Question about Storj's Decentralization

This project looks awesome but I’m a little confused about how this project could actually be decentralized. I see it’s a paid subscription, so there’s a central company profiting, nothing wrong with companies and nothing wrong with profits but that doesn’t seem to fit the bill for decentralization? When I first read about decentralization blockchain file storage the articles seemed to be saying that systems like this would by paying coins to the file/shard host computers and or by hosting files/shards for others and incentivizing them to host yours?
What would happen if this company dissolved tomorrow, what this system continue to function?

Someone will probably answer it in a better way, but here’s my understanding.

A single satellite is indeed managed by a single entity (company/organization/individual), and a given piece of data uploaded to the network is managed by a specific satellite. However, satellites are designed so that every satellite can be owned by a different entity. So we hope there will be a choice of satellites managed by independent entities in the future. One planned feature is to be able to migrate pieces of data from one satellite to another, so that users will be able to switch between satellites without re-uploading.

However, the user will still need to select a satellite, and in this regard the entity managing the selected satellite is the single point of failure. Satellites could probably be implemented as a zero-trust decentralized set of nodes as well, but it’s not practical yet: there’s no known mechanism to provide both satellite decentralization and all the features Storj has now without making it slow or costly, as the overhead of metadata and payment management is significant. So for now we’ll probably be stuck with the current setup of one managing entity per satellite.


Hello and welcome to our slight weird but always helpful community (or at least we try!) :smiley:

Storj is not blockchain file storage.
The decentralisations comes from the fact that the company does not own the hosts for the data nor are they in one single place. The data is multiplied and made redundant, and spread out across the world into multiple places run by multiple people in multiple networks using multiple OSes.
As to what would happen if the company dies tomorrow… I guess the same that would happen if any other storage provider went bust! Keep backups! :wink:


You can read this blog to understand why we made such a decision:


I think it’s also important to emphasize here that Storj wants to provide a good decentralized product while maintaining the company’s ability to profit and add new features and enhancements, as well as support the community as needed.

Blockchain is still a relatively new business tool. Many different blockchain developers continue to try and build it out in new and creative ways. Some work, some don’t. I think as it evolves, projects like Storj will more easily be able to adopt a kind of decentralized payment system that can be universally applied to all satellites. But we have to get from where we are at today, to where we want to go tomorrow, and this is just the early beginning of a product we hope will be here a very long time, and with a lot of really great improvements that not only embrace blockchain, but also distributed storage as a whole.

Storj is a platform that will evolve and continue to be built upon. Decentralizing the platform is on the radar, but it has to be done in a way that doesn’t impact the performance and services we provide today. When the time is right, we’ll be there.