Editor’s Note: The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol that when coupled with Blockchain allows users to address large amounts of data with IPFS, and place permanent, immutable IPFS links into a blockchain transaction. This timestamps and secures data without having to put the data on the chain itself. The following extract and article link provide an explanation of IPFS and may be beneficial to legal professionals as they consider how to leverage the foundational capability of Blockchain with the transformational capability of distributed storage enabled by IPFS.
Extract from an article by Kyle Drake and Marcin Rataj
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is an implementation of the distributed web that seeks to replace HTTP with a new protocol that is powered by individuals on the internet. The goal of IPFS is to “re-decentralize” the web by replacing the location-oriented HTTP with a content-oriented protocol that does not require trust of third parties. This allows for websites and web apps to be “served” by any computer on the internet with IPFS support, without requiring servers to be run by the original content creator. IPFS and the distributed web unmoor information from physical location and singular distribution, ultimately creating a more affordable, equal, available, faster, and less censorable web.
IPFS aims for a “distributed” or “logically decentralized” design. IPFS consists of a network of nodes, which help each other find data using a content hash via a Distributed Hash Table (DHT). The result is that all nodes help find and serve websites, and even if the original provider of the site goes down, you can still load it as long as one other computer in the network has a copy of it. The web becomes empowered by individuals, rather than depending on the large organizations that can afford to build large content delivery networks and serve a lot of traffic.
Foundational White Paper on IPFS (Juan Benet)ipfs-p2p-file-system (2)