Blockchain seems like a definite winner in lots of areas, and it is. But up to now, the technology has struggled when it comes to large-scale data storage.
Now, let’s take a look at the reason why, and how it could soon change.
Blockchain Flaws — And How to Solve Them
Traditionally, as blockchains have expanded to include more and more data, they have struggled to scale. Bitcoin is probably the most obvious example of this — in times of increased activity and higher value, its transaction times and cost have both skyrocketed, causing severe problems for users.
This is a major problem; data is growing all the time, and blockchains must be able to adjust to this constant growth and storage demand. If blockchains are not able to cope with large volumes, they are unsuitable for use in mainstream data storage. Currently, several companies are trying to solve this problem.
While Blockchain has a lot of potential for data storage, the technology first needs to address its problems with storage. When blockchains come under pressure, prices tend to spiral out of control.
Sia and Storj both operate big blockchain-based storage networks aimed at achieving to provide fast and cheap data storage without the need for a central point or controlling third-party. Both networks work by fragmenting files into pieces, then encrypting these and sharing them across the network. Sia has already been deployed with more than 130 TB stored across over than 300 contributors.
Filecoin works in a similar way, relying on nodes in the robust IFPS network to distribute its files. The company raised more than $250 million and is currently growing decentralized marketing for data storage.
Data Security and Scalability
For any data storage system, security must be paramount. Current cloud-based models, like those proposed by Google and Amazon, prioritize safety, but their centralized nature puts them at a disadvantage because they are built around a central point of failure and leave the users’ data in the hands of the corporation.
Blockchain technology, which is often praised for its airtight structure and inherent security is the clear winner here.
But the main issue plaguing the blockchain space is scalability. Ethereum and Bitcoin, the biggest blockchains, struggle to get into double figures when it comes to transactions per second. Visa, on the other hand, can handle 44,000. This is something we will have to resolve if we want to see the blockchain as the main solution to the data storage problem.
As data plays an ever more critical role in our world, we will need to move towards innovations, and with pioneers Filecoin, Sia, and Storj, 2019 might be the year of where we walk away from outdated storage methods.