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The Irony of GalaCloud: Distributed Encrypted Cloud Storage

Zeepin is a distributed network for creative industries and in August 2018 they launched their own cloud platform called GalaCloud. The unique selling points? This is distributed and encrypted cloud storage.

And the irony? The platform closed down just five months later. Let’s take a look at how they got there.

In a blog post announcing the platform, the company outlined that GalaCloud had been born from pain points with centralised cloud storage approaches.

The first is security threats. There have been no end of big organisations in the news for suffering data loss, either through system failure or through things like malware attacks. Being centralised increases the vulnerability to this because it’s easier to target. Although all good cloud providers do have high encryption standards and private keys, this still isn’t a fool-proof way to guarantee security.

Second is the lack of data ownership. Some companies will analyse your data and potentially sell it to third-parties. Though legally you will always have to opt in to this, so theoretically it shouldn’t happen without your consent. Nevertheless, the movement of data does lack transparency and you don’t have true control over your data when storing it in a public cloud.

Finally, putting your data in the hands of a company means your beholden to them remaining afloat. There have been cloud companies who have gone under or changed direction, leaving millions of users in the lurch and forced to find an alternative. (Yes, this will come back to bite them!)

Zeepin claimed their GalaCloud was a more reliable and effective solution for the growing needs of cloud data storage and the overall concern of privacy and security.

GalaCloud was distributed storage network. This means that users globally rent out a bit of their hard drive in order to form the network. Each disk represents a network node. Any files that get uploaded are encrypted, split into shards, and then stored across many distributed nodes. It’s highly autonomous, low-cost and fast. Best of all, claimed Zeepin, it has strict data security and privacy protection.

The company said this is possible because the shards generate Hash that is automatically controlled by nodes. New nodes are generated and distributed to new data nodes, which overcomes the issue of sharding redundancy for security. Users have a private key, which they can keep to themselves or share it with others – this way, data loss will only happen if the users decides to delete their own data.

Another important feature of GalaCloud was how it syncs with decentralised apps (dApps) in the company’s ecosystem. The cloud will apply to the company’s public chain as a blockchain-based infrastructure, which provides distributed storage and synchronisation of many dApps.

But, in the end, in January 2019, Zeepin announced that they were closing GalaCloud.

“After a thorough market analysis, and with the current market conditions in the cryptocurrency sphere, the risk of launching the GalaCloud project would be too high,” the company wrote in a blog post.

They offered full refunds for all their customers. But in the end, it just goes to show that decentralised cloud networks are equally as vulnerable as others. Their announcement blog post claiming that GalaCloud would overcome the problem of storing your data with one company proved false – and less than half a year after it launched.

At the end of the day, if using the cloud to store your data, if you want longevity then you are best going with an established market player. Though even then it’s not guaranteed.


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