Protocol Labs is a technology company focused on making decentralized network products like distributed file systems. Here’s our Protocol Labs review.
What Is Protocol Labs?
Protocol Labs, found online at Protocol.ai, is a company making technology for the distributed internet. The company is best-known for its two flagship products, including IPFS and Filecoin. Filecoin just recently completed an enormous ICO, during which they raised $200 million in 24 hours.
Like many other blockchain technology companies, Protocol Labs emphasizes open source development. All company code and work is open source.
Protocol Labs Projects
Protocol Labs is best known for its two main projects, IPFS and FIlecoin, but has a total of five projects in active development for the distributed web. Here’s a brief look at each Protocol Labs project.
Filecoin is a storage network powered by cryptocurrency. Miners can earn Filecoin by providing open hard drive space to the network, while users spend Filecoin to store their encrypted files in the decentralized network.
Filecoin, found online at Filecoin.io, essentially lets you monetize leftover hard drive space on your computer. Let’s say you have a 2TB hard drive, but you’re only using 200GB of it. You can monetize the leftover space, earn Filecoin, and have no disruption to your daily life.
You can later exchange your Filecoin into fiat currencies or other cryptocurrencies – like bitcoin and Ether. Meanwhile, users can pay with Filecoin to store their files around the world. If you need cloud storage, you can buy it from Filecoin. Filecoin aims to offer rates that are significantly cheaper than traditional cloud storage providers because they won’t have the same overhead expenses as storage providers like Google, Microsoft, or Amazon.
Libp2p is a modular networking stack that brings together a variety of transports and peer-to-peer protocols. The purpose of libp2p is to allow developers to build large, robust p2p networks.
IPLD is the data model for the decentralized internet. It connects all data through cryptographic hashes, making it easier to traverse and link to the decentralized web.
Protocol Labs’ Multiformats Project is a collection of protocols to future-proof systems today. It uses self-describing formats that make your systems interoperable and upgradeable.
IPFS is a new protocol to decentralize the internet. Through IPFS, we can create completely decentralized and distributed applications using content addressing and digital signatures. The end result is to make an internet that’s faster, safer, and more open.
More technically speaking, IPFS is a peer to peer hypermedia protocol designed to replace HTTP – which the developers describe as “inefficient and expensive.” HTTPS downloads a file from a single computer at a time, which inevitably creates a bottleneck. IPFS claims their P2P approach can save 60% in bandwidth costs – especially when streaming video.
Another issue that IPFS seeks to solve is that modern webpages frequently disappear. The history of the internet can be deleted in a heartbeat. IPFS, on the other hand, will have a versioning history like Github, reducing the fragility of today’s internet.
Overall, IPFS sees great value in decentralizing the internet. Originally, the internet was meant to protect data by making it accessible in multiple locations simultaneously. As the internet has become centralized, we keep an enormous amount of data on single servers. These servers are enormous targets for hackers. If a server goes down, it can have a devastating impact.
IPFS aims to solve all of these problems – and more – by creating a peer-to-peer file transfer system. IPFS, by the way, stands for InterPlanetary File System (although the project mostly just refers to itself as IPFS).
About Protocol Labs
Protocol Labs is making decentralized technologies for the decentralized internet. The company is best-known for IPFS and Filecoin.
Protocol Labs is led by Juan Benet, a graduate of Stanford University. He’s listed as the founder of the company and as the inventor of IPFS and Filecoin.
On August 10, 2017, Protocol Labs made headlines worldwide for generating $252 million through its ICO. Previously, the company had raised $3 million in funding from 6 investors, including the Digital Currency Group.
Protocol Labs is headquartered in San Francisco.
Protocol Labs Conclusion
Protocol Labs is a technology company creating platforms for the decentralized internet. Today, they’re best known for Filecoin and IPFS – especially since Filecoin just recently completed an extraordinary $252 million ICO.
In addition to Filecoin and IPFS, Protocol Labs makes platforms like Libp2p, IPLD, and Multiformats. All of the company’s code and work are open source, and the company is a strong supporter of the open source community.
You can learn more about Protocol Labs by visiting the company online at Protocol.ai.