As with any technology, InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a combination of solutions to problems that had existed in the past. Storage technology is at the core of everything we think of as computers.</span>
Player Pianos, dating back to the early 18th century, were the first real form of digital storage. The notches on a steel cylinder pulled tensioned lines, effectively playing a song when the springs were pulled by an attendant. Our modern hard drives are not much more complex than this, using electrical charge rather than the mechanical potential of a spring, but otherwise very similar.
In the early days of computing, storage devices were coupled with processing units in single purpose systems; however, with the introduction of high-speed internet, these two components are now commonly separated by hundreds of miles. As cloud services have grown, the notion of storage has shifted from physical hard drives to a network of high-availability devices for rent.
The goal of IPFS is to provide a common protocol for networks of computers to use to share their storage. This quickly growing community has collaborated to build this open-source project which might truly become an InterPlanetary File System.