A recent report published by Foresight Ventures has highlighted the varied costs associated with decentralized file storage. The report notes that costs on blockchains such as Filecoin, Arweave, Swarm, StorJ, and Sia range from near zero to $4 per terabyte (TB) per month. This is much lower than traditional Web2 services such as Amazon Cloud or Microsoft Azure where prices can range from $16 to $23 per TB of monthly storage.
Additional Costs to Consider
While the cost of decentralized storage is lower than traditional services, the report outlines other costs that users must consider. These include data upload fees and retrieval fees, with the latter potentially amounting to $7 per TB. Some service providers only have storage fees, which were quite low, while others have all three types of fees.
Issues Facing Decentralized Storage
The report also notes some issues that decentralized storage is currently facing, including “file loss,” “difficult to retrieve data,” and “high bandwidth requirements.” Some nodes only provide storage services and refuse retrieval, making it difficult to access stored data. While these challenges are being addressed, they are still worth considering when choosing a decentralized storage provider.
Market Growth and Utilization
Despite these challenges, the market for decentralized file storage is growing. According to data from Messari cited in the report, the total storage capacity of the four largest file storage blockchains increased by 2% year-over-year to 17 million terabytes (TB) at the end of 2022. Filecoin currently holds the largest market share at 67%, followed by Arweave (19%), Sia (8%), and Storj (6%). The network utilization among top players has also surged to 3.1% compared to just 0.2% in 2021.
Filecoin Network Upgrades
On April 27th, Filecoin announced the rollout of the nv19 Lightening and nv20 Thunder network upgrades to improve block validation times. As of April, the network has 22.7 million TB of storage capacity and 3,623 storage provider systems.
Considerations for Users
As the market for decentralized file storage continues to evolve and improve, it is important for potential users to carefully consider the costs and additional fees associated with different service providers. While some offer cheaper rates than others, additional fees may offset the initial savings. Additionally, it is important to consider the usability and security features of different providers to ensure the best fit for individual needs.