You are probably familiar with GPU and CPU mining. There are also ASICS that are specialized in one single algorithm. The cryptocurrency world requires a lot of hash power to be up and running, and the system rewards those users who rent their hardware to support it.
However, not long time ago, a new cryptocurrency emerged that allowed common people like you and me to rent HDD space, rather than CPU/GPU power.
Meet Storj – a decentralized cloud storage system that allows users to store their personal encrypted data anonymously and safe on other’s computers and have real time access to it from anywhere, anytime.
Storj vs. Minebox
In one of my previous articles I already reviewed a similar alternative called Minebox. Minebox is a decentralized cloud storage network that is kept in Mineboxes – pieces of hardware that contain hard drives and a controller to run them autonomously.
Storj is different since it does not require you to purchase any additional pieces of hardware. All you have to do is to assign part of your already existing and functioning PC HDDs to be part of Storj network.
Decentralized Storage as the Safest Alternative to Centralized Cloud Storage
You probably agree that modern centralized cloud storage systems are not secure. There are two main reasons why companies like Dropbox and OneDrive cannot be considered 100% safe bets.
- Reason (a) is that the info you upload there is not private. No matter how sensitive and personal your data is, once you upload it, the company owners get total access to it. They can then copy it, distribute it or even use it against you (happened more than once).
- Reason (b) is that no company is 100% fail-proof. In 2016 alone, at least eight big cloud storage services ceased activity. About ten million users worldwide had to look for another storage company. Not only they had to find a way to quickly migrate their data (which could go from 1 to hundreds of gigabytes of information), but also the big question is – who owns their data now? Was it erased from the servers once the cloud storage service shut down, or…?
Why Is Storj so Interesting?
Storj uses blockchain to keep your data safe, encrypted and decentralized. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies proved to be 100% safe and anonymous, which gives me reasons to trust Storj too.
This also means that the owners of the company do not have access to your data whatsoever. I will review how to create a Storj account in a minute and you will notice that the password (or better said, the decryption key) you create is only visible to you. If you lose it, nobody will be able to restore it for you, because you are the only one who has access to it. So make sure you write it down on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere safe.
Storj supports mobile devices as well as PC. This means that you will have instant access to your data from any point of the world.
Zero setup fees and no minimum space usage are yet another thing that makes Storj an interesting alternative. You can enjoy the service no matter how much data you want to store.
Storj also provides their own tokens (Storjcoin X), which allow more transparency and stability to the system, as well as enabling a feedback loop. Storj services can be purchased with ETH/BTC and credit card payments.
Now, about monetization of your HDD space, Storj allows you profit from your free HDD space and Internet traffic. You get paid both for renting someone your free space and for every Gb of information that is being downloaded from your HDD(s).
Storj features accessible prices, which is great news for those who want to upload data and might be a little disappointing for those who want to profit from the rent. Or is that so?
$0.015 per GB per month
This is the passive component of the price. Good news is – you don’t have to pay for the storage space in advance. You only pay for the space you actually use.
$0.05 per GB downloaded
This is the active component of the price and it depends on how often and how much you access your own data.
$10 credit, valid for the next three months!
Plus, one year of free service — up to 25GB of storage and bandwidth every month
Profit – Storj Share
From what we see in the pricing description, we can conclude that you probably won’t earn a lot from renting 100 GB of HDD space. However, you will be able to rent 100GB and use the tokens you earn to purchase storage space from others. This way you can enjoy decentralized cloud storage for free.
However, if you want to go serious and rent way more space, you can always assemble your own HDD rig with 4-8 or even 20 terabytes of space. As with most other cryptocurrencies, Storj requires you to have a solid rig in order to see real profit.
Good news is – Hard Drives have usually way more lifespan than GPU’s. Plus, unlikely other cryptocurrencies, your income does not depend on the mining difficulties of Storj tokens. Gigabytes are gigabytes and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon 🙂
Setup for Mining
If you think Storj is worth a try, then here’s how to set it up:
- Create a wallet in https://wallet.counterwallet.io . Make sure you write down your unique seed on a piece of paper and store it somewhere safe, since you won’t be able to recover it in case you lose it
- Download the Storj application from here: https://github.com/Storj/storjshare-gui/releases . Make sure you choose the correct option. Say, if you are using a Windows 64 bit PC then pick the fourth one: “storjshare-gui.win64.exe”
- Once installed, a screen will pop up
a. Paste your walled address (the one we created in Step 1) into the ‘Payout Address’ field
b. Then, go to the hard drive you want to use for this, create a new empty folder and select it in the Storj file browser
c. Finally choose, the amount of GB you want to rent. Click on ‘Start’ and enjoy the profit 🙂
It will take some time for Storj to assign contracts to you. The contract meter will fill up over time, as well as the amount of storage space you rent. Mining Storjcoin X requires a little bit of luck and time, just as mining any other crypto coin. However, the more you mine, the more contracts you will eventually get, so give it some time.
Storj is a new project, so don’t expect it to be perfectly tested and balanced. However, the idea is quite interesting – the team did a great job putting all of this together and the Storj community is growing by the day. If you have some spare HDD space you’d like to monetize, then Storj is definitely worth a try.
Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.
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