Public Data

Data storage that is more more resilient,
because public data is important.

Making public data more resilient, permanent, and cost-effective, while also increasing accessibility.

The Public Data Commons exists to support open data initiatives in partnership with governments and official organizations across the globe. This initiative brings together cutting-edge archival technologies and the most civic-minded public institutions to leverage the unique benefits of decentralized storage – because public data should be a useful resource, not a costly burden to store.

Open data in cities help foster trust in governments by allowing citizens and community organizations to play a role in advancing accountability for a more effective government.

Control over today’s centralized internet is concentrated in the hands of a few, for-profit power players.

These huge, ultra-powerful companies collect our data, control the information we get, and present vulnerable targets for malicious hackers.

All too often, we see some of these power players curate public data behind paywalls. This undermines the original intention of making the data public to begin with.

We have seen these companies suffer blackouts in which vast swaths of the Web go down for hours, including websites that are massive contributors to the economy. That’s the problem with having single points of failure.

We seek to help governments and official organizations ensure that information remains open and accessible to their communities and constituents. We believe citizens and cities deserve a better version of the web - a decentralized one.

What is decentralized storage?

Governments and communities need accessible and cost-effective ways to store public datasets. Filecoin makes decentralized storage easy, and it costs a fraction of the price of centralized cloud storage.

On the Filecoin network, files are stored on a distributed network of professional storage providers around the globe, with built-in economic incentives to ensure files are stored reliably over time. The mission of Filecoin is to create a decentralized, efficient, and robust foundation for humanity’s information.

Learn More about Filecoin

Filecoin Foundation’s Public Data Awards program funds the work of local civic technology groups to store and/or access their community datasets on the decentralized web.

Read More and Apply for Awards

Join the movement

Join the movement to create the Public Data Commons, an initiative to make public data more resilient, accessible, and cost-effective.
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Case Studies
See the value of public datasets in action
Case Study
Lockheed Martin

Filecoin Foundation (FF) and Lockheed Martin are working together to develop a program for deploying the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) in space. The space economy is rapidly emerging, and space-based services are increasingly used for everything from communication, to GPS, to environmental monitoring. As more tools are put into orbit, and as private space development and exploration continues, building out communications infrastructure in space is key to ensuring the space economy can thrive. This collaboration is the next step in establishing critical infrastructure that will transform how we share and access data in space.

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Case Study
Institute for Education Dinners

Filecoin Foundation has been supporting dialogues among international embassies with the Institute for Education to educate key policymakers and international partners on decentralized file storage and introduce them to pressing cryptocurrency topics through interactive small group convenings.

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Case Study
University of Maryland’s Department of Geographical Sciences

FFDW has partnered with researchers from the University of Maryland in the Department of Geographical Sciences to ensure that large geospatial datasets are accessible by research organizations and the general public. This project has the potential to benefit in particular those organizations responsible for planning, research, and decision-making where location matters. Some expected uses of this data include predicting weather patterns and responding to extreme weather events, understanding the many implications of climate change, promoting sustainable, just, and optimized cities, and ensuring national security.

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Case Study
Decentralized Future Council

Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW) is partnering with the Decentralized Future Council to support the Council’s work to raise awareness for the larger ecosystem of new technologies, from blockchain to cryptocurrency. The Council works to educate policymakers around new and upcoming challenges that correspond with these emerging technologies including privacy, security, democracy, online trust and safety, and more.

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Case Study

Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW) is partnering with TechCongress, an organization that provides fellowships to bridge the informational gap between technologists and policymakers in Congress. TechCongress does this by placing computer scientists, engineers, and other technologists on Capitol Hill to serve as technology advisors to members of Congress. For instance, Sunmin Kim, fellow and alumni with Sen. Brian Schatz, led the effort to pass the OPEN Government Data Act into law in 2018 and 2019. The law requires all non-sensitive federal government data to be open and machine readable, and requires every federal agency to create a Chief Data Officer.

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Case Study
GenRAIT & Genomic Data

GenRAIT will host over 100 terabytes of genome research data on the Filecoin network to enable scientists and researchers to make breakthroughs and experiment at scale.

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Case Study

The built-in immutability that comes with storing data on Filecoin is extremely beneficial for groups like GainForest, a non-profit organization focused on reversing deforestation and climate change through blockchain tech. GainForest founder David Dao states, “Nature-based solutions need to be permanent and transparent for stakeholders. That is why it is so crucial that the data…must be permanent and transparent as well. Decentralized data storage guarantees just that. At any point in time, anyone everywhere in the world can look up, reproduce, and audit our analysis. Low-quality projects can’t hide anymore in static PDFs.”

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Case Study
New York City

In collaboration with the New York City’s Chief Technology Officer, Filecoin Foundation and Protocol Labs launched a pilot program to store open datasets on Filecoin. This project enables New York City, at no cost, to explore decentralized storage and how it can be an asset to the City.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Filecoin?

Filecoin is a decentralized network to store files, with built-in economic incentives to ensure files are stored reliably over time. The mission of Filecoin is to create a decentralized, efficient, and robust foundation for humanity’s information.

What is the Filecoin Foundation?

Filecoin Foundation (FF) is an independent organization that facilitates governance of the Filecoin network, funds critical development projects, supports the growth of the Filecoin ecosystem, and advocates for Filecoin and the decentralized web. FF does this by coordinating and supporting the creation and improvement of open-source software and open protocols for decentralized data storage and retrieval networks.

How do I get Involved?

If you are a government official interested in having your city join the Public Data Commons, reach out to us.

If you are from a civic technology group and want to leverage public datasets hosted on decentralized storage, fill out this form and we will notify you if there is a Public Data Awards program launched for your city.

What about the environmental impacts of blockchain?

Filecoin is the world’s most transparent blockchain when it comes to electricity consumption. Check the network’s energy use right now at! Learn more about the Filecoin community’s commitment to energy efficiency.

Have a question not addressed here? Reach out to us.

Highlighted Open
Data Events

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Stay Tuned

More information to come soon on future events, such as the World Economic Forum and SXSW in 2023.

(Past) Sep 14 - Sep 15 2022

Smart Cities Expo

At Smart Cities Expo in Miami, Philadelphia CIO Mark Wheeler will be on a panel–with FF Founding Officer Clara Tsao–titled, ‘Open Data, Digital Privacy, and Citizen Trust’,

Join the movement

Join the movement to create the Public Data Commons, an initiative to make public data more resilient, accessible, and cost-effective.