"Gas" was originally proposed on Ethereum blockchain and then applied to the Filecoin blockchain. The processing of a message consumes units of computation and storage, both of which are dominated in Gas. Gas is considered as the fuel of the Filecoin network, which is similar to the fuel consumption of car-driving. Sending messages on the Filecoin blockchain also consumes a certain amount of network resources, so the message sender needs to pay the Gas Fee with FIL. In each message sent, the message sender can set an GasLimit. A message’s GasLimit provides an upper bound on the consumption of Gas and the maximum cost that the message sender is willing to pay. This setting is very important. If the Gas required in transaction exceeds this upper limit, the message must not be transmitted. Therefore, in order to prompt the block inclusion and make sure the message to be sent in time, the client will continue to increase the Gas fee, which is the main reason that the Filecoin Gas Fee remains high.
A maximum of 2 billion FIL will ever be created, the token distribution is broken down as follows: Storage Mining allocation: 55%, released linearly through block rewards,for maintaining the blockchain and running contracts; Mining Reserve: 15% , For providing incentives to other types of miners, such as retrieval miners, repair miners; Protocol Labs: 10.5%, as the R&D and operating expenses of the Protocol Lab team, released linearly in 6 years; PL team& Contributors: 4.5%, Mainly refers to the Protocol Labs team and other major contributors; Fundraising: 10% were allocated for fundraising including private and public offerings, released linearly in 6-36 months; Filecoin Foundation: 5%, used for long-term community contribution, network management fees, etc., will be released linearly in 6 years. The mining reward of Filecoin halves every 6 years, and the allocation of miners in the first 6 years is half of total miner allocation, which is 700 million FIL. By the seventh six years, a total of 99% of FIL can be released, and mining reward will be nearly exhausted in 42 years. The finished first and second phases of the SpaceRace competition are pre-mining, and the rewards are regarded as the mainnet mining output.
A small subset of Filecoin storage miners are elected to mine new block(s) and propagate to the whole network for obtaining block rewards realized through Expected Consensus. The key to competition among miners is effective computing power. The greater storage capacity, the higher probability of a miner being elected and winning block rewards. In other words, a miner’s probability of being elected is roughly proportional to the share of the Filecoin network’s total storage capacity they contribute, which is why various miners are competing in the computing power rankings. Although Filecoin’s primary aim is to store client’s Files and Data, it does not mean that the more hard disks and storage space the miner hold, the higher the computing power they have. The effective computing power of miners needs to use algorithms to generate two processes: Proof-of-Replication (PoRep) and Proof-of-Spacetime (PoST). Simply put, the process of generating a Proof-of-Replication is to process the original file by chunking, computing, and sealing proves that you have stored client’s Files and Data.The Proof-of-Spacetime is periodically producing cryptographic proofs that verify that the files you store do exist, and persuade other nodes of the network to believe that within a period of time, the miner node does store the client’s files.For miners, the most critical element in determining the mining efficiency is the time increment of the effective storage data, that is, the efficiency of sector sealing or the speed at which Proof-of-Replication is generated.
Filecoin is a decentralized storage network, the network should include two types of miners: storage miners and retrieval miners, through the quotation system, to ensure that miners get the tokens paid by users when they provide services. Storage miners provide hard disk capacity to the market and obtains mining rewards through the proof of time and space; retrieval miners help users retrieve and extract saved content addresses from the IPFS network to obtain retrieval mining rewards. However, in the initial stage of the Filecoin mainnet, on the one hand, The chain needs strong computing power to ensure the security of the entire network. In addition, the commercial adopytion of Filecoin also takes a certain amount of time. There are very few market storage orders, and the Filecoin network has not been built yet, and the user experience is not good, so the income from storage orders in the market is almost negligible.In the early stage, most miners could only increase the effective storage capacity and increase their effective storage ratio in the entire network through technical means (sending storage orders to themselves, which is the so-called Placing orders). In order to win more block rewards.
The miners in the Filecoin network need to make an initial pledge before starting mining, and the validity period of each initial pledge is 180 days. The initial pledge consists of two parts: storage pledge and consensus pledge. Storage pledge is used to guarantee the service quality of the network, and provide start-up vouch for sectors in the event of penalties. The storage pledge must be small enough to allow miners to join the network, and large enough to cope with early failures, finality and expenses. The amount of FIL for Filecoin storage pledges is currently the expected return of the corresponding computing power for 20 days. The second half of the initial pledge is consensus pledge. The amount of Filecoin that needs to be pledged for consensus pledge depends on the sector's Quality-Adjusted Power(QAP) and network circulation supply. The goal is about 30 % of the network circulation supply is locked in the initial consensus pledge. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to allocate a small portion of the pledge share to the sector according to the proportion of the sector’s Quality-Adjusted Power in the network. As the computing power of the entire network continues to grow, the consensus pledge per unit of QAP should be gradually reduced.
In order to obtain Filecoin rewards, miners who have completed the pledge need to seal their storage space into multiple sectors (currently each sector is 32G in size). This process is called Proof-of-Replication [PoRep], the Proof-of-Replication mainly has 4 stages-P1, P2, C1, C2, the whole process takes about 4~6 hours. Because of the computing involved, in addition to the necessary storage hardware, the Proof-of-Replication also needs to use high configured CPU and GPU, of which the CPU is mainly used in the P1, P2 and C1 stages, and the GPU is mainly used in the P2 and C2 and Proof-of-Spacetime stage mentioned below. The speed of Proof-of-Replication directly affects the amount of the effective computing power of the miner. The faster the sector sealing, the higher the mining efficiency of miners.
The mainnet will verify the file integrity of the sealed sectors every half an hour. This process is called Windowpost (Proof-of-Spacetime). Only all the sealed sectors have passed the Proof-of-Spacetime, the miner can obtain the effective computing power corresponding to the sector capacity. However, if an unexpected behavior occurs during the Windowpost verification process, the miner will be punished by the penalty mechanism. From the wrong proof to the failure of submitting the proof, the most severe punishment a miner can get is the clearing of all generated computing power and confiscating all pledges.
In order to avoid the short-term behavior of miners when the Filecoin mainnet is launched (leave the network after obtaining early block rewards) and encourage miners to invest in storage and stay on the network for a long time, Filecoin introduces the concept of network baseline, and the delayed release of blocks reward. The basic idea is to increase the block reward as the total storage computing power on the network increases. The methodology is to divide the block reward into "simple supply" (accounting for 30% of the block reward) and "network baseline supply" (accounting for 70% of block rewards). "Simple supply" rewards have always existed since the launch of the mainnet , while "network baseline supply" is adjusted according to the development of the network scale to delay the release of rewards.
The current network baseline of the Filecoin mainnet is 2.5EB, while the real-time full network computing power is about 1.78EB, that is, the current reward per block of 17.9089 FIL. is only about 80% of the baseline (1.78/ 2.5*70%+30%), when the total network computing power reaches the 2.5EB baseline, the block reward is about 22.43Fil.
In order to maintain the long-term value of FIL, not only the block rewards are delayed, but the rewards obtained by miners are also "linearly released." Linear release means that the mining revenues earned by miners every day are not released immediately, but It is divided into 25% immediate release and 75% 180-day linear release. Specifically, miners can immediately receive 25% of their income on the first day of mining, and the remaining 75% will be divided into 180 parts , Give one portion on the second day, one portion on the third day... until the end of 180 days. That is, on the second day, miners will get 25% of the second day’s income plus one-180th of the first day’s 75% of the income. On the third day, 25% of the third day’s return plus one-180th of the first day’s 75% return and one-180th of the second day’s 75% return...and so on.
On the 182nd day At that time, the 180-day daily release on the first day has ended, but we have an additional reward release on the 181st day. On the 183th day, the 180-day daily release on the second day has ended, but We have one more reward release for the 182th day, so the rewards will not stack indefinitely. After 180 days, it will reach a peak, one increase compensates an decrease.