Protocol Labs is the research development and deployment lab behind IPFS (peer-to-peer protocol for storing and retrieving content) and Filecoin (a blockchain for storage). Join Jon Victor of Protocol Labs as he shares about these technologies and how they could be used for NFT storage.
- Joined Protocol Labs 2.5 years ago
- Was working at big data consulting before that
- First heard of Protocol Labs in 2016. His friends in his last job was very into Ethereum
- Was doing research and came across IPFS. It made sense to him immediately because of his big data background
- IPFS and Filecoin sparked his interest in Protocol Labs
Difference Between Protocol Labs, IPFS, And Filecoin
- Protocol Labs is a research development and deployment lab
- They create and maintain implementations of IPFS
- Does the same thing for Filecoin
- They wrote the Whitepaper for Filecoin
- All are technologies that fit into a decentralized web
- IPFS is a peer-to-peer protocol for storing and retrieving content based on a fingerprint that they call the content ID of the content
- IPFS has 2 main benefits:
- Has an integrity property that can immutably reference content (i.e. looking for a specific thing and only getting back matches on what you asked for)
- Data can be stored anywhere
- Filecoin is a blockchain for storage. There is an open market of storage providers
- Users get a cryptographic and economic guarantee
“Uniquely, the thing Filecoin does is it points to specific people and says you are required to hold this thing on if you want to continue to make money, otherwise, you will pay out money as a result.”
– Jon Victor
How Are These Technologies Used Today By The NFT Ecosystem?
- They are permissionless and anyone can choose what to build on them
- Has plenty of flexibility. The entire infrastructure could be run by a third party or by yourself
- Has observed that people using IPFS URL as a reference for the NFT. They just need to know the content identifier (CID)
How Does It Compare To Centralized Solutions?
- They have a capacity that is 11x of CERN
- The cryptoeconomic model makes it incredibly cheap to store data
- Miners are incentivized both through fees and block rewards
“I think if you look at the terabyte per year average cost, I have to use scientific notation to show like, it’s literally less than a fraction of a penny to store.”
– Jon Victor
- Similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum in their early stages, early adopters get a massive amount of subsidy to make it incredibly cheap to store data on the network
- They are trying to make it easy for people who are creating NFTs to use these protocols without much upfront work
- It started from a NFT hackathon in March 2021. It was when they productionize the best practices for people who were learning Solidity for the first time
- Will be introducing plenty of features down the line such as a data DAO and endowments that live on-chain using primitives like DeFi
- Trying to democratize access to these protocols and leverage their massive storage capacity for HD videos, 3D assets, etc.
- The main use case is for art, but it could be extended to gaming, ticketing, etc.
- If billions of NFTs are to be minted in the future, we would need massive amount of storage that is scalable and hyper cheap to store them
This podcast summary was prepared by The Reading Ape in collaboration with Outlier Ventures. The Reading Ape is a humble servant of the written word.
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