Proof of Replication (PoRep) is a consensus mechanism used in decentralized storage networks like Filecoin to ensure the integrity and durability of stored data.
It works by requiring storage providers (also known as “miners”) to prove that they have actually stored the data they claim to have stored. This is done by requiring them to provide a cryptographic proof that they have a replica of the data on the network. This proof is called a “replication proof” and it is a small piece of data that is generated by the miner and can be verified by the network to confirm that the miner has a copy of the data.
When a client wants to store data on the network, they negotiate a storage contract with a miner and then upload their data to the miner. The miner then generates a replication proof for the data and sends it to the network. The network verifies the replication proof and, if it is valid, it confirms that the miner has stored the data.
The PoRep mechanism is designed to ensure that data stored on the network is both secure and durable, by confirming that the data is being stored in multiple locations and it can be retrieved in case of any issues.
It also incentivizes miners to store more data as they are rewarded for storing more data by network.