Filecoin Community Approves Change to Storage Provider Terminology

Apr 21, 2023

Today, the Filecoin community approved Filecoin Improvement Proposal 18 (FIP-0018), which reframes how we message around the storage market and those who participate in it as storage providers. The decision was made after several weeks of soliciting input and feedback on FIP-0018 from across the Filecoin community.

FIPs are the primary way that Filecoin community members can submit, discuss, and approve changes to the Filecoin protocol. FIP-0018 formally changes the nomenclature from “miners” to “storage providers” in marketing assets, documentation, communication channels. With this proposal, we are moving toward a naming convention that better represents our community partners who provide the storage infrastructure and services to the Filecoin network. This change also helps highlight the usefulness of the Filecoin network and is a start of a series of gradual changes we are proposing to help the network in creating a new narrative.

This change will be implemented across Filecoin docs sites, as well as Github, the Filecoin Foundation’s owned media channels, and other ecosystem tools. We encourage the Filecoin community to adopt and help communicate these new changes as well.

Change Motivation

Filecoin’s long-term vision has always been to create a decentralized, efficient and robust foundation for humanity’s most valuable data. To support this vision, the network relies on community members to commit storage capacity to the network. With Filecoin’s rapid storage growth and adoption of Web3 applications, the community and the extended ecosystem members are requesting a branding change in how to position these critical network participants. The nomenclature change from “miner” to “storage provider” has three main benefits:

  1. It connects better with storage clients and users. Enterprises and other Web2 members looking to store data on the Filecoin network are typically not familiar with the crypto concepts that underpin the tokenomics. Hence, the concept of a “miner” and/or mining activities can lead to confusion with non-crypto-savvy users and distract from the real value that the network provides.
  2. It communicates the usefulness of the network. Different blockchains have different uses. Some storage clients and Web2 community members wrongly assume that ‘mining’ refers to a process that is delivering no useful output, is highly energy consuming and is not contributing in producing unique capabilities. Filecoin is different from other blockchains as it delivers a decentralized network that stores useful data in an efficient way and it drives incremental value thanks to its unique capabilities (e.g. immutability). It is important to communicate and market those useful attributes through straightforward terminology that is easily recognized by the Web2 and Web3 members. (Read more about Filecoin’s proof construction.)
  3. It positions the Filecoin community as a leader in the Web3 space. Filecoin storage providers not only contribute to providing archive storage for existing Web2 datasets, they also form the native storage foundation for the Web3 world of decentralized applications. It is important to highlight the differences between the traditional Web2 cloud providers and those storage providers that are able to deliver a unique experience or better service through Filecoin’s decentralized capabilities. As we move our branding forward, our providers can position themselves as the infrastructure and service providers of storage and retrieval of NFTs, Web3 data sets, Web2 archives and many more.

The following table lays out the new terminology mapping.

You can also read more about these terms in the FIP-0018 Github repository.

The Filecoin long-term strategy is to continue to educate the mainstream market and create awareness on the benefits of the network and how a distributed and decentralized architecture differentiates from the centralized solutions of the Web2 world.