- Most famous for creating IPFS and Filecoin. Also created IPLD, Multiformats and libp2p. Also created CoinList together with AngelList.
- Claims to work open source.
- “Protocol Labs was founded on May 2014, by Juan Benet, inventor of IPFS and Filecoin. That summer, we participated in the YCombinator program (S14). Protocol Labs released IPFS to the world in January 2015. Since then, IPFS has gained enormous traction in a variety of industries and organizations. By 2016, IPFS grew to be one of the most used and relied on technologies in the Blockchain industry, and hailed by thousands of developers as "The Future of the Web." That year, Protocol Labs also created libp2p, IPLD, multiformats, Orbit, and a number of other projects. Our most anticipated project is Filecoin, currently in development.”
- From the CoinDesk 50:
"Protocol Labs is an R&D lab focused on building novel forms of computing infrastructure to make the internet more efficient, reliable, and private. Founded in 2014, the firm has launched more than a dozen projects and has invested in more than 130 individuals and companies through grants and research development. It’s most notable project, Filecoin, is looking to disrupt the centralized cloud computing industry by providing a way for anyone to host data. Its testnet now stores more than 5 petabytes (the internet itself is estimated to contain 1,200PB of data) of information. Likewise IPFS, another Protocol Lab project, has 100,000s of nodes supporting the decentralized network, more than 4,000 open-source software contributors, and project integrations on Microsoft, Opera and Netflix."
- IPFS is a new protocol to decentralize the web. IPFS enables the creation of completely decentralized and distributed applications, using content addressing and digital signatures.
- Filecoin is a cryptocurrency powered storage network. Miners earn Filecoin by providing open hard-drive space to the network, while users spend Filecoin to store their files encrypted in the decentralized network.
- IPLD is the data model for the Decentralized Web. It connects all data through cryptographic hashes, and makes it easy to traverse and link to. (not many use cases on the website yet)
- The Multiformats Project is a collection of protocols to future-proof systems, today. Self-describing formats make your systems interoperable and upgradable. “Several of the multiformats have stable specs and stable implementations. We’re are working on the others. We prioritize their usage as soon as possible, as what they offer – protocol interoperability and future-proofing – has real-world consequences today. Towards that end, we are encouraging improvements to WIP protocols, and implementations of all. Please contribute to the projects on Github”
- libp2p is a modular networking stack. libp2p brings together a variety of transports and peer-to-peer protocols, making it easy for developers to build large, robust p2p networks.
- PLONK; Created an universal zk-snark construction, called PLONK, which was released (9-2019) in collaboration with AZTEC Protocol.
- Is one of the projects that is contributing to Microsoft's ION (25-3-2021).
- Outside of the IPFS ecosystem, Protocol Labs has since spawned projects including Coinlist, The SAFT Project, and SourceCred (21-2-2021).
Team, Funding, etc.
- Juan Benet; founder
- Jesse Clayburgh
- Has a whole bunch of people who contributed to their github but not a clear team on their webpage.
- Got help from Parity
- Has investment from Union Square Ventures and from DCG (11-12-2020).
- After a Reddit post asked 'what is it like to work at Protocol Labs?' another Redditor replied with his own post (and website):
"I have done so many job interviews with different companies, but with Protocol Labs was something unique, it took 6 months to be rejected, my frustration was so big with these guys that a website only to tell all this history is needed.
Some of you might be familiar with IPFS(The Interplanetary File System), so I have created the IPJI (The Interplanetary Job Interview)!!!
- ConsenSys announced (19-4-2021) a $65m fundraising round from JPMorgan, UBS, Mastercard and Filecoin’s ProtocolLabs.