Ever since the growing influence of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency has been quite the hot topic. As with any popular concept, alternatives to the OG started to blossom. Meet Shawn Wilkinson, the founder of Storj — a storage platform that is distributed, encrypted and super fast. The best part is, you are the only one who has access to your data.

According to Black Enterprise, the Morehouse grad sat down with blockchain founder Lamar Wilson to discuss how exactly he launched Storj and his thoughts about cryptocurrency as a whole.

So how did Wilkinson dip his toes into the cryptocurrency pool?

“I started out mining. I had a friend at Morehouse that was mining and said, ‘Hey, I got a little computer here, electricity’s free. What do I have to lose?’ I started mining away making like half a bitcoin a day. I ended up turning it off because it was making my residence room a little too hot,” said Wilkinson. “Suddenly the bitcoin I was mining was worth a lot more so I looked into the technology further and just fell in love with it. I saw that there was a real need and issue in cloud storage so I figured hey, let me start my own project to solve that exact thing.”

Photo: GIPHY
Photo: GIPHY

Wilkinson also talked about his inspiration for Storj, which largely stemmed from his concerns around the privacy and security  — or lack thereof — of cloud-based storage, especially since a significant chunk of society uses it.

“When I created [Storj], it was really focused a little bit more and continues to be on the developer side. I was looking to build out applications, store a bunch of data and I was playing around with the Twitter firehose,” Wilkinson noted. “A lot of people thought we were focusing more on the Dropbox side of things but, what you find out when you actually dig into this ecosystem is, the developers are actually building cloud tools and us as users we benefit.”

To learn more about Storj, head to its website here and see the full interview below.