The Filecoin Testnet Is Live

Our portfolio company Protocol Labs is the creator of the IPFS protocol and the Filecoin protocol. The idea behind both of these open source projects is to decentralize the storage of information on the web.

The Filecoin project is very ambitious. The idea is to create a decentralized storage network by allowing anyone to mine Filecoin by hosting files on the Filecoin network.

Yesterday the Filecoin project announced that the Filecoin Testnet is live. This means that an “alpha” version of the Filecoin network is up and running and anyone can connect to it and use it.

Filecoin has been 2 1/2 years in development since the project was funded in the summer of 2017. The launch of the testnet signals that the research and design phase is over and the protocol is now making it way towards going live next year.

This is a story that is playing out all across crypto. Many high profile projects were funded in 2017 and 2018 and have been heads down designing and building their protocols and networks since then.

Getting these projects out of development and into the market is a big step for the crypto sector and I believe that will be a big theme for crypto in 2020.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Curious who the company see as the right user profile for being in the Testnet and further, the market characteristics for the network itself when it goes broader.It is quite legitimate to not have an answer for this of course.Write up was well done though it assumes the audience knows who it is. Always a bad comm strategy

    1. William Mougayar

      Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers….:)

      1. awaldstein

        Be more specific not more emphatic pls.

    2. jason wright

      Answering ‘why’ may answer ‘who’.

  2. jason wright

    Where is the imperative need for this?

    1. William Mougayar

      When central powers get big, they become choke points, can be hacked or compromised. Experimentations in decentralized infrastructure and services is a good thing. Let’s see where it leads. The use cases will get developed. (to get a glimpse, follow the IPFS project which has thousands of active nodes)

      1. jason wright

        It may be a good thing, but what will drive the migration? Unless the incumbents are regulated to adopt APIs et.c. i’m not quite seeing what will dissolve the network effect glue that is the basis of Facebook’s dominance.It looks like being a very long and attritional campaign.

        1. jamiew

          Filecoin is infrastructure, not a consumer-facing application like Facebook. Facebook would hypothetically use it instead of their own infrastructure, or renting from Google or Amazon

          1. Michael Brill

            Until they realize that most of the Filecoin nodes will be running in AWS or Google Cloud. 😉

          2. jason wright


        2. Alex Rinaldi

          Disclaimer (FWIW): Personally, I don’t love this project but think it’s fine.The only real use case I can think of is for someone like WikiLeaks.

    2. kidmercury

      YouTube is killing itself with it’s censorship, and the biggest obstacle to setting up an alternative is the cost of storage. In theory something like this could help some that, as well as opening up new business models for content creators

      1. pointsnfigures

        Twitter is killing itself with censorship too. They just censored the latest Capitalisn’t Podcast. It’s put on by the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago….

        1. awaldstein

          i see no indication that twitter is killing itself in usage or revenues.i wish they would actually be more clear and take away all the squishy grey zones for world leaders.You don’t get to build something and then not take responsibility to work towards it being useful and transparent for the common good.

          1. Michael Brill

            Well, directionally they appear to be getting out of the censorship business –….

          2. awaldstein

            yes saw that and applaud this.fred had a tweet this morning about this that struck home to me.but if you have a social net with a media model you are responsible for the privacy of the data and the transparency and monitoring around the content.

          3. Michael Brill

            As an aside, if Twitter wanted to actually do this, they could do it just by adding a few APIs without even monkeying with their existing business model. So announcing they will hire a tiny team to look at the idea seems like a freezing tactic really.In any case, if you look at Twitter as a big publish and subscribe service with integrated ads and third party content filters, why does Twitter have any responsibility for monitoring content (other than what they have a legal responsibility to censure)?

          4. awaldstein

            I can’t comment about the first part as someone who has built and run some big companies i learned early not to conjecture from the outside what they can and cannot do.On the second one, I’ve struggled with this for awhile, been on both sides of it but have come round to the fact that indeed they are a media company and like TV stations are responsible for what is on their channels.This idea of not just doesn’t work for me any longer.

          5. Michael Brill

            On point 2, I was painting the future picture of an open protocol-compliant Twitter, not today’s Twitter. In their proposed future model, they cannot be responsible for all content – only what they allow as one filter/client provider out of many.

          6. awaldstein

            Ahh….and agree.With an open protocol it is a different game.We are not there certainly today.Have a great holiday my friend!

          7. jason wright

            More? Be careful what you wish for…

          8. awaldstein

            obviously its complex and i don’t know the details internally.but if you start with a companies innate responsibility and with ‘why not’ ideas like every single paid political ad must list its source like a TV ad does you start to work in a direction.that will lead to discussion to holes to transparency to action.better than simply kvetching.

        2. kidmercury

          yes all of big tech is censoring, which will bring about their demise. twitter is mostly just shadowbanning, i find if i visit the pages directly i can see the content but their ML algos essentially block the content from showing up in timelines. this is not scalable, but certainly better than what youtube is doing, which is banning popular channels en masse. personally, my twitter usage has remained pretty solid, but my youtube usage is WAY down. dlive and bitchute are taking some of the audience, but the storage cost, as well as monetization for creators, is still an obstacle for a true viable alternative.

        3. jason wright

          Why would it do that?

  3. OurielOhayon

    what is the difference with the other decentralized file storage “forever” you also invested in?

  4. pointsnfigures

    We are going to see who adds value and who doesn’t. A lot of these companies had a lot of hype and were able to raise huge sums which keeps them in business.I can think of several interesting blogposts around ICOs. 1. How do you account for the raise? Is it matched against expenses and run through the income stmt, cash is an asset, but does it have a corresponding liability or is it a special part of the equity in the balance sheet? How is a company valued? Accounting value or economic value?

    1. awaldstein

      good questions though don’t think there will any answers except case by case.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Except there is FASB and GAAP. So, there can be standardization and accounting notes in statements to explain.

        1. awaldstein

          i misspoke somewhat.i agree that we need a standard financial accounting so it makes sense.I think we are going to see very few that do that, prob the ones that are successful and US based. Others and others that crash will probably fade away except for lawsuits.Need to ask two very close friends that both did them in Cal. Smaller in capital raise, acted kinda like seed with follow-ons from VCs so I bet they followed what you suggest.

  5. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:It appears the risk for some is not to be left out of being attached, monetizing from and refusing to be left out of the ICO history books. With all the possibilities and promises of these applications and how will it scale and be integrated into main street is the key.What is FileCoin?Filecoin (⨎) is an open-source, public, crypto-currency and digital payment system intended to be a blockchain-based cooperative digital storage and data retrieval method.How does this improve on any existing applications?The pitch is to get you to use the application to store your crypto-currency or mine on their behalf with the incentive of being compensated. Another information gathering source for crypto. The FAANG for crypto.What are the goal differences with Gemini (Winklevoss Twins)? Another platform to control crypto with the pitch of helping it? Definitely not what the early innovators intended.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT