Dear Storj Supporters,
On August 1st, Storj Labs Inc. opened a real office and hired its first full-time employees in Atlanta, Georgia. For the last two months, we’ve been scrambling to secure funding, talent, and everything else a scrappy young startup needs. We wanted to take a little time to tell you about Storj Labs, and why it’s a critical part of the Storj Project ecosystem.
Storj Team Members in Atlanta
With almost $20B in sales this year, cloud storage is a huge marketplace. On top of that, cloud data storage is doubling in size every two years. In 2014, we set out to create a protocol and platform to revolutionize cloud storage with faster, cheaper, more secure data storage powered by you, the Farmer, rather than a big, faceless corporation. As the success of Test Group B shows, we’re well on our way to this goal.
Unfortunately, it’s not just about building a better product. You have to convince people to use it too. It’s not enough to be better, faster, cheaper, newer, shinier. You have to tell people that, and help them trust you. Storage customers are locked into large providers, and very few of them are going to just stumble on our website and decide to join our revolution.
It’s hard to trust a tiny open-source project with valuable data, especially when there’s no support, and nobody to call if something goes wrong. Storage customers want service level agreements, fixed rates, and contracts. Farmers want these customers, but can’t spend time or money on all the legal protections large providers offer.
The solution? Storj Labs. In short Storj Labs is lowering the barrier of entry to the network. The raw protocol is very complex; to the point that only highly competent Bitcoin developers could use it directly. Needless to say, there aren’t very many of these around (yet), so the pickings would be slim for Farmers. We’re opening the Storj network up to everyone.
Storj Labs will provide demand in the Storj Project marketplace by packaging Farmer storage offerings into neat plans, complete with service level agreements, terms of service, and a support system. We can sell Farmer storage on a mass scale to developers, users, and enterprises that would never consider contracting a Farmer directly. More customers means more Farmers getting paid more money, and thus a more robust and diverse network. We firmly believe that empowering Farmers is the best route to our goal: better, safer, simpler cloud storage.
Question 1: Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of decentralization storage with a centralized provider?
We don’t think so. Storj Labs is not holding the data, but simply acting as an agent for the benefit of Farmers as a whole. We don’t hold any of the data keys, users can do external independent audits of the data at any time, and the data is stored on the decentralized network. Users are free to use the network directly if they would like and we will keep our software open source so that anyone can build upon the platform.
Question 2: I participated in the crowdsale and/or have some SJCX. Doesn’t this allow Storj Labs to screw me over and take all the farming profit?
Quite the opposite. We’re not a parasite or a middleman. Storj Labs is worthless without lots of happy and profitable Farmers. And Farmers benefit from the stability and customers we provide. You’ll never be locked into our platform, but we hope our platform helps you be the best Farmer you can be.
Question 3: Totally makes sense to me. I have a use case, and would love to buy some data using these easy tools. How can I do that?
Sure, just send us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question 4: Why am I required to hold/donate 10k SJCX to use the farming software? Does that go to Storj Labs?
If you just want to try out the software with no rewards, you can do that for free. For paid testers, the SJCX requirements help us keep only serious farmers on the network, and fend off attacks. Anyone wanting to make malicious nodes has to pay up. And the more bad nodes they want to make, the more they have to pay. And Storj Labs doesn’t keep any of the SJCX. All of it is recycled back to Test Group B farmers via an increased rewards pool.
Have a great day,
The Storj Team