The Storj Network (STORJ) aspires to provide safe, cost-effective distributed cloud storage that returns data ownership to users. When contrasted to centralized cloud storage choices, the distributed architecture with end-to-end encryption on every file protects against attacks, improves dependability, increases download/upload speeds, and improves performance.
The STORJ token enables the coordination between different parties within the network to transfer value at scale, in a way that aligns with the goals of the wider network, including immutability, security, and third-party verifiability.
Storj Labs operates Tardigrade, a developer tool that claims to be better or on par with all other major cloud providers in terms of durability, performance, and security (S3, Google, Microsoft). It aims to have the potential to save businesses millions of dollars on cloud storage at a tenth of the cost. Any open source applications that enable users to store data on Tardigrade via connectors will receive a percentage of the money produced by those users through the Tardigrade Open Source Partner Program.
Tardigrade users are incentivized to pay using STORJ token, instead of a credit card, by receiving a bonus on any STORJ token deposit they make. This allows users to lower their cloud storage bills even further. Any third party operating a Satellite must also accept STORJ as a means of payment for storage and bandwidth.
The core technology of Storj is a peer-to-peer smart contract system that allows users to exchange computer storage for payment. “Clients” on the network purchase excess hard drive space from “farmers,” that set prices for their services via the StorjShare application. Payments are made in STORJ tokens which are used for micropayments between clients and farmers as well as for other network services.
To ensure privacy files are encrypted on the client-side before upload and split into smaller portions, known as shards, and spread across the network. Clients maintain the only copy of the encryption key after upload.
Over the duration of a contract, the protocol allows clients to check that a farmer still maintains their file and that it is retrievable. If a farmer is able to provide cryptographic proof that a file is on their system they receive payment for that period. If they are unable to provide this proof the client does not pay. These ongoing audits are referred to as a “heartbeat.”