In the last post, we had introduced to you the two main way to store data on a blockchain. Today, we’ll discuss platforms that support them.
Any supporting platforms?
There are few projects that focus on data storage right now. Most are built around decentralized file storage, which includes documents.
One project that is focused specifically on documents, particularly signed documents, is Blocksign. This uses the hash method. A user will sign the document and send it to Blocksign, where it is then hashed, and the hash is stored on the Bitcoin blockchain. We must warn users that Blocksign has not recently updated their site, and we would encourage further research before use.
Two cryptocurrency projects designed for decentralized storage more generally are Siacoin and Storj.
Siacoin does not use a blockchain for any form of storage. Instead, their distributed network stores an encrypted version of your document. The Siacoin network is comprised of hosts who provide and clients who desire storage. Clients and hosts agree upon contracts detailing the commitments made by the storage providers. Sia’s own proof of work blockchain stores these contracts.
Storj, on the other hand, is closer to the hash model. A hash of the document is stored within a hash table on-chain. Additionally, its distributed network also stores your document. Unlike Sia, however, Storj runs atop the Ethereum blockchain rather than its own.
Cryptyk, an enterprise-focused platform to store documents, uses a blockchain more distantly than all of the above. You do not store any documents or hashes on-chain. Instead, a distributed cloud system stores the documents. The platform only uses a blockchain to manage and referee document access and sharing.
Document blockchain storage is a sector of this industry moving forward steadily. Right now, we are waiting to see what role blockchains will play in storing documents. Fortunately, the competition among projects is furthering our understanding of this promising use case.
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