Filecoin Ecosystem Growth & Innovation

On December 11, ETH Global and Filecon hosted the Storage Market Summit (SMS). A portion of the day was dedicated to Filecoin Ecosystem Growth & Innovation. Below are recaps, themes, and conclusions from different talks during this portion of the day.

You can browse the agenda and check out the full Ecosystem Growth & Innovation section here.

Filecoin Network as Data Commons

The following is a summary of a talk given by Michael Zargham, CEO and Co-founder of BlockScience, at SMS. Watch the full recording here.

What is a commons? A commons is an institution for the management of common pool resources. A commons is made up of three primary components: the people (participants), the shared resources themselves, and the process through which those resources are shared (i.e. governance).

A digital commons is the application of commons to involve the distribution and communal ownership of informational resources and technology. Looking at the Filecoin network as a digital commons helps us better understand its power and potential, as well as a path forward for ecosystem growth. Viewing Filecoin as a digital commons allows us to have massive coordination and come together to provide a heterogenous set of services. We can build powerful relationships across layers to achieve the net effect of a powerful, Web3-based cloud system that enables real world use cases.

In the Filecoin digital commons, the primary components are:

  • Community: storage miners, storage clients, researchers, developers, investors.
  • Shared Resources: hardware, software, data.
  • Governance: economic coordination mechanisms, Filecoin improvement process (FIP)

Sustainability is fundamental to the health of any digital commons. No economic mechanisms enshrined in code can be perfect forever. Any aspect of the Filecoin system is subject to slow evolution over time in response to the participants in the system and their needs from the network.

What Filecoin’s digital economy does is flip what is known as the “Tragedy of the Commons” on its head. It becomes the “Triumph of the Commons.” Participating in the Filecoin network creates value for other participants. Building new applications of the Filecoin ecosystem increases the value of other applications already in existence. This model allows for a degree of freedom for ideation, discovery, and trial and error to build these commons together.

Decentralized Data Markets Ocean + Filecoin

The following is a summary of a talk given by Trent McConaghy, Founder of Ocean Protocol, at SMS. Watch the full recording here.

The mission of Ocean Protocol is to open up data access and economies while maintaining privacy. The long term mission of the project is towards self sovereign data for individuals and for groups.

Today, the massive data economy ($400 billion in Europe alone) is a “shadow” economy. Controlled in the hands of a few companies, we have very little insight or transparency into the levers behind that data market. We should move towards a transparent and permissionless data economy that is open; and complementary tools like Filecoin and Ocean can make a difference by leveraging crypto to open up this economy.

So what is Ocean? Ocean is three things:

  • A community and ecosystem of individuals and organizations driving towards the mission of an open data economy.
  • A set of tools as public infrastructure to grow and sustain the ecosystem.
  • A token (OCEAN) with incentives to grow and sustain the ecosystem.

The set of Ocean Protocol tools is comprised of:

  • Datatokens - tokenized access control
  • Ocean Market - data exchange web app
  • Deployed to Ethereum mainnet (Fall 2020)
  • Privacy-preserving - via “Compute-to-Data”

Datatokens are ERC-20s that make it easy to publish and consume data services. If you have 1.0 datatoken, you can access a particular data service. You can leverage this datatoken structure and build it around DeFi to create entirely complementary markets. MetaMask becomes a data wallet. Aragon becomes a dataDAO. DEXes and CEXes become a data exchange. Etherscan becomes a data provenance tool.

Ocean market is a DEX fine-tuned for data. Ocean market uses a forked Balancer AMM to reduce gas costs. In the marketplace, users can publish, buy, sell, consume, and stake on data. The more OCEAN staked on a set of data, the greater signal of its quality. Ocean market has been live for 6 weeks, and already has 1.3 million pooled OCEAN, +30k visitors, 164 dataset pools (each of which is its own AMM), and 268 published datasets.

With Filecoin, users can leverage Ocean to launch their own Filecoin data market, or create a Filecoin dataDAO or index fund. With Ocean Protocol’s tools and Filecoin’s decentralized storage database, we are witnessing the birth of an open data economy for the first time.

Storage Market Summit wrapped up on December 11, 2020. Watch the full recording on YouTube.


  • Nothing in these presentations is investment advice.
  • Any models shown in presentations are based on many assumptions, and should not be relied upon as the source of truth. Any estimates should not be relied upon and are for illustrative purposes only. You should build your own models based on the code and the Filecoin spec.
Filecoin is an open-source cloud storage marketplace, protocol, and cryptocurrency.