State of $STORE — May 2022
Author: Chris McCoy, CEO of STORE Labs, Inc.
Reviewed by: Charles Belle, COO and Josh Lawler, Securities Lawyer
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
― Calvin Coolidge, 30th U.S. President
- STORE is a new layer-one staking protocol at the intersection of cloud computing and Web3.
- Through sound money and industry-low inflation rates, STORE can provide leading returns to staked miners and voters (inflation adjusted).
- The STORE mission is to democratize and decentralize computing resources — both off-chain cloud resources and on-chain blockspace. Trust-minimized compute spreads to the far edges of the network — eventually to phones — while democracy governs both computing resources and the rules of $STORE, the protocol’s reserve currency.
- The protocol is solving multiple, deeply entrenched infrastructure problems in Web3 by vertically integrating governance, trust-minimized cloud, and zero-fee blockspace — one update to protocol security at a time.
- The project is on a credible path to releasing trust-minimized STORE Governance and a governed STORE Cloud in the Articles test network. We have very promising R&D with the zero-fee and high speed STORE Chain.
- In Fall 2021, we received a patent on our BlockinBFT consensus algorithm.
- Alongside our governance and technical R&D, we’re sprinting as fast as possible to establish the regulatory and tax-compliant STORE Foundation in either Liechtenstein or Switzerland. From there, we can begin releasing the $STORE asset alongside the Articles test network — our first utility.
- We’re preparing for a $5 Million strategic sale at $0.099 per $STORE token. $1 Million is already in from both previous and new buyers with a long-term interest in operating and voting in the STORE protocol.
- Read the STORE Protocol Plan here
In late 2018, STORE’s founding chief architect Rag Bhagavatha and I sat in the coffeeshop below then STORE headquarters, inside the Twitter building in San Francisco. I asked Rag a vital question: Could our zero-fee settlement protocol upgrade into a peer-to-peer (p2p) computing network similar to Ethereum, Tezos, and other emergent smart contracting systems? Rag’s answer evolved into a yes. That question kept us alive during the 2018–2020 brutal bear markets and upgraded the direction of “Storecoin” to “STORE”.
We started research on the STORE protocol with the assumption of a zero-fee settlement system, hence the original name “Storecoin”. As R&D evolved, our commitment to true decentralization for both transaction validation and the storage of all historical blockchain data led us to discovering that we need to scale out both the ledger and ledger history (storage). A technical challenge emerged: To scale out the storage of blockchain history, we’d need to scale out the compute capacity of STORE miners. Through our own version of Valley Forge across the 2018–2020 bear markets where we nearly died several times — with sheer force of will and the support of our earliest token buyers — we re-focused our R&D efforts on cloud computing infrastructure, its decentralized governance, and economic incentives for miners to run this higher-cost infrastructure.
By late 2020, we cracked it — we had an early version of STORE Cloud running and a viable roadmap for it to be trust-minimized. In August 2021, we received a U.S. patent for our novel BFT consensus algorithm BlockFinBFT, a new invention that validates 100% of transactions in a blockchain while storing 100% of blockchain data. By Q2 ‘21, we re-gained project momentum — momentum that started when we invented BlockfinBFT in late 2017.
By Q3 ‘21 we began writing and testing STORE Chain. Our research objective now is for a high-speed, zero-fee STORE Chain to run on virtual machines inside of a high-performance STORE Cloud. All data and APIs are incentivized by STORE Governance. This new Web3 computing paradigm is how we believe a more secure, governed, and low-cost system for smart contracts, tokens, and apps emerges.
Thanks for your continued support
Thanks for continuing to support our R&D into 2022. Without it, we wouldn’t be building. With it, we can win. Throughout 2021 and into Q1 2022, we’ve built up both momentum and a high execution velocity across key technical and operational fronts. We’re at the strongest we’ve ever been. With the success of our upcoming strategic private token sale, we have confidence that 2022 is the year we establish the regulatory and tax compliant STORE Foundation in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. With the STORE Foundation established, we can introduce Articles — an incentivized test network awarding 4MM $STORE. With Articles, we have a utility. From there, from a regulatory position, we believe we can begin listing the $STORE asset.
Understanding the three problems in Web3 today
Web3, in its current state, is quasi-centralized, plutocratic, and too expensive.
1: Governance favors the whales, not the edges of the network
One-token, one-vote, the dominant governance of Web3, allows large holders (whales) to control votes. Most Web3 governance is plutocratic or populist.
2: Off-chain storage and compute is centralized
Many nodes on proof-of-stake blockchains run on centralized Amazon AWS. Much of Ethereum’s API economy runs on Infura and Metamask — both controlled by ConsenSys (and JP Morgan). The storage of most NFTs is centralized — the underlying data resides on AWS and Azure.
3: Blockspace is too expensive
Miners on Solana and Avalanche generate profits 2,000x-3,000x greater than their infrastructure costs. The margins are charged to users as either extraordinary high fees or too much token inflation.
From the developer’s side, Ethereum is 339 Million times more expensive to store data on than AWS and 1.58 Billion times more expensive to run a 1+1 compute operation. L2 solutions like Polygon improve costs by only ~100x. High costs for blockspace limits the innovation of Web3.
How STORE solves
Decentralized Cloud Computing x Decentralized Democracy
STORE solves by introducing one new utility vertically integrated into the other — one update to the STORE Security Budget at a time.
1: A one-entity, one vote democracy (STORE Governance)
No matter the size of the stake, STORE miners and voters only have a single vote. This allows power to spread to the far edges of the STORE network. It is governance by an incentivized peer-to-peer democracy — not by whales.
2: Trust-minimized cloud computing (STORE Cloud)
The high-performance, trust-minimized cloud to store Web3’s off-chain data and run its off-chain compute workloads. Compute and storage resources are priced and sold in $STORE.
3: Zero-fee, high-speed blockspace (STORE Chain)
The zero-fee ledger to trace any asset in the world. The smart contracts to enable new Web3 use cases. STORE Chain runs in STORE Cloud as VMs.
⚡ STORE is building electricity for Web3
How STORE is different than other layer-ones
STORE, a protocol with over 200 interoperating, composable, and incentivized APIs, sees the future of Web3 differently than existing layer-ones. While others build chain-first then end up centralizing the history of their ledger resulting in centralized API winners powering their ecosystems, STORE sees the creation of decentralized computing infrastructure governed by a p2p democracy as the first priority. Once secure and scalable, a high-speed chain with smart contracts is vertically integrated into STORE Cloud as virtual machines. From there, both the STORE ledger and ledger history can be high-performance, low cost, and credibly decentralized thus incentivizing a perpetually sustainable decentralized Web3 ecosystem. It’s our secret.
We can achieve this while integrating with and supporting Ethereum.
Introducing the State of $STORE
This is our first-ever long-form public post about the STORE project. To-date, we’ve been quietly building while being privately and conservatively funded through invite-only token sales to long-term-oriented believers in our R&D. Rather than keep our confidential $STORE owner updates limited to e-mail, we’ve made the strategic decision to make our updates global — available for anyone to read. Moving forward, we expect to release one every 6–12 months.
There are six key components to the STORE protocol. Each re-enforces the other in a virtuous cycle that brings $STORE new innovation and utility. Each needs to exist before the other comes online. Each is powered by STORE Research, the research and development arm of the protocol.
In this State of STORE, let’s review the progress and future of each component:
0: STORE Research — the R&D engine driving STORE
1: STORE Foundation — the governance entity required to launch STORE
2: STORE Governance — a p2p democracy secured by one entity, one vote
3: STORE Monetary Policy — sound monetary policy with very low inflation
4: STORE Cloud — the infrastructure layer
5: STORE Chain — the protocol layer
To skip all and jump to learning how to help STORE now, scroll to the bottom.
0: STORE Research
STORE Research is the R&D arm enabling perpetual innovation for STORE.
The output of any long-term winning technology organization isn’t products, it is innovation. Without it, products wither. With it, innovation continually grows an organization — across any market cycle or computing environment. STORE was founded with this principle. It kept us alive through Valley Forge. It’s the bedrock of trust-minimized computing governed with democracy.
$STORE is an R&D breakthrough to commoditize computing
— for both off-chain and on-chain computing resources
STORE Research has achieved a fundamental breakthrough in both off-chain computing and on-chain computing by pricing all computing resources in the native $STORE token. The $STORE token is the digital property right granting access to computing resources in both high-performance cloud computing (off-chain computing) and blockspace (on-chain computing) environments. This breakthrough gives $STORE an opportunity to become known as a new type of digital oil for both blockchains and clouds. It paves the way for blockspace and cloud computing to be commoditized by $STORE, of which is denominated and priced in units of $STORE — called bits.
STORE Markets are a breakthrough in scaling and governing an L1
STORE is secured by Cloud Markets of 17 miners each. There can be unlimited Markets on STORE, ideally with each Market solving unique use cases for unique sectors i.e. gaming vs. finance vs. healthcare vs. government. Each Market competes against other Markets for app developer, device developer, and NFT creator business but work together to defend each other against attacks. Markets have their own 2/3 supermajority governance.
In Market governance (+67%), STORE miners vote to upgrade computing infrastructure as storage and compute requirements grow, to support new blockchain databases, on how to spend their Market Rewards, and more.
Market governance enables comparative advantage to emerge on STORE.
STORE is a breakthrough in BFT security and computing economics
Every BFT protocol has a cost-to-attack it and a breakeven cost to mint a new token (based upon the cost of computing in the protocol). STORE Governance knows these new metrics and can communicate them to miners in real-time making it possible, if it makes economic sense and miners vote on it, to upgrade the capacity of STORE virtual machines — in a coordinated and efficient manner. The inability of Web3 protocols to coordinate and upgrade infrastructure swiftly could lead to degradation of service or outages — most recently seen in the Solana protocol. STORE solves the thorny and unsolved p2p computing infrastructure upgrade problem with legitimate governance.
Research: Web2 vs. Web3 compute, storage, scaling, and economics
To arrive at 1:1 first principles understanding of compute + storage resources in Web2 cloud systems vs. Web3 blockspace systems, we conducted a deep study of both. We also studied Ethereum’s L2 scaling systems. It is here that we learned Ethereum is 339 Million times more expensive to store data on than Amazon AWS and 1.58x Billion more expensive to run a 1+1 compute operation. Ethereum Layer 2 systems offer ~100x improvement over L1, but they’re still extremely expensive. This research drove our R&D, specifically that both blockspace and cloud compute could be priced in $STORE.
STORE is powered by incentivized APIs
The STORE protocol is powered by over 200 interoperating, composable, and incentivized APIs. Our R&D approach to open and incentivized APIs lets STORE innovate across any environment — both online and off. The approach also enables incentivized p2p democracy to scale far past the STORE protocol.
In 2002, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos issued a company-wide mandate for all teams and products to internally expose its APIs so Amazon could invent faster. This legendary mandate led to the invention of Amazon Web Services.
1. All teams will henceforth expose their data and functionality through service interfaces.
2. Teams must communicate with each other through these interfaces.
3. There will be no other form of interprocess communication allowed: no direct linking, no direct reads of another team’s data store, no shared-memory model, no back-doors whatsoever. The only communication allowed is via service interface calls over the network.
4. It doesn’t matter what technology they use. HTTP, Corba, Pubsub, custom protocols — doesn’t matter.
5. All service interfaces, without exception, must be designed from the ground up to be externalizable. That is to say, the team must plan and design to be able to expose the interface to developers in the outside world. No exceptions.
6. Anyone who doesn’t do this will be fired.
7. Thank you; have a nice day!
- Jeff Bezos in a company-wide memo in 2002 (twenty years ago)
STORE is designed and engineered with this same platform-level strategy. Rather than STORE APIs being mostly closed and controlled by a single entity like at Amazon, STORE APIs will be open, composable, incentivized, and governed. Unlike at centralized platforms Twitter and Facebook where APIs are taken down without any agency of the developers building on them — oftentimes killing businesses along the way — STORE APIs will be funded by STORE Treasury and subject to STORE Governance. This means those paying for the security, storage, and run-time of STORE APIs have a vote in future changes to the API’s. This incentivized and governed API approach is how STORE Governance, STORE Cloud, and STORE Chain will expand to support any computing environment, app, and eventually protocol.
We own a U.S. patent on BlockfinBFT, a new Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus (BFT) algorithm that validates and stores 100% of blockchain transactions — a markedly different approach than today’s leading smart contracts who fail to give security and storage to blockchain history. STORE Governance will likely open up the patent post-launch of STORE Chain.
⏱️ Latest Progress
Using STORE Cloud infrastructure, we successfully tested BlockfinBFT’s DDoS technical protection to up to 250,000 Requests-Per-Second. 500k test next.
1: STORE Foundation
The Foundation is required for STORE to launch its first utility, governance.
We have a framework for a Foundation and a path to launch $STORE
We’ve been investing in the establishment of the STORE Foundation since early 2020. Led by our COO Charles Belle, we’re racing to get our Foundation established as quickly as possible. With success on our upcoming strategic token sale and 7–9 months of framing efforts, we have confidence that 2022 is the year we establish the STORE Foundation. After serious consideration of Ireland, UK, Singapore, and the Caribbeans as the potential home of STORE, we’ve narrowed the final location down to Switzerland or Liechtenstein. We expect to make a decision on the location by 3/31/22. The STORE Foundation is required to be up and to be regulatory + tax compliant before we can list the $STORE asset. Our upcoming strategic token sale is vital to this mission.
The STORE Foundation will be decentralized and execution-biased
In the winter, after months of work with our global accounting and legal teams, we arrived at a streamlined design for the STORE Foundation. In this framework, STORE is operated by an execution-first R&D organization without any governance powers — it works for governance. This Executive Branch R&D entity is led by an elected CEO who reports to an elected board of directors. A DAO of staked voters and miners governs the protocol, and can overrule the board. The Foundation crafts the ballots for governance. This framework pioneers incentivized democracy, an invention unique to STORE.
Once framed, STORE incentivizes a p2p governance of checks and balances to govern the STORE Executive Branch — an operating entity that is effectively a profit-maximizing high-tech organization no different than an Amazon AWS or Google Cloud. This model incentivizes long-term innovation and execution of STORE while also enabling the protocol to remain tax and regulatory compliant across multiple jurisdictions — both are vital for long-term success.
Today, STORE is founded and managed by industry experts
We’re working with very bright minds across distributed systems, database technologies, cryptography, security, cloud computing, securities law, governance systems, accounting/tax, and media/entertainment. We’ve partnered with top Web3 custody, OTC, and legal partners. New talent joins STORE regularly and we’ve been able to add top recruits on nearly every attempt. As of this week, we added Blake Darché as our Security Advisor. Blake is a global leader in information security with award winning work at the NSA and Crowdstrike. He recently sold his cybersecurity company Area 1 Security to Cloudflare for $162 Million. Blake will help STORE grow and manage its rapidly evolving on and off-chain security apparatus.
STORE has built early token partnerships
The project took an anti-ICO approach from day one and instead, supported by 8-year founder vesting, has conservatively funded its research and development across invite-only and private token sales (Reg D and Reg S).
The Foundation will be funded by inflationary $STORE rewards
It’s anticipated that 25% of the inflationary reward will be granted to STORE Governance. This funds the research, development, operations, governance, and security of the protocol. This reward model aligns the incentives of STORE Governance with STORE network operators (voters and miners).
We’re on the path to deciding between Switzerland or Liechtenstein by 3/31/22. Once we have a destination for STORE Foundation, we’ll work with our legal and accounting partners to frame it.
⏱️ Latest Progress
Streamlining STORE Governance so it can work as a three-entity structure vs. four while being tax and regulatory compliant across multiple jurisdictions.
2: STORE Governance
Governance, the first utility on STORE, is being framed as a p2p democracy.
A checks and balances governance
Token-based voting, or one token, one vote (1t1v), incentivizes the largest holders in a system — the whales — to control the final vote. It also incentivizes populism where angry mobs, or worse, mobs with economic incentives, can easily rile up a base to capture 1t1v as recently seen in a controversial ENS vote. If we follow the historical lessons learned from plutocracy or populism, 1t1v isn’t a sustainable governance system over any meaningful time horizon.
STORE aims to change this with incentivized p2p democracy. We firmly believe that democracy is the superior governance model for p2p computing systems as it pushes the power of an economic system to the far edges, giving every network operator a single vote, no matter the size of their stake (security) provided to the network. Using a one entity, one vote security model for identity, powered by our novel research in fault tolerant trust (trust-your-network), STORE is and will be an ambitious experiment in p2p democracy.
STORE began the path to decentralization in 2021 with its First Governance — one $10,000 wallet, one vote where, in Q121, we executed two votes. In 2022, we anticipate voting on a release schedule for the $STORE asset, on a proposal for long-term staking commitments, and more. Once Articles launches, we’ll get further down the path to decentralization by upgrading STORE from First Governance to Second Governance (SG). SG will frame checks and balances while testing the efficacy of the one entity, one vote security model for identity — the foundation of p2p democracy.
Fault Tolerant Trust — trust-your-network — secures 1e1v
How Proof-of-Stake protocols can evolve into democracies, not plutocracies.
The foundation of a democracy is one person, one vote (1p1v). In nation-state democracies, companies don’t vote, only people do. 1p1v is secured by the voting population’s trust in the identity of personhood. In America, for example, it’s your state license or national ID card that gives legitimacy to identity — therefore it’s the security model for liberal democracy. To preserve a liberal democracy in countries like America, if you vote on someone else’s behalf, you go to prison. Trust in governance where one person only has one vote is table stakes for the efficacy and fidelity of a nation-state democracy.
In a network of computers that represent people, 1p1v is unsolvable because the legitimacy of identity cannot be established for computers in a fault tolerant way. With computers, a voting node in a network can represent anything — a person, a company, a bot, a network of bots, etc. So far, identity with computers has proven to be unsolvable without a trusted intermediary — both in traditional computing networks and in decentralized networks. As a result, 1p1v with computers cannot be solved in a verifiable manner. Without a mechanism for establishing certainty of one person, one vote in a network of computers (nodes), there’s no way for nodes to form a governance that isn’t a plutocracy (where those with the most tokens control the voting network). To work around it, Web3 systems adopt one token, one vote (1t1v).
Our solution: At STORE, we believe that ⅔+ trust in one entity, one vote (1e1v) can be the solution. The output is called Byzantine Fault Tolerant identity — or BFT ID. Underpinning BFT ID is novel research from STORE called Fault Tolerant Trust. Learn more about BFT ID here.
Articles, an incentivized test network, launches Second Governance
Once the Foundation is up and we have regulatory approval, STORE will conduct auctions for network operators to join Articles, an incentivized test network awarding 4 Million $STORE for helping the protocol frame STORE Governance. Articles incentivizes the protocol to frame a Byzantine fault tolerant governance of checks and balances, to test the economic assumptions of incentivized democracy, and to begin governance of STORE Cloud.
With Articles, STORE introduces its first decentralized worker (dWorker), the Voter. Voters are rewarded $STORE to frame a STORE Governance of checks and balances. It’s plausible that STORE Cloud comes online during Articles in which a new dWorker comes online: The Cloud Miner. Once STORE Cloud comes online, it’ll be actively governed by both Voters and Miners.
Articles is expected to evolve through five individual launch phases that mirror the expected launch phases of the STORE mainnet (seen below).
STORE Governance tooling will be on-chain, efficient, and scalable
In a web-scale Web3 — a Web3 that STORE is incentivizing — we believe that blockspace and off-chain computing resources won’t be the scarce resources — legitimate and efficient governance will be. STORE is building the scalable tooling to facilitate an auditable, efficient, and censorship resistant governance of checks and balances. We believe these tools can grow past STORE protocol into STORE Markets; even into applications, games, and devices building on STORE. We believe STORE can export p2p democracy.
STORE Governance will elect leadership every four years
The long-term challenge of engineering-intensive layer-one Web3 protocols that reach escape velocity is how to continually replace and/or upgrade key leadership — including the project founders — without the market losing confidence in the project and without losing execution velocity as a project. Our approach at STORE will be with democratic elections. We anticipate First Governance to conduct the first election for the board members of STORE Foundation and for the CEO of the Execution Branch in 2022–2023.
STORE Governance will attempt to ratify its Constitution in 2023–24
Once ratified, STORE will have evolved from a Second Governance of checks and balances to a Third Governance (BFT Democracy) consisting of four branches, true separation of powers, and Byzantine fault tolerance. Once BFT Democracy is operational and stable, the STORE Foundation will attempt to ratify it with staked voters. BFT Democracy is the final step on the path to decentralization where the STORE Foundation gives up ballot control for all items except monetary policy, of which requires the Foundation to first reach consensus as a governance branch before it goes to a vote by STORE network operators. This extra check and balance ensures that STORE monetary policy can evolve, but through a rigorous, research-driven process.
First Governance has conducted two votes with more planned for 2022.
⏱️ Latest Progress
Governance v1 tooling is through design, and starts getting built in Q222.
3: STORE Monetary Policy
Monetary Policy incentivizes security, operations, and governance of the protocol. It’s subject to an extra check and balance in governance.
A sound monetary policy with very low inflation
STORE is incentivized by a decentralized monetary system that brings together the principles of sound money with credibly low inflation which doesn’t hyper-inflate, is predictable, and, through governance, secures STORE over the long-term. Strengthening this is a unique 8-year vesting commitment from project founders — a rare commitment in Web2 or Web3.
STORE yields and inflation rates beat Web3’s top layer one protocols
As a result of a sound monetary policy, STORE has superior inflation rates and rivals the real yields of leading public layer one protocols — protocols that are 40x–100x more valuable in public markets today.
$STORE Token Economics incentivize the long-term
Between long-term staking and an upcoming governance proposal for $STORE owners to make long-term commitments to compete in STORE auctions for the chance to operate the STORE protocol, up to 70% of $STORE current Authorized Supply could be committed from the date of First Token Release to up to 4 years.
A Committed Supply incentive would give STORE guaranteed supply
STORE Research is refining a proposal for a future vote in First Governance that would incentivize $STORE owners to commit to competing in STORE auctions for up to 4 years — while earning $STORE yield doing it. This would formally introduce Committed Supply into STORE Monetary Policy. As STORE upgrades itself from STORE Governance to STORE Cloud to STORE Chain across five launch phases, this proposal gives STORE auctions guaranteed participation while auctions give STORE both security and governance. The proposal could commit up to 70% of $STORE Allocated Supply for up to 4 years. A vote on the proposal, and how it is funded, is expected for 2022.
STORE will have a release schedule that is equitable to all wallets
In our conversations with multiple potential tier 1 exchange partners, it’s been made clear to us that a release schedule will be required of $STORE. Rather than have our exchange partners force a schedule on the project, we’ll put the release schedule up for a First Governance vote in 2022. The philosophy of any release schedule proposed by STORE Labs, Inc. will be that it is both equal and equitable to all wallets in the project — regardless of size or dates. Once approved by governance, this is the release schedule we’ll bring to potential exchange partners and more. We are also working on research, similar to the Committed Supply proposal above, to incentivize the release schedule.
Grew the private sale price of $STORE from $0.035 to $0.099 in 2021.
⏱️ Latest Progress
Generated research for Committed Supply, which has the potential to lock-up 70% of $STORE Allocated Supply in the first four years of the protocol.
4: STORE Cloud — Electricity for Web3
STORE Cloud is the p2p infrastructure layer of the protocol. It initially derives trust-minimization from STORE Governance, then evolves into a BFT Cloud. Auctions for STORE Cloud begin once STORE Governance has been installed.
First major use case: Store movies, music, more — then issue an NFT
The first major use case of STORE Cloud is to make creating immutable NFTs for high-value intellectual property as easy as posting a photo on Instagram. Creators pay in $STORE to build + forever store content and files on STORE, then easily issue NFT for their creations onto NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.
The potential of Web3-native cloud computing is bigger than NFTs
A dirty secret of nearly every Web3 protocol, NFT project, or Web3 company is that they are increasingly storing off-chain data and running “decentralized” nodes on centralized clouds like Amazon AWS (revenues at $16 Billion) and Alchemy (valued at $10.2 Billion). As Web3 continues to grow, one can look to trust-minimized STORE Cloud as taking a share of both their revenues because there isn’t a true trust-minimized AWS today. STORE is building it.
Today, Web3 is quasi-centralized and it’s a problem
In nearly every Web3 protocol, off-chain storage and compute is centralized. Developers are running workloads that don’t require blockspace and/or smart contracts on public clouds like AWS and Azure. Many nodes on multi-billion dollar layer one protocols are running on public clouds. The storage of most NFTs is centralized. Leading APIs in the Ethereum economy, including OpenSea and Metamask, run on Infura which is owned by ConsenSys. When Infura fails, so do large parts of the Ethereum ecosystem. As Web3 grows, so will this quasi-centralization. There isn’t a path out unless layer one blockchains begin to incentivize the storage and security of history.
Web3 needs trust-minimized cloud computing
Enter STORE Cloud, a trust-minimized and high-performance cloud that gives long-term immutable storage to NFTs, provides decentralized computing and storage to NFT creators, can secure the history of any public blockchain, and can run any blockchain ledger or blockchain history as a virtual machine, and can run the off-chain workloads of any Web3 app (or device).
STORE Cloud unlocks new use cases for both Web2 and Web3
As stated above, our early focus is on the storage and compute requirements for high-value NFT projects like movies and music. With additional R&D, the project is particularly excited by the potential of Web2 apps and organizations issuing governance tokens via STORE Cloud by the way of moving their off-chain storage and compute tasks to the protocol. A small fraction of Web2 developers are building Web3 today. This would incentivize the shift.
First a Governed STORE Cloud, then a BFT STORE Cloud
STORE Cloud launches as a Governed Cloud where miners are voting in Markets of 17 and controlling the rules of STORE Cloud infrastructure. Through an upgrade to network security, STORE evolves into a BFT Cloud where miners independently run their own cloud infrastructure while still voting in Markets of 17. Both evolutions unlock unique use cases for Web3.
STORE Cloud beats AWS on pricing; Web3 on performance + pricing
Governed STORE Cloud is 38% less expensive than AWS and gets cheaper as more is built on it. STORE is 339 Million times cheaper to store data on than Ethereum and 1.5 billion times cheaper to run compute operations on. Once Governed Cloud is secure, trust-minimized STORE Cloud will come online. Minimum-viable decentralization for off-chain cloud computing nodes will finally exist. STORE can then compete in the $270 Billion off-chain cloud market and the $1+ Trillion on-chain blockspace market— at the same time. A BFT STORE Cloud paves the way for the high-speed zero-fee STORE Chain.
STORE miners only accept $STORE tokens for compute and storage
$STORE is the unit of account on the STORE protocol. In exchange for providing both governance and BFT security to the storage of any blockchain supported by STORE Governance — including the future STORE Chain — miners earn up to 10 Million $STORE tokens per year (1% inflation). When developers and creators want to build on the STORE Cloud, they pay miners in the $STORE token. This two-tier economic system ensures all workloads are monetized by miners. It also ensures that STORE Markets — to win in the open marketplace of Web2, Web3, and even government workloads—are providing the highest possible performing web services and support.
Powered by STORE
STORE is in early discussions with multiple high-value creators about building on STORE Cloud and then issuing NFTs onto marketplaces like OpenSea.
The computing infrastructure for NFT opportunity is massive.
NFTs — powered by STORE — are how STORE can evolve into a global brand.
STORE Cloud is operational in 7 data centers today. It can scale horizontally.
⏱️ Latest Progress
Building a filesystem for NFT storage and NFT issuance onto marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible — via the STORE Cloud.
5: STORE Chain — A zero-fee Web3
STORE Chain is the protocol layer. It derives trust-minimization from a BFT STORE Cloud. The ledger integrates into STORE Cloud as a virtual machine. Auctions for STORE Chain begin once a BFT STORE Cloud has been installed.
New innovation re-enforces previous innovation
STORE Foundation is ambitious. STORE Governance is even more ambitious and requires the existence of STORE Foundation and STORE APIs. STORE Cloud is powered by STORE APIs and coordinated by STORE Governance. Zero-fee blockspace — the STORE Chain — is more ambitious than all three and comes online once STORE has a decentralized governance with a long-term sustainable monetary policy for STORE Cloud. As the virtuous cycle of innovation gathers steam, STORE value compounds.
STORE is building to pioneer zero-fee blockspace
Once through Jepsen security audits and an adversarial test network estimated to begin in 2023–4, the high-speed, zero-fee STORE Chain will vertically integrate into STORE Cloud as a virtual machine. Storage of STORE Chain transactions will be incentivized by STORE Governance making it the first smart contracting system where 100% of transaction execution and 100% of transaction history are incentivized by protocol monetary policy.
How STORE Chain is different
STORE monetary policy incentivizes STORE miners to store, secure, and decentralize 100% of historical state — of blockchain history. The leading smart contracting systems of today do not — they only incentivize storage of short-term ledger history, instead opting to rely on “data availability layers” which is a buzzword for “centralized blockchain history without a path for historical state to be credibly decentralized OR secured by monetary policy”.
BlockfinBFT as another fundamental breakthrough from Research
BlockfinBFT is the underlying consensus mechanism for STORE Chain. The leaderless consensus algorithm avoids the chain fork waste problem slowing down modern consensus algorithms by preventing chain forks altogether. How it works: All miners work together to build and validate blocks rather than compete to produce blocks privately — which causes chain forks.
We call it “fork tolerant” consensus. STORE is building BlockfinBFT now.
The potential for zero-fee blockspace — a zero-fee Web3
Today, blockchain users pay high fees because the demand for blockspace exceeds available and artificial supply. At STORE, we believe it doesn’t have to be this way. We believe — and are attempting to prove through applied research — that inflation-only security can credibly secure high-speed blockspace while bringing zero fees to users and faster computation to developers. We believe a DDoS attack can be more expensive to execute than attackers benefit from and that ultimately DDoS can be incentivized out.
To secure and scale zero-fee blockspace, the STORE Virtual Machine (VM) decouples transaction fees from network security. Instead of fees, STORE uses perpetually low inflation coupled with economic guarantees for miners to be profitable on each transaction. Inflation replaces transaction fees for security, miners run profitable businesses, but miners cannot extract the kind of profits found on high-fee and/or high-inflation chains.
If we can formally prove the security of zero-fee blockspace, it represents another fundamental breakthrough. STORE could pioneer a zero-fee Web3.
NOTE: If we can’t prove how to credibly secure zero-fee blockspace over the long-term, then we’ll add fees but STORE will not overpay for security.
A zero-fee Web3 unlocks new innovation in both Web2 and Web3
Potential use cases for the STORE Chain expand the possibilities of social, of DeFi and NFTs, and eventually the financialization of data/machine learning.
How STORE evolves to securing STORE Chain
There’s a logical order of operations for the evolution of the STORE protocol. It begins with the introduction of the Articles test network, then the framing of a checks and balances governance. It then evolves to introducing a governed STORE Cloud that can upgrade into zero-fee blockspace. In short, STORE utility upgrades one launch phase & one update to network security at a time.
The STORE Virtual Machine (STORE VM)
Once STORE Chain comes online, the STORE VM will conservatively upgrade to secure native smart contracts and zero-fee token issuance. We’re currently evaluating an approach to smart contracts used by Solana (a fork of Move VM) against an approach for STORE smart contracts as signed JSON objects interpreted by STORE Chain at run-time. We’re not certain that proprietary languages for smart contracts are necessary for a web-scale and secure Web3 but we need to peel the R&D onion back more. We’ll share publicly as our R&D unfolds. Our decision is as much philosophical as it is technical.
Zero-fee token issuance from STORE Chain
Data used to be internal intellectual property for a corporation. STORE Chain aims to enable data and IP of all types to be represented by private keys, making them tradable assets thus ushering in the financialization of data.
STORE is designing for (2) token types: Utility and NFT — both with zero-fees.
The potential of STORE Chain
STORE’s approach to securing and storing 100% of blockchain data eventually enables — in our 10-year vision — new use cases to emerge from the virtuous cycle of structured data: the more that data is structured and labeled, the more valuable it is in an open marketplace where data is an NFT. The higher the pricing is for structured and tokenized data, the more that is opened up and made tradable by developers. The more structured and labeled data there is to build with, the more innovation in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Once ML and A.I. are tradable, computing changes.
Why? Thus far, machine learning has been developed in data silos. ML projects typically build models and rework using separate datasets. Once data is in the cloud and tradable via blockchains, 2/3 trust is added to the mix. We could have an explosion of ML development powered by rivers of trusted data.
The financialization of data is the long-term mission of the STORE protocol.
⏱️ Latest Progress
STORE Engineering is writing BlockfinBFT now. We are currently testing BLS signature aggregation while building BFT storage. In Q421, we deconstructed the anatomy of STORE Chain— the size/cost of STORE zero-fee blockspace.
Because of our willingness to claw our way to survival with our fingertips through the 2018–2020 bear markets, backed by the organic support of token partners around the world, we’ve executed our way to be credibly positioned to bring STORE Governance to Web3 — starting with the launch of the STORE Foundation. With continued product execution and the passing of security audits, one conservative upgrade to network security at a time, we can bring STORE Cloud and STORE Chain to Web3 too. We don’t know what the future is, but if we’re right about our vision for computing, why not us? With a long-term lens, a very talented team, and 8-year vesting, we’re building for it.
What’s next for 2022?
2022 is our year. Our true north is the establishment of a regulatory and tax compliant STORE Foundation in Liechtenstein. With our Foundation established, we can introduce our incentivized test network Articles. Then, begin listing the $STORE asset. We’re laser-focused here and executing daily.
How you can help us
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✅ Share this update and the STORE Protocol Plan with anyone who might be interested in supporting our mission to make all assets tradable — even data.
We’re in this together
Again, I want to thank you for entrusting the STORE project with the resources to continue our project. We’re giving it our all to change the future of computing, its governance, and the possibilities of decentralization.
The journey and adventure of STORE isn’t mine nor does it belong to our team. It’s all of ours. We’re in this together. We still have plenty of work to do but we have a path, the right early team to do it, and we’re marching forward.
Let’s go change computing!
Yours in innovation,
Chris McCoy, CEO @ STORE Labs, Inc.
The information provided in this presentation pertaining to STORE Labs, Inc. (“STORE”) and $STORE tokens is for general informational purposes only and is not a formal offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. While information in this presentation is believed to be accurate and reliable, STORE and its agents, advisors, directors, officers, employees and shareholders make no representation or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of such information and STORE expressly disclaims any and all liability that may be based on such information or errors or omissions thereof. STORE reserves the right to amend or replace the information contained in the presentation, in part or entirely, at any time, and undertakes no obligation to notify you thereof.