Pay FileCoin on Read

Is there a way that one can host a file, but require readers of the file to pay filecoin in order to read it? For example — could pay the hoster of the file and the original publisher of the file some amount. This could be exceptionally powerful, for example, to create web properties that don’t use ads or tracking — i.e .the user reading the content would pay to access it.

Yes, this will eventually be possible through the Filecoin “retrieval” market (once implemented). But there’s a lot of work needed to make this truly seamless with IPFS. We’d need to:

  • Find which miners have the content.
  • Determine the best price/QoS (latency/bandwidth) for the content.
  • Figure out if it’s even worth paying for the content without hassling the user too much.
  • Figure out how to avoid abuse (evil website tricks the user’s IPFS node into paying for a bunch of garbage data at significantly greater than bandwidth costs).
  • Avoid wrecking the current bitswap network. If it’s suddenly possible to charge for content, content providers will have an incentive to attack anyone undercutting them (e.g., the current bitswap network).

We side-step many of these issues by having websites where they should try to download content and how much it should cost but there’s still a long road ahead to make this kind of thing a reality on the web.

But you’re absolutely right, this kind of thing could really reduce the need for intrusive ads & tracking.

Note, if you have any Filecoin specific questions, please ask them on This question is on-topic as it bridges the gap.