According to a recent report by Singaporean venture capital firm Foresight Ventures, the cost of decentralized file storage on blockchains such as Filecoin, Arweave, Swarm, StorJ, and Sia spans from near zero to $4 per terabyte (TB) per month.
This is significantly cheaper than traditional Web2 services such as Amazon Cloud or Microsoft Azure, where monthly storage costs can range from $16 to $23 per terabyte.
However, the report also detailed additional costs associated with decentralized storage, such as data submission fees and retrieval fees, which can reach $7 per TB.
Some of the service providers mentioned in the report, such as Filecoin, charged only storage fees, which were also quite modest, while others charged all three kinds of fees.
In addition, Foresight analysts wrote that blockchain storage still confronts challenges such as “file loss,” “difficult data retrieval,” and “high bandwidth requirements.”
Pointing to one blockchain, researchers commented:
“Price does not account for bandwidth. Some nodes only provide storage services, refuse retrieval.”
Despite pricing controversies, the total storage capacity of the four largest file storage blockchains increased by 2% year-over-year to 17 million terabytes (TB) by the end of 2022, according to data from blockchain analytics firm Messari cited in the report.
Currently, Filecoin has a 67% market share, followed by Arweave (19%), Sia (8%), and Storj (6%).
Even though network utilization remains relatively low, the metric for elite participants has increased to 3.1% from 0.2% in 2021.
Filecoin deployed the nv19 Lightening and nv20 Thunder network enhancements on April 27 to reduce block validation periods.
The network has 22,7 million terabytes of storage capacity and 3,623 storage provider systems as of April.