Chapter 4.6

SiaCoin is the cryptocurrency that powers Sia, a decentralized cloud storage-style system. Today, SiaCoin is a popular cryptocurrency to mine. Its difficulty is low compared to larger cryptocurrencies. Sia is also one of the most promising cryptocurrency projects in the space – which means many investors expect the value of SiaCoin to continue rising.

No matter why you want to mine SiaCoin, we’re here to explain everything you need to know about the popular storage system and its cryptocurrency.

How Does SiaCoin Mining Work?

SiaCoin exists because of Sia, a blockchain-based, decentralized storage network. Sia works in a similar way to cloud storage service providers. However, instead of storing data in centralized servers, Sia chops up the data and spreads it across its decentralized, blockchain-based network.

People who store data on the SiaCoin network receive SiaCoins as a reward. Meanwhile, anyone can pay money – in SiaCoins – to store data on the network.

Why would you use SiaCoin instead of a traditional cloud storage service provider? The two main advantages are uptime and price.

Sia is cheaper than virtually any other storage option available today. You can get 1TB of storage space for approximately $2 per month. Similar storage space from Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and other major cloud storage providers is priced at $10 to $25 per month.

Sia also offers better security and uptime. Since your data is stored across a decentralized network, your data is always accessible. Centralized cloud storage services can periodically go offline, causing chaos across the network. The only way your data on Sia becomes inaccessible, meanwhile, is if there’s a global or regionwide internet outage.

Privacy, price, uptime, and security are all good reasons to use Sia as your storage provider. However, why does SiaCoin need to be mined? How does mining work on Sia?

Sia’s network is based on the Sia blockchain. Anyone who rents storage space in Sia will pay with SiaCoins. You can get SiaCoins from the open market – buying them at market prices from cryptocurrency exchanges – or mine SiaCoins from the Sia blockchain.

Sia launched its own currency to ensure the network isn’t dependent on any other digital currency or blockchain. The developers have avoided bitcoin and Ethereum due to fears of network congestion. By launching their own SiaCoin currency, they maintain full control over their network.

SiaCoin is primarily mined with GPUs. Anyone with a high-end graphics card can mine SiaCoin.

You don’t need to be interested in the Sia platform to mine SiaCoins. Many miners simply mine SiaCoin because it’s a simple way to diversify your crypto investments. They have no interest in using the Sia platform, and they can sell the coins on cryptocurrency markets at any time. Of course, other miners mine SiaCoins specifically because they want to use the Sia platform. It’s up to you to decide how you want to spend your mined SiaCoins.

How to Mine SiaCoins

Mining SiaCoins requires the same four basic components as other cryptocurrencies, including:

  • SiaCoin mining hardware
  • SiaCoin mining software
  • A SiaCoin wallet
  • A SiaCoin mining pool

SiaCoin Mining Hardware

SiaCoin mining hardware typically consists of high-end graphics card. However, in late 2017, an ASIC device was developed for SiaCoins, so future SiaCoin mining may be dominated by ASIC. The SiaCoin ASIC chip can mine the equivalent power of 100 GPUs – so the difference is significant.

That ASIC was created by Obelisk. It’s called the SC1. The Obelisk SC1 mines at a hashrate of 300 GH/s and runs on the Blake2b algorithm while consuming a maximum of 500W of electricity. One of the unique advantages of the SC1 ASIC miner is that you don’t need external cooling. Instead, the ASIC operates perfectly fine at room temperatures.

If you’re serious about mining SiaCoins, and you believe the currency and platform has a future, then the SC1 may be a worthwhile investment. It’s priced at around $2500.

Nevertheless, you can still mine SiaCoin using ordinary GPUs. The Nvidia GTX 1080 series is particularly popular for SiaCoin mining.

SiaCoin Mining Software

SiaCoin mining software comes in two broad forms. If you’re using an Nvidia GPU, then you’ll need to install CUDA. If you’re using an AMD GPU, then you need to install OpenCL. Both of these are full-featured SiaCoin mining software programs that will run on your GPUs.

Marlin is another popular option for SiaCoin mining software.

SiaCoin Mining Pool

Joining a SiaCoin mining pool is typically the best way to maximize mining profits. As with other pools, SiaCoin mining pools consist of a group of users who collectively contribute processing power to increase the chances of earning block rewards.

There are a number of popular SiaCoin mining pools. However, the two most popular mining pools tend to be Nanopool and Siamining.

Make sure you understand the terms of each mining pool before you join. SiaCoin mining pools have different terms, conditions, withdrawal limits, and other requirements.

SiaCoin Wallet

Once you have all three of the items listed above, it’s time to get your SiaCoin wallet.

There aren’t as many wallet options as you have with Ethereum, bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies.

Typically, SiaCoin users hold their coins in an exchange or in the Sia-UI wallet. Exchanges like Bittrex let you receive SiaCoins at your address, which means you can input your public address into the mining software or pool to get your block rewards delivered to your wallet.

Alternatively, you can download the Sia-UI Wallet, which was created by the main Sia developers. It’s the only Windows wallet available for Sia.

Now that you have your SiaCoin mining software, hardware , a wallet, and a pool, you can begin mining SiaCoin! Whether you’re using GPUs or the SiaCoin ASIC (SC1), you may be able to earn consistent profits by mining SiaCoin. At the very least, it’s an easy way to diversify your investment and mining activities across multiple cryptocurrencies.

Written by Andrew T

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