Decentralized Storage: Pros and Cons (2022)
Decentralized Storage: Pros and Cons (2022)
In the early stages of Web3, data sovereignty, interoperability, and security were in demand. Decentralized storage will be a high-demand area in the future as people move towards using Web3.
What is decentralized storage?
Users’ files and data will be split into shards and at the same time will be stored in many nodes in the decentralized network. Similar to normal storage, when the user needs the file, he can request to get the file back and will download the data piece by piece from the validators in the network until all and the complete file is received.
Blockchain technology was born to act as a distributed ledger where transactions will be recorded directly on the ledger and saved to the main chains. The number of transactions increases over time, forcing the storage to be more advanced.
Advantages of Decentralized Storage
Decentralized storage was born to solve the previous problems of the centralized storage system while bringing more benefits.
The 4 biggest advantages of using a decentralized storage system will be explained shortly.
We learned early on that blockchain uses a separate form of security from server services. Each person can create their profile on the Blockchain without any assistance from an intermediary, which makes that record completely separate from the real identity of the user.
Therefore, the account management function is performed anonymously and the user’s identity is hidden, thus providing a higher level of security. Unlike traditional systems – users should register with personal information (such as first and last name, and bank account information) to the network, the real identity of the user will not be revealed on the platform Blockchain unless the user wants to.
One of the most important technologies in solving security problems on cloud storage systems is attribute-based encryption (ABE), which allows a private key generator to connect to all data. The blockchain system can solve a similar problem by providing users with the ability to set and allocate private keys.
All data must be encrypted before transacting on the Blockchain. This means that only the person who has access to the decryption key can access the contents of a file.
Although some centralized data storage networks also offer encryption, since the files on the blockchain decentralized network are broken down into smaller chunks, and those parts are distributed among the parties. different storage providers, so unlike cloud computing models, even a single node cannot decrypt the entire file and access the data.
No individual, organization, or related parties can process the data existing on the system. Furthermore, since each piece of information is stored in at least three places, these data will always be accessible even if some nodes become unavailable or experience a hardware failure.
In case some information is missing, the entire file can still be recovered with the help of the Erasure Coding mechanism.
In addition, hosting providers are also required to prove that the data is not controlled by someone behind it. Even in the event of manipulation, the catalog of information can be easily linked through the help of the file’s Merkle Root.
The centralized data storage model does not commit to customers about the integrity of the data and they are not transparent about the information processing process with the data owners.
Bandwidth and cost
With the cloud storage model, when a user needs to download a file, the entire file will be downloaded from one of the servers of the hosting service provider. Although some vendors confirm that the download will be done from the server most available at the time, the process must still be completed over a single connection.
In the case of a request to download files from blockchain systems, the file must be retrieved from the network, meaning that each item of information needs to be downloaded from a separate hosting provider.
Downloads are kept in parallel, maximizing bandwidth availability and minimizing download times.
In a traditional data storage system, a specific fee will be required upfront for a usage plan (e.g. $5/month for 5T of storage) and the customer usually buys more than the available space that they need.
But coming to the decentralized data storage model, the cost can be calculated based on each individual’s usage needs, instead of having to use a pre-paid package, users only need to pay a fee for each user. times of use.
Moreover, data storage systems on future blockchain platforms will cost less than traditional storage models and also allow users to choose their favorite hard drives between available features and time. shelf life of these devices.
The decentralized storage system uses the Reputation System mechanism. Reputation is a mechanism used to measure the community’s trust in a node, based on their previous transactions and interactions.
The greater the reputation of a node, the more reliable that node is on the network. Since most transactions on the system are performed by separate, unknown parties, users need to determine whether to interact with a particular node during their sessions. upcoming translation.
This feature allows the network to automatically verify the authenticity of the virtual host, ensuring that the hosts will meet the standards they have set, otherwise, the hosts will be removed from the network.
The best thing about the Reputation System is that it allows customers to rate their experience with service providers, which incentivizes the honesty of decentralized hosting providers.
Difficulties of the decentralized storage industry
Decentralized storage is still very young and is struggling with many difficulties and challenges. And decentralized storage hasn’t made many strides yet. In this section, the common problem that individuals and organizations often encounter in the data storage model of blockchain will be clarified.
Although we mentioned earlier that security is one of the outstanding features of blockchain, the system of blockchain cannot be 100% secure.
Due to the need to edit data or share it with third parties, while files must be encrypted and decrypted, the risk of security problems increases. Data is only safe when they are stored, and during manipulation and transfer on the system, there will still be security risks.
In addition, several attacks can threaten the blockchain, and consequently affect applications running across the network. The 51% attack is the most common form, which can occur in blockchain systems that use the Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm. To prevent a 51% attack, a blockchain network needs to contain a large enough number of nodes that no group of people can take advantage of and manipulate it.
Lack of data to make decisions
Today, many companies and organizations believe that the data they collect is aan essentialsource for analysis and helps them make better decisions.
This process is not possible on the blockchain’s information storage system because all data is encrypted before they are stored in data storage service providers.
However, the company can build a storage system on their blockchain, such as BlockHouse’s model, granting permission as well as keys to their expert representatives. The representative can extract all the metrics from the network and analyze them according to the company’s requirements. For this case, the blockchain storage system will be used as a tamper-proof and trackable solution.
Lack of legal binding
When using a decentralized storage service, there is no paper contract between the provider and the user. Everything is handled by smart contracts on the blockchain.
In the case of fraud, property appropriation, or any other problems, there will be no criminal prosecution or court protection. Therefore, this is also an obstacle for businesses when considering using decentralized hosting services.
Joancomarti et al. studied Bitcoin scalability problems and came up with a few solutions. They confirm that the risk of delays is not the only problem.
Bootstrap time is the time it takes for a new node to join the network, download, and analyze the history of the network’s formation and development, which for a blockchain as old and huge as Bitcoin can be costly. cost and time.
Several solutions have been researched:
- Reduce the amount of information required at each session to jam multiple batches of transactions in a block.
- Change the size of the block to find the optimal size
- In general, blockchain scalability issues can be divided into 3 main groups: Throughput, Cost, and Capacity.
Capacity is the size of all previous transactions that a miner should store. This volume will increase day by day. Even every small transaction requires a fee.
So throughput problems occur when sessions have to wait to become part of a block. Due to the block size limit, the completion time can be much longer.
Although the record of previous transactions is stored on the Blockchain, and a large amount of data must be replicated on each node, we should not treat the blockchain as a database.
These two main specifications can cause blockchain bloat if too large files are stored on the system. For this matter, large files are stored off-chain. However, the network hosted on the blockchain does not allow the sharing of documents between users.
To overcome this problem, Steichen et al 2018 provided a solution based on smart contracts, however, it only solved the problem of IPFS.
The problem of Reputation System
The results are from the node’s point of view – which is not a reliable result. To solve this problem, the developers introduced a local reputation system, which only gives recommendations from users in the vicinity. This plan can be implemented in blockchain systems to empower us to use recommendations from people we trust.
Decentralized storage conversion
Blockchain storage networks are a completely new technology that at first glance looks very attractive to businesses, but the transition to blockchain networks is not the best solution at the moment.
For individuals, it is easier to switch and can start a free experience with Web3.Storage. Web3.Storage is having a 1TB free trial program.
We can see that data storage is very important, especially in the current context where our data can be stolen and used at any time. The decentralized storage, and encryption of data that is essential to protect information.
New projects growing on NFT, especially Gaming, are in dire need of decentralized storage services to store assets in a truly decentralized manner.
In addition, decentralized storage has the potential to grow in the traditional market as well. Therefore, the opportunity and potential of the decentralized storage array are huge.
Besides, decentralized storage will need to solve the problems mentioned in the article to be able to compete with centralized storage service providers shortly.
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