The Bitbuy Brief: We Review Filecoin

Issue 120: We Review Filecoin

Weekly Market Update and Filecoin

Analysis:  BTC continued to rally this week, up 7.18%. Altcoins lagged BTC, but volumes were up across the board  Spot volumes continue to rise and are just under double the previous 30-day average. Up next: Filecoin!


Filecoin: Big Story Of The Week

On October 15 The Filecoin (FIL) Network Went Live  – We Provide An Overview Of The Project And Discuss FIL’s Performance

  • Filecoin, described as a ‘decentralized storage network designed to store humanity’s most important information,’ was developed by San Francisco-based Protocol Labs. The project raised USD 257M in a 2017 ICO. Filecoin’s goal is to ‘incentivize a global network of computer operators to provide a file sharing and storage service.’ According to its founders, that goal is achievable if the network receives enough adoption where Filecoin could become ‘the fastest and cheapest way to store data on the internet.’ The crucial tenant to this vision is Filecoin’s decentralized architecture where files cannot ‘be censored by governments or other actors.’ The Filecoin network is made up of nodes; miners run nodes that offer either file storage or retrieval. In both cases, users pay miners FIL in order to either store a new file or retrieve previously stored files. Miners do not have access to stored content, which is encrypted, with description keys held by the file’s owner. Filecoin’s mainnet was delayed by several years, with initial estimates for the launch pointing to late 2018 or early 2019. The launch was also marked by disagreements within the network’s mining community. For example, a group of Chinese miners threatened to fork the network due to disagreements over mining rewards. These disagreements have persisted post mainnet launch. Last week miners initiated a software upgrade that would allow them to receive 25% of their reward for processing transactions immediately instead of a gradual 180-day release. FIL’s market cap reached a high of just over USD 1B on the day of the mainnet launch. Since then the asset’s market cap has remained within a range of USD 419M to 858M, trading on a number of leading venues such as Bitfinex.

Takeaway: Filecoin is one of the few to have emerged from the 2017 ICO cohort with a concrete product that has reasonable real-world application. It is also unique in its specialization. Networks like Ethereum, with its ‘world computer’ mantra, are designed to serve as platforms on which other applications will be built. This gives FIL, similar to Chainlink’s LINK, a more straightforward value proposition with a focus on one concrete use case. On the other hand, Filecoin is not without competition. Competitors include Storj, with a market cap of USD 52M and Sia, USD 116M. Ultimately, while an interesting launch, FIL enters a heavily competitive sub-segment of crypto, with a limited user base and an over USD 500M valuation.

Other Weekly Headlines

  • Ethereum development firm ConsenSys will work with Societe Generale’s blockchain entity Forge on testing for a ‘digital euro.’ According to a ConsenSys announcement, the firm will provide technical expertise to Forge, with a focus on digital euro ‘issuance and management, delivery versus payment, and cross-ledger interoperability.’ – link – @ConsenSys
  • A BTC holder set the record for the largest USD valued BTC transaction when 88,857 coins were moved earlier this week. The transaction was valued at USD ~1.4B, beating the previous record of USD 1.1B set by Bitfinex. – link – CoinTelegraph
  • JP Morgan’s digital currency, the JPM Coin, is being commercially used for the first time this week by a tech client in order to make international payments, according to the bank’s global head of wholesale payments, Takis Georgakopoulos. According to Georgakopoulos, that event and ‘other behind-the-scene moves’ have also led JP Morgan to launch a new business unit dedicated to crypto and blockchain efforts called Onyx. – link – @CNBC
  • Decentralized finance protocol Balancer, currently built on Ethereum, will also launch on blockchain network NEAR. The decision was made due to ‘at times prohibitively expensive’ transaction fees on Ethereum which are financially and technically ‘burdensome.’ ’ – link – @NEAR

Disclaimer: The opinions and analysis expressed in this newsletter are those of the writer, and not of Bitbuy. Nothing in this note should be considered investment advice.