Dropbox pissed me off the other day, so I happened to take that evening to look at replacement options. They all pretty much suck. BUT I'd come across Wuala which had one inspirational feature: users can donate space to receive equivalent space in return depending on some function of their uptime... so to cut to the chase, the idea is to start a distributed peer-to-peer "cloud" storage service that is paid for in bitcoin. I haven't worked out all the details yet, so I was hoping the forum could help me with that. The framework I have so far is:
A person called a server from now on sells storage contracts to other persons called clients on a market. The contract is paid at arbitrary intervals, say once per day. The payment is scaled appropriately so it could be any reasonable interval. The client needs to periodically connect to the server to verify the file is still available. He does this by asking the server to hash a random chunk of the file, perhaps with a nonce. After verification, the client pays the server. The client and server are free to break the contract at any time. The client should hire enough servers to cover the probability that his file will be lost due to a server breaking a contract, its hard drive crashing, random acts of nature, etc. If the client wishes to update or retrieve his file, he must "pay up"; that is, the client can only update or download recently after submitting payment.
There are problems with this, such as that there is no notion of quality of service or locality. Also it's unclear to me what the distributed model would be, if it could use the contract stuff (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Contracts
) or would need to be a separate system. Would appreciate some discussion.