Storj: Development Update, Mascot, Token Balances and Flows Report
Biweekly update 9th July — 23rd July
Everybody, we welcome Storj.IO, the rapidly developing cloud storage platform again. We believe you still remember these guys since the last update on Storj and you have been waiting for any news. So, we want to share some things with you.
First, there is a development update. The development team did a big job. Developers made some network protocol level changes ahead of the network wipe. Also, they improved the file repair process to store pieces it repairs, even if it doesn’t hit the success threshold — this will give the file more overall durability. Of course, there are other new features can be viewed below. In our vision, all the elements are essential and can improve the network of decentralized cloud storage.
Second, Storj introduced the new mascot. During the Storj Town Hall on July 10th, the Storj team asked its community to vote for their favourite mascot. The community members voted for their favourites, told the group why they love the mascot they selected and ranked their selection from one (worst mascot ever) to five (best mascot ever) with a pretty clear crowd favourite. We think this fact is excellent news. The mascot introduction can be beneficial to become Storj more identifiable.
Third, Storj published Token Balances and Flows Report of Q2 2019. To sum up, Storj has 245M STORJ (≈$44M) Tokens long-term locked up, and the team spent 2.7M STORJ (≈$488K) of Operating Supply tokens. Considering that 2.7M is only about 0.9%, we can say it is a good result for the company.
To conclude, we thank Storj for a job well done. Storj is building this business from nothing, brick by brick, until it will be the most extensive cloud storage in the world.
Since we are presenting the review of Storj for the third time, we feel the urge to tell you some introductory information about Storj.
Storj (pronounced: storage) aims to become a cloud storage platform that can’t be censored or monitored, or have downtime. Storj is a platform, cryptocurrency, and suite of decentralized applications that allows users to store data in a secure and decentralized manner. It uses blockchain features like a transaction ledger, public/private key encryption, and cryptographic hash functions for security. Furthermore, it will be way cheaper (10x-to-100x), faster, and more secure than traditional cloud storage services.
Storj is working hard to solve data security issues with the help of its own web app, MetaDisk, and client app, DriveShare. It is the first decentralized, end-to-end encrypted cloud storage that uses blockchain technology and cryptography to secure online files. There is no need to trust a corporation, vulnerable servers, or employees with your files. Storj completely removes trust from the equation.
To best protect your data, files are encrypted client-side on users’ computers before they are uploaded. Each file is split up into chunks which are first encrypted and then distributed for storage across the Storj network. The network is comprised of DriveShare nodes run by users around the world who rent out their unused hard drive space in return for Storjcoin X (SJCX).
The decentralized aspect of Storj means there are no central servers to be compromised, and because of the use of client-side encryption, only the end-users have access to their unencrypted files and encryption keys.
Developer activity (from Coinlib.io):
Development Update 26 from Storj Labs
As Storj gets closer to launching Pioneer 1 (the first beta release), it has been burning the midnight oil finishing features and squashing bugs! The team expects they will be launching this release in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout. From V0.14.3 to V0.15.3 releases developers had over 200 PRs get merged into the V3 codebase.
Recent development accomplishments:
- Made some network protocol level changes ahead of the network wipe. This will allow to be ready to support backward compatibility during the Pioneer 1 release coming in the next few weeks.
- Improved the file repair process to store pieces it repairs, even if it doesn’t hit the success threshold — this will give the file more overall durability.
- Decreased how long order limits are valid for from 45 to 14 days. This way, they don’t have to hold onto them for so long, reducing the amount of data stored.
- Fixed a number of bugs and made some enhancements to the Satellite UI for an improved UX.
- Added rollups for bandwidth usage on the storage nodes to reduce the amount of disk usage the Storage nodes use.
During the Storj Town Hall on July 10th, the Storj team asked its community to vote for their favorite mascot. The mascot candidates highlighted the brand attributes of simplicity, security, resiliency, and decentralization, which were covered in the blog post announcing the community vote. The team also talked about why Tardigrade.io deserves nothing short of a robust, yet charming mascot to join Storj along for the ride to a decentralized world.
The community members voted for their favorites, told team why they love the mascot they selected and ranked their selection from one (worst mascot ever) to five (best mascot ever) with a pretty clear crowd favorite. After pouring through the votes and reading your comments, the tech team made a few small updates to the winner, and they are thrilled to announce the new best friend.
Some of the favorite community comments mention Tardigrade.io’s brand attributes along with some comments the team is excited to share:
”Looks friendly. The stance isn’t aggressive, but also not submissive.”
”Cute, trustworthy, approachable. Like I wanna tell it all of my problems.”
”I really get the urge to wave back.”
”Robust, sturdy, and trustworthy, but still friendly.”
As Storj gears up for production launch, the Storj team is thrilled to see the new friend pop up on the website, on swag, in emails, and anywhere else it decides to venture out into the universe.
- Q2 2019 Town Hall Recap
Executive Update from Ben Golub, Storj Labs Executive Chairman and Interim CEO
Over the past year, the team has established a great cadence and they have hit all of their milestones, just like the previous quarter. In fact, the team has hit every milestone on the 2019 roadmap, and they don’t plan on stopping now. Developers have been hyperfocused on building a platform that is Amazon S3 compatible, (highly durable, performant, and resistant to fraud), and has much better economics for users, storage node operators, partners, and Storj Labs.
The team continues to see growing interest from open source companies, systems integrators, and other partners. Several of these partners have petabytes of data ready to send to the Tardigrade network, and Storj expects many more will want to join as well. Indeed, it now has over 10,000 developers on its waiting list as well.
The biggest milestones to date will be in the coming quarter. Not only are they planning to launch their Pioneer 1 and 2 betas, but by the end of the quarter, developers will hopefully be a few weeks away from the production launch. At this point, the gating factor for the releases is now not only code completeness and quality, but also network stability and quality. Storj has established rigorous criteria for the next several releases around availability, durability, performance, node churn, and overall network size. And when developers actually starts bringing on petabytes of customer data they’ll be offering a truly enterprise-quality experience.
In parallel, they have continued to invest in transparency and governance. The town hall also includes important, regular disclosures to the community on the state of the network and the usage of STORJ tokens.
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Token Balances and Flows Report: Q2 2019
The STORJ token is an integral part of the Storj network. STORJ token provides an efficient and effective means to facilitate the transfer of value between those who contribute excess storage capacity and bandwidth to the network, and those who utilize that excess capacity for the storage and retrieval of data. Storj is pleased to publish the quarterly STORJ token balances and flows report.
The team produced the initial version of this document in November of 2018, and updated it with 2018 year end data for publication in conjunction with the town hall held on January 16, 2019, and with Q1 ’19 data in conjunction with the town hall held on April 10, 2019. This version is dated as of the end of June 2019, and compares results versus March 31st of this year. Developers expect to publish updates quarterly at each subsequent town hall.
While it is possible to recreate this information directly from the Ethereum blockchain, developers thinks it is helpful for storage node operators, customers, Satellite operators, and others who use the token, to have this information compiled and presented in a transparent manner for easy consumption. In the same spirit that developers makes the code, roadmaps, and other items publicly available and transparent, the team wants to make the token flows accessible as well. As with all of the posts concerning the token, please see the disclaimer at the bottom of this post.
The detailed report for the activity in the quarter is below, but the quick summary is:
- 245.0 M STORJ are now in rolling timelocked contracts. As previously discussed, the team initially had a pattern of relocking 100% of the timelocked tokens every six months. During Q1, Storj divided the timelock reserve into eight equal sized tranches of 30.6 M tokens. Those tokens are now set to expire in successive quarters over the next eight quarters, and Storj is following a pattern of rolling timelocks. (e.g. the tranche that unlocked in Q1 of 2019 was relocked to Q1 of 2021. The tranche that unlocked in Q2 of 2019 was relocked to Q2 of 2021. There are now eight new addresses, one for each timelocked tranche. Those addresses are provided below.
- Storj began the quarter with 6.9M STORJ reserved for converting the legacy SJCX token. Less than 100,000 SJCX converted in Q1, and Storj ended the quarter with 6.8M STORJ in the converter.
- Of the 46.3 M STORJ in operational reserves held by Storj Labs on Mar 31, 2019, approximately 2.7 M were used in Q2, primarily for paying storage node operators, third-party service providers, and the Storj employee bonus program, leaving 43.7 M in the operational reserves. Storj continued the voluntary program (launched during Q1) which allowed employees to take a portion of their salary in STORJ token, and those sums are included in the employee line in the report.
- There were 126.8 M STORJ in circulation on March 31, 2019. That number was equal to the 75.1 M tokens sold in the token sale, plus the 43.1 M tokens exchanged for SJCX between the sale and March 31, 2019, plus the 8.6 M in tokens used for operational purposes between the token sale and March 31, 2019. In the past quarter, an additional 2.7 M have been put into circulation, making the total circulating supply approximately 129.5 M STORJ. Another 43.7 M + 6.8 M = 50.5 M are in non-timelocked conversion and operational reserves held by Storj. The address for the converter hasn’t changed since the previous report. The bulk of the remaining operational reserves are held in a cold wallet, whose address has not changed since the previous report.
- The total non-circulating supply is 295.5 M, comprised of the 50.5 in non-time locked reserves plus 245.0M in timelocked reserves. The total supply is 129.5 M in circulation, plus the 295.5 M non-circulating supply = 425.0 M.
In May of 2017, Storj Labs International SEZC (formerly Storj Labs (BVI) Ltd), a wholly owned subsidiary of Storj Labs Inc., conducted a public token sale. While most of the focus in the past year has been on building the company and the network, the team wants to provide a detailed update on token flows since launching the network. As a reminder, Storj intends to provide a quarterly update on the business and network through the quarterly town hall meeting. It’s the intention to produce this token report on a quarterly basis.
The Company reports its tokens to management in three categories:
- Long Term Lock Up
- Reserved for SJCX Conversion
- Operating Supply
Long Term Lock Up
245 M STORJ are held by Storj Labs for future use (lines 1–3). These tokens have been split into eight equal sized tranches, which are currently locked, with expiration dates over the eight successive quarters.
Reserved for SJCX Conversion
The Storj team tracks a token converter application that converts SJCX tokens to STORJ tokens at a predefined rate of 1:1 (lines 4–7).
Storj tracks the operating supply of Storj tokens (lines 8–16). These tokens are held by Storj Labs, Inc. or Storj Labs International SEZC and are intended to be used for operations as described below.
While the company quotes payment rates to storage node operators in dollars, Storj Labs pays storage node operators using the STORJ token, based on the current spot price on the major exchanges. If, in any given month, the amount to be paid to storage node operators exceeds the amount of STORJ tokens received from customers, there is a net outflow of STORJ tokens (line 9). The team expects this number to increase substantially with the launch of the V3 network.
Line 10 is reserved for any repurchases of STORJ from the open market.
In addition to storage node operator payments, the team makes payments to certain service providers (e.g. community leaders, bug bounty participants) in STORJ token (line 11).
Line 12 is reserved for any SJCX conversion made outside of the token converter referred to above.
Storj has a quarterly bonus program for Storj Labs employees based on company milestones defined by management. The team has also launched a voluntary program to allow employees to take a portion of their salary in STORJ token. Finally Storj has various spot bonus programs from time to time. All of these programs in line 13 are tracked.
Line 14 is reserved to report a decision to transfer STORJ from Long Term Lock Up to Operating Supply.
Line 15 is reserved to report a decision to transfer STORJ from Reserved for SJCX Conversion to Operating Supply.
Line 17 is the non-circulating Supply of STORJ, which is the number of tokens in Storj Labs custody.
Line 18 is the total circulating supply of STORJ tokens, which is the number of tokens outside of the custody of Storj Labs.
The maximum total that could be in circulation is 425.0 M (line 19)
- Explorer: Public Alpha for Storage Node Operators — Q1 2019 — DONE
Release Description: The public alpha for storage node operators will be the third major V3 network release. This release will allow people to download the storage node software and start sharing hard drive space on the V3 network. Initially, Storj will be gating the onboarding of new storage node operators based on the current wait list to maximize initial network stability.
With this release, Storj will begin to build the supply side of the V3 network. Throughout this phase of the alpha, the team will be up- and downloading data to test the performance, stability, and durability of the files stored on the network. The development team will be paying storage node operators for storage space and bandwidth utilized during this testing as if the company was operating the production network. Specific details on payments and earnings for storage node operators will be shared in the coming weeks.
From the start, storage node operators will begin to build reputation scores that will determine how much data they are given to store and how much bandwidth allocation they receive. Watch for more blog posts on the details behind reputation, payout calculations, and what it takes to be a successful storage node operator on V3.
Success criteria: The community is able to run storage nodes that store and deliver data, be compensated for storage and bandwidth utilization they provide to the network, and build a reputation for their storage nodes. Storj is able to build a supply of long-term, reliable and available storage nodes, as well as validate the assumptions around reputation and incentives.
- Vanguard: Public Alpha for Storage Uplink Clients — Q1/Q2 2019 — Ondoing
Release Description: This public alpha for users interested in storing data on the V3 network will be the fourth major release. This release will allow developers to register for accounts on Satellites, create API credentials, and develop applications that use the Storj V3 network as their storage layer. Developers will be able to use the CLI, S3 gateway, and Libuplink developer library. Storj will also provide Ditto, a simple service that will mirror data on two different S3 compatible data stores.
Developers will be able to store and retrieve data from the storage node operators, although there will be caps on network utilization. One key factor for developers is that during the alpha releases, Storj may perform periodic data wipes as part of the release process. During the alpha releases, no important data should be stored on the V3 network, unless safe backup copies exist elsewhere.
During this public alpha, Storj will be able to test the performance and stability of the network. Developers will be measuring key performance indicators such as node uptime, node churn, file repair, and file durability. While developers will not be charged for data uploaded and retrieved during this alpha (within the previously mentioned cap), storage node operators will continue to be compensated.
Success criteria: The developer community is able to store and retrieve data on the V3 network. Storage node operators are able to build a reputation and earn STORJ tokens for contributing storage space and bandwidth to the network. Storj Labs is able to test payment services and continue to monitor performance, availability, and durability.
- Pioneer: Beta Release — Testing Billing and Payments — Q2/Q3 2019
Release Description: The beta release for testing billing and payments will be the last major release before the production launch of the V3 network. With the beta release, the V3 network will be feature-complete for the initial concrete implementation specified in the V3 white paper.
During the beta release, Storj expect developers to build and test applications in advance of the production release. Storj will continue to build a supply of long-term reliable and available storage nodes. The team will continue to monitor and test billing and payment services, and continue to assess performance, availability, and durability. The beta release will continue for several billing cycles until the network achieves the availability and durability benchmark performance metrics established for the production network. At the end of the beta release, developers should expect the possibility of a final network reset that will wipe all test data.
Success criteria: The network is operational and payment and billing testing has been completed. The network is feature complete for reliable storage and retrieval of data.
- Voyager: Production Release — Q3 2019
Release Description: The production release will mark the transition of the V3 network to a paid service backed by SLAs for availability and durability.
Success criteria: The network achieves and maintains the availability and durability benchmark performance metrics established for the production network.
Social media metrics
Social media activity:
The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of Twitter followers. The information is taken from Coingecko.com.