Evelyn Wong
Mar 20 · 5 min read

Hedera Hashgraph enters the data storage market through its decentralized system.

With such a secure and efficient network, the platform will be the developers’ choice to store files for their applications. In this article, we’ll be looking into how you as a developer can benefit from the stability of the Hashgraph file storage (FS) solutions to handle decentralized files and much more.

When using the FS service, executing transactions on the network is like making (write) a file. This means that any node can contain transactional data, allowing users to query (read) for that information.

Features

Compared to regular FS and the types of blockchain alternatives, there are more features that we will discuss in more detail in this article. This article will help you have a better understanding of Hedera Hashgraph FS service and if it’s the best choice for you.

Resilient File Storage

Hedera acts as a graph of transactions that are processed in parallel, rather than Bitcoin, which sees its software structured to add blocks of transactions in a chain at specified intervals. Files are stored across the network in each node to ensure data availability for regional access. They’re stored in Merkle Trees and Merke DAGs (Directed Acyclic Graphs). This ensures that files remain tamper-proof as they’re not stored in a standard file system. In addition, this offers “trusted validation, provable revocation management, and 100% availability.”

Proof-of-deletion

Within the sphere of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ states information held by a business or organization on a user must be removed if requested. When running applications on a distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is important that businesses comply with GDPR. Hashgraph FS allows for businesses to do so by having systems in place to allow for data about customers to be deleted providing with proof of deletion.

Time to expiry

Files stored have an expiration date and are deleted automatically. Meanwhile, the service of holding files and data on the network is compensated with a fee. The nominal fee is based solely on the size of a file and how long the user wants the file to stay in the network.

Added bonuses for developers — and indeed all subject users — are evident with the time to expire systems in place resulting in less space and energy required to store files on the network. These factors aid in the upkeep of the low-cost usage and advantages of the platform.

Controlled Mutability

Unlike other Distributed Ledger Technologies that have inflexible immutability, Hedera incorporates controlled mutability that’s flexible by way of wACL keys. For example, deleting files under certain circumstances that all key holders have given consent to and are approved by all parties while preventing against other changes.

The flexibility granted by this controlled mutability offers ideal solutions for existing financial systems, such as those paired with electronic funds transfer. Benefits such as notable flexibility and speed with use cases like microtransactions, Hashgraph surpasses other DLT competition in this respect.

Small Transaction Size

Transactions on Hedera Hashgraph are limited to 4 Kilobytes. This is the size of the complete message or hash — which includes the signatures and the required information to let all nodes know about any given transaction taking place.

Note: The file size is not limited to 4KB. Only the transaction message is limited.

So with these features in mind, they can be assimilated into the FS procedures that take place on the platform.

Transactions

Let’s dive deeper into what exactly you can do within this service. Here we talk more about the different transactions you can make to the platform to utilize the FS service.

Create

File creation on Hashgraph requires (1) FileID, (2) appropriate keys that allow access for file management, (3) the expiry time dedicated to keeping files on the network, and (4) the file contents to be provided.

All signed transactions can be created at any time, and with all members receiving a copy, the community achieves Byzantine agreement on the order of those transactions.

On the network, the smaller number of nodes that are active in facilitating such transaction creations are composite in a single shard. As it increases in size the number of nodes increases to make up multiple shards — and any given transaction is always submitted to a specific shard, with all nodes upholding a shared state.

Append

As mentioned, transaction sizes on Hashgraph are limited to a total of 4KB — however, you can have a file that is larger than 4KB by adding additional data to an existing file. To append to a file you must provide the FileID (from file creation) and the content you want to add. When appending, that same FileID will ensure that the latest file version will be found instead of the old one.

Delete

The file delete transaction will allow you to erase your file from the Hedera Hashgraph network. However, as stored information can only be deleted by those that were given permission on the platform to delete a file, you must have all key holders sign the transaction.

Update

On this FS you can update any properties of an existing file. For example, you can update the expiration time, the keys, or the contents. Updating any information will overwrite their respective parts.

Queries

Hashgraph queries allow you to get the information about any particular file that’s being stored.

You can query a GetContents or a GetInfo command to read a file on its contents or allocated info respectively.

Note that users have to pay a fee for all transactions and queries on the platform except GetReceipt queries as mentioned in part one.

Conclusion

This service is a secure, easy-to-use, and efficient decentralized data storage system that allows developers and users to manage and store their data.

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Hashing Systems

Distributed Ledger Technologies for a Web 3.0 world. Built on Hedera Hashgraph. Go to http://hns.domains and subscribe to our newsletter.

Thanks to Alex Males

Evelyn Wong

Written by

Hashing Systems

Distributed Ledger Technologies for a Web 3.0 world. Built on Hedera Hashgraph. Go to http://hns.domains and subscribe to our newsletter.

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