Explore key components of the Protocol Labs tech stack and learn how to build innovative and secure dapps
Protocol Labs’ tool suite opens doors for developers to unleash the full potential of decentralized applications (dapps). From the Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) that enables smart contract execution on the Filecoin network to Saturn for seamless data retrieval, Bacalhau/Lilypad for computation over data, and much more – the possibilities are limitless.
- What is Protocol Labs?
- Understand Protocol Labs’ Tech Stack
- Network layer: libp2p
- Storage layer: IPFS and Filecoin
- Smart contract on Filecoin: FVM to build decentralized applications
- Data onboarding tools: Web3.storage, NFT.Storage
- Data retrievability or CDN (Content discover network): Saturn
- Computation over data on IPFS & Filecoin: Bacalhau/Lilypad
- Scalability and interoperability via Layer-2: IPC
- Closing words
What is Protocol Labs?
Protocol Labs is an open-source research, development, and deployment laboratory, and it is also the creator of IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) and Filecoin. At the heart of Protocol Labs lies the ambition to propel the future of the internet by catalyzing technological advancements.
Their strategy involves building open-source, decentralized, and scalable protocols, tools, and services that empower developers, fueling innovation in the digital landscape.
Understanding Protocol Labs’ Tech Stack
Network layer: libp2p
libp2p forms the backbone of many decentralized applications, facilitating peer-to-peer communication and networking. Developers can explore its extensive documentation and utilize APIs for peer discovery, secure communication, and message routing.
Storage layer: IPFS and Filecoin
IPFS is a distributed file system that enables decentralized and permanent data storage. Developers can use the IPFS API or client libraries in various programming languages to add and retrieve content, work with IPFS hashes, and understand pinning mechanisms for optimal content distribution.
Filecoin is a decentralized storage network designed to provide a marketplace for storing and retrieving data in a secure and efficient manner. It allows users to rent out their unused storage space and earn Filecoin (FIL) tokens as incentives.
Smart contract on Filecoin: FVM to build decentralized applications
Smart contracts on Filecoin are known as “actors.” These actors are autonomous entities that execute predefined logic and interact with the Filecoin network. Actors can be programmed to perform various tasks, such as managing data storage, handling data retrieval, and enforcing access control rules.
The Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) is the runtime environment that executes these actors on the Filecoin network. It provides the necessary infrastructure for running and managing smart contracts on the Filecoin blockchain. FVM is EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible, meaning it can execute Solidity-based smart contracts, making it easier for developers already familiar with Ethereum’s smart contract ecosystem to work with Filecoin.
With FVM, developers can build various innovative use cases on top of Filecoin, including data access control, data DAOs, perpetual storage, and more.
To get started with FVM, developers need to understand the Filecoin blockchain’s architecture. Documentation and tutorials provided by Protocol Labs can guide developers through this process.
Data onboarding tools: Web3.storage, NFT.Storage
These are data onboarding tools developed by Protocol Labs. Web3.Storage provides an easy way for developers to store and retrieve data on the IPFS network, while NFT.Storage focuses on storing data related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Data retrievability or CDN (Content discover network): Saturn
Saturn serves as a retrieval tool, enabling developers to efficiently retrieve specific data from Filecoin storage miners. This is crucial for dapps requiring real-time or on-demand access to data stored on the Filecoin network.
Computation over data on IPFS & Filecoin: Bacalhau/Lilypad
Bacalhau/Lilypad focuses on computation over data, empowering developers to perform complex computations directly on data stored in the Filecoin network. This allows dapps to utilize Filecoin’s vast storage capacity without downloading and processing data locally, leading to improved efficiency and performance for data-intensive applications.
By incorporating Bacalhau/Lilypad and Saturn into their development process, developers can extend the capabilities of their dapps and fully leverage the potential of the Protocol Labs tool suite. These tools enhance data processing, storage, and retrieval, simplifying the creation of powerful and innovative decentralized applications.
Scalability and interoperability via Layer-2: IPC
Integrating these tools into the local development environment and configuring IPC ensures seamless communication between different dapp components. IPC enables data exchange between processes, which is critical for coordinating decentralized components running on different nodes or networks.
Developers can also utilize data onramps to efficiently transfer and store data on the IPFS and Filecoin networks. Using the IPFS API and Filecoin’s storage deals, developers can seamlessly integrate distributed storage into their applications, ensuring data persistence and retrieval in a censorship-resistant manner.
Explore comprehensive documentation and sample code provided by Protocol Labs to learn how to utilize these tools.
The current Protocol Labs tool suite offers developers the capability to build dapps with exceptional performance. Most importantly, it harnesses the unparalleled data infrastructures of Filecoin and IPFS.
Protocol Labs will continue to introduce additional toolings to enhance data security and storage decentralization and resilience. By embracing these powerful protocols, developers can create dapps that prioritize data integrity, privacy, and user trust, ushering us into a new era of secure and interconnected internet experiences.