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How Will Blockchain Impact Data Centers? Wait til IPFS Cuts Storage Costs in Half

Jan 3, 2019
by Josh Anderson

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC – Regardless of your feelings on Blockchain, it’s difficult to ignore the impact that it is having on the tech world. And when you zoom into a particular market, such as Québec, it’s not hard to see why Blockchain-based applications are taking over all of the conversations in the data center space.

New SquareHowever, many insiders in the industry, even in Québec, still have a lot to learn about this revolutionary technology and how exactly it will impact data centers themselves – not just their teants. And that’s why Tyler McKaig-Campbell, Founder of Hodlers Canada offered up some salient perspective at CapRE’s Canadian Digital Transformation & Green Energy Innovation Summit about this very topic.

“As a fundamental layer, Bitcoin is very simple. Latency is not a big concern. Data usage isn’t a big concern. I think that traditional ASIC only uses about 2 mb of data per hour, and latency isn’t a big concern,” he began, offering a bit of a primer on the most popular application of Blockchain technology. “But with that being said, it’s very simple. It’s a ledger – think of it like an account number, with a value. And then every ten minutes, if there’s a transaction, that’s it. It’s still very early.”

“How does this apply to data centers?” he asked the room, preparing to get into the meat of it. “Well, in terms of data centers, there’s going to be an adaption process in the next few years. Has anyone heard of IPFS? That’s the Inter-Planetary File System. It’s still in the early stages but basically what it is, is that the current model of HTTP — and I’m not a technical guy, my background is in sales – if you put in an HTTP address, it’s going to result in an IP and it’s going to pull data from that IP address. That’s a centralized server.”

Next, he outlined the compliment to this technology. “What IPFS is, and if you take anything from this concentration, it’s a content-based address. What that does is take that content from the closest source,” he explained. “Instead of sending a request eight hops to get to Amazon or Google, they’re pulling it back and sharing it from there, wherever you’re transacting that data. It’ll come from someone in this room, instead of in Europe or wherever you’re storing that data.”

Tyler McKaig-Campbell, Founder, Hodlers Canada

“So that’s going to be a big transformation in this industry specifically,” McKaig-Campbell predicted. “If you’re going to pay for storage through Amazon Web Services, or in your data centers, there’s a cost. Well IPFS is going to reduce that cost because it’s going to be multi-marketplace and there are going to be people with excess data storage that are going to be able to share that at a very low cost, and it’s going to be supply [vs] demand.”

According to McKaig-Campbell, that means some perks are on the way. And he then made another bold assertion. “The market is going to get kicked back. If Amazon is ten cents, this could be one and a half cents, in terms of data storage,” he predicted. “And with that being said, there’s an incentivization for people who are storing that data, but it’s decentralized again.”

“So we do have these problems with services going out, government intervention, or even a big bank getting hacked. This technology is designed to eliminate all of those problems – even if it’s still in its infancy. There’s a lot of problems to still tackle,” he concluded. “But I truly believe that the smartest minds we have in this industry, the brightest people on this planet, are trying to solve these problems as we speak. So mainstream adoption you’ll hear about a lot. It’s coming. it’s going to affect every industry – banking, logistics, the use cases go on and on.”

For more coverage of this panel, check out earlier CapRE Insider Reports:

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