Juan Benet (computer scientist)
March 16, 1988
|Residence||Palo Alto, California, US|
|Alma mater||Stanford University|
|Known for||InterPlanetary File System, Filecoin|
|Title||Founder and CEO of Protocol Labs|
Juan Benet (born March, 1988) is an American computer scientist. He is the Founder & CEO of Protocol Labs, a computer networks research and development company. He is best known for creating the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) - an open-source peer-to-peer decentralized web protocol and Filecoin - a cryptotoken incentivized file storage network.
Benet was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico and received a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2010, and completed the first year of a Master’s degree in CS before taking a leave of absence to work on his first company. Benet focused his undergraduate studies on distributed systems, and spent two summers doing on-campus research, one with Monica Lam on private data sharing and one with Phil Levis on wireless sensor network routing protocols.
From January 2010 to December 2011, Benet was CTO of Loki Studios, leading development on the location-based multiplayer mobile game Geomon. The firm was eventually acquired by Yahoo! in May, 2013. 
Athena and Knowledge Management
In June 2012, Benet founded Athena, focused on accelerating knowledge distribution and discovery. After taking the company through StartX, Stanford’s Startup Accelerator Program where he was an advisor, he decided to put the project on hold in late 2013.
After Athena, Benet worked on open-source tools to simplify management, indexing, and conversion of large data sets, which led to the creation of the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol for developing entirely distributed or offline applications. Since its release in January 2015, 5 billion files have been added to IPFS with upwards of 15 million daily requests to the IPFS Gateway, and the open-source community includes thousands of contributors.
Benet started Protocol Labs in May 2014 and went through Y-Combinator in summer 2014 to support development of IPFS, Filecoin, and other projects. Since the launch of IPFS, he has developed other protocols at Protocol Labs including libp2p, a modular network stack for peer-to-peer apps and systems; IPLD, a data model for interoperable protocols; Multiformats, a collection of protocols to future-proof systems; CoinList, a token sale and investment platform; the SAFT Project, a legal framework for token fundraising; and Filecoin, a decentralized file storage network and protocol token.
Filecoin is a decentralized storage network - it uses the FIL protocol token to create incentivized marketplaces for file storage and retrieval. The new Filecoin whitepaper was released in July 2017, updating the original 2014 paper with a state-of-the-art network design and proofs of replication and spacetime. In August 2017, Filecoin ran a SAFT offering to fund network development, raising over $205M from 2,100+ investors. In order to run the token pre-sale within US securities laws, Benet collaborated closely with Cooley LLP to create the SAFT Project, a legal framework to evolve the token investment and sale ecosystem in a compliant and standardized fashion.
Talks and publications
Benet has given guest lectures at Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, and Harvard Business School. He also does advanced cryptographic protocol research as part of developing the Filecoin protocol token, resulting in new Proof-of-storage schemes.
- 2007. “Enhanced tumor-targeting efficacy of S. typhimurium auxotrophs after tumor passage”. With Ming Zhao and Robert Hoffman. In: AACR Annual Meeting Apr 14-18
- 2012. “Parallelizing Machine Learning Algorithms”. With Quinn Slack, Matt Sparks, and Ali Yahya.
- 2014. “IPFS - Content Addressed, Versioned, P2P File System”.
- 2014. “Filecoin: A Cryptocurrency Operated File Storage Network”.
- 2017. “Filecoin: A Decentralized Storage Network”. In collaboration with Protocol Labs.
- 2017. “Technical Report: Proof-of-Replication”. In collaboration with Protocol Labs.
- 2017. “Technical Report: Power Fault Tolerance”. In collaboration with Protocol Labs.
- 2017. “The SAFT Project: Toward a Compliant Token Sale Framework”. With Marco Santori and Jesse Clayburgh.
- Johnson, Steve (January 16, 2018). "Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble". New York Times.
- "Juan Benet Official Resume" (PDF). Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- Case, Amber (October 4, 2015). "Why The Internet Needs IPFS Before It's Too Late". TechCrunch.
- "Loki Studios". Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- "Filecoin Primer" (PDF). CoinList. July 25, 2017.
- Cuff, James (May 26, 2018). "All Things Decentralized". The Next Platform.
- Loizos, Connie (July 26, 2017). "In the murky world of ICOs, this young founder aims to lead the way". TechCrunch.
- "Filecoin". CoinList. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
- Shin, Laura (October 2, 2017). "Are ICOs For Utility Tokens Selling Securities?Prominent Crypto Players Say Yes". Forbes.