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Filecoin Plus: Aligning Participants with Useful Storage

Filecoin is a global marketplace of storage and its related services, matching a diverse set of storage providers with demand for secure distributed cloud storage services. As a blockchain network, Filecoin provides a robust, decentralized, verifiable platform for anyone to store and interact with data. Miners participating in the network receive block rewards over time directly proportionate to the reliable and useful storage they provide on the network. However, without a reliable way to algorithmically distinguish real useful data from generated randomness, it is difficult to programmatically incentivize storing data on the network. Network subsidies in the form of block rewards should be used to incentivize useful storage on the network.

In order to maximize the amount of useful storage that Filecoin can and will support, the Network innovatively introduced a layer of social trust through Filecoin Plus. Clients use a novel resource, DataCap, to make deals with miners who are greatly incentivized to store their data as it increases their share of block rewards over time.

Filecoin Plus is a pragmatic solution to the technically challenging problem of verifying that a particular set of data is useful in a permissionless, incentive-compatible, pseudonymous network, and presents a path for incentivizing using the Network in productive ways.

Core concepts

Inspired by the work of Nobel Laureate, Elinor Ostrom, in governing the commons, Filecoin Plus is based on a set of guiding principles (detailed in FIP-0003) that focus the program on increasing Filecoin’s effectiveness at becoming the decentralized storage network for humanity’s most important information.

Root Key Holders, Notaries, Clients, and Miners, interact through the allocation and spending of DataCap. DataCap is granted in batches to community-selected Notaries, who in turn, allocate it to trustworthy Clients that spend the DataCap to fund storage deals. Miners that receive DataCap receive a 10x boost to their quality adjusted power for the storage space offered in that deal, which increases their block reward share in the Network. This creates a mechanism that incentivizes all participants to make Filecoin more useful.

Notaries are distributed across the world and have a diverse set of focuses, i.e., web3 services, scientific and historical datasets, media content, etc. They are fiduciaries of the Network, and are expected to do the required due diligence to identify valuable Clients and bring them onto the Network. They will have a notable impact on data stored on Filecoin, and we invite the community to collectively monitor progress that is made by them in making the Network more productive.

By putting the power in the hands of Clients, their needs shape the goods and services produced on Filecoin. This will result in accelerating the development of products in the ecosystem, improving how storage is made available to Clients, and availability of compliant use cases on Filecoin. This also makes mining rewards more accessible for people with less initial capital, but with a strong case for making the Filecoin network more useful.

Recent Progress

Over the past couple of months, the Filecoin Plus Community has selected the first batch of Notaries to serve the ecosystem. This was done through the development of a comprehensive application process and rubric scoring system, which was iterated on and tested with the initial Notary applications. 14 Notaries have now been granted ~1.5PiB in DataCap to allocate across a diverse set of Clients.

In addition to this, the community has also been actively engaging in governance problems and discussions from building a transparent Dispute and Audit Framework to providing tools for on-chain monitoring and analytics. The Filecoin Plus program is at the forefront of decentralized governance, with all operations and processes being shaped by the members of the community in public and has attracted attention from governance researchers worldwide. Filecoin Plus should result in a comprehensive, community-governed program that helps leverage the storage available on the network in the best way possible.

Thank you to members of the community that have been involved in the program so far, whether through creating issues in the Notary Governance repo, participating in conversations in our bi-weekly governance meetings, or applying to be a Notary. It is incredible to see so many people wanting to be involved in directly impacting the usefulness of Filecoin.

Getting involved

If you are interested in receiving DataCap to have your storage needs served through Filecoin, you can find a list of active Notaries on the Filecoin Plus Registry. The client-onboarding repo is being used to make and track requests for DataCap and includes additional instructions on how to use DataCap once you have received an allocation.

Community Governance calls happen every other Tuesday - use the Filecoin Community Events calendar to join.

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