STORJ Token Balances and Flows Report: Q1 2023

April 27, 2023

The STORJ token is an integral part of our globally distributed cloud storage network. STORJ tokens are a quick and easy way to transfer value between those who provide storage capacity and bandwidth to the network, and those who use the network to store and retrieve data. Our quarterly token reports provide details on the balances and flows of STORJ tokens in the preceding quarter.

Our first token report was published in December 2018. We have published quarterly reports ever since, all of which are available on our blog. We are pleased now to publish this quarterly STORJ token report for Q1 2023. As we previewed in our last token report, we left Tranche A, which unlocked at the end of Q1 2023, unlocked. We expect to move the tokens from that tranche into operational reserves, and will confirm that has been done in the next report.

In our last report, we announced that we were reducing the sixty-day period to notify the public of our intention to leave a tranche unlocked. As in the past, we will note in our quarterly reports when we move the tokens from an unlocked tranche into operational reserves. To account for rapid growth as well as events that may impact digital assets unexpectedly, we decided to change the notice period to forty-five days, which we determined to be sufficient to inform the public and provide enough flexibility for the company as it experiences growth and market changes.

With this report, we also are announcing our intention to leave Tranche B (which unlocks at the end of Q2 2023) unlocked. The purpose is to support our continued rapid growth in a period of unpredictable market changes. Should we decide to use those tokens for operational reserves, they will be moved into a separate cold wallet, and we will report that they have been moved in the subsequent token report.  

The information in this report can be recreated directly from the Ethereum blockchain, but we compile it here for the convenience of our community. We present the token flows in these blog posts to provide a clear and accessible resource to all.

This is part of an ongoing commitment to openness and transparency, which includes:

Long-Term Lock-Ups

As with all of our quarterly token reports, we are providing an update on token flows as well as tokens we hold in long-term lock ups. As we described in December 2017 (“Using Timelocked Tokens to Support Long-term Sustainability”), after our token sale in 2017, we had 245M STORJ tokens that we placed in six-month lockups. After the six-month lockup unlocked in December 2018, we divided the 245M tokens into eight tranches of 30.625M tokens each and gave them lock expiration dates spaced one quarter apart over eight successive quarters, setting a cryptographically enforced maximum on the number of tokens that Storj could unlock and use from the tranches in any given quarter over the subsequent two years. As described in the December 2017 blog post, we wanted storage node operators to operate their nodes for a long time, buyers to feel comfortable buying long-term storage with STORJ tokens, and demand partners and satellite operators to build long-term businesses around STORJ tokens; for these reasons, it was important to build long-term predictability into the flows of STORJ tokens. Likewise, as previously reported, the purpose of the locking of tokens is to reduce the percentage of tokens under the effective control of any single organization, limit the ability of Storj to impact the circulating supply, and provide transparency and predictability to the ecosystem.

Due to unforeseen events impacting digital assets, and as reported in our last token report, we left a tranche of tokens unlocked at the end of Q4 2022 (Tranche H) to enable us to provide stability through uncertain market conditions. And, as we announced in that report, we are not relocking the tranche that unlocked at the end of Q1 2023 (Tranche A) for continued stability and to support our current growth.

The following summarizes all prior instances of leaving a tranche unlocked: We left one tranche unlocked in 2020 and three tranches unlocked in 2022. Details of the first instance of leaving a tranche unlocked are provided in the token report for Q1 2020 in which plans were announced to leave a tranche (now represented as Tranche G) unlocked at the end of Q3 2020, bringing the remaining number of tranches to seven, at which point the remaining tranches were locked for seven (as opposed to eight) consecutive quarters. Decisions to move tokens from unlocked tranches into operational reserves in 2022 are described in: 1) the token report for Q4 2021 announcing plans to leave Tranche D unlocked at the end of Q1 2022; 2) the token report for Q2 2022 announcing plans to leave Tranche F unlocked at the end of Q3 2022; and, 3) the token report for Q3 2022, as amended, announcing plans to leave Tranche H unlocked at the end of Q4 2022. As described above, we also will be leaving Tranche A, which is the tranche that unlocked at the end of Q1 2023, unlocked (See Table 2 below).

Today, almost six years from our token sale in 2017, and our first instance of using time-locks for sustainability and stability, as well as to further the goals of decentralization and predictability, we still have a total of 122.5M tokens in lock up divided equally in four long-term lock-ups of 30.625M tokens each.

Highlights from Q1 2023

The following are highlights from Table 1, below, which details token flows in the quarter ending March 31, 2023:

a) 122.5M STORJ tokens were in rolling time-locked contracts as of the end of Q1 ‘23, as shown in row 3, reflecting a transfer out of tokens held in the long term lock-up represented as Tranche H which was left unlocked at the end of Q4 2022. Next quarter’s token report will reflect that 30.625M tokens from Tranche A that was left unlocked at the end of Q1 ‘23 will be put into operational reserves. As before, each tranche has 30.625M tokens and its own address (see Table 2 below).

b) SJCX-STORJ conversions historically were reported in rows 4-7. As explained in our Q3 2019 STORJ Token Balances and Flow Report and our Q4 2019 STORJ Token Balances and Flow Report, after providing ample notice to holders of SJCX, we executed our plan to shut down the SJCX-STORJ converter at the end of 2019. Accordingly, rows 4-7, which previously reported such activity now are blank since there was no conversion in 2021, 2022, or to date in 2023, and no more are expected.

c) Rows 8-17 show operating supply at the beginning of the quarter (10.2M), transfers of STORJ tokens in (30.6M) and out (27.8M) of the operating supply during the quarter, and the operating supply held by Storj at the end of the quarter (13M).

At the end of Q4 ‘22, Storj held 10.2M STORJ tokens in operational reserves (row 8). During Q1 of this year, we used 27.8M STORJ tokens (rows 9-14): 1.3M to pay Storage Node Operators (row 9), 2.3M to pay service providers (row 11), 4.4M tokens for bonuses and a voluntary program that enables Storj team members to elect to receive some of their pay in STORJ tokens (row 13), and 19.8M tokens for general operations and liquidity purposes not otherwise described above. With the transfer of 30.6M tokens from the long-term lockup that unlocked at the end of Q4 ‘22 (row 15), this activity left a total of 13M STORJ in our operational reserves (row 17).

d) At the end of December 2022, there were 261.7M STORJ in circulation (row 19). In Q1 2023, 27.8M were put into circulation from Storj’s operating supply, while 30.6M were transferred from long-term lockup, making the total circulating supply approximately 289.5M STORJ at the end of Q1 (row 19), with another 13M in operational and non-time-locked reserves held by Storj (row 17). The operational reserves are held in cold and warm and hot wallets as shown in Table 2 below.*

*In this paragraph in the token report for Q4 2022, it was mistakenly stated that, at the end of September 2022, there were 193.2M STORJ in circulation. The actual number, which was displayed correctly in Table 1 of the report, was 231.8M. This was a typographical error, as 193.2M represented the number of STORJ tokens not in circulation.  

e) The total non-circulating supply of STORJ tokens held by Storj as of the end of Q1 2023 is 135.5M (row 18), comprised of the 13.0M in non-time-locked reserves (operating supply at the end of the Q1 2023) plus 122.5M in time-locked reserves (long term lockup as of the end of the period). The total supply as of the end of Q1 2023 is 289.5M in circulation plus the 135.5M non-circulating supply, which totals 425M STORJ tokens.

TABLE 1

For purposes of our quarterly reports, the figures in the table are rounded.

Overview

In May of 2017, Storj Labs International SEZC (formerly Storj Labs (BVI) Ltd), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Storj Labs Inc., conducted a public token sale. We began producing regular token reports in 2018, and intend to continue producing these reports on a quarterly basis, as we have since then. As a reminder, we provide quarterly updates on the business and network through our regular town hall meetings. Previously we reviewed the numbers in our token reports in our regular town hall meetings. Given public interest in the increase in the growth in our network, and in light of the availability of all our token reports on our website, we made the decision to focus town hall time on important business developments and allow these written reports to continue to inform the public of our token balances and flows. As with our historic reports, this report has been independently verified.

Background

The Company reports its tokens to management in two categories:

  a) Long Term Lockup

  b) Operating Supply

Long Term Lockup

Our approach to using time locked tokens to support long-term sustainability was first described in a blog post in December 2018. While the specifics have changed slightly since then, including reducing our notice period from ninety days to sixty days, and since publication of the last token report to forty-five days, for any decision to remove a tranche from the lock ups, the approach remains the same: cryptographically locked tokens in a rolling time lock that we report on quarterly to ensure transparency and predictability in our ecosystem. This also furthers our decentralization goals by reducing the ability of Storj to change the supply in the short to medium term.

Reserved for SJCX Conversion

At the time of the token sale in 2017, we established a reserve and conversion mechanism for converting SJCX tokens to STORJ tokens at a predefined rate of 1:1. We initially set aside approximately 51M SJCX tokens for conversion, and announced a deadline of October 2017 to convert SJCX to STORJ token. We extended the deadline to accommodate requests for conversion. Due to the lack of material conversions in the final three quarters of 2019, as previously reported, we deprecated the converter on January 1, 2020, and returned the remaining tokens to the operational reserve.

Operating Supply

We track the operating supply of STORJ tokens (lines 8-17). These tokens are held by Storj Labs, Inc. or Storj Labs International SEZC and are intended to be used for operations as described below.

While we quote payment rates to Storage Node Operators in dollars, Storj pays Storage Node Operators using the STORJ token, based on the current spot price on Coinmarketcap. If in any given month, the amount to be paid to Storage Node Operators exceeds the amount of STORJ tokens received from customers, there is a net outflow of STORJ tokens (line 9).

Line 10 is to report any repurchases of STORJ from the open market.

Line 11 is to report payments in STORJ token to service providers (e.g., community leaders who monitor our various forums, respond to questions from users, and perform other community-related tasks; bug bounty participants; consultants; contractors).

Line 12 is for any SJCX conversion made outside of the token converter referred to above.

We have a bonus program for Storj team members based on company milestones defined by management. We also have a voluntary program to allow employees to take a portion of their salary in STORJ token. Finally, we have various spot bonus programs from time to time. We track all of these programs in line 13, along with payments to some international team members engaged through employers of record.

Line 14, “Other,” is reserved to report activity that doesn’t fall into any of the other categories, including, for example, non-routine payments to service providers and carbon offset program payments. As noted above, in Q3 ‘23, 19.8M STORJ tokens were used in payments that included general operations and liquidity purposes. To provide additional liquidity for general operations during uncertain economic times and in periods of growth, we also are liquidating a portion of our reserves on non-US exchanges through a partnership, and these flows are disclosed in this line item.

Line 15 is to report a decision to transfer STORJ from Long Term Lockup to Operating Supply.

Line 16 is to report any transfer of STORJ from Reserved for SJCX Conversion to Operating Supply.

Totals

Line 18 is the non-circulating supply of STORJ, which is the number of tokens in Storj’s custody.

Line 19 is the total circulating supply of STORJ tokens, which is the number of tokens not in Storj’s custody. The source of circulating supply are SJCX conversions (43.2M tokens), the May 2017 token sale (75.1M tokens), and any tokens put into circulation in a given period, as represented in rows 9-14.

The maximum total that can be in circulation is 425.0M STORJ tokens (line 20).

CONFIRMATION

We’ve provided addresses for our major reserves below so that totals can be easily verified.

If you have questions, clarifications, or suggestions on how we can better present this information in the future, please let us know!

Table 2 below shows all the STORJ token held by Storj including our operating reserve in the top row, followed by the tranches of long-term lockups and schedule for unlocking them (see “Lock End Date” column).  Each of the tranches has been assigned alphabetical letters (A-H, with those tranches that were left unlocked being shown with a line through them). With the removal of one tranche in 2020 (Tranche G) and three tranches in 2022 (Tranches D, F, and H), there are four remaining tranches. The links below show the contracts on Etherscan; the unlock dates are viewable on epochconverter.com by pressing the “Read contract” button under the “Contract” tab and entering the release time into Epochconverter or a similar timestamp conversion tool.

TABLE 2

Carbon Intensity

In February 2022, Storj announced that the estimated carbon equivalent emissions of STORJ token usage would be offset by Storj for both past history and going forward. This is our fourth reporting of this data. Storj worked with Native for our first carbon offset transaction (see “Offsets” below). As described in our Q1 2022 report, in addition to Native, there are other companies we expect to work with for more carbon offset transactions.

**Note that Verifications 8-11 are stored and distributed through the Storj network.

Please reference our original announcement post to see how we are calculating carbon intensity of CO2e, or “effective” mass of Carbon Dioxide. In Q4 2022 we purchased enough offsets to offset our carbon intensity up to January 6, 2022. We will be purchasing additional offsets to account for our intensity between January 6 and September 6, 2022 (Ethereum’s last day of PoW). The remaining purchases will be  much smaller since the last set of purchases represented a catch-up for several years’ worth of activity and ethereum is now proof of stake rather than proof of work, resulting in less carbon impact to offset.

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We would note that the Storj system as a whole is extremely carbon efficient. As the system utilizes primarily underutilized capacity from disk drives that are already powered in already built out data centers around the world, there are significant carbon savings from using Storj for storage vs. other systems. For more details, please see https://www.storj.io/benefits/sustainability.

DISCLAIMER

This report, concerning the circulating supply and flows of the STORJ token, is provided to the many individuals in the Storj ecosystem.

STORJ tokens are intended to facilitate the provision and receipt of data storage and related services through Storj’s software application, which serves as a user interface and development platform on the network. STORJ tokens are not intended to be a digital currency, security, commodity, or any other kind of financial instrument.

The contents of this publication contain a high-level overview of the network and the STORJ token, and are subject to change as Storj refines its plans. Changes to the network, the STORJ tokens, and other information referenced in this post are entirely within the discretion of Storj, and could result from commercial, technical, or legal issues, among others. We believe that greater transparency around the STORJ token will contribute to the willingness of users, Storage Node Operators, and other service providers to participate in the network. While we have made every attempt to be accurate and thorough in the production of this report, it is provided as is, and you should not rely on this report for any decisions regarding the use, acquisition, or disposition of STORJ tokens.

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