IPFS instead of http – the future of decentralized Internet?
IPFS (Interplanetary File System, “Interplanetary File System”) is a hypermedic communication protocol with an open code, with which computer nodes storage and distribution of data in a single distributed file system.
The key difference between the IPFS and the existing HTTP Internet protocol is that access to data is not by the location of the site, but directly at the address of its contents (file, document, image, folder).
The storage of data storage in IPFS is decentralized, which allows you to solve the problem of censorship. The author of the decision – the founder and head of the American startup Protocol Labs Juan Benet – called the IPFS “distributed permanent web”, bearing in mind that the site posted in the system can never be closed by anyone.
“In a sense, IPFS is similar to the Internet, but IPFS can be considered as a single swar of Bittorrent, exchanging objects in one Git repository. In other words, IPFS represents a high-performance model of blocks of blocks with contented hyperlinks, ”he explained in the White Paper project.
IPFS addresses indicate the files or data obtained from the contents of the file itself or data using hashili. This means that the content of websites on the IPFS network can be moved and accessed by a decentralized way in a single-ranking network.
In simple words, IPFS is an analogue of a torrent tracker in which a certain number of nodes (computers) are freely divided by files stored on them, thus distributing them throughout the network with the possibility of obtaining free access.
Thus, IPFS solves the problems of HTTP, which directs all the traffic through centralized servers, which leads to additional expenses and risks of mass disconnects due to problems with the server. https://gagarin.news/news/metaverse-tokens-are-making-whopping-gains-despite-bear-market/ The IPFS network allows nodes to download and transfer files from not only one server, as implemented in HTTP, and from many nodes at the same time. When the user on the IPFS network requests a file, the IPFS network finds nodes that have the necessary hashs and extracts data.
Who and when has developed IPFS
The author of the IPFS was the founder of the American company Protocol Labs Juan Benet. The publication of the technical documentation of the new file system took place in July 2014.
The first release of the protocol took place in February 2014. The first large site in September 2015, using the distributed IPFS web, was a free Neocities web hosting, which allows you to create mini-sites on its platform.
The next important point in the history of IPFS development was $ 257 million ICO Filecoin. The sale of tokens took place on the Coinlist platform, which was founded by Protocol Labs together with Angellist. As the developers then noted, Filecoin’s goal was to create economic incentives for IPFS users using cryptocurrency.
In June 2019, Protocol Labs organized the first IPFS event in Barcelona, which resulted in cooperation with Netflix, as well as with Opera, Microsoft and Cloudflare.
The launch of the main Filecoin network in October 2020 was an equally important event. According to the Protocol Labs team, this made it possible to create an IPFS adoption level with built -in economic incentives.
How IPFS works – a detailed explanation
When loading content in IPFS, the address for access to the object, file or user data in the system is formed with reference not to the server address, which is an IP address, but to its unique cryptographic Hesh-identifier Content Identifier (CID).
When the CID file does not change when re-downloading the file, and the updated file versions are assigned new hash identifiers. To gain access to the early version of the file, the Interplanetary Naming System (IPNS) names service is used – an analogue of the DNS registry .
IPFS files of over 256 KB are divided into parts, have shuttle and organized in IPLD objects (Interplanetary Linked Data). IPLD consists of two components: the data themselves and links to parts of the file interconnected through the directed acyclic graph of the Merkle Dag (Merkle Dag).
Then the IPFS Daemon (IPFS Daemon), which is responsible for communications in the system, comes into business. She temporarily cachs the data, or “attaches” it to himself at the choice of the user and gives out other nodes on request. In the future, such nodes can perform the functions of content providers or remain its recipients.
After the content request in a distributed hash table (Distributed Hash Table, DHT), the systems closest to the user with a copy of the desired data is carried out. It is they who give parts of the file.
Where IPFS is used
According to the statistics of the Builtwith service, as of October 5, 2022, IPFS use about 6,500 sites around the world. Of these, a little less than a third are located in the United States. This list includes a decentralized UNISWAP exchange, a DAPP RADAR decentralized data service and a DAO Maker cryptocurrency startups platform.
The first web resource with IPFS support in 2015 was the NeoCites hosting service. The largest Cloudflare network service provider began using IPFS in 2018 and launched its own gateway in the system in 2022. In March 2020, the Opera browser provided access to the decentralized resources of the Unstoppable Domains provider, placing content in IPFS. At the beginning of 2021, the protocol integrated Brave cryptographic collector.
IPFS technology began to be used as a response to censorship by regulators. The first example was the loading in the IPFS of the Turkish version of Wikipedia. In the spring of 2019, in response to the arrest of Assange, activists loaded the WikiLeaks archive in the IPFS IPFS.
IPFS is also used to store code. This is practiced, for example, the Uniswap decentralized team, which places in IPFS.
IPFS also acts as an important infrastructure layer of Web3, supporting the operation of NFT projects, decentralized applications and other resources. Special companies have appeared that provide file management services in IPFS. For example, the PINATA platform allows monetizing the NFT media files released in different blockchains, including Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, Avalance and Algorand.
How to open an IPFS link
Many popular browsers, such as Opera and Brave, have already added native support of the IPFS dumplings. This means that you can open sites in the indicated browsers through the address with the IPFS: //, for example: for:
However, in Google Chrome, such a link will not open. Instead, to access the resource, you will have to use the existing HTTPS protocol along with the address of the site where the file is stored, for example:
To directly open the IPFS links in the Google Chrome, you will need to install a special extension of the IPFS Companion. For the correct expansion operation, developers recommend installing their own IPFS node on their computer. To do this, you need to go to the IPFS Desktop section on the IPFS official website and follow the simple instructions, having previously selected a suitable platform: Windows, MacOS or Ubuntu.
The Protocol Labs team also took care of the owners of domains and sites planning to transfer their web resources to IPFS. A special Fleek boot service has been developed, which allows you to transfer and configure sites without the need to install anything on your computer and deal with the command line or code.