Storj is a protocol that creates a distributed network for the formation and execution of storage contracts between peers. The Storj protocol enables peers on the network to negotiate contracts, transfer data, verify the integrity and availability of remote data, retrieve data, and pay other nodes. Each peer is an autonomous agent, capable of performing these actions without signiﬁcant human interaction. Many of the basic tools for these interactions are described in this Full protocol documentation can be found elsewhere.
Storj is payment agnostic. Neither the protocol nor the contract requires a speciﬁc payment system. The current implementation assumes Storjcoin, but many other payment types could be implemented, including BTC, Ether, ACH transfer, or physical transfer of live goats.
The reference implementation will use Storjcoin micropayment channels, which are currently under development. Micropayment channels allow for pairing of payment directly to audit, thus minimizing the amount of trust necessary between farmers and data owners. However, because data storage is inexpensive, audit payments are incredibly small, often below $0.000001 per audit.
Storj coin allows much more granular payments than other candidate currencies, thereby minimizing trust between parties. In addition, the mechanics of micropayment channels require the total value of the channel to be escrowed for the life of the channel. This decreases currency velocity, and implies that value ﬂuctuations severely impact the economic incentives of micropayment channels. The use of a separate token creates a certain amount of insulation from outside volatility, and Storjcoin’s large supply minimizes the impact of token escrow on the market.