The Distributed Storage Competition – Part 1

There are many ecosystems working on the brilliant concept of distributed storage, but who are they, and what sets them apart?

Image for ScPrime website. ScPrime is the project behind the distributed S3 cloud provider, Xa Net Services.
Infographic Comparison of Networks - Sep28

The ScPrime storage network – in its fourth year of development from the team behind Xa Net Services and Xa-Miner storage devices – is one of several networks to identify the utility of smart-contracts and distribution for of data storage purposes. Pioneering efforts in this space focused on decentralization, privacy, and control; influences of the early Bitcoin community which these projects typically emerged from. Many of today’s networks have enjoyed generous token sales, each spending time and money pursuing their own vision of distributed storage. We consider the storage networks Sia, Filecoin, Arweave, and Storj to be comparable to ScPrime. These networks have distinct approaches, histories, and applications which will be covered and compared. We present these summaries fairly, but no-nonsense and plainspoken.

data as of 9/28/2022, *uncapped supply w/ low long-term inflation, **verifiable figures
#ScPrimeSiaFilecoinArweaveStorj
Whitepaper/Mainnet2019/20182014/20152014/20202017/20182014/2019
Fully Diluted Market Cap$12M*$180M*$11.4B$614M$191M
Storage Use/ Capacity1.6 PB/ 65 PB3 PB/ 6.8 PB24** PB/ 872** PB92 TB12.4 PB/ 19.4PB
Active Storage Nodes2650590824**6616,400
Provider RewardRent, IncentivesRent, BandwidthBlock Reward [Emission subsidized]Block RewardRent, Bandwidth (Centralized)
Renter Pricing$10/TB/mo
Flat Rate
[Xa Net Services]
< $5/TB/mo
~ $2/TB Egress
< $1/TB/mo
Negligible Egress
~ $2200/TB Indefinitely$4/TB/mo
$7/TB Egress
Fee per Touch
S3 CompatibilityNativeNoNoNoSupported
SecurityEnforced Client-Side End-to-End EncryptionEnforced Client-Side End-to-End EncryptionNo Encryption or AuthenticationNo Encryption or AuthenticationServer-Side Encryption w/ Intermediary

Xa Net Services’ distributed renter (“Relayer”) is a true pioneer in allowing today’s workflows to tap in to tomorrow’s cloud

Image for ScPrime website. ScPrime is the project behind the distributed S3 cloud provider, Xa Net Services.
Image for ScPrime website. ScPrime is the project behind the distributed S3 cloud provider, Xa Net Services.

A refresher on ScPrime (Ess-See-Prime): in a sentence, it is a peer-to-peer storage mesh utilizing established and novel technologies to provide a highly distributed and secure business cloud. ScPrime uses a publicly verifiable distributed ledger for accounting, where a record of all storage contracts (binding agreements between renters and providers) and their terms is kept. This blockchain-level protocol and associated codebases are referred to as the ‘Renter-Host Protocol.’ Xa (Ex-Uh) Net Services and Xa-Miner represent the renter and host respectively, and are owned and operated by SCP, Corp. in a bifurcated approach. Xa Net Services provides an application to harness storing data on this network of providers seamlessly integrating with existing apps and workflows. This compatibility is achieved by natively supporting the most widely used ‘S3 Storage Protocol’ developed by Amazon and used in thousands of consumer and enterprise applications like Veeam, Rclone, and NextCloud. Xa-Miners are compact computers with enterprise-grade hard drives to provide their storage over the internet to this network, earning their owner monthly revenue for relatively little effort. Breaking down to these basic components (blockchain, renters, and providers) will help guide the comparison of these networks.

ScPrime has an uncapped supply, but the emission beyond ~55M coins remains low. There was a premine with several tranches. The most significant portion of ~6.27M coins has been earmarked for network build-out and incentives – all of these coins go to storage providers. The SCP Team to date has received fewer than 3M coins for their work. A total of 3.3M coins was created as a gesture of good-will toward the developers of the original Renter-Host Protocol (detailed in Part 2), however these coins have almost all gone unclaimed, and could be considered largely burned (300k coins verifiably burned).

Our companion piece The Distributed Storage Competition – Part 2 investigates each network individually and analyzes models, mechanics, and use cases.