- The launch of the highly anticipated Filecoin project is slowly taking shape.
- In a blog post, the Filecoin team announced concrete dates for the launch of alphanet, testnet and mainnet .
Filecoin was one of the most hyped Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in 2017, and the ICO team raised a total of $257 million from investors. This made Filecoin the most successful token sale of all time at that time. As part of a pre-sale, Filecoin was even financed by well-known investors such as the Digital Currency Group, Union Square Ventures and Winklevoss Capital.
Since the ICO, however, the project has been quiet. The Filecoin project was plagued by numerous delays, so that the original launch of the test network in spring 2019 and the launch of mainnet had to be postponed until the end of the year. As the Filecoin team announces in a new blog post, there are new launch dates. The Filecoin Alpha network went live yesterday. The new launch date for the testnet is scheduled for 11 December 2019, with mainnet due to start in March 2020.
Whether the dates can be kept however really remains to wait. As the Filecoin team writes, the dates should not be regarded as deadlines (freely translated):
Note: of course, these windows are best estimates, and could potentially slide. Our community has overwhelmingly requested more frequent, “best estimate” updates, even if they may end up sliding, rather than keeping dates artificially conservative and far out.
Filecoin strives to provide a distributed storage network within which users can lend their unused storage space to an open market. As a reward, users can earn Filecoin. The storage space can be traded on the marketplace. This means that users can buy or sell the storage space with the native cryptocurrency Filecoin (FIL). The technical basis for the network is the peer-to-peer file system IPFS.
Juan Benet, founder of Filecoin and Protocol Labs, told Techcrunch in July 2017 about the goal of his project:
There’s a ton of storage in the world that’s not getting used. Think of it like Airbnb. You had people with rooms weren’t being used; Airbnb built a marketplace for them.
We’re also creating a marketplace for storage that’s decentralized so removes third parties, so you can access your information in the future without worrying whether this entity [like an AWS]will continue being around.
Although you don’t hear much about Filecoin, the project is constantly evolving. Earlier this year, Filecoin launched development networks that allowed community members to test the Filecoin protocol and network. According to the blog post, there were over 500 nodes and 17 petabytes of storage capacity at peak times. The team also took over the Go-Filecoin implementation from the open source area.
Later this year, Filecoin also plans to conduct a security audit, which should be completed by the start of mainnet in March next year. The current focus of the team, according to the report, is on improving the protocol, completing the cryptographic proof construction, and expanding the community.
Whether the Filecoin project can prevail after the long development time remains to be seen. On the crypto market there are already some projects, which are already longer on the market and want to solve the same problem. The biggest competitors of Filecoin are surely Sia (Siacoin) and Storj. In addition, Tron (TRX) has announced the development of a BitTorrent-based version of IPFS.