Sia blockchain developer Nebulous launched their file sharing and content delivery network Skynet. It’s a blockchain-based peer-to-peer file storage system powered by Sia. The blockchain development studio announced the project on Wednesday and it’s available immediately. As a result Skynet is direct competition for Tron’s BTFS and Filecoin’s IPFS.
Sia already offers a file storage service, which is basically a private cloud storage on the blockchain. They’ve build Skynet for more public activities, like web hosting.
Uploading and interacting with Skynet isn’t the easiest yet. But anybody is allowed to use web portals and Sia’s command-line client to uploads files onto Skynet. For example https://siasky.net is operated by Nebulous, while https://vault.lightspeedhosting.com is under control of Lightspeed Hosting.
Anyone is free to create their own web portal. Nebulous posted a guide for developers on Github.
Future developments will make things easier. For example, someone already made a Skynet-powered version of Pastebin. I’ve uploaded my first message onto the not-yet-self-aware blockchain storage service:
For now the use of Skynet is free.
Decentralized storage solution not unified
Skynet isn’t the only system that allows for decentralized storage of data. Five years ago Filecoin started with the development of IPFS, which serves a similar purpose to Skynet and is gaining popularity. For example we host our gaming website Play to Earn on IPFS. In addition there’s also Justin Sun’s BitTorrent File System (BTFS) and the lesser known New Kind of Network (NKN).
With IPFS, BTFS, NKN and Skynet there are already four players working on decentralized web storage. It’s not a bad thing that there’s not one single platform. One decentralized platform should not have a monopoly, because – you know – decentralization is needed. However, from a user experience software needs to be created that interacts with these platforms easily.
Regular consumers can’t reach websites and content stored on these decentralized platforms easily. Regular browsers only allow standard DNS web addresses. However, browsers like Brave, Opera and Unstoppable Browser are ushering a new era. They are introducing support for decentralized protocols. In addition Unstoppable Domains and Ethereum Name Service allow for easier web addresses, which is also a cryptocurrency wallet name. These efforts could lead to wider mainstream support in the years to come.
In the Terminator movies Skynet launched on August 4th 1997, and 25 days later it would become self-aware. Therefore we should mark March 10th in our agenda. Let’s see if this version of Skynet becomes self-aware as well.
Nebulous in the news
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fined blockchain studio Nebulous in October last year. After paying the $250.000 bill the studio could continue the development of Sia and its newly announced Skynet. One year earlier Nebulous changed its blockchain code in order to combat the mining power of ASIC mining hardware. It paved the way for Obelisk, a mining hardware company backed by Nebulous.
Also published on Medium.