Australian Heart Institute Transitions to Filecoin for Data Storage

Published On: September 5, 2023555 words3 min readBy:

In a significant move that emphasizes the growing credibility of decentralized storage solutions in the scientific community and beyond, Australia’s Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute has chosen Filecoin as its primary data storage solution. The Institute, home to over 230 scientists and 23 laboratories, was established in 1994 and officially inaugurated by Princess Diana. Today, it is taking a leap into the future by entrusting approximately 137 terabytes of vital cardiac research data to Distributed Storage Solutions (DSS), a leading storage provider on the Filecoin network.

The transition to Filecoin officially commenced in September 2022, with public data being transferred over in November. The Institute’s IT Director, Todd Ryman, revealed that the decision to move away from traditional on-premises storage systems and cloud-based solutions was driven by the cost-effectiveness of Filecoin. The Institute is now free from the burden of exorbitant fees charged by cloud providers for data restoration.

The sheer volume of data generated by the Institute is staggering. A case study by Filecoin DeStor disclosed that the Institute’s SyncroPatch machine, a medical instrument used to study cardiovascular cells, can generate up to 20,000 data points daily, resulting in terabytes of data weekly.

Ryman believes that Filecoin’s decentralized nature and emphasis on data integrity make it an ideal fit for the Institute’s needs. He emphasized that Filecoin’s decentralized architecture enhances data redundancy and durability, reducing the risk of data loss due to hardware failures or localized incidents. Furthermore, Filecoin’s use of blockchain technology ensures that data integrity is maintained, making it suitable for preserving valuable research findings.

The Filecoin network consists of 3,500 storage provider nodes, often referred to as validators, which cryptographically verify on-chain data daily. Stefaan Vervaet, Head of Network Growth at Protocol Labs, a significant contributor to Filecoin, clarified that the data isn’t stored on-chain. Instead, “the hash that represents the data is stored on-chain”. This approach ensures data on the network isn’t identified by an IP address, its name, or its file type. The hash serves as a unique handle to access the desired content stored on DSS or any other storage providers on Filecoin.

Filecoin also facilitates easy sharing of data with other researchers – a crucial aspect in the field of medical science. Ryman affirmed that Filecoin’s distributed storage and retrieval mechanisms make it possible to provide researchers with access to specific datasets without the need for large-scale data transfers. This enhances collaboration and accelerates research outcomes by facilitating seamless data sharing while maintaining the privacy and security of datasets.

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute joins an esteemed list of Filecoin clients including the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Utah, and Web3 players like Solana and OpenSea. With nearly 1700 clients, Filecoin has onboarded 1.5 EiB of data. To put this in perspective, 1.5 EiB equals 1.7 billion gigabytes – roughly equivalent to the storage capacity of 13.5 million base model iPhones.

This shift towards decentralized storage solutions like Filecoin indicates a growing trend in the scientific community and beyond. As more organizations recognize the benefits of blockchain-based storage systems, we can expect to see an increased demand for services like Crypto Exchange service United States and Crypto education platforms to help navigate this new terrain. It may also lead to a rise in the download of digital wallets and use of Crypto apps in USA as more people seek to engage with this innovative technology.

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