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ConsenSys Labs and Protocol Labs Launch Filecoin Accelerator Program

Filecoin, the world’s largest decentralized storage network, is collaborating with ConsenSys Labs, the venture arm of ConsenSys, to launch the Filecoin Launchpad Accelerator (FLA).

Powered by Tachyon, the FLA will focus on startups building more open, interoperable, and programmable tools, infrastructure, and applications for the distributed web through IPFS and Filecoin.

The Filecoin Launchpad will provide funding, one-on-one mentorship, and programming to accelerate the adoption of Filecoin within the Ethereum and DeFi ecosystems, and attract current web developers looking to integrate with an efficiently priced and geographically distributed storage network.

Teams can leverage access to the Protocol Labs and ConsenSys networks and expertise, ranging from entrepreneurs and legal advisors to pathbreaking technical researchers. Each team will receive $80,000 USD in funding. Teams can apply here, and applications close on August 21st.

Founded by the Protocol Labs team and backed by Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and Union Square Ventures, Filecoin aims to decentralize data stores to safeguard their preservation and eliminate the risk of a single point of failure.

ConsenSys Labs’ Tachyon accelerator will be unique this year in that it will be co-supported by Protocol Labs. Launched in 2014, Protocol Labs is an open-source research, development, and deployment laboratory whose projects include InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), Filecoin, libp2p, and many more. At its simplest, IPFS’ goal is a fully distributed web, where applications don’t live in centralized servers but operate over a network made up of users’ computers. IPFS aims to create a resilient, upgradable, open network to foster a more sustainable and accessible web infrastructure for all of humanity. Instead of trying to find content by who is hosting it, users search for the content itself. This means both faster and cheaper retrieval of data, no more reliance on centralized servers, and even an ability to access the web while offline.

The economic incentive layer for IPFS is a network token called Filecoin (FIL), which rewards miners to compete to properly store encrypted data on the Filecoin network. Since its crowd sale in 2017, Protocol Labs has been hard at work maturing the protocol and building toward its upcoming launch.  Filecoin’s testnet already contains 25 PiB of storage, thousands of data storage providers, dozens of applications building on the protocol, and over 1,350 open-source software, contributors. Filecoin’s incentivized testnet officially launches the week of August 3rd, 2020, with the Filecoin public mainnet expected to launch in Q3 2020.

The Filecoin Launchpad, powered by Tachyon will provide funding, one-on-one mentorship, and programming to accelerate the adoption of Filecoin within the Ethereum and DeFi ecosystems, and attract current web developers looking to integrate with an efficiently priced and geographically distributed storage network.

All applicant teams building within the Protocol Labs stack, or even Ethereum projects considering integrating elements of the Protocol Labs stack, will be considered. These could include:

  • Infrastructure: Core infrastructure and developer tools to support encryption, file management/retrieval and basic onboarding onto the Filecoin and IPFSnetworks.
  • Middleware: Platforms that shape the integration and usage of Filecoin and IPFS into other applications, such as plug-and-play dApp or DeFi toolkits, and data & analytics insights into IPFS’ ongoing activity.
  • Applications: Tools that utilize Filecoin or IPFS as part of their core tech stack to develop end-user applications, such as file-sharing, DeFi, archival tools, video, audio, large data storage, and networking.

This partnership between ConsenSys Labs and Protocol Labs builds upon years of collaboration and synergy between the Ethereum and IPFS ecosystems. The teams share many common goals for the decentralized protocol ecosystem and the distributed Web: to construct more secure and resilient global digital networks, return data control to users, and build a more open, sustainable, and accessible Web. The launch of Filecoin will accelerate collaboration and offer new opportunities for shared use cases; this accelerator will help serve as a launchpad for more convergence between decentralized protocols and networks.

Richard Kastelein
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands where he has set down his anchor to raise a family and write. Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015) and director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He has written over 2500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published in Harvard Business Review, Venturebeat, Wired, The Guardian and a number of other publications. Kastelein has an Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute software and Technology. He has over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division. Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology at over 50 events in 30+ cities.
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