Protocol Labs Collaborates with ConsenSys to Bring Filecoin to Ethereum

With new and upcoming features from ConsenSys’ product suite, Filecoin miners, developers, and users of the network can now access essential Ethereum tools and integrate with Ethereum’s decentralized finance ecosystem.
by ConsenSysOctober 21, 2020
Filecoin   ConsenSys 2

Today, ​ConsenSys​ announced a collaboration with Protocol Labs​, the open-source software laboratory whose projects include ​InterPlanetary File System ​(IPFS),​ ​Filecoin​, libp2p​, a​nd more. The wide-ranging collaboration seeks to further integrate Filecoin’s next-generation marketplace for data storage and retrieval with ConsenSys’ leading Ethereum product stack.

The mainnet launch of the Filecoin network is a significant step toward growing a decentralized storage ecosystem and community that can integrate with Ethereum at every layer of the decentralized technology stack. IPFS aims to create a resilient, upgradable, open network to foster a more sustainable and globally accessible web infrastructure. IPFS promises both faster and cheaper retrieval of data, no more reliance on centralized servers, and an ability to access the web while offline. The economic incentive layer for IPFS is the Filecoin network, with its own token called Filecoin (FIL), which rewards miners that compete to properly store encrypted data on the Filecoin network. On October 15th, at block 148,888, the Filecoin network launched its public mainnet, which already contains 600 PiB of data, not to mention 600 active data miners, and 230 projects interacting with the storage protocol.

With new and upcoming features from ConsenSys’ product suite, Filecoin miners, developers, and users of the network can now access essential Ethereum tools and integrate with Ethereum’s decentralized finance ecosystem. This collaboration will make possible greater integration of Ethereum and Filecoin technologies as well as increasing convergence of their respective communities of builders, developers, and end users.

Joseph Lubin, Founder and CEO of ​ConsenSys​ said, “Many ConsenSys apps and portfolio companies have used IPFS for years through Infura. We are eager to build out greater functionality for IPFS and introduce new tools that will enable developers and consumers to easily make use of Filecoin and IPFS for their app development and pure storage needs. Through Infura, Codefi, MetaMask, and other ConsenSys projects over time, developers will easily integrate IPFS and Filecoin functionality into their apps and seamlessly interoperate with Ethereum-based functionality and other apps at every layer of the stack, from the protocol layer to the financial layer with DeFi. Rich interoperation between decentralized protocols that subserve very different functionalities, like Ethereum, IPFS, Filecoin and libp2p, is the hallmark of the decentralized web really starting to take shape.”

Joseph Lubin is now a member of the Filecoin Foundation Board of Advisors.

Juan Benet, Founder and CEO of ​Protocol Labs​ said, “Over the last five years, we’ve seen a massive wave of decentralized applications built on Ethereum and IPFS. This week, the launch of Filecoin brings a whole new world of functionality for Ethereum developers, ensuring that their data can be safely stored in a geographically distributed and efficiently priced manner. We’ve already seen tremendous engagement from the Ethereum community on the Filecoin network over the last few months, and I’m excited that this collaboration with ConsenSys will create further bridges between our communities.”

Filecoin Storage

Codefi Activate​ facilitates the launch and use of blockchain networks through utility tokens on a singular user-friendly platform. Today Codefi Activate launched ​Filecoin Storage​ to provide the best view of the Filecoin storage marketplace, accessible through a web app as well as an API. The goal is to make price discovery for storage on the Filecoin network simple and transparent.

The Filecoin Storage app consists of a simple, searchable marketplace that lets ecosystem participants get a full picture of the Filecoin storage market and allows clients to filter, sort, and find the best miners for their needs. Filecoin miners, who offer data storage services, can use the app to announce their pricing and availability to a marketplace browsed by clients, who engage with miners to store and retrieve data through storage deals.

Filecoin DeFi Bridge

Codefi Activate is also launching ​Filecoin DeFi Bridge​ to connect Filecoin to the decentralized financial system on the Ethereum mainnet. The DeFi Bridge enables conversion of the Filecoin (FIL) cryptocurrency to ERC-20 tokenized FIL using a token bridge powered by​ ​Ren Protocol​. O​nce on Ethereum, FIL holders and miners can deposit their tokenized FIL as collateral in a DeFi lending market to earn interest, or borrow more FIL to stake on storage mining operations. By introducing the ability for FIL holders to lend and borrow their FIL via the ERC-20 bridge, the vast pool of liquidity and economic activity in Ethereum DeFi will become available to the entire Filecoin ecosystem.

Ethereum-native DeFi users interested in trading wrapped Filecoin and accelerating the network’s development can use the Codefi-built platform to deposit ETH-based assets as collateral, borrow wrapped FIL, and convert it to native FIL to store data or engage with the Filecoin network.

MetaMask’s Filecoin Snap

With more than 4 million downloads, ​MetaMask​ is the world’s most popular portal to Web3. In order to reach new users and use cases, the team introduced ​MetaMask Snaps​, an extensible API system which allows developers to add new functionality to MetaMask, including support for an additional blockchain, scaling solutions, data protocols, cryptography standards, messaging services, or security services.

MetaMask is currently working with Protocol Labs to build a Filecoin Snap, which is expected to include support for a diversity of permissions and features:

  • Filecoin (FIL) will be viewable within the MetaMask assets list and users can view token details and transact FIL using MetaMask.
  • Permissions: Network access, RPC API, detect and communicate with a Snap from a Web3-enabled site.
  • MetaMask IPFS resolution: MetaMask will fully support IPFS name resolution out of the box through the MetaMask extension. MetaMask users visiting ipfs:// URLs will be directed to the relevant IPFS file.

Infura’s Filecoin Network API

Infura​ provides scalable API access to the Ethereum network, and was the first product to establish an IPFS API, a foundation for building decentralized applications. The IPFS service supports pinning and accessing pinned content directly via the Infura API, and allows users to access data pinned across the IPFS network via the gateway. Currently, Infura hosts over 74 million unique objects and handles over 4.5 TB of data transfer per day.

With the launch of the Filecoin network, Infura is offering select users free, invite-only access to the Filecoin API beta. The beta allows developers to quickly and easily connect to the Filecoin mainnet and build applications, features, or services on top of the Filecoin network. Paid functionality will be added and expanded on in future versions. With the Filecoin API, developers will be able to: Get real time state of the Filecoin network, read from the Filecoin blockchain, send payments and other messages to the Filecoin network, and query the state of Filecoin markets.

In order for users to request access to the Infura Filecoin API Beta, they first will need to register with Infura ​here​.

ConsenSys Diligence

From June to October 2020, ​ConsenSys Diligence​ ​engaged with Protocol Labs to assess the security of Filecoin’s built-in Actors: a collection of executable code that implements the core business logic of Filecoin’s blockchain-based storage network. The ​scope of the audit covered a subsection of the Filecoin protocol, within a wider scope of other security efforts by that team. Filecoin is a novel and experimental technology and many long-term behaviors of Actors on the network are not yet known, but the primary goal of ConsenSys Diligence’s audit was to find and mitigate bugs to make Filecoin’s mainnet as secure as possible at launch. The audit identified some vulnerabilities that were addressed before Filecoin’s mainnet launch on October 15, 2020, while other bug fixes are ongoing.

Secondary Retrieval Mining

ConsenSys Software R&D and ​ConsenSys Mesh​ R&D created an architecture and engineering plan for a Filecoin secondary retrieval market, in which users could retrieve data that is reliably stored using Filecoin. The secondary retrieval market will broaden participation in the Filecoin ecosystem by enabling a range of devices to retrieve files, including Web browsers and phones. Using different configurations of network design, caching hardware, and algorithms, the market’s design incentivizes the creation and participation of retrieval providers who offer accessible, affordable retrieval services that are available to users anywhere around the globe. After delivering the first design and diagnostic assessment last month, ConsenSys’ work with Filecoin on retrieval markets will be ongoing.

Tachyon Launchpad Accelerator

On July 30th, ​ConsenSys Labs​ opened applications for the Filecoin Launchpad Accelerator, Powered by Tachyon. The cohort just completed week 1 of the program. Altogether 13 teams consisting of 32 founders from 11 countries have come together for the next 4 months to build their companies with investment from ConsenSys Labs and Protocol Labs. This cohort consists of startups building more interoperable tools, infrastructure, and applications for the distributed web through IPFS and Filecoin.