The Storj Network (STORJ) aims to provide secure, affordable distributed cloud storage that gives data ownership back to the user. The distributed architecture and end-to-end encryption on every file protects against attacks, improves reliability, increases download/upload speeds, and enhances performance when compared to centralized cloud storage options.
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 delivers durability, performance, and security that it claims to be better or on par with all other major cloud providers (S3, Google, Microsoft). At a fraction of the cost, it could potentially save companies millions on their cloud storage. Through the Tardigrade Open Source Partner Program, any open source projects that enable users to store data on Tardigrade via connectors will receive a portion of the revenue generated by those users.
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.”