In a world where hardware failures, natural disasters, data loss and cyber attacks are pervasive, robust storage and backup strategies are paramount.
Enter Minebox, a startup intent on making a footprint in the data storage space. This Austrian company has engineered a smart data storage box solution tethered to a peer-to-peer cloud storage ecosystem – all powered and secured by a blockchain.
Touted on its website as the “World’s First NAS (Network Attached Storage)That Generates Cryptocurrencies,” Minebox is Linux based, allowing for storage management capabilities, peer-to-peer backup configuration, and a native wallet. It facilitates peer-to-peer backup of encrypted data on a peer-to-peer, decentralized cloud. Because data is backed up in multiple regions, single points of failures, which are often the source of hacker attacks are eliminated.
It also offers the ability to generate a private key for data recovery in the event of a theft, hard drive crash or an information compromising disaster. Data files can be accessed on the go from anywhere. All Minebox data is secured via military-grade encryption before an initial upload, preventing outside eyes from viewing or changing the data.
Minebox’s hosting, access and secure end-to-end encryption for sensitive/confidential data provides an appealing set of businesses propositions – music production, research, game development, medicine, and law, among them.
Users can manually select the specific geographic region where their Minebox-secured devices are backed up – a key feature for addressing certain jurisdictional compliance laws that govern physical data warehousing.
Minebox can also be characterized as a small crypto bank. Here bitcoin or the device’s native cryptocurrency, known as Siacoin, can be earned by customers by renting their unused local disk space.
Minebox Founder and CEO Speaks “Out of the Box”
Vlade Petrushev is the mastermind and co-founder of Minebox. His journey has been an interesting one. He started his career at IBM in Czech Republic working in different roles, including hardware asset management on IBM data centers in Frankfurt, Germany.
He was also an early Bitcoin adherent, having started his exploration mining and trading adventures in 2012. He was part of the distributed storage project Storj and externally consulted for Blockchain (blockchain.info) on market strategy-related topics.
Petrushev says that his examination of existing decentralized p2p storage networks always made him think about how to make the technology more simple to use and easily accessible for all, even non-technical users. “That was the first problem I wanted to solve.The second one was how to ensure that the hosts on such a network remain loyal. Host loyalty is a must for a stable network.”
He says he knew host loyalty was integral having examined past solutions, citing the Swiss-based Wuala as an example.
“Although they had great traction with more than million users signed on with them, they had a “loyalty” problem which led to their network eventually being shut down.”
This discovery led Petrushev to team up with Andreas Petersson, Minebox Co-Founder and co-creator of Mycelium Wallet for Android. The intent of their venture to build a great storage management solution, replete with an easy way to rent storage space making for a decentralized storage network that’s more secure, more reliable and always accessible. “That’s how we came to Minebox – a solution which brings the cloud to your home or office while earning you some crypto.”
The impact of cyber attacks was another factor behind the formation of Minebox. Says Petrushev: “Of late, I’ve been particularly concerned about ransomware. According to a study conducted by Carbon Black(Source), the amounts paid to cyber-criminals grew from $24M in 2015 to $850 in 2016.” He goes on to note that regular data backups along with housing the backup data offsite are critical to preventing ransomware.
In terms of next steps for Minebox advancement over the next 12-18 months, he says that the company presale of NAS equipment beginning on March 3rd is their first priority.
“We are ready to start selling the device, shipping the units and capturing satisfied customers. We are also aiming to provide a more powerful version of the device which can serve large enterprises as well as optimize the operating system so that a larger audience can be reached. Think of it like physical Dropbox. You own it, it is your personal cloud, and yours only.”