The rising interest in blockchain has led many businesses and individuals to experiment with the same and come up with amazing products.
But, what separates it from other technologies is the decentralized storage mechanisms. The data is not stored in the hands of a few entities and can further boost the use of blockchain.
This blog will throw light on decentralized storage and its use cases. So ready, let’s dive in!
What Is Decentralized Storage?
What comes to your mind when it comes to data storage:
Physical media can be hard drives, USB drives, or any other device.
Centralized cloud storage- All your data is stored on the central cloud and is managed by a third party. It is prone to data leaks.
At the same time, decentralized cloud storage lets you store data on a decentralized network across multiple locations. It is governed by groups to get incentives to store and keep the data accessible.
People and not companies host these servers. Anyone can join the network, and the participation is managed smart contracts.
Here are some of the reasons why people are shifting to blockchain-based decentralized storage:
Data Breaches: The dreaded cases of data breaches and customer wrath is something no company wants.
Data Outages: DDoS attacks have the potential to leave you and your customers without data.
Skyrocketing Storage Costs: Higher transmission costs, the need for data security, changing mechanisms of hackers are major matters of concern.
Censorship and Monitoring: Surveillance and censorship have received slack from many people. Decentralized storage will be the new norm, with the industry slated to reach 101+ billion by 2023.
How Does Decentralized Storage Work?
In decentralized storage, multiple networks store the files and you can request them any time. It is quite similar to working with BitTorrent and other P2P clients. But, unlike traditional systems, decentralized storage encrypts files. Only you can read the files, and no other participant can do that.
Also, with the process of sharding, no participant holds your data completely; thus, you get to an additional layer of security.
Use Cases of Blockchain-based Decentralized Storage
To date, cryptocurrency remains the most successful application of blockchain. But, decentralized storage continues to be a close second. Here are some of the use cases of blockchain in decentralized storage that will continue to take the world by storm.
1. Security of Voter’s Data
Modern elections need that voters are present at the polling booth and then cast their vote. This not only takes time but also lead to an increased possibility of voter fraud. Often losing candidates can get engaged in legal battles, which can lead to delayed results.
But, luckily with blockchain, all votes are stored, and procedures are done transparently. Thus, there is no scope of tampering or questioning the results. Besides, if any party decides to use fake IDs for voting, they will not be allowed to vote as the hash value of the ID will not match. Such is the influence and impact of blockchain-based decentralized storage. A pilot of blockchain-based voting was tested out in Telangana, India, in October 2021.
While healthcare has made its plunge from paper-based to electronic records, the space is still yet to reach its full potential. Preventing patient records from hackers and allowing access only to providers becomes a tough job.
But, with blockchain-based decentralized storage, you can safeguard healthcare records, get access to data security, maintain transparency, prevent records from getting tampered and earn the trust of customers. Blockchain tech specialist Gem partnered with healthcare firm Philips in 2016 to take healthcare management on a whole new level.
Image theft is for real, and photographers often fail to get paid royalties for their hard work. Blockchain can eliminate such incidences by giving identities to all images and strengthening ownership rights. In a CES show in Las Vegas, leading camera and lens manufacturer, Kodak revealed its digital currency, KODAKCoin. It is backed by the blockchain and is a dedicated image rights platform called KODAKOne. The latter aims to protect the digital image rights of photographers and let them register their work with ease.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
While the whole idea behind IoT devices is to contribute to a connected lifestyle, locking out devices from vendors and using a variety of hardware can get difficult for customers. With blockchain-based storage, participants can feel free to be a part of any network and not be tied to a particular manufacturer. For the same, IBM and Samsung developed a blockchain application known as ADEPT (Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer. It has helped several enterprises decentralize IoT and made it possible for devices to communicate directly.
5. Public records
Citizens have placed their trust in governments that they keep their information safe. It includes a lot of sensitive information like property records, financial data, and tax returns. However, much of the information is inaccessible and exists in siloed databases. Managing this database, preventing hacking and manipulation, and deriving insights from the same is not easy.
Blockchain-based decentralized storage is a possible solution to all these issues. It will help government authorities encode data in a digital ledger, keeping the information safe and preventing it from getting damaged. One such example is that of Ubitquity, the first blockchain-based system for property record management. Currently, it is in the alpha phase at the Land Records Bureau in Brazil.
6. Car leasing
Leasing a car can be a tedious process and involves the approval of multiple parties involved in the transaction. Luckily, blockchain can solve all these issues by cutting down the role of intermediaries and keeping the process transparent. One such example is DocuSign. It specializes in digital documentation and partnered with credit card giant Visa. This has helped the duo build a simplified approach to securely leasing a vehicle.
Other Blockchain Projects Leveraging Decentralized Storage
Here are some of the projects that make the best use of blockchain in decentralized storage.
1. Filecoin (IPFS)
Filecoin offers top-notch information storage. Thus, enterprises having loads of data to store can leverage it to safeguard their data while maintaining transparency.
Built on the Ethereum network, Tardigrade is another application designed for decentralized storage. Tardigrade splits and encrypts the files on the clients and then distributes them across the nodes around the world. The tool is open-source, and the storage side is completely decentralized. However, settlement and indexing are still centralized.
A newcomer in the crypto blockchain space, PPIO is a storage and delivery platform. PPIO’s application layer is ideal for supporting video-on-demand and live streaming solutions.
Following the lines of Tardigrade, Swarm has also built a decentralized storage platform It is based on the Ethereum web3 stack. Similar to the bigger players in the crypto blockchain space, Swarm has a strong faith in a decentralized future and is all set to revolutionize the Web3 space.
Known for being the world’s first “Proof of Capacity” coin, BURST has built a decentralized hard drive space. It also supports the PoC3 protocol and Phoenix, a cross-platform mobile wallet.
This was all about the use cases of blockchain in decentralized storage. They are bound to grow over the years, and the future is undoubtedly blockchain.
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You get access to a technology stack that lets you achieve governance and security without centralizing the control on resources.
The good thing is that the stack is unbiased towards different devices and their servers, IoT and ARM applications, and even Intel and AMD-driven desktops and laptops.
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