Banyan Receives Grant To Build a Decentralized IPFS Pinning Service

One of the main goals of the Chainlink Community Grant Program is to support the global developer community by making it easier to build applications that impact the world using hybrid smart contracts and Chainlink oracles. To further this goal, the program financially supports the creation of developer tooling needed to seamlessly create, test, and launch hybrid smart contracts into production and provides funding for their continued maintenance, ensuring they remain functional and secure.

Today’s decentralized storage solutions often force users to face a tradeoff between usability and real decentralization/censorship resistance. 

To help address these issues, we’re excited to announce that Banyan, a marketplace for trustless storage that helps users cost-efficiently store data on decentralized storage networks like Filecoin, has been awarded a Chainlink Community Grant to build a decentralized IPFS pinning service that uses Merkle proofs to verify file storage off-chain. The service will efficiently scale by leveraging the Chainlink Network to compute these proofs off-chain. A smart contract will be able to make an API call in Solidity via a Chainlink External Adapter, the Chainlink Network will compute the Merkle proof and then return that proof on-chain through the External Adapter, enabling users to easily and cost-efficiently verify whether a file is stored on IPFS. This service will make it easier for developers across the Web3 ecosystem to store and verify data off-chain. 

Through this grant initiative, Banyan aims to complete the following deliverables: 

  • Develop a Rust-based API that pulls Ethereum data on demand and posts a response on-chain.
  • Build an open-source Chainlink External Adapter that seamlessly connects decentralized storage networks to layer-1 blockchains such as Ethereum. 
  • Expand the External Adapter to use an IPFS file ID, validate a history of on-chain Merkle proofs associated with the file over the course of a given time period, and return a proof success rate on-chain. 

Decentralized applications require increasingly more data storage space as they grow to add new users and support advanced functionality. However, it’s expensive to store large amounts of data on blockchains, while centralized servers are censorable and introduce a single point of failure. This initiative aims to make decentralized storage networks more affordable and reliable for Web3 users, giving them access to a verifiable and cost-efficient pinning service. Ultimately this is a step toward smart contract developers with an end-to-end decentralized Web3 technology stack, helping give individuals complete control and ownership over their data. 

Banyan is an on-chain storage bridge, broker, and aggregator that helps users store data from any blockchain on a decentralized storage protocol such as Filecoin. Banyan is founded by Claudia Richoux and Maya Krasovsky, graduates of the University of Chicago with a range of Web3 and finance experience. Claudia earned her Bachelor’s degree and went on to study for a Master’s degree before dropping out to work in the Web3 industry. Claudia has worked as a cryptography auditor and researcher at Trail of Bits, a runtime Go/Rust developer at Protocol Labs on Filecoin, and contributed to various Web3 projects. Maya Krasovsky majored in Economics and Sociology and has experience in portfolio management at Advocate Aurora Health, investment banking at Goldman Sachs, and open finance at PrimeDAO. 

“We are excited to receive this Chainlink-Filecoin Joint Grant. We believe that enabling users of decentralized storage networks to verify whether someone is actually storing a file on IPFS is an important step forward for the Web3 ecosystem,” stated Claudia Richoux. “By using the Chainlink Network to perform Merkle proof computations as part of our IPFS pinning service, we’ll be able to efficiently scale the service and ensure it remains affordable for users even as demand for layer-1 block space grows.”

“We’re grateful to have received this grant from the Chainlink Community,” said Maya Krasovsky. “We believe that building a decentralized IPFS pinning service that leverages the Chainlink Network to scale efficiently will help spur the adoption of decentralized storage technologies.”

Through the Chainlink Community Grants program, we look forward to continuing to empower Chainlink ecosystem teams, researchers, and social impact projects that are both researching and building key tools and infrastructure that accelerate the development of hybrid smart contracts, secure oracle networks, and impactful technology that improves the world. We will continue supporting the community as a key driver of Chainlink’s rapid growth, because only together can we make universally connected hybrid smart contracts into the dominant form of digital agreement.

About the Chainlink Grant Program

If you want to learn more about the Grant Program, check out our blog post that further expands upon its goals and the criteria for submission. If you would like to participate in the Chainlink Grant Program, please apply here.

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