A Look Back at Filecoin in 2020

In the final hours before we welcome 2021, we’re taking a moment to look back on all that the Filecoin community and network achieved in 2020. Though this year’s highlight was the mainnet launch in October, those of you who have been part of the community for years know 2020 was packed with announcements and ecosystem highlights. Let’s recap some of the most exciting events and announcements of the year…

May 2020: Expanding Storage

Filecoin Discover

Filecoin Discover was launched during Filecoin’s testnet era to incentivize Filecoin miners to store valuable data and earn additional FIL in the process. The Discover program was based around compensating Filecoin miners for selecting data from the Filecoin Discover Store, a library of valuable data spanning literature, science, art, and history. Miners wishing to participate in the Filecoin network can visit the site, choose which datasets they want to store, and receive that data on a drive at cost. Many learnings from Filecoin Discover’s R&D and community engagement phases helped shape the Filecoin Plus program.

Filecoin Discover continues to propel Filecoin’s mission to create a decentralized, efficient, and robust foundation for humanity’s information.

Testnet Phase 2 Launched

Towards the end of 2019, we launched the first phase of the Filecoin testnet. In May, we launched the second phase. Testnet 2 was the last major milestone before mainnet launch. In this update, we released two interoperable Filecoin implementations (go-filecoin and lotus), secure proofs (WinningPoSt and WindowPoSt), Drand, an overview of the network’s cryptoeconomic structures, a new documentation site, and new security audits before launch.

June: Gearing up for Mainnet Launch

Filecoin Ignite Announced

By June, we were already headed at full speed towards mainnet launch. We announced Filecoin Ignite, a multi-series event schedule leading up to (and going beyond) the launch to bring builders, miners, researchers, enthusiasts, and other network participants together. Ignite events included HackFS, Spark University Hackathon, Space Race 1 & 2, and the newly-announced Filecoin Frontier Accelerator.

August: Activating the Community

HackFS

August marked the completion of our inaugural HackFS hackathon. Over a month, 134 teams worked on projects across the Filecoin ecosystem. In total, more than 470 hackers from 50 countries across 19 time zones participated in this 30-day virtual event. Check out the full presentations of the top 10 finalist teams: Sailplane, Public Annotation Network (PAN) Protocol, Pnlp, BlockSig, Valist, IPFS Recovery, PlanetFlare, Web3API, Decentralized Docker Hub, and Pygate.

Space Race 1

Space Race 1 was a three-week competition to incentivize miners to add storage to the network and meet deal quality targets. During the competition, miners competed for 4M FIL in prizes. At the end of the race, 230PiB of storage was added to the network - more than 2x the original target. 400 miners from six continents participated, and eight network upgrades with dozens of bug and performance fixes were implemented as a result of the lessons learned. The community also hosted a series of technical talks, workshops and deep dives which can be found on the Filecoin Youtube channel.

Filecoin Economy Report

In August, we released the Filecoin Economy Report, a 34-page overview about how the Filecoin protocol aligns incentives and pragmatically rewards useful and reliable storage.The economic design of the Filecoin network aims to align incentives and pragmatically reward useful and reliable storage with as few rules as possible. The many mechanisms and stimuli of the protocol are designed carefully with a single goal: If the participants in the network’s economy pursue their own self-interests, the network should grow and improve.

September: Mainnet Ignition

Space Race 2

Space Race 1 was so successful, we knew we had to do it again. In September, we launched Space Race 2 to continue onboarding storage to the network and introduced a new track Slingshot for Filecoin clients, application developers, and tooling developers to deploy their products to the testnet. As a result, application developers stored more than 650 TiB of data across more than 520,000 deals. These deals were made by more than 100 projects across 19 countries. As a result of their efforts, these competitors earned 59,850FIL in an overall reward pool in phase 1 of the Slingshot competition.

Slate Launch

Slate is a fully open-source file sharing network designed for research and collaboration built by Protocol Labs for Filecoin. Slate allows users to store data, organize it however, and share it with the world securely. Slate’s launch resulted in more than 600 new accounts and a spot as #5 product of the day on ProductHunt. To date, Slate is approaching 200GB of 23,486 unique user data stored for all users with 0 downtime.

October: All Systems Go - Mainnet Launch

Filecoin Mainnet Launch

The date we were all waiting for… On October 15, 2020 ~3pm UTC, the Filecoin network went live. The moment marked the culmination of years of innovation and hard work from the Filecoin community. A huge thank you to everyone who dedicated their time, ideas, and expertise to make Filecoin a reality.

Liftoff Week

We couldn’t let Filecoin mainnet go live without a proper celebration. From October 19 - 23 the community hosted Filecoin Liftoff, a week completely dedicated to the Filecoin ecosystem; speakers from across the world and across the Web3 ecosystem joined us to talk about their projects and the Filecoin network. There were over 2,000 participants across 5 days engaging in over 82,000 session views on YouTube. Filecoin Liftoff was led by 81 speakers across 84 sessions representing all actors in the Filecoin community – app developers, miners, storage clients, policymakers, human rights activists, investors, and more!

The event saw coverage in more than 280 articles, including CoinDesk, Decrypt, Fortune, Morning Consult, The Block, and Investing.com. Check out each day’s recordings on YouTube.

November: First Milestone Met 🚀

Filecoin Surpasses 1 Exbibyte of Storage

In November, the Filecoin community celebrated its first major milestone less than four weeks after mainnet launch. By November 24th, the network had surpassed 1 exbibyte (EiB) of decentralized storage capacity. How much is an exbibyte? 1 EiB is enough to store: 290M 1080p movies, 4,500 Wikipedias, 685,000 years of continuous video calls, or 19 copies of the entire Internet Archive.

December: Filecoin Ecosystem Economics

Along with ETH Global, the Filecoin community hosted a packed, 1-day event Storage Markets Summit. The day, split into 5 themed ‘blocks’, saw developers, investors, and partners from across the Filecoin ecosystem give deep dives and overviews of different aspects of the Filecoin network and its economics. Summaries of each block can be found on the blog and recordings on the Filecoin Youtube channel.

Looking Ahead: Filecoin in 2021

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the Filecoin community is capable of extraordinary innovation. The vast majority of what the community achieved in 2020 was done on the Filecoin testnet. Now, we are looking ahead at all of 2021 and beyond on the Filecoin mainnet, and we could not be more excited.

Congratulations to the entire Filecoin community for a spectacular 2020! We can’t wait to see what amazing things we can build together in 2021. Happy Holidays!

Filecoin is an open-source cloud storage marketplace, protocol, and incentive layer.
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