Filecoin compared to

While Filecoin shares some similarities to other file storage solutions, the protocol has significant differences that one should consider.

Filecoin combines many elements of other file storage and distribution systems. What makes Filecoin unique is that it runs on an open, peer-to-peer network while still providing economic incentives and proofs to ensure files are being stored correctly. This page compares Filecoin against other technologies that share some of the same properties.

Filecoin vs. Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage

FilecoinAmazon S3, Google Cloud Storage

Main use case

Storing files at hypercompetitive prices

Storing files using a familiar, widely-supported service


Determined by a hypercompetitive open market

Set by corporate pricing departments


Many small, independent storage providers

A handful of large companies

Reliability stats

Independently checked by the network and publicly verifiable

Companies self-report their own stats


Applications can access all storage providers using the Filecoin protocol

Applications must implement a different API for each storage provider


Competitive market for retrieving files

Typically more expensive than storing files to lock users in

Fault handling

If a file is lost, the user is refunded automatically by the network

Companies can offer users credit if files are lost or unavailable


If something goes wrong, the Filecoin protocol determines what happens without human intervention

If something goes wrong, users contact the support help desk to seek resolution

Physical location

Miners located anywhere in the world

Limited to where provider’s data centres are located

Becoming a storage provider

Low barrier to entry for storage providers (computer, hard drive, internet connection)

High barrier to entry for storage providers (legal agreements, marketing, support staff)

Filecoin tokens (FIL) vs. Bitcoin tokens (BTC)


Main use case

File storage

Payment network

Data storage

Good at storing large amounts of data inexpensively

Small amounts of data can be stored on blockchain at significant cost


Blockchain secured using proof of replication and proof of spacetime

Blockchain secured using proof of work

Consensus power

Miners with the most storage have the most power

Miners with the most computational speed have the most power

Mining hardware

Hard drives, GPUs, and CPUs


Mining usefulness

Mining results in peoples’ files being stored

Mining results in heat

Types of provider

Storage provider, retrieval provider, repair provider

All providers perform proof of work

Uptime requirements

Storage providers rewarded for uptime, penalized for downtime

Miners can go offline without being penalized

Network status

Mainnet running since 2020

Mainnet running since 2009

Last updated