Decentralized File Storage and Sharing | Covalent Research

Research on Decentralized File Storage and Sharing Research and key insights into how new peer-to-peer storage marketplaces are disrupting traditional cloud-based storage providers with better security, pricing, system speed and reliability.

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Decentralized File Storage and Sharing report

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Research and key insights on:
  • Traction and adoption numbers for top players on the blockchain
  • Top 5 market needs and what end-users care about
  • Market sizing and sector ranking
  • Thorough analysis on how Decentralized File Storage and Sharing is disruptive
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Decentralized File Storage and Sharing Webinar Transcript

Sector Definition

We define the decentralized storage and sharing sector as platforms with the following key attributes:

Key Attribute 1: Peer-to-Peer

Peer to Peer is one of the major pillars for the decentralized space. The fact that you can rent your unused storage on a decentralized platform to offset your costs is groundbreaking. This attribute allows for increased download/upload speeds because every file is being downloaded from a number of hosts across the network. Finally, P2P allows for the possibility of of incentivizing and decreasing storage costs further down the line as the network of peers grows with time.

Key Attribute 2: Data Encryption

The second pillar would be data encryption. Centralized platforms offer limited data encryption which can lead to security breaches. Encryption plays a huge role in the excellent security and privacy decentralized platforms have to offer. Data files are fully encrypted and broken into shards before storing across different hosts on the network. Thus, only the user who is uploading the data has access to it using their private encryption key. This results in unparalleled data security that centralized platforms cannot match.

Sector Snapshot

Critical capabilities and what end-users care about

At Covalent, we have assessed the storage platforms according to the following 5 critical capabilities. Decentralized storage platforms are in the nascent stage and are not targeting enterprises yet, and therefore, enterprises capabilities are excluded from the following.

  • Data Security
  • System speed (Download/upload)
  • Affordability (Low fees)
  • Data privacy (No censorship)
  • Integration with different platforms

The Decentralization Thesis

We research the validity of decentralization thesis and if the disruption one of the following:

  • centralized rent-collectors and the collection of high fees
  • transparency or data provenance
  • a single point of failure
  • censorship issues

Revenue models

We analyze how the decentralized companies make money. Though most platforms are in their nascent stage, we enlist potential future revenue models in this sector.

Market sizing


We research how big the centralized market is and its Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).


Most of the platforms in this sectors are in their nascent stage, so we use a couple of proxy elements – eg: venture capital raised and ICOs and growth of the cryptocurrency market to estimate the size of the opportunity.

Market penetration

We estimate the market penetration using the dollar value of contract executions on the various decentralized platforms.

Sector Ranking

We analyze the strength of the incumbents and the barrier to adoption of the decentralized technology. Barrier can include government regulations.

Analysis of Top Players

We use Covalent’s proprietary data and if possible, the platform adoption and token velocity to assess and rank the top players in this sector.

Active and Upcoming ICOs

In this section, we list active and upcoming ICOs that look interesting. Our reports only focus on post-ICO projects that have traction and therefore this section is not a focus area for us.

SWOT analysis and final thoughts

Finally, we perform a SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) analysis on the sectors and close with our final thoughts.

Acronyms and Glossary Terms

Amazon S3 Amazon Simple Storage Service is a storage service for the Internet
GB / TB / PB Gigabyte / Terabyte / Petabyte
NSA National Security Agency
CAGR Compounded Annual Growth Rate
IPO Initial Public Offering
ICO Initial Coin Offering
GDPR General Data Protection Regulation
EU European Union
HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
AI Artificial Intelligence
ERC20 Common standard for Ethereum tokens to follow

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