What I Talk About When I Talk About Open Source Sustainability

Open Source Sustainability has been Achilles’ heel for a long time now, as Matt Asay, myself and others said a number of times. While initiatives like the Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative are able to sustain some open source security projects, or OSI working group proposal might hopefully help others, we are far from finding an ultimate answer to this very problem.

Photo by Andrew Branch on Unsplash

My job recently has been focusing solely on finding ways to help open source ventures to flourish, and I’m glad to share one of the most interesting and potentially impactful work I’ve been on.

At the FileZilla® Project – the free FTP solution for both client and server – we were looking for ways to reach financial sustainability, and we decided to look for a partner that would have helped us to provide both new features and more value to all stakeholders.

Given FileZilla scope, the Cloud arena was the natural target, and we were looking for a company offering a cloud service that was going to be exclusively available to our users. Our first rose of candidates included MaidSafe, FileCoin, SIA and Storj. Eventually we opted for the latter, read below to learn more about.

When we started talking to them in late October 2016, despite it was less funded than others, from an implementation, vision and user base standpoint it was well positioned to become the first Distributed Cloud Storage platform to leverage the blockchain technology. In the Storj peer-to-peer network you can either make profit from sharing your extra hard drive space and bandwidth or pay to rent it. Thanks to their technology we can provide FileZilla users with a decentralized cloud storage designed to provide censorship resistance properties, with an incentivisation system implemented on the blockchain, turning a feature into a potential source of revenues.

The two teams worked smoothly together, as though we had done it many times, and over the last weeks we have been testing and refining the integration. While we are at the very beginning of all this and definitely in beta mode, I wish to take a moment to thank all the people who made it possible. It has been a great privilege for me to have been able to work on a similar collaboration, and it is a double pleasure to finally turn my long time interest for cryptocurrencies into my job.

You can read more about the technical background and the state of the art at Storj blog.

About Storj [from their FAQ].

It is the first decentralized, end-to-end encrypted cloud storage that uses blockchain technology and cryptography to secure your files. Storj is a platform, cryptocurrency, and suite of decentralized applications that allows you to store data in a secure and decentralized manner. Your files are encrypted, shredded into little pieces called ‘shards’, and stored in a decentralized network of computers around the globe. No one but you has a complete copy of your file, not even in an encrypted form.

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