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Decentralized File Storage for Blockchain: TCFS vs IPFS

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Cloud provider Xunlei recently launched the ThunderChain File System (TCFS) which is a distributed file system, similar to InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), an open-source project. TCFS is designed by Xunlei after a business pivot into blockchain technology. The company has launched the high-performance blockchain ThunderChain in April, which is designed to process over 1 million transactions per second.

Both TCFS and IPFS are distributed file systems for storage of digital files (in the form of documents, images, videos, web pages and programs). Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) has been widely used for file storage and downloads. However, HTTP itself has many problems – When a user wants to go to a website, the browser will be directly connected to the computers that are serving that website, even if their servers are remotely located and the transfer process costs a lot of bandwidth and other computing resources. HTTP is not reliable either. If one link in a HTTP transfer was cut for whatever reason, the whole transfer halts.

That’s why developers seek to replace HTTP’s centralized protocols with distributed protocols. A distributed protocol, as the name suggests, is designed to store files across multiple nodes instead of centralized servers.

IPFS was born in 2014 to address those challenges. IPFS provides a high-throughput, content-addressed block storage model, with content-addressed hyperlinks. Indeed, there were high hopes for IPFS, but it has shown some drawbacks when it comes to blockchain. Although TCFS is a new comer, it has an edge in technical features tailored to blockchain-related applications.

First of all, data storage. IPFS relies on file access to keep files from missing. The more popular a file is, the greater number of storage nodes are involved and the less likely such file will be gone. However, it’s a different story with rarely accessed files. Such files could disappear eventually with limited number of nodes hosting the content, such as family photos.

The second issue is privacy. IPFS is currently open to everyone. Restricted access is necessary for confidential files even when they are shared within certain groups like corporate emails. The third is efficiency. IPFS files are stored across nodes as duplicates. Duplicate data increases with the number of nodes serving the file, resulting in low storage efficiency levels and potentially leading to a waste of computing resources, including storage space and bandwidth.

Finally, IPFS itself is unable to delete and block illegal content. Some IPFS developers has already realized the above issues and started to tackle these problems. Meanwhile, TCFS is designed to provide alternative solutions to distributed file management on blockchain platforms.

TCFS combines the futures of IPFS and Filecoin (which has not been live yet) with an incentive mechanism to maximize storage efficiency. It has improvements in other aspects: i) availability – Slice storage based on Forward Error Correction (FEC), plus a file self-healing mechanism, ensures high availability and storage efficiency i.e. reduce duplicated files; ii) performance – leveraging Xunlei’s 15 years of experience in cloud acceleration technologies, TCFS can help users with much faster data transmission; iii) security – Only data owners and authorized users can access secured files; and iv) flexibility – developers can use LinkToken, a virtual token on ThunderChain, as an incentive or create their own incentive mechanisms that encourage users to share their redundant storage.

Both TCFS and IPFS are originated to solve issues impacting internet user experience. IPFS is still an unproven and work-in-progress technology. Though TCFS is a newly released solution, it has emerged as a perfect fit to blockchain technology. TCFS has the potential to help the blockchain industry to scale by providing the peer to peer and distributed file system that is needed as a foundation to support large use base applications.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

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How is the Crypto Market Changing?

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It has been around a month and a half since the start of 2019, and there are already some pretty obvious changes in the way the crypto market operates, especially when compared to the last year. Early 2018 was almost a complete opposite. The previous year started with cryptocurrencies at their strongest, only to see them crashing down after a few weeks. Back then, the ICO model was still quite strong, and so was the hype surrounding the crypto space. New investors kept entering the space, and new startups emerged with their tokens ready to be sold.

As the year progressed, things started to change. The prices continued to drop, the ICO model went down from around $1.4 billion in raised funds at the beginning of the year to only $100 million in the last month.

The ICO model lost investors’ trust, as many of the projects turned out to be either too weak to survive after the crypto winter struck, or scams which tricked investors out of their money and disappeared. Not to mention that the increase in ICOs popularity attracted the regulators who cracked down on them pretty hard, especially in the US.

With all of that happening, it is of a small surprise that the investors started giving up on ICOs, especially with the constant drops in prices which saw even the largest coins…

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Understanding the Uses of Different Types Of Cryptocurrencies

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Cryptocurrencies – a term which has become incredibly prominent in the mainstream media during recent years due to the proliferation of Bitcoin millionaires. As a result, the new form of currency has earned an almost infamous status. However, as with any major step forward, there is still much confusion regarding the use of cryptocurrencies, what different types of innovative electronic cash exist and what they might mean for the future.

We’re putting all of this to rest as we explain what each of the leading cryptocurrencies can do.

Bitcoin

The most popular form of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was first thought up in 2008 by the elusive and still unknown creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the whitepaper online.

It took almost a decade for the cryptocurrency to reach its peak, but in December 2017 a single Bitcoin roughly exchanged for the price of $17,000, meaning anyone who held a substantial amount of the electronic cash became significantly wealthy.

In its early years, the cryptocurrency was strictly used as an alternative for cash transactions, and predominantly for trading goods and services. However as it has increased in popularity, its range of uses has also widened, now deployed for a variety of purposes including acting as collateral for investments at merchant banks, a direct debit for subscriptions services and most notably for sports betting.

Ripple

Bitcoin’s closest source of competition, Ripple was founded…

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New DoJ Ruling May Cripple Gambling dApps

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A new decision made by the US Justice Department has expanded restrictions regarding online gambling in the US affecting gambling dApps. While the Federal Wire Act of 1961 prohibited online gambling regarding sports since 2011, the new decision expanded on this, and it now includes all forms of internet gambling. Unfortunately for many, this now also includes cryptocurrencies.

The new decision came due to considerable difficulties when it comes to guaranteeing that only interstate betting will take place and that payments will not be routed via different states.

The new announcement was explained in a 23-page-long opinion issued by the Department of Justice’s legal team, which pointed out that the 2011 decision misinterpreted the law. According to that decision, transferring funds was to be considered a violation, but data transfers were not included. By exploiting this oversight, it was possible for gamblers to turn to internet gambling. Unsurprisingly, many have realized this early on, including startups, as well as large, established firms. This, of course, also included cryptocurrency companies as well.

The new decision changes what is allowed online

The decision to include all forms of internet gambling is a massive hit in the…

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