Why IPFS cannot work, again


Imagine someone comes up with a solution for P2P content-addressed data-sharing that involves storing all the files’ contents in all computers of the network. That wouldn’t work, right? Too much data, if you think this can work then you’re a BSV enthusiast.

Then someone comes up with the idea of not storing everything in all computers, but only some things on some computers, based on some algorithm to determine what data a node would store given its pubkey or something like that. Still wouldn’t work, right? Still too much data no matter how much you spread it, but mostly incentives not aligned, would implode in the first day.

Now imagine someone says they will do the same thing, but instead of storing the full contents each node would only store a pointer to where each data is actually available. Does that make it better? Hardly so. Still, you’re just moving the problem.

This is IPFS.

Now you have less data on each computer, but on a global scale that is still a lot of data.

No incentives.

And now you have the problem of finding the data. First if you have some data you want the world to access you have to broadcast information about that, flooding the network – and everybody has to keep doing this continuously for every single file (or shard of file) that is available.

And then whenever someone wants some data they must find the people who know about that, which means they will flood the network with requests that get passed from peer to peer until they get to the correct peer.

The more you force each peer to store the worse it becomes to run a node and to store data on behalf of others – but the less your force each peer to store the more flooding you’ll have on the global network, and the slower will be for anyone to actually get any file.

But if everybody just saves everything to Infura or Cloudflare then it works, magic decentralized technology.