Preserving Art and Culture: The Imperative of Decentralized Storage

A Breakdown of M○C△’s Partnership with Filecoin from our Friends at the Filecoin Foundation

7 min readFeb 11, 2024

Before I let you at this brilliantly informative breakdown of M○C△’s own partnership with Filecoin, assembled with love by the Filecoin Foundation, I wanted to briefly mention that the

“dynamic application around the immutable data [M○C△] preserves on Filecoin akin to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the web, called ROOMs Archive.”

which the Filecoin Foundation mentions below is OFFICIALLY LIVE. We encourage you to visit the ROOMs Archive and take a look at the insane ROOM curations that, thanks to Filecoin, are archived permanently. We believe the ROOMS Archive will be a powerful tool for future crypto art research and scholarship.

Kleintonno’s July 11, 2023 curation of Polygonal Minds’ ROOM “play more.”

And now, the Filecoin Foundation’s blog:

“Preserving Art and Culture: The Imperative of Decentralized Storage.”

Steadfast in its mission to preserve humanity’s most important information, Filecoin Foundation is working with the Museum of Crypto Art (M○C△) whose own mission is to preserve the story of crypto art.

There are thousands of artworks, NFTs, and collections in the Museum that are stored safely using cryptographic proofs on Filecoin. Having a reliable and immutable storage option underpinning the crypto art and culture movement is critical for protecting these innovative works of art.

As a Filecoin Foundation Dev Grant recipient, M○C△ is building a dynamic application around the immutable data they preserve on Filecoin akin to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, a digital archive of the web, called ROOMs Archive. Against this backdrop, the Museum of Crypto Art aims to establish themselves as a beacon of assurance for secure digital art storage.

So What’s the Latest for M○C△ on Filecoin?

With support from Filecoin Foundation, M○C△ ROOMs are redefining the landscape of art curation in the metaverse. ROOMs are smart contract-based 3D media environments meticulously designed by leading modelers, architects, and artists like UntitledXYZ, Polygonal Mind, and Warragwag. These virtual spaces offer a unique and curated user experience, showcasing different types of art pieces.

ROOMs stand out because they are built atop Filecoin, ensuring the secure and immutable decentralized storage of the spaces. State functions are executed on-chain through smart contract functions, adding an extra layer of transparency and reliability.

And artists, whether venturing into virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR), are invited to craft immersive experiences tailored for their audience in ROOMs. As of May 2023, over 4,000 distinct collections, featuring up to 10,000 art pieces, have been created within the ROOMs ecosystem. To maintain the quality of participation, ROOMs are token-gated, providing both artists and users with additional opportunities such as buy, sell, and rent options for art pieces.

Now enter the ROOMs Archive — which is the Wayback Machine meets M○C△ ROOMs project — a feature that provides snapshots into the evolution of these digital galleries. Enabling users to view ROOMs at different points in time, the Archive introduces a calendar feature that highlights days with change records. Users can explore the state of a ROOM on a selected date, retrieving all content directly from Filecoin. And curation stages are diligently backed up multiple times a day, providing a comprehensive look at the journey.

My own curation of Manuel Mensa’s ROOM “StaGGGGer

Stay tuned as we continue to innovate within the ROOMs and ROOMs Archive project, shaping the future narrative of digital heritage preservation in the world of crypto art.

But How is Data Protected on the Filecoin Network?

Filecoin’s decentralized storage solution offers a robust alternative to today’s centralized systems. A recap:

Resilience: Filecoin is built on a global network of thousands of storage provider systems, avoiding the pitfalls of centralized corporations susceptible to single points of failure or privacy breaches.

Immutability: Filecoin’s decentralized architecture guarantees the immutability of stored data, protecting NFT art from potential loss or tampering.

Scale and Cost: Filecoin is the world’s largest decentralized storage network and continues to scale. The network offers competitive pricing compared to other cloud providers, yet offers even deeper value and benefits than traditional providers.

Trust: Filecoin’s cryptographic proof system continually validates secure data storage, prevents tampering, and serves as a verifiable record of data integrity.

Digging deeper, on the Filecoin network these cryptographic proof systems are used to validate that a storage provider (SP) is properly storing data. Because the Filecoin network is a decentralized network of SPs distributed across the globe, network participants need an automated, trustless, and decentralized way to validate that an SP is handling the data correctly.

In particular, the Filecoin proof process must verify the data was properly stored at the time of the initial request and is continuing to be stored based on the terms of the agreement between the client and the SP. In order for the proof processes to be robust, the process must target a random part of the data, and occur at a time interval such that it is not possible, profitable, or rational for an SP to discard and re-fetch the copy of data.

On the Filecoin network, this process is known as Proof-of-Storage, and consists of two distinct types of proofs:

Proof of Replication (PoRep): a procedure used at the time of initial data storage to validate that an SP has created and stored a unique copy of some piece of data.

Proof of Spacetime (PoST): a procedure to validate that an SP is continuing to store a unique copy of some piece of data.

Proofs incentivize network participants to behave in certain ways and allow the network to penalize participants who do not abide by network standards.

Broader Cultural Preservation in the Filecoin Ecosystem

The Filecoin Foundation’s work with the Museum of Crypto Art is not just about secure storage. It also aligns with our broader goals to help preserve culture. Some other Filecoin ecosystem projects that create or archive art, culture, and history in a decentralized way:

Artifact Labs is driven by a mission to “preserve and connect culture and history on the blockchain” and has uploaded, stored, and shared thousands of important artifacts and cultural objects using the Filecoin network. Artifact Labs has typically worked with museums and newspapers to preserve their collections using Web3 tools. Now they’re taking on a much larger project and the cultural phenomenon: the shipwreck Titanic. The Titanic project includes tokenizing over 5,500 artifacts, with shared ownership and shared governance, to create a community-driven experience for Titanic enthusiasts worldwide. is a Filecoin-powered generative AI tool that allows digital artists to distribute their work while addressing the pain point of compensation when their art is used in AI training models. isn’t just another generative AI tool but a platform that is built on the principles of ethical AI, ensuring that original creators of artwork are compensated for their work. Rather than use AI endpoints to pull data onto the Filecoin network, instead employs its own stable diffusion scripts and trains unique artist models via Lilypad, which is also used to generate images from prompts. The Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) is used for payments and on-chain transparency, while Bacalhau is used for decentralized machine learning models and verifiable off-chain computation.

Ntent is a collective exploring the intersection of art, fashion, and emerging technologies to create cultural moments that challenge the norms of the traditional art community by offering access to a wider audience. Ntent has built tools, including the open source library, ntent-archive, and fully integrated the deployment of art created and launched with to IPFS, which drastically improved their art asset deployment workflows and ensured the longevity of their works. ntent is working to provide deep archiving capabilities for artists, galleries, and institutions built on decentralized technologies. The project is in the early stages of building on FVM and bringing AI into the fold to push the boundaries of creativity on the blockchain. Their guiding belief is that Web3 is the gateway to making art and creativity more accessible than ever before.

M○C△’s work represents a crucial step towards safeguarding humanity’s most important information. With thousands of artworks, NFTs, and collections securely stored on Filecoin, the Museum ensures the preservation of the crypto art movement’s narrative.

Learn More

Explore other art and collectibles projects in the Filecoin Ecosystem Explorer, the interactive showcase of diverse projects that make up the Filecoin ecosystem.

And check out the Filecoin Foundation Dev Grants program which helps advance projects and aims to award additional grants to boost development in the Filecoin ecosystem. Learn how you can apply for Open Grants and Microgrants.

User Testimonials (Experience):




At the crux of a digitally-native creative space, The Museum of Crypto Art (M○C△) preserves history, elevates artistry, and ignites decentralized culture.