Fairdrop is a Useful File Transfer DApp You Haven’t Used
Sending files from one place to another is not something we think about very often, but for the team at DataFund and their ambitious non-profit project Fair Data Society, they think it is a deeply flawed system where we sacrifice our privacy and our data on a daily basis. Their solution is a free, decentralized, secure and private file transfer DApp known as Fairdrop. While most DApps are gambling focused dice games, Fairdrop is an extremely useful file transfer tool that you probably haven’t heard of — and should be using.
What is it?
Fairdrop is the first product created by the Fair Data Society and Datafund, whose current mission is building user-centric apps built on fair data principles with the eventual goal of creating a privacy and data management protocol. The backbone of the software runs on the Ethereum network and utilizes Swarm’s decentralized file system for storing and sending. Swarm is a peer to peer data sharing network that when used in conjunction with Ethereum allows Fairdrop to make files accessible everywhere without having to host them on any one server. When a user accesses a file using Swarm, they harness the power of a network of nodes with incentives to host and provide access to your content. This means you can access your content any place and at any time as long as one node is around with access to your data.
The design of Fairdrop is deceptively simple and revolves around their unique implementation of mailboxes. When you first use the DApp you will need to navigate to Inbox, which will guide you through the creation of a private mailbox that you can later export and carry with you to any machine you happen to use. Your mailbox is given a unique username that you can share with others to send them encrypted or un-encrypted files with no fear of your file being compromised.
The mailboxes in Fairdrop act as servers from which you can send and receive any file while remaining completely anonymous. Without having to create an account there is no way that any mailbox can be attributed to any individual and that makes it completely censorship resistant. The Inability for anyone to access a mailbox without the json file produced by exporting the mailbox means that you also don’t need to worry about files being hacked or stolen because of mismanagement of a central party. When combined together, the Fairdrop mailbox is more of a digital lockbox than just a mailbox.
Simple menus guide you to your stored, sent, and received files
Using Fairdrop is very straightforward and can be done in just a few easy steps. After creating a mailbox all you need to do is navigate to upload where you can choose to either store or send a file. Storing and sending files is as easy as dragging or selecting a file under 5mb, choosing a recipient if needed, and waiting for it to upload. Any files that you send, receive or store can be easily retrieved at any time by clicking on the file name under My Files. There is no way to look up a list of users, which is probably why this is a DApp you haven’t heard of. Although having an accessible list of users would defeat the entire purpose of the product. The entire process feels easy and foolproof, which is exactly what you want when you are sending private cat photos to your friends.
Upload a file, click Encrypt, and you are done
The simplicity of Fairdrop is something that DApp developers should take note of when creating this first wave of user focused applications. The ability to use Fairdrop without having to understand any of the fundamentals of blockchain, while still being presented with easy to digest information on how it functions, is essential to the adoption of blockchain technology into everyday life. Fairdrop is a functioning, useful, file transfer DApp built completely on blockchain technology without being bogged down by the complexities of its underlying code. Time will tell whether DApps like these see adoption or if users decide that privacy really isn’t something they care all that much about. Either way the Web3 future is looking bright with the help of useful DApps such as Fairdrop.
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Originally published at steemit.com on April 1, 2019.