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Dropbox, a widely used cloud storage provider with over 18 million paying users globally, has announced the end of unlimited storage.
Detailing the rationale behind the change, the company said the decision comes in response to growing misuse of the offering, where customers have been leveraging its Advanced subscriptions for purposes unrelated to business use, such as crypto. Dropbox took specific aim at Chia (XCN), personal storage pooling, and even storage reselling.
“We’ve observed that customers like these frequently consume thousands of times more storage than our genuine business customers, which risks creating an unreliable experience for all of our customers,” Dropbox said. “Importantly, our policy for Advanced has always been to provide as much storage as needed to run a legitimate business or organization, not to provide unlimited storage for any use case.”
Developed by BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen and backed by big-name backers, including Andreessen Horowitz and Galaxy Digital, Chia is a cryptocurrency designed as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
It uses a consensus algorithm called “Proof of Space and Time" that relies on participants allocating their computer storage space rather than computational power, aiming to reduce the energy consumption associated with cryptocurrency mining.
Chia representatives did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.
Dropbox introduces new plans
Dropbox’s new offering now entails a new storage allocation structure for customers purchasing the Dropbox Advanced plan with three active licenses, starting with a 15 terabyte (TB) shared storage space, which the company equates to approximately 100 million documents, 4 million photos, or 7500 hours of HD video. Each additional active license will provide 5 TB of storage.
For the majority of Advanced customers using less than 35 TB of storage per license (over 99% of users), the existing storage amount will remain unchanged, supplemented by an additional 5 TB pooled storage credit for five years at no extra charge.
Those using 35 TB or more per license can retain their current storage allotment, up to a maximum of 1,000 TB, without additional fees, said Dropbox.
The transition to the new storage policy is planned for November 1, and Dropbox commits to providing a minimum 30-day notice before each customer's scheduled migration.
Dropbox isn't the only firm to issue similar policy changes in recent months.
The move to end unlimited storage mirrors Google's move after it discontinued the service for users of its highest-tier Workspace plan. Microsoft also quietly banned crypto mining from its online services at the end of the previous year.
It's possible that some disgruntled users from the two IT giants' offerings shifted to Dropbox for its more generous storage limits. However, with Dropbox now also curtailing its unlimited storage option, those in search of expansive storage may need to explore other services that align with their requirements.