David Richard Holtz

@david.richard.holtz

The Ins and Outs of IPFS

The future of the Internet.

What is Web 3.0?
Who cares?
Why do I care?
When’s it happening?

This is an observational yellow paper on IPFS, the technology, its implications and most importantly the challenges that lay ahead.

A Yellow Paper is a formal paper that is used for research. It is type of thesis or research paper of specify topic and have not any legal or authorized value.

What is IPFS

IPFS is a fantastic project with ambitious goals — and the ability to meet those goals.

Most general definition down to the most specific computer definition

IPFS is a…

30 second general description

A new internet that would work across planets, avoids censorship, is infinitely bigger than the current internet, is faster, cheaper, safer and able to withstand large scale attacks in the case of a disaster.

A semi technical description

A new protocol similar to HTTP (check your browser URL) that allows you to access websites, and data from many parallel sources instead of a single source. This is like torrenting, where a movie can be downloaded from many people at once in small parts rather than from a single server. This has speed advantages, disables the ability to censor data, is stronger to lost or corrupt data.

A basic technical description

A conceptual model for storing and retrieving data based on the Merkle DAG’s

“A Merkle DAG is a Merkle directed acyclic graph. That is a data structure similar to a Merkle tree but not so strict: such DAG does not need to be balanced and its non-leaf nodes are allowed to contain data.” — [Mithgol · GitHub](https://github.com/Mithgol)

A deeper technical description — and code links

A collection of tools, a data model, a naming service, a networking stack and some various SDKs that is developed primarily in Golang and Javascript.

Who cares

Lets go down some major groups — make some unwarranted assumptions about computer literacy and get down to who cares about all this.

Everybody

Two immediately useful features

In technology lingo

  • Network Connectivity Resilient and Latency
“High latency networks are a real barrier of entry to developing world. IPFS provides resilient access to data, independent of low latency or connectivity to the backbone.”
  • Effective Data Transfer — Lower Cost
“If your company delivers large amounts of data to users, a peer-to-peer approach could save you millions in bandwidth. IPFS can provide secure P2P content delivery.”

Low cost, resilient networks made to service unstable, undeveloped, to high speed very developed networks.

In English

IPFS is as good of a solution for developing countries who have virtually no physical network infrastructure, (cell phone towers, big data centers)

It can cover vast distances even with only a few computers connected, and provide stable networking. It is cheaper because you don’t need to send as much data and data is shared across nearby computers — faster page loads.

People in repressive countries

IPFS is essentially un-censorable, great for avoiding those secret police and evil rulers.

5 YEAR ON LEFT — 7 DAY ON RIGHT

As you can see in the 7 day and 5 year charts, China is the most interested in IPFS. Also noted that on both charts there is upward momentum.

In places where there is internet censorship and governments that inhibit open communication. IPFS serves a deeper purpose. Empowering people all over to share their thoughts via the internet without fear of censorship.

Riot police aiming rubber bullets at crowds.

How they used IPFS

Here are some excepts on the topic — links to articles below

“Technologists, who by far have no view on independence but support the right to a free vote on self-determination, have employed some of the latest technology, including IPFS, to keep the referendum website accessible.

The Spanish government has shut down the referendum website with ISPs at times ordered to take measures, but IPFS, being a distributed technology, allows anyone to access it as explained in some great technical depth.”

Empowering new business

Copied form OpenBazaar.com Frequently Asked Questions:

What is OpenBazaar?
OpenBazaar is a different way to do online commerce. It’s a peer to peer application that doesn’t require middlemen, which means no fees & no restrictions.

How does OpenBazaar work?
OpenBazaar connects people directly via a peer to peer network. Data is distributed across the network instead of storing it in a central database.

How are there no fees and restrictions?
OpenBazaar isn’t a company nor an organization; it’s free open source software. It was built to provide everyone with the ability to buy and sell freely ✌

Who controls the OpenBazaar network?
Nobody has control over OpenBazaar. Each user contributes to the network equally and is in control of their own store and private data world emoji

Is Bitcoin the only supported payment method?
Pay with 50+ cryptocurrencies on OpenBazaar: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash, Dash, etc. Seller receives payment in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash or Zcash. Their choice.

Chris Pacia is the lead backend developer for OpenBazaar

Here are some excerpts from an interview with him about IPFS:

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