Cloudflare goes Interplanetary with IPFS

Written by blockrev, Published Oct 1, 2018.
News Source / Quotes: blog.cloudflare.com


Cloudflare have recently announced they are introducing an IPFS gateway, a step that aligns with the emerging movement towards a more decentralized future.

Cloudflare Logo

Cloudflare IPFS Gateway : Supporting Web3

Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateway, is a simple way to access content from the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) that doesn’t require installing or running any special software.

The hope is that Cloudflare’s gateway (available at cloudflare-ipfs.com), will serve as a platform for new highly-reliable and security-enhanced decentralized applications (dapps) & censorship-resistant distributed websites. The IPFS Gateway is Cloudflare’s first product as part of their Distributed Web Gateway project, which will eventually encompass all of the company’s efforts to support new distributed web technologies.

Traditional Web vs IPFS

Server Based vs P2P Distributed Hosting
Server Based vs P2P IPFS Distributed Hosting.

There are two fundamental differences between IPFS and the web as we know it today….

The first is that with IPFS anyone can cache and serve any content they want — for free.

Currently with the traditional web, most websites and web apps rely on big hosting providers in remote locations to store content and serve it to the rest of the world. So to set up a website, you have to pay one of the major services (AWS, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, etc..) to do this for you.

 

With IPFS, anyone can be a node in the system and start serving data. It doesn’t matter if you’re working on a Raspberry Pi or running the world’s biggest data center. Anyone can be a productive node in the system. There are also projects that aim to scale IPFS by rewarding nodes with incentives (Filecoin) for hosting distributed content ensuring a highly distributed and on-demand scalability of content.

The second and key difference is that data is content-addressed, rather than location-addressed.

What may seem to some like a subtle change in how data is served, content-addressing is a game-changer that sets solid foundations for a new decentralized & distributed world wide web (Web 3.0).

Currently, when you open your browser and navigate to a domain like website.com, you’re telling the browser “fetch me the data stored at website.com’s IP address” (this happens to be 65.61.198.201). That IP address marks where the content you want is stored in the network. You then send a request to the server at that IP address for the “website.com” content and the server sends back the relevant information. So you’re basically telling the network where to look and the network sends back what it found at that address. But what happens when say that address is stolen by hackers or censored by governments?

IPFS takes all the eggs out of the one basket and distributes each to its own basket.

With IPFS, every block of data stored in the system is addressed as a cryptographic hash of its contents. A cryptographic hash is a long string of letters and numbers that is unique to that block. When you want a piece of data in IPFS, you request it by its hash. So rather than asking the network “get me the content stored at 65.61.198.201,” you instead ask for example “get me the content that has a hash value of…”

QmaozNR7DZHQK1ZcU9p7QdrshMvXqWK6gpu5rmrkPdT3L4

“IPFS is only one of a family of technologies that are embracing a new, decentralized vision of the web. Cloudflare is excited about the possibilities introduced by these new technologies and we see our gateway as a tool to help bridge the gap between the traditional web and the new generation of distributed web technologies headlined by IPFS. By enabling everyday people to explore IPFS content in their browser, we make the ecosystem stronger and support its growth. Just like when Cloudflare launched back in 2010 and changed the game for web properties by providing the security, performance, and availability that was previously only available to the Internet giants, we think the IPFS gateway will provide the same boost to content on the distributed web.” [1]

Dieter Shirley, CTO of Dapper Labs and Co-founder of CryptoKitties said:

“We’ve wanted to store CryptoKitty art on IPFS since we launched, but the tech just wasn’t ready yet. Cloudflare’s announcement turns IPFS from a promising experiment into a robust tool for commercial deployment. Great stuff!” [2]

The IPFS gateway is exciting, and Cloudflare have signalled their interest in additional “equally interesting distributed web technologies”. If you’re interested in helping build a better internet with Cloudflare, they’re hiring!

 


Curated by blockrev, Oct 1, 2018. Published on Dapp.tech, Oct 1, 2018. News source: Cloudflare goes InterPlanetary by Andy Parker, Sep 17, 2018 
Sources : [1][2] Cloudflare goes InterPlanetary - Introducing Cloudflare’s IPFS Gateway, Sep 17, 2018 https://blog.cloudflare.com/distributed-web-gateway/
Feature Picture License : Reuse allowed with citation. Source: Dapp.tech https://dapp.tech/cloudflare-introduces-ipfs-gateway/
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