Decentralized storage is the cornerstone that supports the continuation of human civilization

Memo Labs
7 min readAug 1, 2022

Human development is driven by creativity, but human destruction is equally powerful. The accumulation of wisdom, insight and experience has been recorded and passed down through books for thousands of years, but the destruction of civilization represented by the burning of books has never ceased. The Library of Alexandria in ancient Egypt was destroyed several times before being burned, and in ancient China the Qin Shi Huang and Qian Long Emperors both carried out large-scale book burnings. In medieval Europe, the Pope ordered the burning of Jewish books, and the Spanish burned historical, philosophical, mathematical and astronomical texts documenting Mayan culture, leaving it a mystery to this day.

In fact, far more books have been burned throughout history, and countless cultural texts have been forced to disappear into history. UNESCO has published studies that list the billions of books that have been destroyed throughout human history. This destruction of books has not only occurred in ancient times, but is still happening in modern times. More books and libraries were destroyed during the Second World War than at any other time in human history, in Italy, France, Britain and many other countries, including manuscripts and printed copies of ancient books dating back over a thousand years. Two million books were burned in Italy, all the small libraries in Budapest were destroyed and the larger ones partially damaged, and eighty percent of the books in Poland were destroyed ……

The destruction of civilization has always been bound up with war and is never far away. In the most recent decades, this destruction has continued. In the 1990s, most of the local libraries were burned during the war in Kuwait, two hundred libraries were burned during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and most of the books in the Iraqi National Library were burned during the war in Iraq.

For a long time, mankind has struggled to create civilizations while at the same time setting many of their accumulations on fire. The destruction of books became a quick way of stopping the spread of dissident ideas and fending off the development of the enemy because of the fragmentation of development goals between local groups. The development of civilizations is a long process of gestation and transmission from generation to generation, and the books that have been handed down are the tools and keys for future generations to discover historical truths and unlock wisdom. Imagine if, without these acts of destruction and accidents, the face of humanity would be different today.

In addition to war, non-human destruction is equally powerful. “In 1764, an accidental spark from a fireplace jumping to the floor destroyed the Harvard Library. In 1972, an electrical spark from a floor fan short-circuiting led to the destruction of the entire collection of the Temple University Law School Library. in 1988, one of the world’s largest libraries — the The Scientific Library in Leningrad, whose collection began in 1714, was destroyed by fire, with the loss of four million books. Millions of other books were soaked in water and then completely destroyed.”

There was no good way of eliminating these elements of vandalism, both man-made and non-man-made, until the advent of digital solutions. The United Nations had issued norms to stop the destruction of books, ancient books and other civilizational conservation practices, but if the system worked, then war would no longer exist either. As the carriers of civilization, writing materials such as bamboo, sheepskin and paper are inherently highly destructible, their distinguishing feature being their flammability and the fact that they are objectively not completely immune to fire accidents.

Saving civilization, therefore, required the creation of another way of storing knowledge and information, a new way that would need to have the qualities of being unafraid of destruction and indestructible. What is there that man cannot destroy? At first glance, this may sound alarmist, but in today’s digital age, blockchain-based decentralized technology has taken on the shape of something that is not afraid of destruction. A mature blockchain system, with no unified control centre and nodes scattered across the globe, would never be crumbled unless there was an extreme event like the destruction of the planet.

The indestructible MEMO decentralized storage

The emergence of blockchain technology has given a new lease of life to digital storage, a lease of life that gives support and hope for the continuation of civilization, as blockchain-based storage can make books strongly resistant to the warlike destruction and natural disasters that have befallen them in the past. MEMO decentralized storage improves and upgrades traditional blockchain storage, with deeply decentralized features that confer indestructible and strong protective qualities. The “lightweight” system design makes the system more scalable and easy to use.

1. Deeply decentralized, not truly destructible

Traditional cloud storage and traditional data centres are similar to physical library infrastructures in that they are highly centralized. Although today’s traditional cloud storage also implements a polycentric strategy, the clustering of servers in a particular centre remains highly centralized, which defines its easily disruptive characteristics. While we have yet to see an example of a cloud storage infrastructure being destroyed by war in the short twenty years or so since its inception, two short decades is not enough of a reference. What is certain, however, is that both traditional cloud storage and traditional data centres are very vulnerable to damage once a man-made attack is carried out. If the entire system is destroyed, then the stored data is also lost.

The most distinctive feature of decentralized storage is that it is decentralized. In the MEMO decentralized storage hierarchy, the blockchain layer, the management layer and the edge storage layer are all fully decentralized. Smart contracts are stored on the chain in a completely decentralized manner, the management layer consisting of Keeper and the edge storage layer consisting of Provider nodes are scattered around the world, and the massive edge storage layer is open to all ordinary users, whether they are professional servers or idle storage devices, to join freely.

This deeply decentralized state gives MEMO the qualities that make it resistant to powerful attacks. Because human wars throughout history have been localized and the damage localized, such localized attacks cannot destroy globally dispersed decentralized systems. Years from now, even if the MEMO project developers do not exist, as long as the nodes exist and as long as the three types of actors continue to interact on the network, the network will be perpetual and cannot be interfered with or destroyed, and the data will be preserved for a long time.

2. Strong protection against hacking and occasional accidents

There is no easy road to civilization. In addition to devastating wars, there are countless incidents of accidental damage. In cloud storage and local storage, even if the infrastructure is intact, there is still a risk of losing personal data. This is because in the age of the Internet, there is an invisible enemy — cyber hackers — who do not destroy the infrastructure, but use network technology to steal or destroy data and wreak havoc. It is no longer news that traditional cloud storage is often hacked, simply because their data is stored centrally.

In order to protect the data, MEMO decentralized storage has a twofold decentralization of the data. In addition to the first decentralization of the nodes, the data is stored in a segmented state using the redundancy of the erasure codes. A hacker would be useless to break into these data segments unless he broke into all the nodes where the data was stored.

In such a decentralized system, if a hacker wants to compromise all the nodes that store a single piece of data, he first needs to know where the data is stored, then he needs to know exactly where these nodes are, and then he needs to attack them all, which proves to be more difficult than impossible. As with hacking incidents, occasional localized incidents such as fire, flood, earthquake and downtime will only damage a few of the nodes, and the failure of a few nodes does not affect the integrity of the data as a whole, as MEMO’s unique data recovery technology allows data to be recovered as quickly as possible when a few nodes fail. In addition, the system has developed public validation mechanisms and checks and balances in the economic system to effectively stop a few malicious nodes from doing evil. These technologies and measures provide strong protection for data, allowing individual users to fear hacking and occasional incidents, as these can hardly pose a threat to their data.

3. Easily scalable, without fear of large loads

Everything will be digital in the future, and many historical and contemporary texts will be stored digitally. Cultural texts have a wide range of users and are accessed frequently, so how to carry the vast amount of information while maintaining ease of use is a problem that needs to be solved with decentralized storage. Primitive on-chain storage is secure enough, but scalability and ease of use are also quite low, and some project systems are even overloaded and “overwhelmed”.

Another feature of MEMO’s decentralized cloud storage, in addition to its deeply decentralized nature, is its scalability and the massive carrying capacity that scalability gives. In order to achieve true scalability, the MEMO development team has adopted a “light” strategy from the design of the architecture, the development of validation mechanisms to the choice of storage technology, with the aim of achieving low operational redundancy and low communication overheads while ensuring security. Specifically, MEMO separates the storage layer from the traditional blockchain storage layer and sets up a relatively independent edge storage layer, which is free from the high redundancy, high load and low performance characteristics of the blockchain layer. In terms of verification mechanism, MEMO uses probabilistic sampling principles to minimize the communication overhead between nodes.

MEMO’s decentralized cloud storage is designed to carry 175ZB of data, and the “light” design strategy keeps the system light enough to easily accommodate more nodes to join and operate. At the same time, due to MEMO’s low barrier to entry strategy, the increasing number of new nodes joining will further deepen the decentralization, as the more decentralized the nodes are, the more protective the system becomes. More and more ordinary users are called upon to join MEMO’s decentralized storage system and work together to make this data protection network even stronger and tighter.

With this strong network protection barrier, MEMO becomes a massive, easy-to-use information protection network that is impervious to war, fire and destruction, and a cornerstone of human civilization.



Memo Labs

MEMO is a new-gen blockchain decentralized cloud storage protocol. Our mission is to build a reliable storage infrastructure for the Web3 era.