Is it possible to use IPFS as interim Decentralized Storage solution before Filecoin is operational?


We are working on a cross-border telemedicine solution where the participating hospitals will need to share patient data amongst themselves and with their counterparts overseas. I think a decentralized storage network might be a good fit for this project given that we’re planning to use Ether or even Bitcoin (lightning micropayments perhaps) to facilitate easy and fast cross-border payments and data hacks have been a big problem for the healthcare industry in the US costing it $6.2B last year.

I estimate (liberally) we would need exchange about 100TB of patient data b/w hospitals in the first year and would need the ability to set advanced permission controls over the data. Would be great if someone if from the community or the Protocol Labs team can help answer some questions.

  • What is the estimated launch date for Filecoin and how much space in the storage market can we . estimate over let’s say the first 6 months of launch? What is the estimated cost of storage and download/upload speeds?

  • Assuming Filecoin is not launching anytime soon, is it possible to work with IPFS in the interim and upgrade to Filecoin as it is available?

    * If yes, how does one ensure and manage replication of the data (many pieces on many nodes) and why would other IPFS nodes make copies of the data and how do I managing encryption/description and access control to the data?  
    * If no, what alternative do we have other than waiting? 
  • Are there any projects using IPFS as a storage/data-sharing solution for large files?

  • And just curious, how much data is stored over IPFS right now?

Since we’re working with developing countries were Health IT is in its infancy, I think decentralized tech would be easier to deploy than a place like US where it would need to replace existing infrastructure.



Hey @nuevotango.

I am not sure if IPFS forum members have any insights on Filecoin roadmap.

Regarding your payment solution: “Ether or even Bitcoin, to facilitate easy and fast cross-border payments” really? I would strongly discourage you from doing so.

ETH is not for payments and BTC is useless. Use XRP if you want proper payment system.

Regarding the privacy sharing solution. At Lightstreams we have implemented programmable ACL on top of IPFS. We were hammering this tech so forgive the frontend website with some current glytches:

You can write me an email directly to if you are interested in some collaboration.



That’s a sales pitch rather than an answer. However, I went to your website and read the Lightstreams whitepaper. Although relevant to what I am looking for, the project appears to be a spaghetti mix of several protocols, tech & projects viz. Ethereum, IPFS, POA, Zk-SNARKS, Tendermint to create layer 2 solution over IPFS and a new blockchain to solve data storage challenges. There were a lot of impressive claims but I’m sorry to say it wasn’t convincing. How do you provide ‘zero cost for storing content’ or ‘uncapped storage capacity’? If that were true nobody needs to wait for the protocol labs team to build Filecoin.

Secondly, it would be helpful if you could provide reasons for using XRP over Ethereum or Bitcoin rather than just declaring it like you did. I wouldn’t want to discuss that on this thread since its off-topic but you can write to me at (karanverma[AT]alumni[DOT]stanford[DOT]edu My limited research showed me that XRP isn’t really a decentralized cryptocurrency but I invite you to show me that I am wrong.

What would be helpful is to answer some of the above questions I asked about IPFS - I assume since you are building a storage solution over it you should have the answers.

A question related to Lightstream: Does your project require participants to run IPFS nodes? If not, how do you plan to incentivize people running IPFS nodes to store third-party data? How much 1GB of data storage would cost and what would be the upload and download speeds?

I was hoping for someone from the Protocol Labs team to answer that one.

It was indeed a sales pitch. Although, you can check my forum history, the first one because you literarly asked for a solution to a problem we are currently working on so is only natural for me to share our solution with you.

BTW: “Tendermint to create layer 2 solution over IPFS and a new blockchain to solve data storage challenges.” (the other way around).

I won’t go into a long discussion about cryptos anywhere, especially not here that’s why I wanted to keep it short. There is a lot of free good material on XRP tech. Basically, because I use XRP for transactions for over a year (today as well), is immediate, 0 fees. XRP is not centralised, that’s a myth. And you have a professional company and developers producing true financial product/technology. You want to pay 20$ on a BTC fee for transfer of 10$ and wait for few hours? Not me. And I don’t recommend ETH as it’s not designed for payments but to serve as state machine. Anyway, back to point.

Yes, our project requires participants to run IPFS nodes, as a true decentralised platform should, therefore we inherit all the IPFS metrics/advantages/problems. We are not filecoin and don’t charge/host the storage. Your data, your storage.

“Are there any projects using IPFS as a storage/data-sharing solution for large files?” define large file. IPFS tech is also very new, I would be interested in the above question myself and would be happy to checkout some real projects already utilitizing it. We are running fine with few hundred MB files currently.

Hope this helps answer some missunderstandings/questions.

@EnchanterIO unbiased view is XLM >> XRP.

  • first, did you do an extensive work to check that IPFS is the best system for storing +very_large +medical folders ? IMHO I doubt IPFS is, but don’t have all your parameters.
  • second, there’s not “free lunch”, here we say “you cannot have the butter and the money of the butter” (some people add “and the cow-girl” but it’s a disgression…): so I doubt you can have what your looking for free.
    But we’re working in something very very close to what your looking for. Should be available within few weeks :wink:

I don’t know why these people are using this thread to criticize Bitcoin and promote other cryptocurrencies while totally ignoring the question, that’s nonsense. Moderators, please help!

As for the question, of the data is private you would have to think about your own encryption solution (maybe you can adapt somehow?).

how does one ensure and manage replication of the data (many pieces on many nodes) and why would other IPFS nodes make copies of the data

Other nodes won’t store your data. There’s not such a solution. You have to store your own data.

The bigger problem, however, is that of the data changes a lot you’ll lose a lot of IPFS power and will have to keep redistributing it as its address will keep changing. IPFS is more a distribution platform than an storage system. For personal, name-addressed, synchronized data over private networks, I’ve had good experiences with Syncthing, which perhaps you can fork and adapt.

There’s also that advertised itself as a decentralized file storage system and alternative to Filecoin a while ago, but I don’t know anything about it.


While I understand the urge to point people at your project when you feel they’re making a mistake, the questions in this thread concern IPFS and Filecoin. BTC and ETH were only mentioned in passing as possible payment mechanisms and are not directly related to the topic being discussed.

If you feel the need to respond, please do so in kind. That is, in passing while answering the actual question. The purpose of this thread is to answer @nuevotango’s questions. Anything that doesn’t is off topic.

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This forum is for the IPFS project so I can’t answer Filecoin questions here.

You can store IPFS data in a cluster of nodes. Take a look at ipfs-cluster. However, this doesn’t incentivize others to store your data. Instead, it allows you (and any other interested parties) to collectively store a dataset. They can even do so on a private network.

We have no idea.

@flyingzumwalt may be better able to answer that question.

true. Apologies :wink: I jumped to a hot trap. IPFS ONLY further on.

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