Honestly, the premise of the article is kind of wrong. I wouldn’t say decentralized storage platforms are the competition, but storage platforms in general. It’s probably wise for decentralized platforms to market the ideas to a broader audience together.
That said, I have looked into running a node on all the mentioned platforms, with the exception of 0Chain. For all of them the upfront costs is what sent me looking elsewhere, either for high hardware requirements or for buying in. Storj has a very low barrier of entrance compared to the other platforms. The software can run great on a Raspberry Pi 4 and there is no upfront buy in at all. So you can just test the waters.
As for the customer side, yes, Storj/Tardigrade relies on somewhat centralized satellites (the network will support community hosted satellites in the future). But the trade-off is that it’s the only high performance, SLA backed decentralized option right now. Additionally the low barrier to entry for node operators also means the network consists of many smaller nodes compared to some of the other platforms, which due to the high requirements and upfront payment often have fewer and larger nodes. This arguably means that the data itself is in some ways more distributed.
As an active community member I can say there is a lot of active development going on and the product is getting better and better. Recent months have been especially good for SNOs, with great updates to the web dashboards for nodes with more information. All code is open source and there is a public roadmap available. I don’t really understand the complaints about lack of transparency. In fact I find them very accessible here on the forums and willing to share what they are working on as well as incorporating community feedback.
I became a SNO (back then called a farmer) while v2 was still live. Already back then the barrier to entry was by far the lowest. But v2 had lots of issues. V3 is a completely different beast though. I recommend reading the v3 whitepaper if you’re interested in how things work. But basically it went from an interesting platform that did a great trick, to a very solid design that has thought of everything.
The official earnings estimator was a kind of a mark against them for a bit, but to be fair, it was never intended to mislead. It predated any significant testing of the network and thus was built on a lot of assumptions of possible future use. That said, I think it’s not really worth mentioning anymore as it has been taken offline. At the time I made an extensive suggestion to replace it and even made my own alternative in google sheets. You can find that here: Realistic earnings estimator
I don’t fault them for focusing on the core product first and this estimator second. Storj staff on the forum now regularly points people to this alternative, which further proves there was never an intention to mislead.
Honestly, I can’t currently see serious businesses consider any of the other major decentralized storage platforms. I hope that changes. But for now I would only feel ok to pitch using Tardigrade to a local business looking for cheap cloud storage. Honestly though, I think it would be good for all players in this market if there are multiple good decentralized storage solutions. So I’m rooting for all of them.
Whoops, sorry… wrote a novel again.