is that it enables individuals to be their own data custodians.
The Founder of Filecoin
Juan Benet, the creator of the Interplanetary File System (IPFS), launched Filecoin. Benet is also the founder of Protocol Labs, which is an organization that participated in the launch of Filecoin. Even though the project was initially introduced in 2014 as an incentive layer for the IPFS, it was eventually launched on a Filecoin mainnet in 2020 as a separate project.
How Does Filecoin Work?
Most of the network processes happen due to miners. In the majority of blockchain protocols, miners are the network users who contribute to the blockchain's advancement and upkeep. However, the way Filecoin operates is very different. Rather than donating computational power (hashing power), miners in Filecoin provide essential utilities, storage space, and a way to retrieve information.
The existence of two different types of nodes – Storage miner nodes and Retrieval miner nodes – is what mostly distinguishes Filecoin from other similar networks. Storage nodes are physical representations of the disk space dedicated by a network participant for the storage of data. Since large nodes promote centralization and small nodes degrade the network's quality, average-size nodes are preferred mostly by the network. These nodes receive payment for the information they store. Every Storage node owner gets paid according to how much memory they provide.
Retrieval nodes, on the other hand, are a special kind of nodes that only exist on the Filecoin network. The primary requirements to become a Retrieval node are a fast Internet connection, a low ping, and a location near Storage nodes. The job of Retrieval nodes is to locate and send information to users in response to their requests. The node that handles it first, receives payment.
The consensus mechanisms used to secure the Filecoin crypto project are Proof-of-Replication and Proof-of-Spacetime.
Proof-of-Replication (PoRep) is a new variation of Proof-of-Stake. It’s based on sealing, which is a progressive, sequential process used to create a unique replica for each miner by encoding the data. In essence, this way miners show the public that a unique encoding of the data is present in physical storage.
Proof-of-Spacetime (PoSt), on the other hand, allows miners to read data from randomly chosen sectors and compress it into PoSt proof. By doing this, miners offer the public evidence that a unique data encoding was constantly present in physical storage over a certain time period.
The Purpose of FIL Coins
The basic purpose of FIL coins is to provide an economic incentive to guarantee that data is reliably stored over time. This means that FIL coins are mostly distributed as rewards for Storage and Retrieval nodes that contribute to the network by sharing or distributing storage or data.
However, besides that, Filecoin tokens are also used to cover gas fees on Filecoin. Gas is used to measure the amount of computing and storage resources needed to execute transactions and validate proofs.
Tokenomics of Filecoin
An initial coin offering (ICO) was held after Filecoin was released in 2017. The Filecoin price during its ICO was $1. Despite the fact that the ICO was held on the CoinList website in compliance with the tight SEC standards, the level of investor interest was so high that the necessary $252 million was raised in less than 30 minutes.
The biggest portion of the total Filecoin supply (70%) is dedicated to miner rewards. The remaining part is split between the developers of the project, ICO investors, and a Filecoin fund for future development.
If you’re planning to invest in Filecoin tokens, note that the FIL price is prone to change. This, in essence, happens with most crypto assets since their prices, including the Filecoin price, are easily affected by the fluctuations of the whole crypto market.