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Storj Labs has rolled out a new developer gateway, offering tools and code for developers to implement decentralized, blockchain-powered cloud storage into any software that uses AWS S3 offering.
The new gateway will show developers how to change their S3 bucket's code to opt into Storj's decentralized cloud rather than a localized data center.
Storj CEO Ben Golub said the gateway is the first major update offered by the company since it launched the cloud storage platform into general availability in March 2020.
"For most developers, this will do everything that you are currently doing, but it will be about 20% the price, far more private and a better architectural fit, especially for those on the edge," Golub said. "Developers can get up and running in a matter of minutes."
The new gateway is available to any new or existing Storj subscribers or users upon sign-in.
Filebase, a Boston-based decentralized cloud storage service provider, is among the early adopters to integrate Storj's S3-compatible object storage into its decentralized cloud offerings.
Zac Cohen, COO and a co-founder of Filebase, said the new gateway offers an easier path for developers or users considering a distributed cloud network but without the need to fully rewrite their existing programs.
"We've seen tremendous technical friction being removed in the onboarding process," Cohen said. "These networks aren't going to gain mass adoption unless they're easy to use."
Storj Labs, through Storj DCS, has joined the handful of cloud storage companies taking advantage of blockchain storage. Storj's competitors include Nebulous Inc.'s Sia Network, Protocol Labs' InterPlanetary File System and MaidSafe.
Unlike prior peer-to-peer distribution networks, however, Storj and its blockchain storage competitors offer financial incentives to users willing to become a node. Frequently, they are paid through cryptocurrency tokens in exchange for their internet connections and storage space as nodes along the distributed network.
The exact amount of space and bandwidth needed by Storj for a user to function as a node can fluctuate. Hardware minimums included at least 550 GB space and 2 TB bandwidth available per month, among other needs.
While the financial incentives of such tokens remain a speculative market, both Golub and Cohen said business and enterprise users already have strong incentives for considering distributed networks for their cloud storage needs.
Golub said Storj now offers prices as low as $4 per terabyte of general-purpose storage, compared with the $23 charged by AWS, along with similarly reduced costs in bandwidth usage.
Ben GolubCEO, Storj
He also said Storj provides better backup technology due to the distributed model. Instead of a single catastrophic loss at a cloud data center potentially affecting your files, Storj breaks up stored data into 30 separate pieces spread across 80 Storj-using data nodes. Storj also makes use of end-to-end encryption, as well as sharding to protect data.
"We think we're the first and most enterprise-grade solution," Golub said, claiming the service hasn't lost a file since alpha testing. "This is really designed to meet the criteria people would have of their cloud providers while being decentralized. We didn't want to build a science project."
Filebase CEO and fellow co-founder Joshua Noble said the gateway can only improve accessibility and stability of distributed cloud networks in the future by simplifying the onboarding process for developers.
"They're adding an entry point onto their network where they abstract away the requirements," Noble said.