Filecoin is a way to support a distributed infrastructure by providing a way for people hosting data to be paid for it.
I don’t really understand the blockchain but I do like the idea of trying to incentivize people to run distributed infrastructure other than just because they politically believe it is the right decision.
Looks like it’s still vapourware?
Sia is basically the same thing and has been out for quite some time. There’s also StorJ, which I haven’t looked into much because of its reliance on Counterparty (but they’re switching away from that to Ethereum, yay!)
Filecoin, if it’s ever released, will be late to the scene.
Sort of like MaidSafe and the SAFE network?
As far as I know, they never actually figured out any of the technical problems preventing these file storage altcoins from making sense. In particular, it’s easy to perform a Sybil attack on the network by pretending you’re hosting a bunch of files amongst a bunch of nodes that you control. There’s no way to prove you’re actually using disk space, as opposed to “storing” some files that can be conveniently generated using an RNG.