What’s the Real Cost of IPFS?

Pinata’s Attempt to Figure it Out

What’s the real cost of IPFS? Does anyone know? One of the biggest problems with IPFS is that it has been treated as a magical decentralized storage network, free for everyone. This has been driven by a couple of factors. Most notably, IPFS storage being subsidized by various IPFS storage providers. Unfortunately, we believe these subsidized practices will replicate the same broken business models that created the current web that we have been trying to fix with Ethereum and Web3.

Pinata is trying do things a little bit differently. We won’t have a token. We won’t provide IPFS storage for free. But, we will provide a team who loves and works with IPFS everyday. And, we will build tools to make sure your dapp is more decentralized, more scalable, and more reliable than anything else out there.

Pinata Cloud Launches

We have now launched Pinata.cloud. Pinata Cloud is our centralized IPFS API that gives devs the easiest way to store content on IPFS. It has some cool things like a dedicated IPFS gateway, a pin explorer, and metadata support so your pins can have human names instead of hashes. But, it isn’t fully decentralized. If you’ve read my post highlighting our time at ETHBerlin, The Centralized Secret, you’ll know this is a common problem with dapps. Pinata Cloud is our first step towards the long term goal of building Pinata Overlay, a fully decentralized IPFS marketplace. But, we have to walk before we can run.

Pinata Cloud is working towards Pinata Overlay

With Pinata Cloud going live, we have a pricing model to go with it. We tried to make it as simple as possible. You pay for how much data you store and how long you store it. Data in and out of the node is included. Below are our prices:

Could You Tell Me More About the Free Tier?

For sure. Pinata offers a free tier for people just starting out. This should be more than enough for devs at hackathons or just testing Pinata out. And, if you reach out to us on our slack, we’d be happy to help you with whatever you are building. Otherwise, as long as the total size of your files pinned on Pinata stays under 1GB, you’ll never be charged. You won’t even need to enter a credit card.

What Happens When I Exceed the Free Tier Limit?

In order to store content that would put you over the free tier limit, Pinata requires a credit card on file. For every GB of data you store above the free tier limit, Pinata will charge you based on the tier of that data. To add a credit card, simply visit the Pinata Account Page

Pricing example:

What Happens If I Only Have Some Content Pinned for a Portion of the Month?

Don’t worry. We only charge you for the time your content is pinned. So, if you only have a piece of content pinned for half a month, then you’ll get charged half of the monthly rate for that content to be pinned.

Why Should I Trust Pinata With My Credit Card Information?

When you type in your payment information, we actually can’t see what you’re typing. Pinata uses Stripe for our credit card billing who is a PCI Level 1 service provider. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry and gives us great confidence that your payment information is being managed securely.

What Else?

That’s about it. If you have questions, reach out to us on slack or email me at kyle@pinata.cloud. Happy Pinning!