Decentralized storage and the future of data in Africa

Kossiso Royce
3 min readJun 24, 2022
Photo by Shubham Dhage on Unsplash

Decentralized storage has emerged as a solution to the challenge of providing a highly performant, secure, private, and economical cloud storage solution. Decentralized storage is in the best position to achieve cloud storage goals for end users as the architecture has a more natural alignment to the decentralized architecture of the Internet as a whole, as opposed to massive centralized data centres.

Do you remember the days of P2P file sharing, torrenting and when services like Limewire were popular in downloading music and video files? It worked as a system where many users maintained copies of the file, and they would then “seed” (send fragments of the file) to other participants on the network. Decentralized storage networks operate similarly, except this time with incredibly advanced cryptography and encryption.

Decentralized cloud storage is rapidly maturing, but its evolution is still subject to specific design constraints that define the network’s overall requirements and implementation. Many parameters must be optimised when designing a distributed storage system, such as speed, capacity, trustlessness, Byzantine fault tolerance, cost, bandwidth, and latency.

When gotten right, services like Kryo, built on a robust object storage system that encrypts, shards, and distributes data to nodes around the world for storage, deliver the core attributes of decentralized storage. Data is stored and served in a manner purposefully designed to prevent breaches.

As Africa is still at the foundation stages of technological development, we can build decentralized storage into the very core of our data storage and management infrastructure. Integrating decentralized storage will position Africa to have the most reliant, secure and disaster-proof data storage systems of any continent.

Decentralized storage performs akin to a content distribution network(CDN). Integrating decentralized storage will mean Africa can get incredible data speeds and availability across the continent. This function will most likely lead to the emergence of media streaming companies that, without decentralized storage, would pay an arm and a leg for content distribution networks in other to compete with global companies.

While building decentralized storage in Africa, some things to consider are that the system must be modular, consisting of independent components with task-specific jobs. We will need to implement several elements to create a decentralized object storage system that is secure, performant, reliable and significantly more economical than on-premise or traditional, centralized cloud storage.

Decentralized storage contributes not only technologically but also ecologically. Because the decentralized storage method does not require building massive data centres or manufacturing new computers or server systems, its carbon footprint is almost non-existent. Africa can advance while contributing heavily toward climate preservation goals.

All that is left is for Africa to take active steps and begin its journey towards decentralized storage. It is relevant that we do this, as this is the only way to alleviate the burden of data storage and speeds and contribute toward Climate change goals.

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Kossiso Royce

Music Business, entrepreneur, product design and development.