Why We Invested: Crust

AU21 Capital
2 min readApr 8, 2021


At AU21 Capital, we are pleased to announce our recent investment in Crust, a Decentralized Cloud firm that provides a compelling alternative to existing cloud storage, computing and distribution services. Our backing serves as a testament to our devotion to fueling innovative projects that leverage blockchain technology to accelerate decentralization across a wide number of applications.

Issues Arising from the Explosive Growth of Cloud Computing

Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) platforms have collectively been forced to adapt their operational strategies to serve immense amounts of newfound demand. Nearly all products within the IAAS landscape suffer from a heavy reliance on centralization, and below we’ll describe the resulting failures of most current products.

Data Safety — To put it simply, existing centralized IAAS providers operate with enormous targets on their backs. With a rapid rise in the volumes of data stored in these locations, and the thinning number of products for companies to choose from, cloud computing services have become prized trophies for hackers. Furthermore, data is unshielded from administrators, allowing for breaches and leaks to just as easily occur from within data centers as they could from external threats.

Business Continuity — Data breaches, server failures and denial-of-service attacks are far from the only threats to business continuity for firms utilizing cloud computing solutions. While the IAAS industry simeotaneously ramps up in volume and suppliers consolidate, a growing number of platforms are ceasing operations as their profitability declines, leaving their customers no choice but to migrate their data elsewhere for a hefty price.

Affordability — Firms are barraged by expenses when migrating to cloud services, and continue to incur expenses in the operation of their businesses long after the transition has occurred. While high fixed and operating costs have been decreasing somewhat with advancements in hardware, there is a significant risk that an emergent monopoly from the current oligopoly could cause this price reduction phenomena to stall or reverse course entirely. Furthermore, the fixed assets used in cloud computing are proprietary and expensive, significantly raising the barriers to entry for new providers.

Crust — Democratizing Access to Cloud Computing

The Crust Network addresses the shortcomings of traditional IAAS products by decentralizing the provision of computational resources and implementing a robust economic mechanism for supply incentivization. Individual suppliers, or “nodes” in the network, receive remuneration for their services on the network, and the underlying data is heavily encrypted with duplicate copies stored across multiple locations to ensure system redundancy and continuity. Resources are allocated between individual and enterprise users, and operations on the network are verified by means of parallel proof-of-work and proof-of-stake mechanisms.

We are thrilled to partner with Crust as they usher in a new era of accessibility and efficiency in cloud computing and storage.