Video Of The Week: IPFS and Filecoin
Our portfolio company Protocol Labs built IPFS and will now launch a token for decentralized storage called Filecoin.
Juan Benet, the founder of Protocol Labs, explains all of that in this Y Combinator video.
This is super long, but the first part (30-40 mins) explains most of what they are up to.
The first 30-40 minutes are just awesome. Thanks dude
just awesome…for the US domiciled accredited investor class.
Couple of technicalish comments/questions. They’re looking at interesting problems but I couldn’t help wonder how much history he has studied on this stuff.He said its time to move to content vs location addressing. That may be true for whatever his app is but the Internet can support both so it not an either or.Human readability? I couldn’t figure out what he was actually trying to name. It sounded at the end like it was making the keys for the content addressing human readable. I’m not sure why this is important? If the keys are the content then whether you can do that depends on whether the content is human readable. For example, if the content is a binary encoded video, it will be tuff to come up with anything human readable to use for the key.Proof of storage? This is a little tongue in cheek but proofs are something grad students do when they are coming up with new algorithms. Executing proofs online seems to me to be of dubious value and in the case of bitcoin, downright evil. So now rather than a building full of servers being built next to dams to supply the power, we’ll have multi acre installations filled with SSDs and hard drives? The proof-of-xxx thing is a problem, not a solution.And then there is a sort of general comment. There seems to be a lot of interest from you (Fred) and many others in fully decentralized apps (it has a Silicon Valleyish feel to it actually). I see things like Chordish based p2p networks tracing back to variations on consistent hashing as the fundamental technology in a recurring way on your site. These are great things and Skype is great example of an app that was (at least originally) fully distributed. But this thing I’ve been referring to, the potential for serious catastrophic chains of events occurring (the Ethereum thing a month or so ago is an example) is inherent in their designs. Full distribution yields no governance which makes thing unworkable because of the USERS behaviors, not the computers. Think of it this way. If you’re a hacker, you really really want networks to be fully distributed. If you’re able to break in, there’s noone to stop you. That fundamental human behavior is imo why fully distributed protocols have had limited practical and commercial success of the last 50-60 years (which is how long folks have been banging on these same problems).
Hmmm… executing proofs with bitcoin seem downright evil? Tell us more.Also, when you say “no governance” you mean no centrally chosen governance, right? With blockchain based apps, the participants in the network ultimately choose the governance model and leaders, by choosing whether or not to run the app or by choosing between one fork and another. No?
As I’ve talked about before. Proof of work for bitcoin is a contrivance. It not only serves no purpose but to simulate scarcity but it will suck gigajoules of energy out of the grid that could be used for, oh, growing crops, or powering homes and cars and businesses or something else that actually is useful.I’m referring to operational governance. If I understand it correctly, when a transaction completes, there’s no way to undo it with bitcoin (primarily because it is a fully distributed system), even tho it may have been malicious. Ethereum at least had the technical ability to roll things back to some degree (from what I read anyway). How they ultimately use that technical capability is something they are still wrestling with I would imagine. My opinion is they should embrace it and establish policies and rules for how it will be used. Its a good thing and it will give users more confidence in using Ethereum.
Thanks, not a techie but good to open my horizon. So often reminded of the Rovelli quote:”Time is information we don’t have.””Time is our ignorance.”
I often wonder how technically challenging things like IPFS actullay are? Is the novelty in the idea or the algorithms that make up the code?IPFS sounding like a cool research project, but how many phd students in universities are working on similar projects? what is the value proposition for distributed storage? Who are the first customers who would want to pay for this? What are the risk reward issues? I would think that any large company would prohibit access to any data stored on random hard drives spread throughout the world?
> IPFS sounding like a cool research project, but how many phd students in universities are working on similar projects?Let’s see: (A) Graduate students are silly, time-wasting, impractical, fools engaging in intellectual self-abuse. (B) Graduate students have nothing better to do than waste time on projects like IPFS. (C) Graduate students are so plentiful that likely many of them around the world are working on projects like IPFS. (D) Since graduate students have no sense of what is practical, they are plenty eager to work on solutions still looking for problems. (E) Also graduate students are so isolated and disconnected that they would not be able to find practical problems to work on. (F) Graduate students are highly inferior, laughably so, to us hard nosed, down and dirty, reality based, people in the world of business.Do I have that about right?Actually, graduate students are expected to work on research which is supposed to be “new, correct, and significant”. Working on something like IPFS, which already exists, would not be new and even if new might not be significant.Further, at better research universities, in computer science, the goal is to find the fundamental of the field. Just writing some code for some practical functionality, even if new, does not always qualify as “significant” or “fundamental”.Running down graduate students, graduate schools, academics, and related research is not wise. Instead, a huge fraction of the best progress in our civilization and economy is dependent on good academic research, dependent in the sense that, likely, if the research had not been done then the progress would not have happened.E.g., academic work on, say, the photoelectric effect, e.g., by Einstein, led to quantum mechanics and much better understanding of how solids and conductors and semi-conductors work. Before WWII Bell Labs saw this and saw the potential for a solid state amplifier to replace hot, expensive, noisy, unreliable vacuum tubes. Soon after WWII, Drs. Shockley, Bardeen, and Brattain had a working transistor. Bell Labs saw the value right away and arranged to give the patent rights to the world for free. If Bell Labs had had a royalty of only a penny per transistor, then by now they might have owned the world and everything in it — just do some simple arithmetic. That’s one example. Our economy is awash in more examples from pure/applied math, physical science, biology, and medical science. E.g., yesterday I was mowing the backyard and saw some ugly weeds, dark green with leaves that looked like serrated knife edges, some weeds with leaves maybe 1 square foot in area, and some poison ivy. So, I got out my spray bottle with some Roundup solution and give a few squirts.Just now, with cheap computing and the Internet, information technology is wide open to astounding, and astoundingly valuable, applications of original pure/applied math, that’s math and not computer science, with the foundations going back 100+ years in academics. .
CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC ALERT! BUT ON TOPICIRS Says It Will Limit Bitcoin Auditshttp://fortune.com/2017/07/…Does a person really want to provide information that can be available to the IRS for no other reason than to fish for what they view as tax avoidance but really an opportunity at profit sharing. You had to know when smart money who can write a check to offset any profits (But hates it with a passion, the anonymous requests to stop inquiry would read a whos whos list) tt he IRS would be at the door.
Fred, what’re your thoughts on Metalpay?
IPFS is a perfect example of a vertical/special purpose protocol. What is not so well known is that it is not exclusive to blockchains.
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Proof of storage? This is a pinoy tambayan tongue in cheek but proofs are something grad students do when they are coming up with new algorithms. Executing proofs online seems to me to be of dubious value and in the case of bitcoin, downright evil. So now rather than a building full of servers being built next to dams to supply the powe