Decentralized Cloud Storage: The Next Evolution of Blockchain Disruption?
by Josh Anderson
NORTH CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA — Blockchain data centers are pushing the envelope, and that means that they’re setting new standards. At CapRE’s Southeast Data Center Spring 2018 Update, we invited Allan Williamson, Principal of At Home Crypto LLC and Nathan Porter, Partner at Cryptos Managed to offer insight into what blockchain and crypto-currencies will mean for future data center design, construction, and development. Halfway through the discussion, the pair took a question from the audience.
“Hundreds of coins have collectively raised more than one billion dollars to fund decentralized cloud storage, digital advertising that will help anchor the web’s next evolution, funding business and services that will deliver more value to users, and will be less dependent on the middle man,” read the question. “How will this change the future use of data centers?”
Cryptos Managed’s Porter, took the opportunity to give this question a shot first. “In terms of decentralized cloud storage, how will that change?” he asked. “Let’s look at one coin called Storj. They’re a good example of this decentralized cloud storage, where you are out giving your free hard drive space. So I’ve seen their data center, and it’s actually just a bunch of network-attached storage, and people are kind of buying into this small storage environment, keeping their files there. think of it like Dropbox, but you’re rewarded with a coin for that. So even though it says decentralized, it’s actually decentralized over many different locations.”
Next, Porter pivoted to the future. “As far as the future of the data centers, you’re going to actually see more customized smaller system storage,” he predicted. “You can get even almost a terabyte down to a mini-SD card now. So you can see these really, really small kinds of environments that won’t even be true data centers. they’ll be like what Storj has, where it doesn’t need the 1 MW, but they need enough CPU power, enough SATA drives to control that. So you can think that the future of these environments specifically when you think of cloud storage in these coins.”
“Another example was Sythe, a coin that is extremely popular,” continued Porter. “It’s known for its anonymity. It also works on a very specific network, so you’re going to see some of that change also. The firewalls of the data centers and the access is going to be closer into the actual CPU and the SATA drives.”
Next, Williamson of At Home Crypto chimed in. “There are a billion dollars, and I don’t even know what the total number of money that was invested through ICOs, but there’s something that you want to think about,” he ventured. “Normally if a company needs a data center to be able to operate whatever it is that it’s doing, it’ll have to invest in either a third party of something along those lines to help them do it, or they have to do it themselves. Etherium is essentially the data center. So anyone who is mining and processing Etherium, we’re talking about some of the ICO stuff, it’s already being done for you.
“So when you’re building an application, an ERC20 token, on top of the Etherium platform, honestly I don’t know how much of that billion dollars had to go actually into infrastructure for data centers,” he continued. “Because it’s already running on the Etherium blockchain. And anybody that’s using GPUs to mine that is doing the work for the individuals that are building it on top of that to begin with. So I think that what’s going to happen is that you’re going to start to see more data centers that will be a little bit more niche-oriented. Especially as some of these blockchain technologies start to developer a little bit more.”
Williamson then predicted that, as Etherium becomes a little more established and you see more people starting to use the applications that are built on top of it, we will start to see data centers that will be built specifically to mine Etherium. “And more Etherium blockchain as opposed to going to a company that is using Etherium for blockchain, if that makes sense,” he concluded.
Check out previous CapRE Insider Reports covering Williamson’s earlier remarks:
- There’s Not Just One Type of Crypto-Mining — What Kind Does Your Data Center Need?
- At Home Crypto’s Allan Williamson Talks the Future of Blockchain Data Centers
- Will Blockchain Mining Pools Operate as Decentralized Data Centers?