Filecoin (FIL), the native cryptocurrency of decentralized storage service Filecoin, has been garnering much attention lately. On Friday, June 4, its price shot up by 25% overnight, reaching $96 from about $75. It was priced at about $88 at the time of writing.
The reason for the uptick in FIL’s popularity is believed to be Filecoin’s new NFT storage platform that went live recently. A free service called NFT.Storage, the platform aims to create a decentralized storage network that can last forever.
What is NFT.Storage?
NFT.Storage allows developers to easily store NFT data on decentralized networks. Filecoin developer Protocol Labs and cloud storage service provider Pinata are the creators of the platform.
Filecoin and InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) technologies back NFT.Storage. An open-source protocol, IPFS is designed to create peer-to-peer networks for storing and sharing data.
With the IPFS technology, users can generate an IPFS hash of their content, called a content identifier (CID). The CIDs are unique fingerprints of the data. It can be used to find the files, regardless of where they are stored. This means that any files, including those pertaining to NFTs, can be always found, provided the host grants access to them.
“NFTs are part of humanity’s cultural legacy – and designing their data for long-term accessibility is crucial,” said Mikeal Rogers, Engineering Manager at Protocol Labs.
Why is it important to store NFTs?
NFT’s popularity has skyrocketed since early this year. Not only are brands and creators minting NFTs, but the investments in NFTs have also soared.
From artworks, videos, tweets, to music, NFTs can represent a number of things. However, while NFTs run on blockchains such as Ethereum, the tokens themselves don’t contain the actual files. Instead, the files—the content and metadata—are hosted by a third party.
Here’s where NFT.Storage comes into the picture. NFT.Storage allows users to securely store NFT’s metadata on the Filecoin network. This allows the users to easily transfer both the NFT and the data relating to it.
This is crucial as there’s a risk of an NFT becoming defunct if the data they represent is no longer available. For instance, if the company hosting the file shuts down.
According to Filecoin, “NFT.Storage uses Filecoin for long-term decentralized data storage – brokering storage and retrieval deals to preserve NFT data long-term.”
“Filecoin provides a permanence layer using cryptographic proofs to ensure the durability and persistence of the NFT data over time,” it added.
Once stored on NFT.Storage, the users can directly retrieve their data anytime in the browser using any public IPFS gateway. In addition, it rewards users offering storage space with FIL.
According to Forbes, the entire Filecoin network has an aggregated storage capacity of over 2.5 billion gigabytes. This is enough to store 725 million 1080p high-resolution movie files.
Palm, VideoCoin, and many NFT marketplaces are already using the Filecoin network to store the data. Meanwhile, Filecoin’s popularity is on the rise. Hence, one can expect more developers to use the platform to store their NFT data.