Filecoin (FIL)

From CryptoWiki

Filecoin is a decentralized storage network leveraging IPFS

Total supply40.000.000



  • Filecoin has again (20-4-2020) postponed its mainnet launch, looking ahead to a new window between July 20 to August 21. Final launch date (28-9-2020) is now 15 October.
  • "Filecoin Is mailing out (7-5-2020) Hard Drives of Climate Data to Kick-Start its File-Storage Network."




Audits & Exploits

"According to a new blog post, the mainnet delay is due to the need for additional changes revealed by project’s internal protocol security audit."


  • Had an error (19-12-2020) which led to seven hours of offline time according to Messari (31-3-2021). It was caused by a storage miner actor error. The simultaneous termination of multiple sectors caused nodes to process map entries in different orders and meant miners couldn't reach consensus.
  • Had what Binance and Filecoin called, an 'API mistake' (20-3-2021):

"In emails to Decrypt, Filecoin and Binance are chalking it up to an “incorrect use” of APIs, as opposed to a bug. The transaction in question only happened once on the Filecoin blockchain, even though the exchange mistakenly accepted the transaction twice; the result was more like a “double deposit” than a double spend."



  • ICO goal was 40.000.000 but they had the biggest ICO ever and got 257.000.000$ in ETH.

Token allocation

Protocol Labs will receive all the ETH of the ICO PLUS 50% more coins than investors, so 1.5x. A foundation will receive 50% of the amount of coins “minted” by investors. Total: 66.6% to them, 33.3% to investors. Also, 70% of the tokens that will ever exist will be mined. This means that the investors are only getting access to 10% of the total supply ever.”


Token Details


Coin Distribution


  1. "Lotus (written in Go)
  2. Fuhon (written in C++, implemented by Soramitsu)
  3. Forest (written in Rust, implemented by Chainsafe)"

Transaction Details

How it works

  • From their docs (4-8-2022):

"Filecoin and IPFS are complementary protocols for storing and sharing data in the distributed web. Both systems are free, open-source, and share many building blocks, including data representation formats (IPLD) and network communication protocols (libp2p). While interacting with IPFS does not require using Filecoin, all Filecoin nodes are IPFS nodes under the hood, and (with some manual configuration) can connect to and fetch IPLD-formatted data from other IPFS nodes using libp2p. However, Filecoin nodes don’t join or participate in the public IPFS DHT (Distributed Hash Tables).

IPFS users usually persist the data they want on their own IPFS nodes. This is called pinning. Sometimes the data may be pinned using a third-party pinning service or through groups of individual IPFS users (like IPFS Collaborative Clusters). The data exists in the network as long as one user is storing it and can provide it to others when they request it.

IPFS alone does not include a built-in mechanism to incentivize the storage of data for other people. This is the challenge Filecoin aims to solve. Filecoin is built on IPFS to create a distributed storage marketplace for long-term storage. Nodes with a large storage capacity can rent their storage to users and get paid for it.

The Filecoin network ensures that data is safely stored. However, the processes of storing, verifying, and unsealing (referred to as sealing, proving, and retrieving, respectively) are computationally expensive and can take time. This is especially relevant for the retrieval of data, which should happen as fast as possible. For this reason, Filecoin enables an additional retrieval market where dedicated nodes can help quickly deliver content from the network for payment by keeping unsealed, cached copies. This delivery mechanism may make use of IPFS but is still in design. See ResNetLab’s Decentralized Data Delivery Market research for more information on delivery mechanisms.

Filecoin aims to add longer-term persistence to safely store large batches of data, while IPFS optimizes for the quick retrieval and distribution of content."

  • Uses Proof-of-Replication (PoR); which allows proving that any replica of data is stored in physically independent storage. Introduces a novel useful-work consensus based on sequential proofs-of-replication and storage as a measure of power.
  • Proof-of-Spacetime (PoSt); where a verifier can check if a prover is storing her/his outsourced data for a range of time. The intuition is to require the prover to (1) generate sequential Proofs-of-Storage (in our case Proof-of-Rep.
  • From LongHash Ventures (31-5-2022):

"The Filecoin network serves as an incentive layer for storing & verifying the data on IPFS. $FIL is the native token of Filecoin. It's used to reward data storage providers for storing IPFS material. Data clients must pay in $FIL to both store and receive data on the network. Most apps using Filecoin utilize multi-tiered storage to speed up access/storage & securely store the data. IPFS pinning (saving files to IPFS) serves as hot storage layer which allows fast data retrieval. Filecoin network is used as cold storage for archival."



"The HyperDrive upgrade in July '21 benefited network participants through lower congestion and scaled throughput to 10-25x; however, it hurt the protocol’s revenue."

  • Almost immediately after the launch, Filecoin introduced an upgrade to satisfy the miners (23-10-2020):

"The upgrade comes with the FIP-004 proposal – an implementation that increases a miner’s ability to reinvest the network's FIL token by making 25% of mining rewards available with no vesting. Previously, block rewards were doled out over a 180-day period; now, FIP-004 miners are able to receive 25% right away with the other 75% to be vested over the next six months."

"The capacity of Filecoin’s “incentivized testnet” has exceeded 12 pebibytes (roughly 12.9 petabytes) in less than two days since its launch, according to the project’s website. Miners from around the world are being incentivized to participate as Filecoin (FIL) promised to hand out up to 4 million FIL tokens as rewards. Currently, the capacity of Filecoin’s testnet hovers just over 12 pebibytes that are split between 280 miners, with an average size of 46 tebibytes each."

"Filecoin has completed other trials prior to the testnet unveiling, the statement detailed. The project also transitioned into Proof-of-Replication, or PoRep, consensus, as well as implemented a number of other developments. The testnet trial holds as Filecoin's last experimental stage prior to its mainnet going live, which is expected to arrive in Q3, 2020."


"In the first iteration of the protocol, storage miners are the core service providers on Filecoin, with other types of mining in the future. Since Filecoin is a global network that everyone can use, the storage mining demographic is diverse – including individuals, organizations, and companies. Storage miners both compete and collaborate in the Filecoin Network; they compete with each other for storage deals and block rewards, and they collaborate with each other by growing the Filecoin Economy and maintaining the blockchain."


"The miners are required to stake a large amount of FIL tokens as “Initial Pledge Collateral” to start their mining operations."

Liquidity Mining


  • From Our Network (4-9-2021):

"Filecoin is the largest zk-SNARK network and recently had a 10-25x scalability improvement."

Different Implementations


Other Details


  • From their blog (5-1-2021):

"Filecoin has incorporated EIP-1559 into its core protocol, with a small adaptation. Filecoin uses tipsets; its transactions go onto the chain before they are executed, and actual gas usage can’t be determined until that occurs. Filecoin therefore requires users to provide an estimated gas limit on transactions. To properly align incentives, overestimation above a certain margin is penalized via an overestimation burn.

EIP-1559 is implemented and live on the Filecoin mainnet. At present, around 100k to 150k FIL are being consumed per day as the result of network transactions. Incorporating the standard has delivered at least two key wins:

  1. Fast Lane for High-Value Transactions. At times, storage onboarding messages have threatened to price out the more time-sensitive WindowPost messages. As expected, however, integrating EIP-1559 has provided Filecoin participants a straightforward mechanism for navigating this congestion without having to pay exorbitant prices all of the time.
  2. Network Capacity Management. So far, the base fee mechanism of EIP-1559 has done very well at keeping network capacity at one hundred percent of its target.

As time has gone on, transaction creators have also gotten much better at estimating the amount of gas their transactions will require, leading to long-term reductions in overestimation burn.

There’s also been some room for improvement: base fee variance has been high, and its change rate has been spiky. This is due to a large amount of congestion as new storage gets onboarded. In the past, this has led to critical WindowPost messages being priced out as well.

There are a number of different approaches the Filecoin community could investigate to address these pricing issues:

  1. Gas Control Plane. One possible means of addressing network congestion is creating a dedicated gas lane for control plane transactions, setting aside a fraction of every block to specific messages critical for the functioning of the blockchain.
  2. Message Type Fee Structures. Another means of addressing this problem may be reducing the cost of WindowPost, or else increasing the cost of other messages, particularly Pre/ProveCommit messages.
  3. Base Fee Change Rate. Spikiness in the base fee over time implies that the rate is not perfectly chosen, and could be smoother."

Oracle Method

"Filecoin has integrated with oracle service Chainlink. The integration will enable connection between Filecoin and Ethereum and other smart contract-enabled blockchains."

Their Other Projects


  • Can be found [Insert link here].


"Total network storage capacity - 17.087 EiB, Utilized storage capacity - 97.6181 PiB, Total Storage Deals - 4,079,535, Active Miners - 3959"

  • From Our Network (4-9-2021):

"Since its launch, Filecoin has reached 10EiB in capacity, more than 3000 storage providers & 10,000 developers building applications on Filecoin. The active usage of the protocol has generated more than $1.4B in protocol revenue."

"The decentralized storage network hit 1 exabyte of capacity. That's much higher than estimates of the size of the Netflix library. The next step is getting applications to join the network."

Projects that use or built on it

"On the web3 side, the integration between Filecoin and Livepeer serves as a template for a decentralized Youtube, and allows users to upload videos to be ingested and transcoded by Livepeer, and stored on Filecoin for long term access and playback."


  • It has a detailed comparison in its docs (4-8-2022) with Amazon and Google Cloud.

Filecoin Forks

"MIX Group, a Filecoin mining company, plans to fork, Weiping Han, MIX’s chairman said during a press conference in Xiamen earlier today. Han added that he had the support of many Filecoin miners and influential VCs such as Jun Du, co-founder of Huobi and founder of Node Capital.

Han is not the first one to propose a Filecoin fork. An anonymous Filecoin fork project entitled Filecoin Vision was released on Github earlier in China today. Its proposed “new rules” are basically the reversal of Protocol Labs’ research paper.

  • Althought forks did not gain traction, protests did continue, with some big miners 'striking', and other simply not running due to them not having enough FIL tokens to start mining (19-10-2020):

"The miners are required to stake a large amount of FIL tokens as “Initial Pledge Collateral” to start their mining operations. “All the miners have been off since the mainnet went live, this is not some sort of protest but we have to shut them down because we really don’t have the tokens as collateral to mine,” ST Cloud CEO Chuhang Lai said in the report. 

In response to miner’s concerns, Filecoin has decided to release 25% token rewards in advance once a miner builds a block on the blockchain. “The revision could enable 80% of our mining capacity,” Xiaoming Zhan, CEO at IPSFMain said."

  • Almost immediately after the launch, Filecoin introduced an upgrade to satisfy the miners (23-10-2020):

"The upgrade comes with the FIP-004 proposal – an implementation that increases a miner’s ability to reinvest the network's FIL token by making 25% of mining rewards available with no vesting. Previously, block rewards were doled out over a 180-day period; now, FIP-004 miners are able to receive 25% right away with the other 75% to be vested over the next six months."

Pros and Cons



  • From Decrypt (18-9-2020):

"Filecoin miners, a majority of whom are based in China, have been grousing that Filecoin’s mainnet launch has been delayed. (The blockchain was originally slated for a March start.) The miners have further complained that Filecoin has been unresponsive to community concerns, and is seemingly centralized in its governance.

More specifically, Han listed a number of miners’ technical grievances ranging from hardware restrictions to cryptography and transactional bandwidth. But the most important factor, perhaps, was what he labeled Filecoin’s “harsh” reward system to miners.

According to Han, a research paper published by Protocol Labs on August 27, Filecoin’s economic model could wash out as many as 80% miners after the mainnet launch. That’s because miners must now provide an “Initial Pledge Collateral,” equivalent to 20 days worth of block reward and 30% FIL circulating supply target. These are capital and opportunity costs that many miners cannot afford, which irks the miners.

Second, the protocol will only allocate 30% of its storage mining allocation in “simple minting,” and the remainder in “baseline minting,” meaning miners can only harvest the initial 30% of their reward while waiting for the rest to be released linearly in the next 180 days. For miners who borrow to mine Filecoin, such a slow return mechanism could bankrupt them, Han said.

Lastly, Filecoin will implement a severe penalty for miners who commit technical errors or fail to follow processes such as submitting the certification of their storage commitment."

"On top of the system's design struggles, the emerging scandal surrounding the early release of additional tokens certainly hasn't helped Filecoin's public image."

Team, Funding, Partners


  • Full team can be found [here].
  • Created by Protocol Labs
  • It is often mentioned that Filecoin has an experienced core team, but it is difficult to find a lot of information except direct github commits.
  • Juan Benet; founder of both IPFS and Filecoin (under the same company). IPFS needs an incentive system build in for it to be truly usable and useful, filecoin is building that incentive system.
  • Has two foundations (12-2020) working on growth, The Filecoin Foundation and the Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web.


“Filecoin counts, among its many accredited investors, a few big names in venture capital who have never actually been publicly named by Protocol Labs, but have been reported to include Winklevoss Capital and other investors in Protocol Labs itself. These early investors, dubbed as advisors, were able to purchase Filecoins at a price of 75 cents, whereas outside investors were given a starting price of $1. The average price for Filecoin was $2.65 in the first hour of the token sale to outside investors.”

  • Has investment from Consensus Capital ("we’re a partner who supports their growth.")

"BlueYard Capital and Union Square Ventures led [a] round, kick-starting half a decade of development."

  • From Paradigm (10-12-2020): "Huobi Group and Protocol labs have partnered to launch the Huobi Filecoin Incubation Center with a $10M USD fund."
  • The Fenbushi Ecosystem Fund for Filecoin Development has been launched (11-1-2021).



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