As businesses continue to grow and expand, so does the need for data storage. With increasing amounts of data, the traditional centralized storage systems are no longer sufficient. Centralized data storage poses several challenges, including security risks, data loss, and lack of privacy. Decentralized data storage, on the other hand, has emerged as a viable solution to these problems. Acknowledging the power of decentralized data storage, BNB Chain has launched the BNB Greenfield, a decentralized data storage network and economy.
Powered by blockchain technology, BNB Greenfield enables users to store their data on a distributed network and leverages smart contracts for data access and monetization. BNB Greenfield is a viable decentralized ecosystem where users and decentralized apps (dApps) can produce, store, and share data with full ownership, control, and financial rewards. It further utilizes the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to offer a more environment-friendly and decentralized solution for data storage. BNB Greenfield opts for advanced encryption protocols, like Zero Knowledge Proof (ZKP) and a decentralized network of nodes, to provide optimum security, privacy, and control over data access.
This article aims to provide a walkthrough of why decentralized storage is better than centralized data storage solutions, what power BNB Greenfield holds, and why you should choose BNB Greenfield over other decentralized storage networks (DSNs) like Filecoin, Storj, Arweave, etc.
What is decentralized data storage?
Decentralized data storage, also known as distributed storage, is a type of storage system where data is stored across a network of computers rather than in a central location. In a decentralized storage system, data is broken down into smaller pieces and distributed across the network. Each piece of data is encrypted and stored on multiple computers, making it more secure and less vulnerable to cyber-attacks and natural disasters.
Decentralized storage systems also offer greater privacy since no single entity has access to all of the data. Instead, each user has control over their own data, which means that users and businesses can ensure their data is secure.
Benefits of decentralized data storage
Centralized data storage refers to the traditional storage systems where data is stored in a central location. This type of storage poses several challenges, including security risks, data loss, and lack of privacy. Centralized storage systems are prone to cyber-attacks, which can result in data breaches.
In addition to security risks and data loss, centralized storage systems also lack privacy. The storage provider has access to all of the data, which means that users/businesses cannot be sure that their data is secure. This lack of privacy can be detrimental to businesses that deal with sensitive information, such as banking or healthcare.
Decentralized data storage offers several benefits, including increased security, greater privacy, and lower costs. With decentralized storage, data is encrypted and distributed across the network, making it more secure and less vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Decentralized storage also offers greater privacy since no single entity has access to all of the data.
Furthermore, decentralized storage can be more cost-effective than traditional centralized storage systems. With decentralized storage, users only pay for the storage they use, rather than paying for additional storage that they may not need. This can result in significant cost savings.
How blockchain technology is revolutionizing data storage
Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger that allows for secure and transparent transactions. Blockchain technology is changing the game for decentralized storage by providing a secure and transparent way to store data. With blockchain technology, data is encrypted and stored on a network of computers, making it more secure and less vulnerable to cyber-attacks and natural disasters.
Furthermore, blockchain technology allows for greater transparency since each transaction is recorded on the blockchain. This transparency can benefit businesses dealing with sensitive information, such as healthcare or banking. Blockchain-backed decentralized data storage is becoming increasingly popular, with the market expected to reach $14 billion by 2024. The growth of decentralized storage is being driven by several factors, including the need for increased security and privacy and the desire for more cost-effective storage solutions.
Furthermore, the rise of blockchain technology has made decentralized storage even more viable. Blockchain technology allows for secure and transparent data storage, making it ideal for decentralized storage systems.
Filecoin, Storj, and Arweave are some of the most popular decentralized storage networks (DSNs) available in the market. Filecoin is a decentralized storage network that uses the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) protocol to store data. Storj, on the other hand, uses a combination of blockchain technology and cryptography to store data in a decentralized manner. Finally, Arweave uses a unique architecture called "blockweave" that allows for fast and cheap storage of data.
The Birth of BNB Greenfield
With almost 2M DAUs as of writing, BNB Chain is one of the largest blockchain ecosystems with a huge user base. To further provide its users with an optimum Web3.0 experience, BNB Chain has recently launched its decentralized storage network - BNB Greenfield.
The main aim of BNB Greenfield is to provide users and dApps with a secure and decentralized storage solution that largely targets the shift of complete control and ownership of data into the hands of the owners. Based on cutting-edge decentralized technology, BNB Greenfield aims to be the flag bearer in the realms of data ownership and data economy. By facilitating decentralized data management and access, BNB Greenfield aims to transform the landscape of the data economy by streamlining the storage and management of data using advanced encryption systems.
BNB Greenfield also focuses on providing a more reliable and cost-effective solution for storing and sharing data. The new architectural design enables new and exciting use cases in the decentralized domain, such as website hosting, publishing, data storage, personal data market, social media, private cloud applications, etc.
How Does BNB Greenfield Work?
BNB Greenfield is a cutting-edge blockchain and storage solution that aims to harness the potential of decentralized technology in the realms of data ownership and data economy. By facilitating decentralized data management and access, BNB Greenfield aims to transform the landscape of the data economy by streamlining the storage and management of data using advanced cryptographic systems. BNB Greenfield further aims to provide a more reliable and cost-effective solution for storing and sharing data.
BNB Greenfield is built upon two main components: a blockchain that stores data information and a network of storage providers (SPs) offering storage services. Registration both as blockchain validators and as storage providers, is open to both individuals and organizations.
At its core, BNB Greenfield operates as a distributed ledger, keeping track of data distribution across multiple storage providers and facilitating coordination for data backup and recovery. Storage providers (SPS) can either be companies or individuals that offer publicly accessible services (API) which allow users to upload, download, and manage their data securely.
Tokenomics and governance: The native token of the BNB Chain ecosystem, i.e. BNB token, is used for fueling the BNB Greenfield storage system. Greenfield enables users to register accounts and engage with the BNB ecosystem directly using their BNB tokens. BNB token is used as staking, governance, gas, and storage service fee token.
Storage providers must register on the BNB Greenfield by making a deposit known as their "Service Stake". The SPs are then subject to a dedicated governance procedure, where Greenfield validators vote to elect them.
BNB Greenfield focuses on three elements that set it apart from centralized and some of the most popular decentralized storage systems that are on the rise:
- BNB Greenfield supports smart contract programmability through the integration of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility.
- With a focus on privacy, BNB Greenfield provides anonymous crypto-based keys to ensure optimum privacy for users.
- BNB Greenfield emphasizes complete data ownership, where users can totally control who can access and control their data assets.
- BNB Greenfield aims to be super cost-effective in terms of storage and downloading bandwidth costs.
The image below illustrates the general architecture of the BNB Greenfield. This structure is termed as Trinity because of its architecture's three major components: the BNB Greenfield dApps, BNB Greenfield Core, and the BNB Smart Chain (BSC).
The three components in the Trinity architecture hold the following functionality:
- The BNB Greenfield Core is actually comprised of the BNB Greenfield blockchain and the SPs. It accepts requests and observations, on behalf of the users, from the Greenfield dApps. It also receives directives from BSC to work together for various business situations.
- The BNB Greenfield dApps component facilitates user demands by assisting in creating, reading, and executing data on the BNB Greenfield, Greenfield Storage Providers, and BNB Smart Chain. These are decentralized applications that can either be client toolings or applications using Greenfield systems as their infrastructure. These applications will use blockchain addresses as user identifiers and interact with features and smart contracts on the Greenfield blockchain, Greenfield SPs, and BSC.
- The third component is cross-chain communication with the BNB Smart Chain, which is responsible for accepting data assets that are transferred from BNB Greenfield, thus offering more business scenarios via smart contracts to new classes of Greenfield dApps.
The consumers can, directly and indirectly, access the three members of the Trinity architecture, allowing the developers full control over the architectural design of the applications.
Features that put BNB Greenfield in the Spotlight
BNB Greenfield boasts distinctive features that make it an appealing option for both individuals and businesses. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider using BNB Greenfield as a decentralized storage for your data:
- Cost-Effectiveness: Due to its integration with the BNB Smart Chain, it can leverage the network's low transaction fees, making it an affordable option with respect to programmability. In addition to low transaction fees, BNB Greenfield also offers several pricing options based on your storage needs. In the BNB Greenfield network, storage providers can offer different terms and conditions and pricing plans for data storage. Users have the right to choose the SP of their choice whose pricing matches their needs.
- Security & Reliability: Another essential advantage of BNB Greenfield is its decentralized nature. In BNB Greenfield's decentralized storage system, your data is dispersed throughout a network of nodes as opposed to being kept in a single location. This dispersion of data ensures reliability by making user data available even if several nodes in the network fail. The data will still be recoverable.
- Open-source: Keeping BNB Greenfield open-source allows projects to be built with different UI with easy integration. An example of the early adopters of BNB Greenfield is DCeller. DCeller comes with an easy-to-use UI for storing and accessing data without the need for advanced technological understanding. Its flexible dashboard allows you to manage their storage and view your usage statistics. This simplicity makes it a more accessible option for those users who may not be familiar with decentralized storage platforms.
- Scalability: Scalability is crucial for your businesses because as organizations grow, they need storage solutions that can handle increasing amounts of data. BNB Greenfield is designed to be scalable, capable of handling large amounts of data and supporting a growing user base, making it a suitable option for businesses of all sizes. As BNB Greenfield is based on CometBFT/Tendermint, it supports high transaction throughput. Furthermore, as the data is accessed directly from the SPs, it's only limited by the network bandwidth of users and SPs.
- Interoperability: BNB Greenfield's integration with BNB Smart Chain network makes it highly interoperable with other blockchain-based platforms and applications, providing users with more flexibility and versatility in their data storage options.
- New Economy: BNB Greenfield equips promising blockchain projects with the necessary resources and support to expedite their growth, which can unlock new market opportunities. This enables these projects to expand their reach and gain traction in their respective industries. BNB Greenfield's expertise, extensive network, and abundant resources can empower portfolio projects with a competitive edge, elevating their likelihood of success. For e.g., BNB Greenfield can be used for data analytics, data lakes, data processing, etc., where large data storage and processing are required.
- Enhanced Control Over Data: BNB Greenfield strongly emphasizes protecting privacy and granting control to users over their data through their blockchain protocol. In contrast to traditional centralized storage methods, where users often relinquish control as their data is stored in a centralized server managed by a third party. BNB Greenfield allows users to maintain complete ownership and control of their data. With complete authority handed over to the users, they are in control of data access, sharing, and permissions based on their preferences. This ensures that their information remains confidential and is not accessed without their explicit consent. Unlike other DSNs, where once data is uploaded can not be removed, BNB Greenfield provides its user with the capability to delete the data entirely from the network. When a user deletes a data item from the BNB Greenfield, an “event of deletion” is triggered and is recorded on-chain, proving that SP has legally notified that the data was deleted.
BNB Greenfield vs. Filecoin, Storj, and Arweave - A Comparative Analysis
We will compare these networks based on several factors to understand better how BNB Greenfield outshines Filecoin, Storj, and Arweave.
- Technology Employed: BNB Greenfield is a decentralized cloud storage platform that uses blockchain technology to provide secure data storage and sharing. Filecoin, on the other hand, is a decentralized storage network that uses a marketplace for storage providers and users to buy and sell storage space. Storj is a decentralized, peer-to-peer cloud storage network that uses blockchain and cryptography for data privacy and security. Arweave is a permanent, decentralized web hosting platform that uses a blockchain-based data structure called "Blockweave" for storing data.
- Data Storage Mechanism: Other than Arweave, which is blockchain-based, Filecoin, Storj, and BNB Greenfield utilizes distributed file storage system for data storage.Being blockchain-based, the biggest hurdles that Arweave faces in terms of performance are TPS and network congestion.
- Data Storage Method: To provide high-probability access to data, existing DSNs like Filecoin., implement replication by default. This means that they store multiple copies of the same data on different nodes. In contrast, BNB Greenfield utilizes Erasure Coding (EC) and parallel processing to achieve efficient data redundancy. While employing erasure encoding, BNB Greenfield enables the processing of object to upload in a streaming manner without the need to wait for the entire object payload to be completed. This is achieved by breaking the object into segments and storing them across multiple nodes, one segment at a time. This mechanism of data dispersion is much more efficient than replication because data can be reconstructed even with nodes failing in the network.
- Storage Model: Both BNB Greenfield and Storj have a Peer-to-Peer data storage model. Whereas, Filecoin’s data model is marketplace-based. On the other hand, Arweave’s storage model is permanent distributed web hosting which is not beneficial for dynamic projects and is rather only good for niche applications like archives and NFTs.
- Data Access Techniques: Filecoin users often have to rely on third-party services or the Retrieval Market to access data, and Arweave users download data from arweave.net or ArDrive. Whereas BNB Greenfield's storage service providers (SPs) offer direct data access APIs to users. This streamlined approach is akin to the functionality offered by StorJ, providing users with convenient and efficient access to their stored data within the Greenfield network. Furthermore, BNB Greenfield is a fully-incentivized and long-term sustainable solution. Unlike other DSNs, where users need to buy add-on services to improve availability, data availability is the fundamental design principle of BNB Greenfield. When it comes to data accessibility, Filecoin users often have to rely on third-party services or the Retrieval Market to obtain data, while Arweave users typically download data from arweave.net or ArDrive. However, Greenfield storage providers offer direct data access APIs, similar to StorJ, based on the "Universal Endpoint" protocol. This allows users to access data by accessing endpoints of any storage providers, using object references such as object ID or bucket name plus object name. This approach is more developer-friendly for dApps, particularly for developers from Web2 domains, as compared to Arweave, which requires transaction ID, and Filecoin, which requires CID.
Greenfield storage providers have implemented sharding by client buckets, aiming to provide access performance similar to traditional cloud storage services. This is expected to be much faster than existing DSN (Decentralized Storage Network) solutions such as Filecoin's Retrieval Providers and Arweave Gateway.
What sets BNB Greenfield apart is its introduction of concepts of data ownership and access permissions into DSN, making it programmable with BNB Smart Chain (BSC) smart contracts. This enables cross-chain and potential off-chain computing scenarios in the future, opening up new possibilities for the data economy.
- Consensus Algorithms: BNB Greenfield utilizes Proof-of-Challenge to verify data availability and integrity and Proof-of-Stake for maintaining its validators. Filecoin uses Proof of Replication (PoRep) and Proof-of-Space-Time (PoST). Storj uses Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Arweave uses Proof-of-Access (PoA).
In the context of data Integrity and persistence, Filecoin operates as an incentive layer that aims to provide permanent storage nodes. Users need to enter into deals with storage service providers each time they want to save files. These providers must then provide Proof of Space-Time to ensure the persistence of the data, which requires significant computational resources.
Arweave, on the other hand, uses SPoRA algorithms to incentivize storage service providers to replicate data for high-speed retrieval services. As a blockchain-based data persistence mechanism, all data is saved on the chain and remains available based on a probability model.
In the case of the BNB Greenfield network, any storage service provider that fails to behave honestly will face economic penalties and node slashing. This ensures a more efficient consensus proof. Greenfield validators and challengers perform challenges in a similar way to regular users downloading data. This not only guarantees data availability and redundancy but also checks the service speed. Validators can vote against storage providers that respond slowly to requests, ensuring that the challenged providers do not have enough time to recover data from other providers and that they maintain service quality in terms of bandwidth and latency.
- Storage Incentives: Each platform has its native token: FIL for Filecoin, AR for Arweave, and BNB for BNB Greenfield. As compared to its competitors, the BNB token holds way higher value.
In terms of incentives for storage, all of the storage networks provide storage providers and users with their native tokens. BNB Greenfield awards GFI, Filecoin uses the FIL token as a reward, Storj uses the STORJ token, and Arweave uses the AR token as a reward. One of the key aspects to note here is that the BNB token is deflationary and has broader utility when compared to tokens of other DSNs. The native tokens of other DSNs can only be used within their respective ecosystems and are project sensitive.
- Data Privacy: Areweave provides encrypted data storage with permanent distributed web hosting. BNB Greenfield, Filecoin, and Storj provide encrypted data storage with access control. One of the major differentiating factors of BNB Greenfield is that it is completely configurable and users can encrypt the data with any algorithm and any key and do not have to rely on the protocol’s security. Making it an ideal choice for applications and businesses where privacy is the utmost concern.
Transaction Speed: Transaction speed on all three platforms varies based on network demand but is generally fast, with transactions typically processed within seconds to minutes.
Transaction Fee: Transaction fee varies on Filecoin, depending on network demand. BNB Greenfield generally has a low, near-zero fee. On the other hand, in the long-term Arweave is more costly than BNB Greenfield.
Governance Model: Governance models also differ among the three platforms. Filecoin employs an on-chain governance approach through FIL token holders, Arweave follows a community-driven governance approach. On the other hand BNB Greenfield operates under decentralised governance, and any individual with a sufficient amount of BNB can submit an on-chain proposal for parameter changes. These proposals are then collectively reviewed and voted upon by the BSC Validator Set through a proposal-vote process.
Ecosystem: Filecoin and Arweave are already live on the mainnet, while BNB Greenfield has recently launched its testnet, and its mainnet is supposed to launch later this year. In terms of ecosystems, Filecoin has an established ecosystem with storage providers, developers, and users, but only 500 projects are hosted on it. Arweave's ecosystem is growing with developers and users. Nevertheless, even though BNB Greenfield is in its introductory phase, it enjoys the support of the much larger ecosystem of BNB Chain that has over 1500 dapps and 2M Daily Active Users (DAUs). On the BNB Greenfield mainnet, all these dapps and DAUs can have immediate access to BNB Greenfield.
Programmability: When it comes to programmability, both Filecoin and StorJ currently lack this feature, although the Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) mainnet is live. FVM tries to replicate EVM as a container and has cost and performance penalties because of this structuring. Furthermore, as compared to FVM, EVM is a far more mature framework with an extensive tooling landscape.
Arweave's SmartWeave, on the other hand, is not compatible with the EVM, requiring developers to learn the SmartWeave programming model to develop on the chain.
In contrast, BNB Greenfield is fully integrated with the BNB Smart Chain and is fully compatible with the EVM from day one. It supports Smart Contract integration right from the start rather than at a later stage. This means many Smart Contracts can use primitives to operate on almost all aspects of a data object stored on Greenfield.
Moreover, BNB Greenfield reuses the smart contract capability on the BNB Smart Chain (BSC) via a native cross-chain mechanism and maintains the same address format. This allows for an easy and seamless combination of the data economy with other existing assets, dApps, and users on BSC, offering much more composability.
Potential Use Cases for BNB Greenfield
BNB Greenfield has the capability to directly handle the substantial traffic and blockchain data of the BNB Chain without relying on token incentives for early network launch, as seen with Filcoin and Arwave. Additionally, it can expand the BNB Chain, incorporating the outsourced storage industry into its own domain, which empowers BNB further. Now, let's discuss the potential use cases of BNB Greenfield.
Personal Cloud Storage: Users have the ability to use their own private keys to generate their own network drives through BNB Greenfield. This feature enables them to securely upload and download their encrypted files, photos, and videos using both desktop and mobile devices. Compared to Web3 file storage, the threshold of BNB Greenfield is lower. It should be highlighted that IPFS is more effective in protecting user privacy and resisting censorship compared to traditional Web2 cloud storage services.
Web Deployment: Currently, web developers are acquainted with hosting services such as GoDaddy, HostGator, etc. However, BNB Greenfield introduces a novel concept by allowing any storage provider on its platform to function as a web hosting provider. This means that with BNB Greenfield, it becomes possible to create censorship-resistant websites that are accessible to anyone worldwide without any restrictions. This paves the way for a new level of internet freedom and equality.
BNB Greenfield provides developers with benefits also on the architectural level. The front end can be hosted on BNB Greenfield via object storage, eliminating the need to build separate web servers. It is also recommended that serverless services are used on the backend of the application. For the backend, BNB Greenfield advocates the use of serverless computing. This lethal combination of decentralized storage and serverless computing results in easier maintenance for developers, scalability for users, and cost savings. Refer here for more details.
BNB Greenfield APIs provide its users with the flexibility to deploy their websites through BNB Greenfield and easily manage their payments using BNB. This is a feature made available to developers that can give Web3 developers a new way to create a decentralized front end. For example, Nostr is a recently popular decentralized front-end that is deployed on Flux Cloud, effectively transforming into a fully decentralized social network.
Data Swapping: As the blockchain networks expand, the amount of data stored on the blockchain also increases, and maintaining historical data can be costly. To address this challenge, dApps can launch a data swapping feature with BNB Greenfield as a data availability layer, which helps to optimize space and accessibility of data on the blockchain. Data swapping involves identifying and moving certain data that is no longer relevant to a separate storage container for "inactive data", making it easier to manage, access, and utilize on-chain data.
Subscription-Based Decentralized Applications: BNB Greenfield dApps offer users the ability to manage their payments based on their activity within the BNB Greenfield ecosystem. Beyond traditional data usage payments, users can link their payment accounts on BNB Greenfield with specific dApps, allowing for the automatic allocation of funds for data usage payments. For instance, users can utilize DeFi staking rewards to seamlessly pay for data usage, creating a convenient and streamlined experience.
Behavioral Analytics: BNB Greenfield presents an opportunity for data analytics companies to directly compensate users for permission to securely analyze extensive amounts of data. This includes both static and dynamic data, which is held by BNB Greenfield storage providers and also encompasses smart contract and oracle-enabled data. By leveraging BNB Greenfield, data analytics companies can access valuable insights while ensuring user privacy and data security. BNB Greenfield represents a fresh approach to data management, prioritizing decentralization and scalability. This marks a notable advancement in the realm of data management and control.
Decentralized storage networks are becoming increasingly popular as users look for more secure and reliable storage solutions. With the emergence of new networks like BNB Greenfield, the future of decentralized storage networks looks bright. As more users adopt these networks, we can expect to see more innovation and advancements in this space.
In conclusion, BNB Greenfield is a new decentralized storage network market player that outshines well-established networks like Filecoin, Storj, and Arweave. The network offers several advantages, including cost-effectiveness, faster transaction speeds, scalability, and security. Additionally, BNB Greenfield offers several features that make it an attractive option for users, including decentralized file storage, data sharing, and dApp hosting. In conclusion, BNB Greenfield is a promising decentralized storage solution with several compelling benefits that make it worth considering.
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