Last May, Docker CEO Ben Golub stepped down after four years at the helm of the containerization pioneer. We didn’t hear all that much from him since, but today, the distributed object storage service Storj Labs announced that Golub will join its team as interim CEO and Executive Chairman.
There is obviously no dearth of object storage services, but Storj Labs is taking a somewhat different approach. The company has been around since 2014 and always emphasized security and decentralized storage as its main differentiators. In addition, though, Storj also made an early bet on blockchain technology and last year, Storj went all in on Ethereum with a $30 million ICO and migration to that projects technology.
The basic idea behind Storj is that anybody can make hard drive space available to Storj in return for Storj’s tokens. Currently, the service boasts 70,000 customers who store their data across 150,000 nodes that are run by tens of thousands of what the company calls “farmers” (as opposed to “miners”). In total, these nodes now store over 60 petabytes of data. It’s also worth noting that a number of third-party services, including the popular FileZilla FTP client now support it and that Storj joined Microsoft Azure’s blockchain-as-a-service ecosystem in 2016 to help bring this technology to more enterprises.
“It’s clear to many that we are on the cusp of a major new shift in computing, driven by a fully decentralized internet and by new, decentralized models of trust and security, powered by blockchains and distributed ledgers,” Golub writes in a blog post today. “When I first talked with Storj, I was intrigued by the team, and by the fact that they had already built a robust platform and passionate community to provide the storage layer for this new, decentralized internet, as well as developers that wanted to use this new layer.”
Golub also likens the state of Storj to the early days of Docker. Wheras Docker talked about building an infrastucture layer for the internet, Storj wants to build a storage layer. That’s definitely an ambitious mission and it remains to be seen if this concept will take off. For now, though, Golub wants to focus on building a sustainable business for Storj.