What Is Siacoin?
Siacoin or Sia for short provides a decentralized cloud storage option competing with centralized competitors like Dropbox, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. Sia makes it easy for anyone to host or access encrypted storage through the platform. In addition, all contracts, storage proofs, and transactions can be verified through the blockchain’s public ledger.
Centralized storage services are prone to single points of failure and unencrypted data misuse for the purpose of generating higher business profits. Sia unites large volumes of storage space with a blockchain to produce an encrypted and decentralized cloud storage. It therefore eliminates the need for dependence on centralized data centers that aren’t reliable.
Sia was conceived with the mission of becoming a storage layer of the internet. They believe data should be free. Sia aims to liberate unused bits of the world and construct the planet’s largest storage super server. The idea for a decentralized cloud storage first came up at a hackathon organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) in 2013.
How Does Siacoin Work?
On the basic level, Sia disrupts the cloud storage industry by taking storage from the hands of monolithic providers and hands it back to individuals. This enables anyone to access a peer-to-peer ecosystem that lets anyone rent out or take advantage of spare hard drive space.
All of the services on the network receive Siacoin (SC) payments. All of the Sia ecosystem transactions are secured by filing contracts and storage proofs.
Sia is made up of the client (users) and the provider (hosts). Users can commission storage space from hosts on the platform, with the hosts paid for their services in Siacoin.
The Sia ecosystem provides storage options that meet any need and is largely driven by the free-market. Prices are set by providers according to their wish. They can advertise according to their reliability level and set penalty standards should problems with storage arise. In addition, they can decide to deny a client storage if they aren’t comfortable with the nature of that data (e.g. illegal, sensitive or questionable)
For a client and a provider to carry out business, they first have to agree to draft a file contract. While a provider’s hard drive will store all data, the contract of the arrangements is stored on Sia’s blockchain.
The file contracts define the storage agreement terms and ensure that both parties conduct their business appropriately. As a contract stored on the blockchain public ledger, the original arrangement can be verified and is immutable once it is submitted to the network.
Proof of Storage
Sia implements a Proof of Work-like protocol known as proof of storage which protects clients from malicious or fraudulent providers. To receive a payment, a provider must supply a certain number of proofs to the network with the specified time frames of the file contract.
If a provider cannot provide proof of storage with the time window, the proper payment is redirected to a missed proof address until proof is submitted. Also, the provider may be penalized for negligence. The contract may terminate completely if a provider misses too many proof of storage mandates.
When a provider eventually provides a proof of storage, the contract sends payment to a valid proof address. Several spend conditions have to be met before a provider can access these coins, which include network signatures and time locks.
Nebulous, Inc. created Sia in June 2016 and unlike most altcoins, Sia had no pre-mine or an ICO. Instead the company raised fund from First Star Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and others. The team behind Sia is based in Boston and led by co-founders David Vorick who is the CEO and lead developer of Sia Core, Luke Champine who is the second co-founder, Johnathan Howell, Sia’s core front end developer and Zach Herbert who is Head of Operations.
There are a number of decentralized storage systems in the blockchain industry today. One of Sia’s biggest competitors is Filecoin, which had one of the biggest ICOs, raising $257 million, although they are yet to release a product.
Siacoin competes with Storj and MaidSafe. Sia and Storj use similar strategies in approaching decentralized storage. Sia is different in that it operates using its own blockchain while Storj is an ERC20 token on Ethereum. At the moment, SC has the highest market cap of all its competitors.
Siacoin’s price has followed the general trend of the market. It has three main jumps in its history. The first jump happened in 2016 when the price rose by 1150% within 2 months. It is likely that this spike was caused by the news of the release of version 1.0 release in June 2016. However, after that, SC began to fall through the rest of 2016 and at the beginning of 2017.
The next significant price jump happened in May/June 2017, which happened right after the company released an update containing positive news chief of which was the publication of a roadmap. In mid June, the SC price reached an all-time BTC high of 0.00000843 BTC.
The most recent price jump happened at the same time as the 2017 bull run in which it hit an all-time USD price of $0.10. Siacoin like most crypto-assets hit hard in the 2018 corrections. It seems to have found some support at around $0.002 (0.00000062 BTC).
Now that there is a product in the market, it is believed that increased adoption will impact price the most. Some partnership announcements will also impact as well. If anything has been learned from the previous price jumps, these might just be the turnaround needed to get this coin moving.
Where to Buy and Store SC
Siacoin (SC) can be bought on Binance and Bittrex in trading pairs with BTC or ETH. Binance houses most of SC trading with over 25% of overall SC trading on the market conducted on the platform daily.
SC can be mined and two main options for this are SiaMining and Luxor.
The Sia team has provided two wallets to store Siacoin. The first is Sia Daemon which is a command line interface (CLI) wallet that is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. This wallet might be more useful to tech-savvy people. The second wallet from Sia is Sia UI which is more user-friendly that Sia Daemon.