The data storage industry is currently valued at more than $40 billion, according to Stratistics Market Research Consulting Pvt Ltd. However, it is expected to rise to $207.05 billion by 2026, in case it grows at an expected 21.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period.
Given that decentralization lies at the heart of the blockchain technology, it is fully expected that the traditional cloud storage business starts transforming into a system in which data is not controlled by any single entity.
The conventional system allows users to upload their data onto the cloud service. Although it has many positives, the fact that it requires continuous maintenance, cooling, and security upgrades provides a great challenge.
The decentralized data storage is expected to bring the best out of the blockchain technology. In essence, the idea is to distribute the data across an extensive network of nodes. A penetration attack on one node will not affect others, which will continue to function as if nothing has happened. Thus, it will significantly improve the conventional system in two major aspects – speed and security.
Currently, there are many decentralized data storage solutions out there, such as Sia, Storj, Filecoin and MaidSAFE. As Nick Romanek explains it in his latest blog post, the basic idea behind these startups is to lend your unused disk space to others.
“The entity that stores the data will never know what’s on the hard drives (or SSDs) because it is encrypted and only a small segment of the data is being stored there,” thus “it was really interesting to see the disks being filled up by other people on the network and getting paid for it. I earned maybe $1 or $2 in Siacoin at the time, so it was not very profitable,” says Romanek.
Of course, creating a sustainable system of decentralized data storage will remain one of the most challenging tasks. A system that is, on one hand, efficient and accessible, while on the other secure enough to prevent outside attacks on the network.
In essence, one can say with certainty that blockchain technology has the potential to be the greatest disruptor to the traditional cloud computing industry.