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Storj Climbs Amid Market Pullback




Black and White Crypto Trading Charts

On Monday, Bitcoin briefly dropped under $30,000 before moving back above the key psychological level. As of writing, the largest cryptocurrency has been trading at $30,669, up 0.6% in the past 24 hours and 1.3% in the past week. Impressively, Bitcoin has been maintaining its position above the $30k threshold for the fifth consecutive day.

While BTC is facing significant resistance at around $31,000 on the daily chart, support is present for the crypto asset at $29,600. However, June has been the biggest month for digital assets since November, so it's only natural for the market to take a breather.

Earlier this week, digital asset manager CoinShares also reported that after nine consecutive weeks of outflows, the market finally saw the largest single weekly inflows in a year, and bitcoin-related products mostly dominated these.

The losses for BTC, however, came after MicroStrategy announced that it acquired about $347 million in Bitcoin during the second quarter. This marked the largest purchase by the publicly-traded company since prices peaked in late 2021.

Co-founded by crypto proponent Michael Saylor, the enterprise-software maker purchased 12,333 BTC between April 29 and June 27 at an average price of $28,136, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday. That brings MicroStrategy's Bitcoin purchases to around $4.5 billion, now greater than its $4.2 bln market cap.

The company's Bitcoin purchases, in part, were funded by selling shares. And as of June 27, 2023, MicroStrategy had issued and sold shares that resulted in $333.7 million in net proceeds.

Saylor first began buying Bitcoin in August 2020, and even still, the shares of MicroStrategy have been up 169% since then. The share value has more than doubled this year after tumbling 74% in 2022, which came following the $1,314 peak in February 2021.

While MicroStrategy, now owning 0.7% of the entire Bitcoin supply, has the market losing some momentum, bitcoin dominance has increased to a 26-month high as it outpaced not just Ether but also many altcoins.

The positive price momentum has been driven by the recent frenzy of institutional investment activity, underscored by traditional finance giant BlackRock and other asset management firms filing for a sought-after spot BTC ETF. Meanwhile, altcoins are facing regulatory risks, and the likes of SOL, MATIC, and ADA are also being delisted by popular trading platforms such as Robinhood.

Bitcoin's relative percentage of the total crypto market cap has actually hit 58%, its highest level since April 2021, after steadily dropping during the crypto spring of 2021 to reach its lowest level in Jan 2022 at 37%, according to a new report from Coin Metrics.

STORJ Rises while Market Drops

The crypto market has been fueled by the positive sentiment surrounding the possibility of a Bitcoin ETF, and with BTC showing weakness, most cryptocurrencies turned red before recording some gains on Thursday, with Ether now trading around $1,865 and the total crypto market cap at $1.216 trillion.

Among the top 100 cryptos, Synthetix (8.7%), Solana (8.6%), Stacks (5%), Bitget (3.8%), Algorand (2.6%), Curve (2.5%), Injective (2.1%), and Maker (2.1%) are the only that managed to show any signs of green.

On the other hand, Radix lost 23% of its value during the period, the most out of the top coins. Other prominent losers include Conflux (3.2%), Pepe (4%), XDC Network (3%), ICP (2.8%), Gala (2.7%), and Uniswap (2.6%).

Amidst this pullback, Storj emerged as one of the biggest gainers, with a significant increase in its price in the past 24 hours. At the time of writing, STORJ was trading at $0.2927. The altcoin is not only up against USD but also BTC and ETH by 7.2% and 7.8%, respectively.

STORJ is a $42.2 million market cap cryptocurrency that saw its trading volume record a massive 1,376.70% increase to reach almost $80 million. Amidst this rise in market activity, the price of STORJ jumped 13% in the past week and 33.4% in the last 14 days. While up 17.5% in 2023 so far, STORJ is down 63.1% in the past year and has lost 92.34% of its value since the May 2021 high of $3.81.

Much like the broad crypto market, STORJ prices went up at the beginning of the year to hit $0.4834 on February 21, only to begin its downtrend that saw the prices falling to $0.205. After a brief reprieve, STORJ prices climbed to $0.4376. Over the next two months, the continued bearish momentum had STORJ's value dropping to $0.2244 on June 15.

STORJ is the native token of Storj, which uses blockchain technology and peer-to-peer protocols to provide private, encrypted, decentralized, and secure cloud storage.

The white paper for the project was first published in 2014, and the latest version of Storj was launched in 2019. Shawn Wilkinson and John Quinn co-founded Storj Labs, the company behind the Storj platform, in 2014. Initially, Storj was launched on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, but in 2017, it migrated to Ethereum.

The same year, Storj Labs raised 910 BTC (about $460,000 at the time) in a public crowdsale. Then in 2017, the firm raised $3 million in seed funding only to raise $30 million in a token sale later that year. The project has the backing of venture capital firms like Google Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, and Techstars Ventures.

Out of the total supply of 425 million, currently, 143.78 million STORJ tokens are circulating in the market.

Among the top storage coins, STORJ has been the biggest gainer in the past 24 hours, while the likes of Filecoin (FIL) and Arweave (AR) are recording losses of 1.9% and 2.4%, respectively. FIL (5.5%) and AR (4.3%) are also down in the past week.

Compared to STORJ, these two big giants, the $1.65 billion market cap FIL and $340 million AR, have fallen 98.4% and 94.2% since hitting their respective all-time highs (ATHs) of $236.84 and $89.24. Meanwhile, FIL is up 22.63% year-to-date (YTD), while AR has had a negative price performance of 18.35%.

The total decentralized storage coins market is $4.63 billion, down 4.9% in the past 24 hours.

Click here to learn all about investing in Storj (STORJ).

An Alternative to Centralized Storage

According to Fortune Business Insights, the global cloud storage market is expected to grow from $83.41 billion in 2022 to $376.37 billion by 2029.

But the challenges of steep technical and cost issues in scaling the infrastructure, maintaining storage area networks, and dealing with data compatibility and security have led to the emergence of a cloud storage model that provides simplicity, scalability, cost savings, and security.

Traditional cloud storage solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive use centralized cloud providers to store their data. And it goes without saying that having data stored at a central location means a single point of failure and concentration of power.

This is where decentralized storage comes into the picture as a viable alternative to centralized options.

Powered by blockchain technology, decentralized storage solutions like Filecoin, Storj, and Arweave cut up your data into tiny pieces and then store packets on pseudonymous computers (nodes) linked up to a decentralized network. Here, files are protected by a network consisting of lots of different stakeholders rather than a single company.

Designed to be apolitical, decentralized storage systems are resistant to the decisions of a centralized authority, such as a private company or a government that wishes to control and censor content. This decentralization increases data security and reliability and gives consumers complete ownership and control over their data.

Not only there's no single authority, but these networks are also private, as data is encrypted before being stored on the network. Moreover, decentralized storage is often far cheaper than centralized counterparts like AWS or Azure.

And when it comes to Storj, the platform runs on the Ethereum blockchain and allows anyone to store files without having to navigate a centralized data center. To upload a file to Storj DCS, the file is first encrypted, then split into smaller pieces, and at last, distributed to multiple nodes. Upon request, the file is retrieved once it has been recompiled back together.

In the Storj network, it is the storage node that allows users to rent out excess space and reliably store and return data for a fee. Meanwhile, satellites are responsible for storing metadata, distributing payments, and coordinating traffic between the nodes and uplinks. The latter uploads files to the network. Run on a client machine, Uplinks also coordinates with peers for data storage and retrieval.

The decentralized storage network is powered by STORJ, meaning users can purchase cloud storage services using the token. Network participants, meanwhile, can earn these tokens as rewards for providing their unused hard drive space for storage.

Storj Gains Traction

The price of the STORJ token has been following the broad crypto space, which has been experiencing a bear market since topping in Nov. 2021.

The reason for the latest price action in STORJ could be South Koreans as STORJ/KRW trading pair on the country's largest crypto exchange, Upbit is currently accounting for 50.58% of the total volume for the crypto asset, as per CoinGecko. With over $41 million in trading volume for STORJ, Upbit has overtaken Binance's volume at $14 mln.

In fact, on Binance, STORJ/USDT is trading at $0.2924, while on Upbit, the price is $0.2964. For those oblivious to the Korean crypto scene, the country's retail traders are known for pushing up the prices of coins.

Besides this, a month ago, Storj adopted zkSync Era, the Layer 2 protocol and ZK-rollup that aggregates multiple transactions into a compressed data structure to allow for higher transaction throughput. Storj's adoption of zkSync Era will drive down its costs, reduce confirmation times, and enhance network scalability and efficiency. This partnership further facilitates fully EVM-compatible payment composability, offering customers enhanced flexibility and customization options.

“Zero-knowledge rollups for lower gas payments mean that Storj can provide users & our community of nodes with an optimal transaction experience while continuing to lead as a trailblazer in the field of decentralized infrastructure technologies,” said Ben Golub, CEO of Storj, at the time.

Before that, in Feb. this year, Storj introduced its new version called Storj Next with new features and economic incentives. The project allowed network participants to get rewarded for depositing STORJ and introduced a new crypto-enabled feature called perpetual storage which is to be achieved via Ethereum smart contract payments with STORJ.

Around that time, the project also added a new capability for community members to run satellites, which is an opportunity for people to replicate what Storj is doing as a business elsewhere in the world.

Gaurav started trading cryptocurrencies in 2017 and has fallen in love with the crypto space ever since. His interest in everything crypto turned him into a writer specializing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Soon he found himself working with crypto companies and media outlets. He is also a big-time Batman fan.