Cloudflare, a company that offers content delivery network services is trying to change the way the internet has operated over the years.
Cloudflare is trying to replace HTTP with IPFS (interplanetary file system), which is basically a peer-to-peer file sharing network. The first step in the direction is a ‘gateway’, to which anyone can connect their website and serve data stored in IPFS. The company wants IPFS to become a legitimate alternative to the internet acronym that begins with every web address.
HTTP is a set of rules that govern the way information is delivered. Unlike HTTP, IPFS identifies data with unique cryptographic fingerprints. This approach can help in making internet more transparent and trustworthy. Using IPFS, users don’t have to rely on data delivered by third parties as they cannot be tricked into downloading anything on the internet.
IPFS network works in similar fashion as any other peer-to-peer file sharing service, like uTorrent. As users log on to the network and they can start sharing any digital asset including web pages and media content. The protocol can help in making content available to users that request for this data.
The current problem with IPFS is that it is difficult to use and too slow to be adopted by large number of users simultaneously. Cloudflare believes that it can help in overcoming this challenge. The company plans to use 154 data centers around the world to store caches of pages, files, and other content. By launching this gateway system, Cloudflare will be able to offer data stored through IPFS at a massive scale.
For example, CryptoKitties, a game that uses Ethereum smart contract to let people breed digital cats. Each cat’s ownership and genetics are tracked on Ethereum blockchain, which is decentralized. Available tools for using IPFS to load website images have been slow and unreliable. Cloudflare’s gateway can help in boosting the performance using IPFS.
Cloudflare claims the it has used the hacks of IPFS to ensure that users or site owners trust the company to serve this data correctly. The company can’t modify or delete content from IPFS network which would help in offering decentralized experience.