New reports are breaking around Filecoin’s pending mainnet launch, and what’s happening now on its testnet that was rolled out in December of last year, with new testnet incentives implemented in June.
As Filecoin inches closer to a blockchain mainnet launch – after several delays since its $200 million raise in 2017 – investors in China are again speculating heavily on the network’s mining hardware and its token prices,” writes Wolfie Zhao today at Coindesk. “More than a dozen Chinese companies have started selling cloud mining contracts and physical hardware – even though important details like the mining incentive economics on the mainnet are still not finalized.”
Zhao’s reporting estimates the sales volume of each participating party to date at a range from half a million to tens of millions of dollars, citing self-reported data and related industry interviews with mining hardware manufacturers.
As a peer-to-peer file storage system, Filecoin brings the power of blockchain to transparency in vendor contracts around digital storage.
In the Filecoin system, users pay to store their files on a decentralized blockchain that controls storage and pricing.
Since miners publicly commit to storing the file, many of the SLA agreement details can be fully public and transparent, which can eliminate some of the friction inherent in many kinds of traditional vendor contracts.
Zhao reports the service is abundantly popular in China.
“The Filecoin craze in China may be largely related to the long-standing popularity of crypto mining in the country in general, which is home to around 65% of the computing power on Bitcoin by estimation,” Zhao writes. “Plus, there has been much hype in China about Filecoin mining since 2018, with companies touting all sorts of hardware when the network was still in a development mode.”
What’s the significance of this type of news? Well, we have been talking about 2020 as the year of the blockchain for a reason. The hype around Filecoin illustrates how “functional” blockchain systems can do much more than just allow us to trade cryptocurrencies. Data storage is a big industry today, and applying the concept of something like Filecoin changes the game significantly. Keep an eye out if you have skin in the game in terms of investments in the fintech sector.