What happens if Google or Facebook decide to disable your account? How can you regain control over our account and data? What if a hacker decides that with everyone’s information stored on the same set of servers, it would be a valuable target to attack? As we move towards an increasingly digitized age of memories, holding only a virtual photo album will become increasingly difficult. Dead links are increasingly prevalent. What options can decentralized storage offer?
Welcome to the basics of decentralized storage and why we need it! Before you get started, if you haven’t already checked out the Blockchain 101 course, it will explain terms and concepts helpful to this course.
Given the continually decreasing cost of storage, why should we care about decentralized storage at all? Traditional centralized storage has solved many of the engineering problems with storing a large set of data spread over many servers. Dropbox has largely solved the user experience problem of these types of technology and found a successful revenue model in business subscriptions. Is political decentralization really worth achieving?
What follows is an overview of what decentralized storage is, how it differs versus traditional storage models, and the state of decentralized storage today. By the end of this course, we hope you will understand there is not yet a “perfect” solution and that tradeoffs are still necessary to achieve fully decentralized storage. For some situations, there is a clear need to have multiple options for publishing and storing information in a censorship-resistant way. Beyond this, we can seek to avoid systems that become a single point of failure.
In this course, you will learn why it’s important to pursue decentralized storage as an alternative to traditional storage systems, which types of systems are available today and some strategies you can employ when designing systems that include digital storage.