Storj is a decentralized, peer-to-peer cloud-based storage solution that allows users to rent or purchase unused digital space for files and data. It aims to offer an alternative to services provided by tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft — and being a decentralized service, it claims to have improved privacy and greater security than traditional storage solutions.
In order to monetize the network, the Storj cryptocurrency is used as a form of payment between users on the network. Those who provide storage space resultantly earn Storj for doing so.
From a technical perspective, Storj encrypts all files before they're uploaded and then splits them among a network of globally distributed storage nodes — making it next to impossible for a data breach to take place. The project believes that individuals, and not companies, should own their data, and that is why it has implemented a system of keys, with data only viewable by people you grant permission to.
Additionally, as stored files get broken down into smaller pieces in a process called sharding, Storj performs a randomized, hourly verification check to make sure that the correct files are being stored by nodes.
In comparison to other major cloud storage companies, Storj offers lower prices and can provide users with greater flexibility when wanting to move data around. It has also made it easy for users to retrieve a file at any point, or revoke access to permissions or files.
Storj was initially launched on top of the Bitcoin blockchain before migrating over to the Ethereum blockchain in 2017.
When Storj switched from Bitcoin to Ethereum, it issued 500 million tokens to replace its previous SJCX token. An initial coin offering was held in May 2017 that raised about $30 million. Prior to this, Storj raised 910 BTC in a 2014 crowdsale, which was worth about $460,000 at the time.
There will only ever be a maximum supply of 500 million Storj tokens and they have already been mined. The tokens can be bought on crypto exchanges such as OKEx or earned by providing storage.
As of June 2021, the circulating supply has surpassed 287 million. Notable Storj price spikes included March 2021, when the altcoin hit $3.91.
After ideas around the use of blockchain to create a decentralized cloud storage solution were floated, a prototype of Storj was created at the Texas Bitcoin Hackathon by founder Shawn Wilkinson.
The entrepreneur first learned about Bitcoin when he was studying computer science on a full scholarship at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Realizing that decentralizing cloud storage via blockchain could be a massive movement, Wilkinson went all in on the creation of Storj. The company raised $30 million in under a week during its second funding round in 2017.
When Storj launched, Wilkinson took the role of CEO but later stepped down to let Ben Golub take the position as he brought extensive experience to the role. Wilkinson now holds the position of chief strategy officer, focusing on the evolution of Storj.