Blockchain Storage: Meet Your Storage Needs‎

By TechFunnel Contributors - Last Updated on May 13, 2020
The article explains about what is blockchain storage

This exposition on blockchain storage technology is essential because of the loopholes in centralized cloud storage platforms. According to PR Newswire, the data storage market is predicted to increase to $88.91 billion by the end of 2022. Hence, it is obvious that the contributions of blockchain storage technology(1) to this growth is crucial.

What is Blockchain Storage?

Basically, blockchain storage can be defined as an innovative method by which data is securely stored in a decentralized network. This decentralized network functions by optimizing the unused hard disk storage space of users all over the globe to save files and important documents.

Blockchain storage is a decentralized mechanism that serves as an alternative to traditional centralized cloud storage. Blockchain storage is able to provide effective solutions to the shortcomings that are inherent in the traditional centralized storage infrastructures.

( Also Read: The Definitive Guide On Blockchain )

How Blockchain Storage Works

  1. Shard Data

    The sequence begins with the preparation of data that is to be stored. This preparation is done by creating data shards or segments.

  2. Encrypt Shards

    After creating the shards, they are then encrypted.

  3. Generate Hashes

    A special hash is generated for each of these shards.

  4. Replicate Shards

    Thereafter, the process follows the creation of redundant copies for each of the shards.

  5. Distribute Shards

    The process continues with the distribution of the shard replications across the decentralized nodes in the blockchain system.

  6. Record Transactions

    Finally, the records of these transactions are stored in a blockchain ledger which serves as a decentralized record system of information concerning inter-party communications and transactions.

The blockchain system evaluates and confirms the authenticity of these transactions by synchronizing the transactions across the nodes in the blockchain.

Blockchain Data Storage

Usually, in order to store data in blockchain technology, the data is customized into the form of transactions for effective storage in the blockchain. The data that is stored on the blockchain becomes a time-stamped network of secure logs of data.

This is why the blockchain data stored is usually immutable and very safe.

In addition, it also provides for transparency since it is made accessible to the public and all other users. In some cases, the location for data stored in the blockchain may not be permitted to be customized in a transaction form and then stored.

In these cases when the blockchain technology does not allow this action, the data is stored in small bits on the chain via the use of addresses. Therefore, blockchain data stored in a secure network of systems is made possible when someone saves data, encodes it, and then uses it as an address to forward a transaction.

This is where the data becomes stored in the blockchain. The storage location is automatically encoded into the address of the receiving system. This ensures that the data is transmitted securely.

Decentralized Cloud Storage in the Blockchain Age

Decentralized cloud storage has been experiencing remarkable waves in the current blockchain age. To a significant extent, a number of blockchain experts have been developing better techniques for providing cloud and hosting services in the blockchain technology industry.

Decentralized cloud storage in the blockchain age has seen the following developments:

  • No single authority controls the data within the blockchain. This is because the technology has been developed to be open source in nature.
  • The decentralized blockchain network is capable of storing data rather than operating the storage via a company that would manage it centrally.
  • Unlike centralized cloud storage which covers the operation of hundreds and thousands of computer systems and servers, decentralized cloud storage covers a far broader range of millions of servers and computer systems all over the world.
  • In addition, the decentralized cloud storage in the blockchain age is reported to be cheaper and more available than the former centralized networks.
  • Another development that has emerged in decentralized cloud storage in the blockchain age is that data being stored is encrypted and every user has the capacity to manage their personal encryption keys. This by implication makes the blockchain data storage immutable, rigid, and super secured.

( Also Read: What It Takes To Be A Blockchain Developer )

Advantages of Blockchain Storage

  1. It is more affordable than cloud storage

    One of the foremost benefits that are associated with the use of blockchain storage is that it is relatively cost-effective when compared to some centralized cloud storage platforms. For instance, common centralized cloud storage platforms like Amazon S3, Google One, and Dropbox offer 1 GB worth of storage space for the price of $0.023, $0.02, and $0.005 per month, respectively.

    However, the prices for companies that offer secure storage services through blockchain storage go for as low as $0.002. This is a significant gap when compared to the amount charged by the centralized cloud storage platforms.

    In another sense, the use of blockchain storage nullifies the payment of extra costs for third-parties and intermediaries that are involved in transaction processes of other payment systems outside of the blockchain system.

  2. It does not require buying any equipment or software to run

    Another of the advantages of blockchain storage is that it involves zero purchase of any equipment in order for it to function. What’s more, is that no installation of any additional software is needed for it to function effectively.

  3. There is no need to hire broad admin resources

    In addition, since blockchain data is usually stored in a plethora of devices on a distributed chain of nodes, this renders it very resistant to technical malfunction as well as intrusions. Hence, the users do not necessarily have to provide extensive admin resources that will cost extra money.

    The effect of this advantage of blockchain storage is because each network node can be duplicated and stored as a copy in the database. This is why there can be no event of a malfunction. In the event of any node going offline or failing, the security and operation of the network will not be affected.

  4. It offers higher transparency than the cloud provider

    Furthermore, blockchain storage has been developed to be more transparent than other cloud providers. This is because, in traditional payment systems, the transactions that occur in the network are not dependent on only the parties involved, but also include an intermediary.

    The intermediary there could be a credit card company, a bank, or any payment provider. However, this is not the case in blockchain technology. Transparency is ensured through the distributed network of nodes that carry out the verification of transactions through “mining”.

  5. The transactions are always immutable, verifiable, and tamper-resistant.

    This is regarded as one of the most essential and indispensable advantages of blockchain storage. First of all, the transactions that take place in the blockchain system are immutable because thanks to the absence of a single central authority, no individual or group can take away your files.

    In addition, this also means you can not be restricted to access your files. And no authority can make adjustments to your transactions or files in the name of censorship. The verification of your files is made possible since your file’s hash are stored in the ledger.

    Transactions in the blockchain storage are also tamper-free because verified transactions are almost impossible to be altered. The implication of this is that the moment a data log has been stored into the blockchain, it becomes nearly impossible to make amendments.

    In fact, every alteration in the blockchain transactions are tracked and recorded on a distributed and public ledger and this makes blockchain storage a perfect option for keeping records of any form of financial transactions that requires audit management.

  6. It is highly available and more fault tolerance

    When compared to other forms of traditional cloud storage platforms such as Amazon or Google Drive, one of the advantages of blockchain storage is that it is more available to users and features the most minimum fault tolerance.

  7. Blockchain offers better security

    Security is, without a doubt, the basis of blockchain storage. The retention and transmission of data are more secure with blockchain-based decentralized cloud storage. This is because the encryption of files is done with private keys.

    Therefore anyone without the key would be unable to access the file. The files are segmented into bits and stored on numerous nodes so that a single point of malfunction does not render the system susceptible to infiltration.

    The benefit of blockchain storage in terms of securing your files is that you are able to recover your files even in a situation when a particular node malfunctions. This is the opposite in centralized storage where you would most likely lose your files if a failure in the system occurs.

  8. Blockchain gives rewards

    In all, users of decentralized blockchain storage have the possibility of being rewarded with performance gains. How is this possible? Well, individuals with unused hard drives, disks, data centers, etc. can always lease them out and get a reward.

    This, therefore, makes blockchain storage a win-win situation whereby users get incentives for sharing their free storage space with other users who need it. In most cases, the incentives are traditional cryptocurrencies in the blockchain.

Challenges of Blockchain Storage

  • The everlasting nature of blockchain is considered as one of its challenges.
  • The provision of network security is done by the miners.
  • The indestructibility of blockchain storage can be considered as a disadvantage to flexibility procedures.
  • The varying modes of performance is another factor that serves as one of the challenges of blockchain storage.
  • Blockchain requires signature verification. Without the verification of this peculiarity, the system is a mousetrap.
  • Consensus mechanisms remain one of the major challenges of the blockchain industry as a whole. There are different consensus mechanisms, and this affects the operation of the blockchain network.
  • The redundancy that characterizes the process of blockchain storage has been considered by some as needless duplications that hinder the system’s efficiency.

Blockchain Storage Platforms

  1. Swarm

    This blockchain storage platform aims to provide a maximally decentralized and redundant store for Etherum’s public record. Its major objective is to aid the storage and distribution of dapp code and data, as well as blockchain data.

    Below are the benefits of Swarm peer-to-peer storage:

    • It is resistant to Distributed Denial of Service
    • It has a zero downtime
    • It is fault intolerant
    • It features a good incentive system that permits trading resources for payment
    • It is censorship-resistant.
  2. IPFS

    This simply means the Interplanetary File System. Basically, IPFS functions as a file-sharing platform that is targeted at restructuring the process by which information and data are being distributed all over the world.

    IPFS features a number of benefits and they include:

    • It can effectively store and manage files.
    • It tracks the versions of these files over time.
    • It features a Self-certifying File System (SFS). SFS is a distributed file-sharing system that does not need any special authentication for the exchange of data to take place.
    • With IPFS, you can securely get access to transactions with the transparency of the blockchain storage.
  3. Sia

    The most prominent characteristic of Sia is that it provides cost-effective and efficient methods of utilizing data systems that are free to access by all users and at the same time not under the control of any single company.

    The features of Sia are as follows:

    • It segments the files into 30 divisions before distributing it to hosts across the globe. This helps to ensure that no single host is responsible for a single point of malfunction. This, therefore, optimizes the general system uptime and redundancy.
    • It utilizes smart contracts in sending the files. This allows for the creation of cryptographic service level agreements (SLAs) that are consequently stored on the Sia blockchain.
    • It does not require any intermediary or other forms of third-parties. In fact, renters and hosts transact with Siacoin.
  4. Storj

    This is one of the foremost decentralized, end-to-end encrypted cloud storage systems that have been introduced. Its major objective is to eliminate censorship, unauthorized data monitoring, and downtime.

    Some of the features of Storj are:

    • It connects renters and farmers (the computer selling space) through a Distributed Hash Table (DHT). This system helps to organize contract offers from both parties to a vast group of nodes.
    • It features a “publish-subscribe” model that prompts a node to sign an incomplete contract and publish it to the network. In response, other nodes can subscribe to interesting contracts.
  5. Maidsafe

    This is a self-governed distributed network for data storage that provides Secure Access for Everyone (SAFE).

    The features of the SAFE network are as follows:

    • It is extremely reliable, immutable, and available. Secured retrieval of data is made possible through a secure routing and addressing network.
    • Also, encrypted files are peculiar to the encryption keys. This makes it highly secure and impossible to be decrypted by the vaults in which they are stored.
    • It gives ownership to the server operators and not to whoever might have created the data.

Difference Between Blockchain Storage & Cloud Storage

In evaluating the differences between blockchain storage and cloud storage, it is necessary to explain that blockchain storage provides the users with the platform to store information on a network of peers. However, cloud storage takes the user’s data and divides it into tiny bits.

Therefore, some companies like Sia, Amazon, and Storj establish networks that enable users to pay meager amounts in order to store data on extra space on their devices.

Blockchain storage utilizes extra spaces on devices. This, therefore, differentiates it from the traditional cloud that experiences constant overheads. In addition, the pricing plans are very flexible.

Another contrasting feature between blockchain storage and cloud storage is that unlike cloud storage services, such as Google Drive (which is known to store all files, including deleted files in the system), decentralized blockchain data files are segmented and passed for distribution across numerous nodes

Furthermore, cloud storage has been structured to provide the user with control of data as it stored in a remote setting that is under the management of cloud service providers.

However, with blockchain storage, the user’s data is totally decentralized. This is because it has been designed to store data across several nodes all over the world.

Another difference is that blockchain storage technology optimizes the preexisting servers. These decentralized systems do not need significant investment. This helps to save money for both the business and end-users.

Also, every time a fresh transaction takes place, the blockchain is verified in the system. This happens before the transaction is recorded as the next block on the chain.

Unlike cloud storage, it is however not practical to store large pieces of data in a blockchain. This is why certain blockchain storage technology providers only send hashes across the nodes of distribution.

Final Thoughts

We hope the contents of this article have greatly enlightened you on everything you need to know about the concept of blockchain storage. The benefits that businesses stand to gain with blockchain storage platforms are limitless despite the challenges.

It is therefore pertinent for organizations and individuals alike to leverage on the benefits of decentralized cloud storage in this ever-developing blockchain age.

TechFunnel Contributors | is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicated to sharing unbiased information, research, and expert commentary that helps executives and professionals stay on top of the rapidly evolving marketplace, leverage technology for productivity, and add value to their knowledge base.

TechFunnel Contributors | is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicate...

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