The blockchain industry, historically tied directly to cryptocurrency, has made a right turn in recent months. It has extended its legion of users to offer distributed storage. This threatens to undercut the pricing market established by cloud computing storage giants like AWS and Dropbox.

How it works

Blockchain-based distribution storage is centered around the idea that there are large amounts of unused storage space on the hard drives of people all over the world. Using cryptocurrency as an incentive, blockchain distribution companies monetize that storage space for their members. It is an upgraded version of what BitTorrent was in the early 2000s, using peer-to-peer (P2P) networks to form an aggregate of computer resources. But with cryptocurrencies built in to blockchains as a method of payment, users have a monetary incentive to offer up their unused data space to consumers.  Because of its extreme distribution of data - known as sharding - blockchain-based storage has the potential to be more secure than cloud-based storage. And by using the in-place hardware maintained by others, it can drastically cut the cost for the end-user.    

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