In brief

  • ConsenSys announced a comprehensive partnership with Protocol Labs.
  • The partnership is meant to integrate Protocol Labs' Filecoin with every aspect of Ethereum.
  • Filecoin, a decentralized storage network, launched on October 15.

After years of anticipation, the Filecoin mainnet went live on October 15, allowing users to pay for or provide decentralized storage using the FIL token. Now Protocol Labs, the group behind Filecoin and the Interplanetary File System (IPFS), is clearing out space for major Ethereum integrations.

ConsenSys (which provides funding to an editorially independent Decrypt), today announced a far-reaching collaboration with Protocol Labs that will connect Filecoin with “Ethereum at every layer of the decentralized technology stack,” according to a press release, including DeFi protocols, Web 3.0 portal Metamask, node cluster Infura, and other ConsenSys products and projects.

Joseph Lubin, ConsenSys founder and CEO, said, “We are eager to build out greater functionality for IPFS and introduce new tools that will enable developers and consumers to easily make use of Filecoin and IPFS for their app development and pure storage needs.”

ConsenSys has been intimately involved with Filecoin’s launch—and has plans to assist with its future development.

Prior to launch, ConsenSys Diligence audited parts of the Filecoin protocol and “identified some vulnerabilities that were addressed before Filecoin’s mainnet launch on October 15, 2020.”

Now that it’s live, ConsenSys is providing tools for miners and developers.

Codefi Activate, ConsenSys’ platform for launching new blockchain networks, has published Filecoin Storage, a tool for viewing storage prices on Filecoin. It has also launched the Filecoin DeFi bridge, which turns FIL into an ERC20 token. According to the release, “Once on Ethereum, FIL holders and miners can deposit their tokenized FIL as collateral in a DeFi lending market to earn interest, or borrow more FIL to stake on storage mining operations.” 

Both Codefi Activate integrations were first announced on October 1. 

With more than $11 billion worth of cryptocurrencies locked into Ethereum DeFi protocols, creating compatibility with decentralized finance—the collection of blockchain-based protocols that offer traditional financial services without a third party—is a going concern for projects. In recent weeks, Solana has built its own bridge to Ethereum, while Tron founder Justin Sun has doubled down on efforts to replicate Ethereum’s success.

But this isn’t just about DeFi, as evidenced by ConsenSys’ other integrations. Extending out from MetaMask Snaps, the Ethereum wallet and browser extension’s API system, MetaMask is now developing Filecoin Snap. Doing so, it said, will let MetaMask users trade FIL. 

Infura, the ConsenSys service that hosts many of the nodes used by Ethereum projects, is also releasing a Filecoin API beta that “allows developers to quickly and easily connect to the Filecoin mainnet and build applications, features, or services on top of the Filecoin network.”

And ConsenSys Labs has focused its current Tachyon Launchpad Accelerator cohort on Filecoin applications. 

“Through Infura, Codefi, MetaMask, and other ConsenSys projects over time, developers will easily integrate IPFS and Filecoin functionality into their apps and seamlessly interoperate with Ethereum-based functionality and other apps at every layer of the stack, from the protocol layer to the financial layer with DeFi,” said Lubin, who is also on the Filecoin Foundation Board of Advisors.

“Rich interoperation between decentralized protocols that subserve very different functionalities, like Ethereum, IPFS, Filecoin and libp2p, is the hallmark of the decentralized web really starting to take shape.”

Protocol Labs raised $205 million to launch Filecoin in a 2017 ICO. The protocol’s recent launch has been dizzying to watch, at least from a price perspective. The price is currently just above $31, well below the $114 price it was going for a few hours after being listed on exchanges, but well above the max ICO price of around $5.