How to Share File in IPFS Blockchain | IPFS Tutorial

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IPFS stands for Interplanetary File System. As cosmic as that name sounds, it is basically a file-sharing system that can be leveraged to more efficiently store and share large files. If you are familiar with open source contributions and technologies like Git or Github, then IPFS is quite like Git as it allows you to store files and track edits over a network. However, it is not exactly a blockchain.

How does IPFS work?

IPFS can be rightly called as the Hard drive for blockchain. It is a storage system that facilitates direct interaction via a secure and global peer-to-peer network. Thus, it enables something like a new web.

It was introduced in 2016, and allows users to share files and information without barriers. The most unique thing is, that unlike many technologies the IPFS system works best with large files that need a higher bandwidth.

Another reason for its popularity is because it is designed to operate over a multitude of protocols like FTP and HTTPS. It stores data using a distributed hash table, once the hash is obtained, we ask the peer network for the user who has the content located in that hash, and we download directly from the node that has the required data.

This mechanism increases security and creates a good control system. In this system, only those with the hash can access the content.


The existing internet is built on a number of protocols to manage data transfer over the network. All existing applications are built using these protocols. HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) invented in 1991 is quite like the backbone of the existing web. It’s job is to transfer requests from a user to a website.

However, HTTP ceases to work when it comes to broken links (links that are unable to connect to the concerned websites because the content has been deleted, or blocked, etc), Moreover, HTTP works in a way that a lot of our way is handed over to the websites we visit giving them a lot of power and information which might be misused against us.

Hence, IPFS stands as a revolutionary alternative that seeks to make a permanent and decentralised web instead of the centralised one.

why ipfs

need of ipfs

Sharing a File – IPFS Blockchain

Let us try to understand the mechanism using an example

Imagine you want to share a pdf file to IPFS, you will put it into the operating directory. Next, to feature this file you will command the IPFS to generate a hash for the file, this offers it to the IPFS network. To share this particular file with anyone connected to the network, you will now just have to share the hash and they can duplicate the PDF.

Asymmetric IPFS Encryption

This encryption mechanism adds an additional layer of security to the files. The files are encrypted using a key and any malicious party will not be able to access the files without the desired key.

So imagine that before uploading the PDF on the network, you decide to encrypt it using your friend, Tom’s public key. Whenever Tom wishes to retrieve the file from the network, he will enter the hash, and then decrypt the file using his non-public key. Since nobody else has access to Tom’s non-public key, nobody else will be able to decrypt the file and it’ll be safe!

IPFS and Blockchain

Blockchain is a decentralized peer-to-peer network that provides immutability and thus, is the best choice to support traceability of data on a distributed file system like IPFS.

IPFS and blockchains share a similar structure and work well together. To understand it well, imagine it like IPFS would connect all different blockchain quite like how the internet connects all websites. It might as well act like a backbone structure for the new web. Like we link one page to another using a link, a link can be placed in Ethereum in order to link to some other network.

Hence, the future of IPFS and blockchain is quite closely related and they might be integrated to generate a consolidated engine of decentralised finance and applications.

Uses of IPFS

Look at the many ways IPFS can help you.

1. Archivists: With IPFS, you can store archival data with deduplication, clustered persistence, and high performance – enabling future generations to access the world’s information.

2. Service Providers: Due to its use of peer-to-peer content delivery, IPFS can help you reduce bandwidth costs.

3. Researchers: Using IPFS to store large datasets can improve performance and enable decentralised archiving when you use them for distributing or working with large datasets.

4. Blockchain Developers: It allows you to store large files off-chain and create immutable, permanent links in transactions, securing and timestamping content without having to store it on-chain.

5. Content Creators: IPFS gives creators the tools to build and share on the decentralised web-like minting NFTs or delivering free content.

6. Offline Users: Poor internet infrastructure is hampered by high-latency networks. Peer-to-peer IPFS offers resilient access to data independent of latency or backbone connectivity.

Advantages of IPFS

1. No need for servers to host websites. The data will be directly delivered by IPFS and pulled from the blockchain

2. Safe social networks as the information will be available to only those whom you give the permission

3. Uncensored communication without any intermediaries

4. No more account registration! Your private keys will be the only account needed as an identity for websites.

Who is using IPFS?

1. Microsoft ION: It is a digital identity system built on Bitcoin and IPFS. It allows the creation of a secure digital identity system that can work globally.

2. Wikipedia uso IPFS: It is exactly like the main wikipedia website with permission to access wikipedia from areas where it is censored.

3. Filecoin: Cooperative storage cloud that operates on IPFS

4. Opera Para Android: allows mobile users to access data on the IPFS network.

5. Brave: A unique search engine that uses IPFS to host the decentralised store.


In this article after discussing what IPFS actually is and how it works, we learnt how to share a file on this blockchain. We also learnt about asymmetric IPFS encryption, and how to install it. This was followed by a discussion on how IPFS can be useful and what advantages it has to offer.

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1 Response

  1. Claudio Gariglio says:


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