The Rise of NFTs & Ether-1’s Fight For Anti-Censorship & Decentralization
Ether-1 (https://ether1.org) is an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) blockchain, meaning it shares many properties with Ethereum, but has one core addition. This core addition or technology is called ethoFS. EthoFS is a decentralized file storage system built on top of the Ether-1 blockchain utilizing IPFS. (https://ethofs.com)
What is decentralized storage?
Decentralized storage is a technology that enables data to be stored redundantly on a network of global nodes with no outside ability to censor or delete your data. If you upload it to the network, you remain in control of it. As more and more platforms begin to censor free speech, a mass exodus is expected from centralized providers opening the doors for decentralized storage networks like Ether-1 to fill the void.
What is an NFT?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a type of smart contract/token created on a smart contract platform such as Ethereum or Ether-1. They are unique digital collectibles that can be created or minted by anyone with some ETH or ETHO to cover the creation transaction fee. They are unique in that the token on the respective blockchain they were created on cannot be duplicated. In most cases these digital collectibles are tied to a piece of digital art which is stored on IPFS. Many marketplaces exist where these digital collectibles can be traded, collected or sold.
What is IPFS?
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a protocol and peer-to-peer network for storing and sharing data in a distributed file system. IPFS uses content-addressing to uniquely identify each file in a global namespace connecting all computing devices.
IPFS allows users to not only receive but host content, in a similar manner to BitTorrent. As opposed to a centrally located server, IPFS is built around a decentralized system of user-operators who hold a portion of the overall data, creating a resilient system of file storage and sharing. Any user in the network can serve a file by its content address, and other peers in the network can find and request that content from any node who has it using a distributed hash table (DHT). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InterPlanetary_File_System)
Typically, NFT marketplaces utilize centralized data pinning services (like https://pinata.cloud/) to pin or store the data they have uploaded to IPFS. Anything uploaded to IPFS needs to be stored on one of the network’s nodes and typically a fee is paid to have a centralized service assure that the data is stored on one of their systems. The drawback to this concept is that if this centralized data pinning platform decides to shutdown or censor this digital collectible they can elect to delete it and the permanency of the data on IPFS network comes into question.
How can Ether-1 and ethoFS help NFT ecosystems evolve?
The Ether-1 network and ethoFS solve this problem of centralized data pinning by decentrally pinning uploaded data to a randomized selection of global nodes and in turn the blockchain pays these node operators for their storage services. The redundancy on ethoFS is unheard of anywhere else as the replication factor or number of nodes holding any uploaded data is kept in a range of 10–15 random nodes. If a single node goes offline, the data is quickly replicated on another healthy node. Uploads on ethoFS are far cheaper (as little as a fraction of a cent per upload) and far more resilient compared to centralized pinning services.
We will be deploying several tools to assist in NFT minting/creation as well as several tools to facilitate the deployment and integration of NFT marketplaces on Ether-1/ethoFS (https://www.npmjs.com/package/@ethofs/sdk-web). As NFT usership and ecosystems grow we will see a need for more robust data storage/pinning methods for these digital collectibles and Ether-1/ethoFS will be at the forefront of this evolution into pure anti-censorship and decentralization.
How can I get involved?
We are always looking for new community members and energetic individuals to help us continue our push for complete decentralization. The easiest way to get involved is to join our Discord or Telegram communities.