From the humble beginnings of a small llama to the matriarch of IPFS, Pinnie has embarked on an extraordinary journey. As she celebrates her five-year anniversary, it’s time to reflect on the evolution of Pinnie and how Pinata has grown into the IPFS powerhouse it is today.
The Birth of Pinata
Pinata started the same way many great companies do, with a pain point. The year was 2018 and IPFS was neither fast nor stable. While IPFS was a revolutionary technology, the support for developers to utilize and optimize this groundbreaking protocol was far from robust. Pinata’s CEO, Kyle, and CTO, Matt, faced this dilemma firsthand as they were busy building side projects and attending hackathons in the web3 space. Their desire to incorporate IPFS into projects led Matt to spin up his own IPFS nodes and he found this process to be tedious and challenging. This frustration was the catalyst of Pinata’s current mission, to make IPFS as easy as possible. So they headed to ETHBerlin, armed with two laptops and a bright idea, and thus Pinata was born.
Why the Name “Pinata”?
The crypto momentum in 2018 was swift and things were progressing quickly. Kyle and Matt knew they needed a name that would reflect their product yet withstand the test of time. Instead of a name like IBM (International Business Machine), which was very much “of its time,” they wanted something more abstract and timeless, akin to Apple. That being said, they still wanted the name to be derived from the technology they were building on. Eventually the focus was narrowed down to the word "pin," a nod to pinning on IPFS nodes. From there, names flew… Pinball, Pinwheel, etc. but only one stuck. You guessed it - Pinata!
Pinnie Comes to Life
With the name “Pinata” solidified, it was time to bring the brand to life. Kyle and Matt were inspired by CryptoKitties’ success at the original ETHWaterloo and aimed to replicate a similar movement, but this time with a cute character named Pinnie. They designed Pinnie to go viral at hackathons, in hopes other hackers would display her on their laptops, gaining traction and interest for Pinata. Early-stage swag at its finest!
Pinnie’s design was not a fluke, Kyle and Matt had a very clear vision of what they wanted for the Pinata brand. Back in 2018, crypto was still very dark-themed and hackerman, and they wanted bring color and life into the ecosystem. Additionally, they were tired of every logo being simple and wanted to go the opposite direction. So, again, drawing inspiration from the colorful Apple logo of the 70s and 80s, they decided to make Pinnie extremely colorful and complex.
Pinata Then vs Now
As developer needs evolved, so did the Pinata services. The most obvious progression of Pinata is seen within our Pinata web application.
Let’s take a look at the app throughout the years.
Pinata didn’t become what it is today without a little struggle. Weathering the turbulent nature of the crypto market was no easy feat, but our dedication to providing quality IPFS developer tools was rewarded by an incline in users and files pinned, and we’re ever so grateful! We pride ourselves on understanding developer needs by level-setting with our customers. We do this by attending hackathons, talking with our customers IRL, and dog-fooding with internal hackathons. All of these growth strategies ultimately led Pinata to where it is today.
During the NFT boom of 2022 Pinata helped support and scale infrastructure with IPFS to a level never seen before, from pinning millions of files to streaming them through Dedicated IPFS Gateways. We made many friends and partners along the way, including names like OpenSea, Foundation, Ledger, SoRare, DraftKings, and many more!
How much IPFS infra did Pinata scale? In the last 5 years we have pinned over 1 billion files to IPFS, and just in the last year and a half we have pinned over 700 million files! Developers, builders, and creators have been busy and we’re just getting started.
Pinata is honored to be able to serve the IPFS needs of developers all over the world, who are making Pinnie proud by building innovative, cutting-edge tech. As we look to the future, we aim to continue to provide quality services while exploring new areas of growth and further expanding our contribution to the web3 ecosystem.
Cheers to five years! 🥂
December 21, 2023
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