Blockchain I Decentralized cloud computing

Gepubliceerd op 13 november 2022 om 10:00

Nowadays, we store many files on our computer. Or we use an external software to store e-mails and certain files. But more and more use is being made of the cloud. You then always have access to your files and applications, even if you use another computer.

A new development within the cloud is decentralized cloud computing. In decentralized cloud computing, cloud storage is performed by blockchain.

What is the cloud?

Cloud providers have large data centers with servers all over the world. Through the Internet, users can upload and download their files through these servers. The users can also install applications on the cloud and they can also run these applications on the cloud. All these files are associated with an account of the user. This means that the person who logs in can access his or her files and applications.

The advantage of the cloud is that you can access your files and applications from anywhere in the world by simply logging in and accessing the server. But if you store your files locally on your computer, then all these files will be lost if your computer breaks down or if you lose your laptop. Because of these reasons, the cloud can be a good solution.

Is the cloud safe?
The cloud itself is quite secure. The security lies mainly in the hands of the user. If a user uses a strong password and sets up two-factor authentication, a user generally does not have to worry about the files being leaked.

But that's provided that the cloud service secures your files properly. If there has been a leak on the provider's side, they do have to notify users. The users themselves do not know this. They do not manage the servers.

With the cloud, there is one central party that has complete power over the cloud (the servers). As a user, you have little to no control over the cloud if you have moved files to the cloud. This is because you no longer have complete control over the files. You just have to hope that the provider has built in sufficient safeguards to secure your files.

Cloud computing
Cloud computing means not just storing data on the cloud, but also installing applications that can be used in the cloud.

Examples include calendar and email software. Think of Apple's iCloud. Think of your photos, emails, calendar, etc.

What is decentralized cloud computing?
As briefly stated above, cloud computing is a form of cloud storage that uses the blockchain. If one uses a normal cloud service, then all the files are stored with a central party. But they can also choose to store the files on the blockchain. This gives them more privacy and less dependence on a central party.

With decentralized cloud computing, users once again have full control over their own data that they want to store on the cloud. This is because the blockchain consists of thousands of computers that are connected to each other. All of these computers have a copy of the blockchain. So there is no one party that is in control of the files of the data. Thus, there is not one server on which all the files are stored. The files can be downloaded from other nodes of the network. If 1 node is not present, then a file can be downloaded from another node. This makes you not dependent on a central party.

Cryptography is one of the most important features of blockchain. This technique is also used in decentralized cloud computing. Through cryptography (hashing; the public and private key) data/files are encrypted after which they are only accessible to people who possess the correct key combination.

As briefly touched upon above, a user must have a public key and private key. This is often generated automatically when obtaining a wallet. So in this case the creation of an 'account'. This is not an account with a username and password, but a public key and private key.

The public key is visible to everyone. You can see it as your address pasted on a letter. The letter carrier then knows in which mailbox the letter must be delivered. The public key consists of a series of letters and numbers without any meaning. Next to the public key we have the private key. The private key is your personal key to open your mailbox. Nobody has this key but you. No one can look into your mailbox if you are the only one with the key. The same concept applies to the private key. Only you have the access to your wallet and your files. No one has access to them.

Notice well that these two keys are linked together. This means that you don't have much use for either of the two keys. You can only use them if you have the right combination. If you do, then you can access your files.

It is impossible to access your files if the combination of public key and private key is wrong. This makes blockchain incredibly secure and impossible to crack. So far it has not occurred that the blockchain itself has been cracked (even by intelligence agencies, as far as is known). Users thus no longer have to worry at all about their files being at risk. This is because no one can access these files if others do not have both keys.

Pros and Cons of decentralized cloud computing

  • Control: through decentralized cloud computing, users are in control of their own data. They are not dependent on a central party and their data is protected by the hashing technique and the combination of public key and private key. Blockchain is one of the most secure technologies today.
  • Cost: The cost of decentralized cloud computing can be very low if a blockchain is scalable enough. If this is the case, then the network has low transaction costs. However, scalability is one of the problems of blockchains. This is due to the popularity of blockchain.
  • Security: stealing data from the blockchain is impossible if someone keeps their combination public key and private key well hidden from others. 


  • New technology: decentralized cloud computing is still new and unknown to the general public. It is questionable whether decentralized cloud computing will function on a large scale.
  • Scalability: as briefly noted above, (most) blockchains suffer from scalability. This can make it difficult to access files. This can also cause users to have to wait a long time to retrieve their files. Another issue is that as it becomes more popular, there is not enough capacity to welcome new users.
  • Familiarity: when people hear blockchain, they often immediately associate it with cryptocurrency. Users currently prefer to choose a well-known party such as Google or Apple. Decentralized cloud computing therefore still has to prove itself against companies that are already well-known. Blockchain development is still in its infancy. However, it is becoming more familiar to the general public.

Examples of decentralized cloud computing

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