Let's talk about the elephant in the room: The Storj economic model (node operator payout model)

The BTC price “behaves” as expected. Nothing new here. I was pretty sure that it will drop around 14-16000$ this fall, and I am pretty sure it will rise to 150.000-180.000$ in 2024. All other major coins follow BTC.

@john mentioned the first draft of the economic white paper would be released this year, so we’ll be able to take a good look soon enough. Though I don’t share your almost gleeful interest in seeing the runway run out. Storj is in an exponential growth phase, but they still require a runway. It’s not going to be pretty if that runway disappears too soon. I’d rather see things stabilize in the market or return to growth, we would all benefit in the long run.

That said, considering the growth Storj is seeing, they may also be in a good position to get new investment rounds. The growth is there, so if the economic model is valid, it should be a pretty interesting investment.


How long should the runway be in your opinion?

Do we need more time? Another 5 years?

Or de we need more data/customers?

What will have changed between “now” and “end of runway”?

For me personally it could be tomorrow. Either the economic model is valid now or it is not. I am unable to spot a difference between 2020, 2022 or 2024.

Well, Amazon was founded in 1994 and didn’t turn a profit until 2001 (and even then it posted 1c profit) so you are grossly oversimplifying things.
Economic models can be very sound but require significant investment before “critical mass” is achieved and the company starts turning a profit, it has ever been thus.

I can answer you this right now. That’d be a death blow. Storj is currently taking a loss on every byte stored or transferred, so without reserves they are dead in the water. Which is the whole reason I started this topic to begin with.

I can’t give any time lines… but in general, as long as it takes to have scalable profits be higher than static costs. That requires positive profits to begin with, which requires optimizations to systems, changes in the economic model and more scale. Until then, Storj (and any other young company) relies on reserves and investment money.

Startups always start with high static costs, personnel, buildings etc. And few customers. And tech startups usually don’t turn a profit at all for the first 5-10 years. So this is not out of the ordinary. It’s unreasonable to expect them to be profitable at this moment. The V3 network is just 3 years old atm.

We’ll see what the new economic model will work towards. Perhaps profitability in can be achieved in about 2 years. Hard to say without more info.


That’s 2 important points. Of course it is quite clever to “pay” the SNOs with tokens instead of fiat. So the loss they make on the storage side is not fiat money. But they get paid in fiat. That helps a lot to keep real losses low. or at least lower.
And the other thing is investment money. We see companies like Uber which I believe have never made a single cent of profit for more than a decade but burned billions of Dollars. So big investment pockets will help once the Storj idea manages to attract them. If that happens then in the current state of the startup culture gaining market share is more important than anything else and investors accept losses for very long periods of time.

However one thing will be interesting: When Storj needs to buy back tokens to be able to pay their SNOs. Without an eco system around the Storj token basically nobody else really uses the Storj token AFAIK. That could cause the token prices to skyrocket, once Storj needs to buy back in large quantities. Some kind of token management to increase the usage of the Storj token outside of the Storj use case might be a way to keep token prices more stable.

Just keep in mind, the creation of the 500M tokens was not for free. So those 30M USD are a loss as well, additionally the token value is only half of the initial value currently.

I don’t think so. The amazon example on the other hand is a gross oversimplification. It is so apples to oranges, that I don’t think it is even worth discussing.

That is pretty bad. Because these reserves are almost solely tied to the BTC price.
Do we know what the official STORJ wallet, so we can take a look how many tokens are left?
It can’t be only this one right? $0.25 | Storj (STORJ) Token Tracker | Etherscan

Sure, but then you should be able to offer a good roadmap and/or big growth.

Why should STORJ care? End of month, assume they have to pay 1M$ to node operators. If the price skyrockets to 1M$ per token, STORJ pays one token to the nodes. If it plummets to 0.001$, the pay 1 billion tokens to the nodes. As you can see, high prices even helps STORJ to pay with reserves. The higher the price, the longer the reserves last.
If used up all reserves and have to buy every token for node payment, it does not matter what the current price is. They will just buy X amount of tokens for price Y, to pay the total amount XY to the node operators.

The hallmark of the insecure.

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There are multiple. They had 193.2 million tokens end of Q3. Wallets and all the info you need are in the quarterly token flow reports. STORJ Token Balances and Flows Report: Q3 2022

Growth is exponential at the moment and the new economic model is coming up. They are doing what they need to be doing. Lets just see what they came up with before we make value judgements.


Awesome that they transparently report these numbers!
And they also look way better than what I have expected!
Node subsidies make up only for 0.5M.

At the current rate, they have 2.5y left but that does not mean a lot, because of other expenses and token valuation.

Hello, I read with much interest the discussion here and I thought that someone like me, mostly clueless about the product, but potentially being the user type like other millions out there would be at least interesting to listen to possibly get some hints where to go;

First how I came here; I am a trad fi trader making this hard job for a living since 2008. As a trader what I need since I am European but I live in Asia is a server that I have in USA with OVH, where I run all my app.

For backing my stuff I use Veeam and one key thing about veeam is that It let me to replicate my server in any data center, with different cloud provider, around the world in a reliable and fast fashion , remotely via ISO . Veeam is the best out there, I tried other products but Veeam is by far the best.

I am currently using Veeam connect for my backups which has a peculiarity: It’s reliable AND allow me to use Veeam Agent which actually is a very light app not so complicated like the Veeam main suite. (forgot the name)

Now If We are able to provide a solution very easy (for dummies) that can connect directly to something like Veeam agent using the cloud connect technologies and keeping the price competitive, I don’t see how You can’t reach millions of dummy people that wants reliable and easy solution (provided by Veeam) and competitive pricing by Storj.

In other worlds Storj just need to figure out the bridge to use with Veeam that allow the average illiterate windows user, with a couple of click to make backup in the cloud. FYI, I am currently paying 30$ month for 200 GB. There are probably some fees associated with cloud connect but I would think Storj management could possibly investigate this thing.

The key is to provide through a video an easy to connect solution for all those small satoshi in the world that need to have backup in the cloud . (S3 would work but need the centralized solution with Veeam main suite…)

Blackblaze has something like that but personally I haven’t been able to figure out what I need to do. So probably simplicity is the other key.


I also support these ideeas. Storj team focused from the start to big business clients and ignored the individuals. The individuals are in and out more frequently than businesses and that is good and bad, but the most important factor is the huge number of them. So Storj needs to focus on attracting individuals and small businesses. And the key here is the ease-of-use/dummie mode for all the parts that make you install the software and use it.
I did’t checked Veeam, but on Blackblaze site I saw a very nice, attractive and easy-to-understand shop page with different use case scenarios and a big red “buy now” button for every scenario. On Storj page… no comment.
Storj has a lot of improvement to do for the frontend with small/dummie clients in mind.
Just look at any app store for smartphones. Who buyes the most stuff? Kids and dummies! Don’t overcomplicate things. This is the speed century, nobody whants to get a headach in trying to do somenthing or spend to much time understanding/learning stuff.

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FYI, someone mentioned Storj in the Veeam forum;

and this is what I was suggesting which OVH would do soon:

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After 5 years, project is still living off the token sale reserves.
Check “Net network operations” line for last 5 years (always negative) + service provider cost + salaries. Not sure what could happen if remaining tranches get locked forever.

What happened to the warrant canary?

Yes, there will be an economic model white paper released, likely this month (definitely this quarter) which will outline changes and they’ve promised several times that impactful changes will be discussed with the community prior to implementing anything.


That may deserve a new topic, but I’m afraid the page explains quite clearly what happened… And the whole reason for it existing is that they likely aren’t allowed to publish why it’s no longer there. Unless they correct me on this, I think we can draw some conclusions.


Special note should be taken if these messages ever cease being updated, or are removed from this page.

just noting this from the canary. I will end the offtopic here.

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I think you have to also consider that the plan is to have third party satellites. These will be separate from Storj Labs and will pay SNO’s based on their own criteria.

In that way, if in the unlikely event Storj were unable to maintain operations, SNO’s would still be getting paid from various other Satellite operators.

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I’d love to have options as a node operator, but we can’t exactly bet on a possible eventuality. And at the moment third party satellites can’t really compete with Storj Labs satellites without the benefit of the reserves to burn through.

That said, I’d probably join satellites even if they paid less, as long as it would still be profitable.