Decentralized storage provider Filecoin announced in a blogpost yesterday tentative dates for the launch of its alphanet, testnet and mainnet. The alphanet will go live today, and, if all goes to plan, the testnet will go live December 11, and the mainnet will launch March 2020.
Filecoin’s protocol lets anyone rent out spare storage space on their computer to other users on the network. “Think of it like Airbnb. You had people with rooms that weren’t being used; Airbnb built a marketplace for them,” Juan Benet, founder of Protocol Labs told Techcrunch back in July 2017.
Filecoin raised $257 million in a 2017 ICO for its native token, FIL. Since then, the project has been beset by delays. Filecoin originally expected that the testnet was supposed to go live in spring, 2019, and the mainnet by the end of the year.
But while it’s been a long time coming, progress is underway. When Filecoin launched development networks earlier this year, which let community members test the Filecoin protocol and network, things went well; Filecoin reported a peak of 500 nodes and 17 petabytes of pledged storage capacity.
Later this year, Filecoin will also perform a security review and audit, and plans to stress-test the network further in anticipation of next year’s mainnet launch. But can it stick to these provisional dates?