The scientific community and non-Web3 or crypto entities are increasingly recognising the benefits of decentralised storage solutions, a prime example being Filecoin and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, a prestigious Australian medical organisation comprising over 230 scientists and 23 laboratories.
Founded in 1994 and inaugurated by the late Princess Diana, the institute recently adopted Filecoin as its preferred method of storing its vast reservoir of cardiac research data.
Decentralised solutions connect the world outside crypto: Filecoin’s step forward
In a strategic move that began in September 2022, the institute switched to Filecoin, and the migration of published public data began in November of the same year.
The main reason for this move was the significant cost savings offered by Filecoin, which effectively made traditional ‘on-premises storage systems’ and cloud-based solutions obsolete.
A key benefit for the institution was the elimination of excessive data recovery fees charged by traditional cloud providers.
The decision to use Filecoin proved financially prudent given the large volume of data generated by the Institute’s SyncroPatch machine, a medical instrument used to analyse cardiovascular cells.
This machine generates up to 20,000 data points per day, which translates into terabytes of data per week.
Filecoin’s decentralised architecture, along with its unwavering commitment to data integrity, is a perfect fit for the institution’s needs.
This decentralised model improves data redundancy and durability, significantly reducing the risk of data loss due to hardware failure or localised incidents.
Filecoin’s incorporation of blockchain technology guarantees unassailable data integrity, making it the ideal solution for safeguarding invaluable research results, as explained by Todd Ryman, the Institute’s IT Director.
The Filecoin network
The Filecoin network, overseen by Protocol Labs, includes up to 3,500 storage provider nodes, commonly known as validators.
These nodes perform cryptographic verification of the chain’s data on a daily basis. Importantly, the data, including that of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, is not stored on the chain, but is represented by a unique hash stored on the chain.
This approach eliminates reliance on traditional identification methods such as IP addresses, names or file types.
The hash serves as a unique user identifier to access the desired content stored on Filecoin’s storage providers, including Distributed Storage Solutions (DSS).
Facilitating data sharing between researchers is a key aspect of Filecoin’s utility, particularly in the medical sciences.
Ryman emphasises the importance of this feature, stating that:
“with Filecoin’s distributed storage and retrieval mechanisms, we can easily provide any researcher with access to specific datasets without the need for large-scale data transfers.”
This approach fosters collaboration and accelerates research results, while maintaining the privacy and security of datasets, a crucial aspect in the industry.
Other non-crypto related institutions have also relied on Filecoin for data storage
The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is not alone in recognising the benefits of Filecoin. Other prestigious institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Utah and major Web3 entities such as Solana and OpenSea have also adopted Filecoin as their preferred storage solution.
In summary, Filecoin’s rapid adoption and success story is underscored by its approximately 1,700 customers and the onboarding of up to 1.5 exibytes (EiB) of data.
To put this in perspective, 1.5 EiB equates to an impressive 1.7 billion gigabytes, a storage capacity equivalent to 13.5 million base model iPhones.
This monumental adoption underscores Filecoin’s pivotal role in reshaping data storage paradigms across multiple sectors, including the cherished field of medical research.