This is where the last few months of my life have gone. 90 pages of distributed systems experience. I also learned way more LaTeX than I cared to.
A single person can run many nodes, right? Can someone run multiple nodes with the same backing storage? Does this affect redundancy?
The whitepaper describes mitigations for Sybil attacks. Original Storj designs had some mitigations for this IIRC though not this PoW/Kademlia tree scheme.
The concern I would have is not Sybil attacks, but centralization related to Storj Labs’ satellites. It will be interesting to see whether other non-SL satellites become trusted by the network in practice.
A single person can run many nodes, yes. You can choose to run multiple nodes with the same backing storage, but our node selection algorithm chooses nodes based on IP route, geographic, and identification redundancy. You may not receive more data just because you have more nodes. Our recommendation is a node per hardware failure domain (probably one node per hard drive).
I’m curious about the primary benefits of a dedicated token (STORJ). Is this about controlling the network, or a means of funding the development? Differently put, what are the disadvantages of launching this with an established currency? The whitepaper doesn’t really seem to shed any light on this.
In the V2 network, we reached the point where we were making payments to over 100K storage node operators in 180 countries/territories. We expect the V3 network to be much larger. We are also going to be making programmatic referral payments to open source projects/companies that help build demand (i.e., enable open source to directly monetize the cloud). A token provides a practical way to do this at scale, with micropayments, smart contracts, etc.
But…as we say in the white paper…it could also work with fiat currency or physical transfer of live goats.
Overall, it gives us significant flexibility. Right now we’re simply using the token to exchange value, which is convenient because it has value and we have a lot of tokens (we’re ICO funded).
In the future, though, it allows us to be a bit more inventive with our options. We’re expecting to continually improve the architecture and decentralize further over time, and programmable money opens some previously closed doors.