Protocol Labs' Filecoin platform has effectively been brought to a halt do to insufficient mining resources. The architecture that Filecoin uses requires that miners stake a substantial number of FIL, or Filecoin tokens in order to build blocks, however, as the project is new, there are very few FIL tokens available. As a result, it is very hard for the miners to operate the platform, or even acquire FIL tokens in order to begin mining on the platform. As a result of the situation, Protocol Labs may distribute FIL tokens as a reward to miners, so that the system can begin operating in the way that the company had hoped it would.
Why it matters: The situation on the Filecoin network demonstrates how risky many new ventures are in the blockchain space, even when they are well funded and have a solid development team behind the project. Filecoin was funded to the tune of at least $200 million, and has been in development for years. While the price of the FIL token has swung violently at exchanges, the underlying fundamentals of the project are becoming more questionable as these issues bite into the actual functionality of the platform. What is more worrying is the fact that these architecture issues were brought up publicly before the launch, and apparently weren't addressed in a serious manner.