Sia is a decentralised, blockchain-based system which strives to offer an open-source storage solution to compete with traditional Cloud services. Because it is decentralised, it offers both accident-proof storage and storage that is virtually impossible to hack. Additionally, it offers users the opportunity to host their own storage services via the Sia infrastructure.
Siacoin (SC) Chart
Siacoin and cloud storage
In recent years, cloud storage solutions have become increasingly popular; these essentially allow users to save their documents not simply on their own PC, but on a central server, so that users can consult their documents anywhere and that documents are safe even if something happens to the PC’s hard drive.
Nonetheless, traditional cloud storage services have a number of issues. Firstly, they are centralised companies, which are run and maintained by a particular set of people in a particular place. This means a particular person or persons can essentially cut off access (on purpose or due to a power cut or system crash) to a user’s data at any time, or international political developments can mean that suddenly, a user in one country is cut off from his data which are stored in another. Thirdly, there are privacy risks: cloud companies can choose to sell users’ private information for profit.
Sia: the differences
Sia, on the other hand, essentially aims to create a collaborative cloud; it uses a peer-to-peer, blockchain-based system featuring smart contracts in order to eliminate a number of the disadvantages and dangers associated with cloud services.
Firstly, it is decentralised, which means users’ information is saved not on one central server in a particular country, but on a number of 330 hosts or nodes throughout the world. Because of this, information cannot be barred for political reasons. When a user stores data on the network, a technique called erasure coding is used so the information is cut up into fifty pieces and spread across fifty nodes. The information is protected both from hacking by one of the nodes and from a potential crash by one of the nodes, in that it can be completely rebuilt from 20 of the pieces. Since a fraud or crash event is relatively rare, this means that only when 31 of the nodes crash or commit fraud, the information is lost. This is virtually impossible.
Additionally, because Sia cuts out the middleman and offers storage across a number of hosts, it can do this at a rate that’s more than ten times cheaper than that of traditional storage solutions.
Additional Siacoin information
Siacoin does not, however, only rent out space directly to users; instead, it rents much of its space to “renters”, who can then choose to rent out their own space further to individual users. This is facilitated by the open-source nature of Siacoin; others are welcome to build such applications on the Sia infrastructure.
Such renters and users will purchase their space not through traditional credit cards or bank accounts, since these are owned by centralised institutions and can thus easily be blocked for political or fraudulent reasons. Instead, users pay for these services using Siacoin, which can both be mined and purchased for bitcoin using cryptocurrency exchanges.