Enter Juan Benet: The helm of Filecoin, and a low-key serial entrepreneur


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In addition to Filecoin and IPFS, Juan Bene also participated in the launch of Libp2p, ProtoSchool, and Drand.

Original title: “The guy who started a business at the age of 22 and raised US$257 million in one hour at the age of 29. The contribution of the blockchain is only ranked behind Satoshi Nakamoto and God V in 88 years.”
Written by: Bob

“Vitalik, Gavin Wood, Juan, this is the most luxurious roundtable conference I have ever seen!”

On October 27th, at the 6th Blockchain Global Summit held in Shanghai, a blockchain enthusiast who rushed to the conference overnight said excitedly.

Vitalik is the founder of Ethereum, a “genius prodigy”. He has been frequently speaking on social media recently because of Ethereum 2.0; Gavin Wood is the co-founder and former CTO of Ethereum, and now the founder of the Polkadot project. The card’s mainnet is online and the upcoming Parachain Slot auction, he has also been widely publicized and reported by many media. In contrast, Juan appeared to be very “low-key”. Apart from the “public appearance” when the Filecoin mainnet went live a while ago, he rarely sees relevant reports in the media.

_ Picture: Vitalik, Gavin Wood, Juan (Juan Benet)_

In fact, in addition to Filecoin and IPFS, Juan is also a fruitful serial entrepreneur. Today, let’s take a brief look at the founder of this “low-key” public chain project.

First pot of gold

Juan (Juan Benet) was born in March 1988 in a city in south-central Mexico.

Into Juan Benet: The helm of Filecoin, and a low-key serial entrepreneur

In 2006, Juan was admitted to the top three Stanford University in the United States with excellent results to study computer science. Since the first year of enrollment, he has been internships in Anticancer, Verve Wireless, Cooliris and other companies, which laid a certain foundation for his later entrepreneurship.

In 2010, after graduating from his undergraduate degree, Juan chose to stay at Stanford University to study for a master’s degree in computer science. At the same time, he also founded Loki Studios, a game company with several other Stanford University computer science graduates, and served as the CTO. Loki Studios focuses on the development of iOS games based on geographic information. Its flagship product is called Geomon. Users can have different gaming experiences in different places. Any changes in the user’s surrounding environment (such as weather, temperature, seasons, geographic information, etc.) ) Can affect the game itself. This is somewhat similar to the popular Pokemon Go game 4 years later.

Into Juan Benet: The helm of Filecoin, and a low-key serial entrepreneur _ Picture: Geomon on the left, Pokemon Go on the right_

At the end of 2011, Juan resigned as CTO of Loki Studios, which was acquired by Yahoo in May 2013.

In 2012, Juan graduated successfully from Stanford University. Immediately afterwards, with the technology and resources accumulated during his time at school, he founded Athena, a start-up company, and once again invested in the wave of entrepreneurship. Athena’s goal is to map all kinds of human knowledge into a learning roadmap, so that learners can quickly know which knowledge points they need to master when learning, thereby speeding up the learning process.

As Athena did not develop smoothly, Juan chose to leave a year later. During this period, Juan was exposed to blockchain technology for the first time and was deeply fascinated by it, which formed an indissoluble bond for his subsequent blockchain entrepreneurship.

Prolific Protocol Labs (Protocol Labs)

In May 2014, Juan and several like-minded partners jointly established Protocol Labs. According to the official introduction, the protocol laboratory is a research, development and deployment laboratory of network protocols, currently focusing on how to store, locate and transmit information .

In the summer of 2014, Agreement Labs received funding from YC (Y Combinator), the top startup incubator in Silicon Valley. With YC’s huge investment, the agreement laboratory has accelerated the development process, and many projects and agreements have come out:

Into Juan Benet: The helm of Filecoin, and a low-key serial entrepreneur _ Picture: 9 major projects/protocols launched by Protocol Lab_


In 2015, the Protocol Lab launched IPFS (The InterPlanetary File System). IPFS is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that uses decentralized storage technology to divide files into multiple fragments and store them on different nodes of the IPFS network. When needed, the IPFS network will automatically “splice”. Restore the file.

The goal of IPFS is to create a more open, fast and secure Internet, bid farewell to the stalls and 404 errors common to traditional HTTP protocols. It should be noted that IPFS is not a blockchain, nor a project, but an underlying network transmission protocol.


Libp2p is a modular network stack that makes it easier for developers to build large, robust peer-to-peer networks. At present, in addition to Filecoin launched by Protocol Labs, many public chains use the Libp2p protocol at the bottom, such as Polkadot’s Substrate, EOS, Ethereum 2.0 and so on.


IPLD is one of the core components of IPFS, which was later separated separately by Protocol Laboratory.

IPLD can be simply understood as a structure parser, which can unify various types of existing data structures into a format to facilitate data exchange and interoperability between different systems, and finally achieve content addressing-use encrypted hash to locate content .


To put it simply, Multiformats is a collection of protocols with the purpose of creating a system that will never go out of style. It allows protocols to interoperate, maintain the flexibility of the protocol, and maintain scalability and upgradeability.


Testground is a tool for large-scale testing, simulation, punctuation point-to-point and distributed systems.


The goal of SourceCred is to create a decentralized protocol to evaluate people’s contributions and obtain corresponding value returns.


ProtoSchool is a community education project that teaches decentralized network protocols and tools through online tutorials and offline activities.


Simply understand, Drand mainly provides random number services. Regarding the importance of random numbers, please refer to the previous tweet in vernacular ” Why do DApps often encounter random number attacks?” “Get to know.


Filecoin is a decentralized storage protocol that motivates miners to provide storage services through FIL token rewards. Filecoin can also be regarded as the incentive layer of IPFS. The relationship between the two can be found in the previous tweet in the vernacular ” Why is the delayed Filecoin so exciting?” | An article on IPFS .

In addition to the 9 projects/agreements listed on the official website of Protocol Labs, Juan also cooperated with AngelList founder Naval Ravikant to jointly establish CoinList.

CoinList is a financing channel that provides initial token issuance for certified investors and high-quality blockchain projects. Up to now, CoinList has completed financing for 15 blockchain projects, including Filecoin, DFINITY, Algorand, Nervos, NEAR, etc. The cumulative number of participants has exceeded 20,000, and the financing scale has reached 800 million US dollars.

Filecoin developed amidst stumbling and rumors

Since the introduction of the IPFS protocol in 2015, Juan and Protocol Labs wanted to create an incentive layer for IPFS to motivate users to provide storage services.

In 2017, Protocol Lab launched a blockchain project called Filecoin, and successfully raised US$257 million in 1 hour , breaking the financing speed and scale of the blockchain project at that time. The investment institutions participating in Filecoin financing have a luxurious lineup, including DCG Group (the parent company of Grayscale), Y Combinator, A16Z, Winklevoss Capital, Sequoia Capital, and more.

However, despite the endorsements of many top investment institutions, the progress of the Filecoin project is not satisfactory. The mainnet launch time has been delayed again and again, so that some people ridiculed it as the “king pigeon”.

At the end of last year, the Filecoin team adjusted the mining algorithm. Prior to this, the mining machine manufacturers had sold millions of Filecoin mining machines. The adjustment of the mining algorithm caused heavy losses to some miners who had stocked the mining machines early, and complaints were full.

On the eve of the Filecoin mainnet launch this year, the officially announced FIL pre-staking rules were too strict, which again attracted complaints and protests from miners. After a period of gaming, Filecoin officials finally made a compromise.

On October 16, the Filecoin mainnet, which was postponed for more than two years, was finally launched. Major trading platforms scrambled to launch FIL, and the price was up to more than $200. However, to many people’s surprise, on the first day of the mainnet launch, the Filecoin official team turned a large amount of FIL to the trading platform to make the market to “maintain the stability of the currency price in the early period.”

In a speech, Juan said:

The focus of Filecoin is to store data for customers. If you only want short-term profit but don’t want to provide long-term value, you should exit now.

Despite the stumbling and rumors along the way, the Filecoin network has performed well in the more than a month after the mainnet launch : the effective computing power of the entire network has reached 1.16EiB, and the number of active miners has reached 754.

Into Juan Benet: The helm of Filecoin, and a low-key serial entrepreneur _ Source: Filfox_

Of course, the current Filecoin still has a long way to go before the real To B and To C terminals store real data.


The protocol laboratory led by Juan has achieved fruitful results, but it has always upheld the spirit of open source, open source all project codes, and contribute to other blockchain projects.

In 2018, Juan was selected by Fortune magazine as one of the “World’s 40 Business Elites Under 40”, which shows that traditional media highly praised the achievements of this low-key serial entrepreneur.