Written by Blockrev @ Dapp.tech 3rd September 2018. Updated Jan 22, 2019.
Video1 by Savjee – Simply Explained, Video2 by stanfordonline, Video3 by Protocol Labs.

What is IPFS?

IPFS stands for InterPlanetary File System.

IPFS is a protocol and network designed to create a content-addressable, peer-to-peer method of storing and sharing data & media files in a completely distributed file system.

In 2014, the IPFS protocol took advantage of the Bitcoin blockchain protocol and network infrastructure to store unalterable data, remove duplicated files across the network, and obtain address information for accessing storage nodes to search for files in the network. [1]

Watch the below “simply explained” video to take a closer look at how IPFS works, how it can counteract censorship and even to find out if it would work across multiple planets!

IPFS has similarities to the BitTorrent protocol but is better designed for permanent distributed file systems and hosting a more distributed and decentralized Internet.

How does IPFS work?

IPFS is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files. In some ways, IPFS is similar to the World Wide Web, but IPFS could be seen as a single BitTorrent swarm, exchanging objects within one Git repository. In other words, IPFS provides a high-throughput, content-addressed block storage model, with content-addressed hyperlinks. This forms a generalized Merkle Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). IPFS combines a distributed hash table, an incentivized block exchange, and a self-certifying namespace. IPFS has no single point of failure, and nodes do not need to trust each other not to tamper with data in transit. Distributed Content Delivery saves bandwidth and prevents DDoS attacks, which HTTP struggles with. [2]

Why use IPFS instead of HTML?

Here’s a few important aspects of IPFS technology that illustrate its importance in the development of DApp and Web 3.0 infrastructure:

  • HTTP is inefficient and expensive.
  • Humanity’s history is deleted daily.
  • The web’s (Web 2.0) centralization limits opportunity.
  • IPFS powers the creation of diversely resilient networks.

The below video provides a more in-depth computer science overview of the IPFS protocol…


The above video “IPFS and the Permanent Web” is spoken by Juan Benet of Protocol Labs. Support for the Stanford Colloquium on Computer Systems Seminar Series provided by the Stanford Computer Forum. Published by stanfordonline.

DApps & Projects Using IPFS

A hand full of Decentralized Applications (DApps) are already utilizing IPFS technology to aid with distributing and decentralizing their data on the road to building the emerging Web 3.0.


The decentralized YouTube alternative DTube is an example of a DApp that uses IPFS to host video content, much like YouTube, only distributed and decentralized with a fairer monetization deal for content publishers.

To learn more about DTube please see our recent post titled “What is DTube?”.

DTube DApp - Decentralized YouTube Alternative Run on IPFS
The DTube DApp – A Decentralized YouTube Alternative distributed via IPFS.



Filecoin is a decentralized storage network that turns cloud storage into an algorithmic market. The market runs on a blockchain with a native protocol token (also called “Filecoin”), which miners earn by providing storage to clients. Conversely, clients spend Filecoin hiring miners to store or distribute data. As with Bitcoin, Filecoin miners compete to mine blocks with sizable rewards, but Filecoin mining power is proportional to active storage, which directly provides a useful service to clients (unlike Bitcoin mining, whose usefulness is limited to maintaining blockchain consensus). This creates a powerful incentive for miners to amass as much storage as they can, and rent it out to clients. The protocol weaves these amassed resources into a self-healing storage network that anybody in the world can rely on. The network achieves robustness by replicating and dispersing content, while automatically detecting and repairing replica failures. Clients can select replication parameters to protect against different threat models. The protocol’s cloud storage network also provides security, as content is encrypted end-to-end at the client, while storage providers do not have access to decryption keys. Filecoin works as an incentive layer on top of IPFS, which can provide storage infrastructure for any data. It is especially useful for decentralizing data, building and running distributed applications, and implementing smart contracts. [3]

Wikipedia on IPFS

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, written collaboratively by the globally distributed people who use it. It’s a website that is designed to make collaboration easy, and this type of website is sometimes referred to as a wiki. Many people are constantly improving Wikipedia, collectively making thousands of changes per hour.

The IPFS protocol and network are being used to combat censorship of Wikipedia. For example, a mirror copy of Wikipedia is now being distributed freely via IPFS, which allows people living in jurisdictions where Wikipedia is blocked (such as Turkey) to get access to all Wikipedia content.


What’s your thoughts on IPFS? Do you know of any other great existing or potential use cases?


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Written by Blockrev @ Dapp.tech 3rd September 2018. Published on Dapp.tech 3rd September 2018. Video Publishers: Video1 by Savjee - Simply Explained, Video2 by stanfordonline. Video3 by Protocol Labs. 
Follow Savjee on Twitter: https://twitter.com/savjee  Check out Savjee's blog: https://www.savjee.be  Like Savjee's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/savjee 
📚 Sources : [1] [2] Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InterPlanetary_File_System.[3] Filecoin : A Decentralized Storage Protocol Whitepaper https://filecoin.io/filecoin.pdf Other sources can be found on Savjee's website: https://www.savjee.be/videos/simply-explained/ipfs-interplanetary-filesystem/ Caption Author (Korean) 휘암자Coolzero Caption Author (Portuguese) Limon Tec
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