By Jeremy G
Edited by Kenneth K

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In the latest video series from Elastos Info, Zhilong Tang from the Trinity Tech team–an Elastos community team focused on Hive for the next six months–gave the community an update for highly anticipated features on Hive. 

Current decentralized storage services such as IPFS and Filecoin have brought exciting concepts to file storage. However, these storage services don’t fit well with mobile applications as they can’t provide reliable data access services. The current infrastructures are purely designed for cold data storage and allow file-oriented data access. Models are centralized and data efficiency is relatively low. It is difficult to support the online data storage requirements for dApps. 

As decentralized storage has significant gaps between the storage requirements of dApps and functionality, Hive’s vision is to build an application-oriented Layer 2 storage service that is easy to integrate, which would bridge the known gaps and become the best solution in the space. Hive will not only provide support for decentralized storage, but will also utilize traditional cloud disks that integrates with the user’s personal storage space. 

Hive also provides real-time file data processing for applications. Unlike IPFS, Filecoin, and other decentralized file services, Hive will provide structured and semi-structured data access services in addition to Key/Value storage services. The suite of tools within the Hive infrastructure provides unique and robust comprehensive storage services which meet the needs of internet-level applications.

Being a Layer-2 solution, Hive can be seen as a “cache of user data”, as explained by Zhilong Tang.  Real user data is stored on a personal cloud disk or encrypted in Filecoin storage. Data access is facilitated through Hive nodes. All reads, writes, and updates are eventually returned to the personal cloud disk or the storage platform of the user. Ultimately, the data is stored in cold storage and fully owned by the user. This ties directly with the overall Elastos vision of, “Own your own data”. 

The Elastos Hive user, still in ownership of their data, will authorize a Hive node in order to provide data services. If the user would like to cancel the services, the Hive node will send the data back to the user’s personal hard drive or storage application. Throughout the process, the data is invisible to the Hive nodes.

The Trinity Tech team initially tried storing application data directly on IPFS without any Layer 2 solutions; they encountered several roadblocks. Presently, the Hive project is under heavy development and Tuum Tech is also providing much assistance in the development of the fully updated Hive (Hive++). The first technical preview of Hive++ will be released in the next few months. 

DID Authentication will be used as the Hive verification system. Data vaults will act as a personal and secure storage solution for the data. Database & File APIs will provide users with the aforementioned semi-structured data and file access services. Lastly, Hive++ will provide support for data synchronization to user-specified storage options with user authorization. SDK’s will be provided for both Android and iOS.

Hive++’s roadmap can be illustrated into three stages: Stackable Nodes, P2P Network Proof of Work, and Incentives Economic Model. Stage 1 of Stackable Nodes (current stage) concentrates on adapting Hive to basic storage services and helping develop the storage service interfaces for Hive nodes to provide applications. In stage 2, the Hive Nodes will connect through a P2P network which will turn Hive++ into a true Layer 2 network. The third stage is introducing an incentive mechanism and an overall economic model. 

Between collaborating with Filecoin and the Elephant Wallet, and community projects such as the Elabox, the Elastos ecosystem has a lot of exciting solutions for the decentralized storage space.

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