Filecoin Foundation: First Half Year in Review

As we charge into the second half of 2022, we’ve found ourselves looking back to the first six months of what’s been a packed year and all that’s taken place within the rapidly growing Filecoin community.

From spotlights highlighting over a dozen developer grantees and Filecoin storage providers to exploring IPFS in space, to our first-ever FIL Austin event that gathered countless members and contributors to the Filecoin community, it’s been an impressive first half of 2022 to say the least.

Here’s a look back at all that’s taken place across the Filecoin community in 2022:

Dev Grant Spotlights

The Filecoin Foundation (FF) and Protocol Labs regularly award funding to critical development projects to foster a more robust and efficient decentralized web through the Filecoin ecosystem. Last year saw 113 grants to organizations from more than a dozen countries around the world, a 69% YoY increase from the number of grants awarded in 2020. In the first half of 2022, we awarded 191 grants.

In the first half of 2022, Filecoin Foundation spotlighted a number of new developer grants, including:

  • Webrecorder — Received a developer grant from Filecoin Foundation to improve areas of its open-source web archiving ecosystem while focusing on growth opportunities for the company through team expansion.
  • Arlequin — A community-driven ‘Paint-to-Earn’ system where users can collect NFT 3D animals, known as ‘Arlee’, in a creative ecosystem powered by the Flow blockchain and using Interplanetary File System (IPFS) via nft.storage.
  • Ukraine Art Collective — Aims to unite artists around the world to contribute their creative talents to support the Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom. The group deployed its fundraising platform using IPFS and Filecoin to create, mint, and sell NFTs, with proceeds donated to Razom for Ukraine, a nonprofit providing critical humanitarian war relief.
  • Portrait — The first open-source web page builder, which allows people to turn their blockchain address into a website, was awarded a Filecoin Foundation developer grant to turn its proof of concept into an established, viable product. Portrait’s ultimate goal is to enable the Web3 community to express creative work and vision in a decentralized way.
  • JACKAL Storage — A platform that provides a secure, private, and user-friendly solution for decentralized storage on the Filecoin network, JACKAL was awarded a developer grant to bring speed, utility, and privacy by default to fully decentralized cloud storage.
  • 4EVERLAND — A blockchain technology-powered cloud computing platform designed to help developers build Web3 applications efficiently, 4EVERLAND was awarded a microgrant in recognition of its platform’s success and what these achievements are doing to enhance the Filecoin ecosystem.

Storage Provider Spotlights

Filecoin storage providers are the heart of the Filecoin network, in charge of storing, providing content and issuing new blocks to help create a robust and reliable service. We spotlighted a number of new storage providers to the network, including:

  • Dcent — The Dcent team’s commitment to the Filecoin community is evident through its active contributions to nearly a dozen projects, as well as serving as a Filecoin notary. Additionally, Dcent, one of the largest European storage centers on the Filecoin network, is a member of the Filecoin Storage Provider Working Group and participates in projects and initiatives such as the Slingshot community competition and philanthropic work with The Starling Lab.
  • Origin Storage — With a mission to provide underlying technology solutions for the Web3 ecosystem with safe, flexible, and reliable products and services, Origin is a Filecoin notary, serving as a fiduciary for the Filecoin network and operates more than 10 internet data centers with 100,000+ managed servers capable of 600P+ of compute power, a capacity that grew more than 21x in 2021 and continues to expand.
  • NonEntropy — NonEntropy believes there is an oligopoly forming among the world’s largest cloud service providers and that this centralization poses a threat to business’ continuity and data privacy. It has a goal of preparing businesses for Web3 by equipping them with tools — including IPFS and Filecoin — to navigate the geopolitical risks of data, reduce the risk of information tampering and leakage, and strengthen data integrity.
  • Seal Storage — Seal Storage seeks to accelerate the adoption of decentralized cloud storage through its advanced infrastructure and services, which enable large organizations to seamlessly store files on the Filecoin network. Seal is revolutionizing the $76 billion cloud storage market by providing an immutable, green, and affordable home for data.
  • Meta Blockchain — A multi-million-dollar company with 28 employees, the business has two data centers in Seoul and provides enterprise cloud storage services via a subsidiary that works with corporate customers to provide decentralized storage for media files. The company was an early participant in the Filecoin ecosystem, built a Filecoin test node in 2020 and today operates 34 Filecoin nodes and provides about 20 PiB of decentralized storage.
  • FilSwan — A storage provider that specializes in edge data and goes to great lengths to bring data closer to the data source. Since 2018, the FilSwan team has provided decentralized storage and computing solutions by means of leveraging a combination of edge computing, IPFS/Filecoin storage, and decentralized ledger technologies. FilSwan provides a layer2 cross-chain solution for Web3 projects by integrating data, computing, and payment into one suite.
  • Linix — Founded nearly two decades ago by network architect Angelo Schalley as a side project to provide web hosting and cloud storage to friends and family, Linix began using the Filecoin network in mid 2021 for some of Linix’s backups and archiving data for some of its customers.

Grant Awards

Last summer, Chainlink and Filecoin launched a joint grant initiative to accelerate the development of hybrid smart contracts that combine Filecoin decentralized storage and Chainlink decentralized oracles. The joint grant initiative supports teams building and researching hybrid smart contract applications powered by tamper-proof file storage and universal connectivity. These co-sponsored grants are designed to help extend the Web3 stack beyond on-chain computation to include decentralized off-chain computation, data, and storage.

We announced three new exciting joint grants in the first half of 2022:

Linkstorage’s grant will help build a unified data storage protocol that enables developers to synchronize, track, and monitor data between blockchains and IPFS/Filecoin through a Chainlink External Adapter. Web3 developers will be able to use the Linkstorage protocol to save large amounts of cryptographically proven, tamper-proof data onto IPFS and Filecoin in a secure and cost-effective manner.

Collaborations

IPFS in Space: In May, Filecoin Foundation and Lockheed Martin announced they are working together to develop a program for deploying the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) in space.

The project requires designing for considerations around power, mass, and volume and ensuring the electronics will function in space. The initial payload demonstration is designed to focus on a Low-Earth Orbit mission, with eventual plans for lunar and interplanetary use.

Joe Landon, vice president of advanced programs development, Lockheed Martin said, “Soon, space will no longer just be a destination. It will be home to the new space economy, independent of Earth. The work we’re doing with Filecoin reinforces an investment in building space infrastructure. We need to develop the technology to support a long-term presence in space.”

FF and Electric Coin Co.

Last September, Filecoin Foundation and Electric Coin Co. (ECC) — along with Protocol Labs and the Ethereum Foundation — revealed a multi-faceted collaboration focused on Halo 2, the first trustless and recursive zero-knowledge-proof cryptography, discovered by ECC’s Sean Bowe.

This April, the collaboration entered its second phase when FF and ECC announced they are working together to empower the Filecoin, Zcash, and greater Web3 ecosystems through a new agreement that creates a joint grants pool with $5 million available for Filecoin and Zcash projects. Under the agreement, ECC’s Halo 2 codebase is also now shared via the MIT license — simpler and more permissive than its previous open-source license — in addition to the launch of the RFP-style grants program.

Any proposal that leads to additional utility for both FIL and ZEC chains and their respective ecosystems would be considered, and innovation is encouraged. For more information about the program, email ff-ecc-grants@fil.org.

Events

The Filecoin community was busy traveling the world, from Switzerland to Austin (twice). Here are some of the events hosted and attended over the past half year:

Decentralized Web Gateway at SXSW

In March, we were among the tens of thousands who descended on Austin, Texas for the annual SXSW event. Our hosted programming included:

  • The Evolution of Web2 to Web3: Kristin Smith from the Blockchain Association discussed the evolution of Web2 to Web3, and how policymakers and web3 can collaborate to build a better internet.
  • Web3 Tools for Journalists: This session dove into the ethical role of journalists in the Web3 world, the new reporting and information gathering techniques they must utilize, and looks at new publishing models available for content monetization and hosting.
  • Documenting and Authenticating History on Web3: Web3 tools can capture, authenticate, and store our most sensitive digital records, including testimony and documentation about human rights violations, war crimes. This session discussed how we value information, and how to preserve an authenticated record of our collective history.

Decentralized Web Gateway at Davos

Hosted by Filecoin Foundation, the Decentralized Web Gateway at Davos, was a multi-day event held in late May in Davos, Switzerland. The week of content and events, held at a stunning historical English Church in Davos known as The Sanctuary, was dedicated to the benefits of decentralization and how decentralized tools can protect civil liberties and preserve humanity’s most important information., the Decentralized Web Gateway will bring the top voices from across crypto and Web3 to discuss the evolution of the internet and its ramifications for society.

FIL Austin

Rounding out the first half of 2022 was our first-ever FIL Austin, a week of Filecoin community events held in early June and set against the backdrop of Consensus, CoinDesk’s annual crypto conference in Austin, Texas.

Headlining FIL Austin was a full day of programming featuring two tracks and talks from Web3 thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and Filecoin ecosystem builders. From NFTs, to the metaverse, to actual outer space, discussions throughout the three-day event focused on how the Filecoin network provides the infrastructure to build a resilient decentralized Web.

A full recap of FIL Austin can be found here and you can relive the whole experience with on-demand recordings of all FIL Austin Main Stage programming here.

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Filecoin Foundation

Filecoin Foundation

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The Filecoin Foundation (FF) is an independent organization dedicated to developing Filecoin and related technologies. The Foundation does this by coordinating