There are two major decentralized file sharing service providers. BitTorrent was developed in 2001 as a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol and was acquired by Tron in July 2018. By that time, BitTorrent had reached 100 million monthly active users around the globe.
Last year, BitTorrent announced the launch of the BitTorrent File System, or BTFS, based on the Tron network. The launch of BTFS addresses two needs within the decentralized file storage segment. Firstly, it introduces incentivization to BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer network, allowing participants to be rewarded in tokens for their contributions.
Secondly, it provides a decentralized file storage solution to decentralized applications running on a blockchain. File storage on a blockchain is expensive, meaning that many developers default to centralized solutions. BTFS aims to address this gap, introducing decentralized file storage that’s both cost-effective and accessible. BTFS is live now.
Another project, the InterPlanetary File System, or IPFS, aims to solve a similar need. Protocol Labs launched IPFS in 2015 as a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol. Protocol Labs has also been developing Filecoin, its own blockchain layer, to complement IPFS. Filecoin has been in beta for a long time and will allegedly launch this summer.