# What is Filecoin?

Filecoin is a peer-to-peer network that stores files, with built-in economic incentives to ensure files are stored reliably over time.

In Filecoin, users pay to store their files on storage miners. Storage miners are computers responsible for storing files and proving they have stored the files correctly over time. Anyone who wants to store their files or get paid for storing other users’ files can join Filecoin. Available storage and pricing is not controlled by any single company. Instead, Filecoin facilitates open markets for storing and retrieving files that anyone can participate in.

Filecoin includes a blockchain and native cryptocurrency (FIL). Storage miners earn units of FIL for storing files. Filecoin’s blockchain records transactions to send and receive FIL, along with proofs from storage miners that they are storing their files correctly.

Diagram showing a four-step process for storing files with Filecoin. First step: User who wants to store a file pays miner to store their file. Second step: Miner commits publicly via Filecoin’s blockchain to storing the file. Third step: The network constantly verifies that miners are storing files correctly. Fourth step: User pays miner to retrieve their file.

# For users

Filecoin enables users to store their files at hypercompetitive prices and verify that their files are being stored correctly.

Users can choose their preferred trade-off between cost, redundancy and speed by selecting the miner whose storage offer is best suited for their needs. Applications that implement Filecoin can negotiate storage with any miner on the network. Unlike centralized storage systems, there is no need to implement a different API for each provider.

At any time, users can verify that their files are being stored correctly by looking at proofs on Filecoin’s blockchain.

# For storage providers

Filecoin enables storage providers to sell their storage on an open market.

Storage providers are people and organizations that run miners, earning Filecoin tokens for doing so. A miner could be any internet-connected computer with spare disk space, or a dedicated system with lots of storage built specifically for Filecoin. Filecoin’s blockchain rewards miners for contributing useful storage to the internet, not for completing wasteful proof-of-work computations.

Once a storage provider implements the Filecoin protocol, they gain access to the entire market of Filecoin users. Providers don’t need to design their own storage API or advertise their offering themselves as this is handled by Filecoin’s protocol and network. Filecoin enables a thriving, decentralized ecosystem of independent storage providers by removing barriers to entry.