Cryptocurrency (Coins)

Siacoin (SC): Decentralized Blockchain Cloud Storage Cryptocurrency?



About Siacoin (SC) Project Review

In a logical and exciting extension to global life online, Siacoin has emerged as a decentralized data storage facility. The project connects users and “hosts” in a blockchain cloud ecosystem. Trading on amalgamated global excess drive capacity, the company connects users who are in need of file storage with a worldwide ecosystem that caters for the need.

If the offer seems avantgarde and hard to imagine, it’s the blockchain technology at the heart of the business that secures personal data.   Both parties experience better economics, and for many users and hosts, the platform’s facility is now a default option.

As a decentralized ledger, Sia “manages” this marketplace without central control. Sia is an elegant solution, but probably the most important consideration for existing cloud users is that Sia comes in below competition prices. Much like data costs have escalated globally and remain a sore point in many countries, cloud storage has also become mainstream and existing players vie for top dollar. Although the market is competitive, the offer is somewhat revolutionary in its build and typically far cheaper than conventional routes to cloud computing.

How does Sia work?

Employing the blockchain technology of smart contracts to secure storage transactions, Sia renders a more affordable and also, importantly, reliable solution. Additionally, the company points out that “no one person or organization can censor or deny access to data,” a big plus for many for whom the freedom of blockchain is a big contributor to their enthusiasm.

The company makes much of the benefits of bringing blockchain to storage, and rightly so. It appears as a more secure, more effective for many and more efficient, as well as being “more equitable” for the whole current and future ecosystem. A user’s files are divided as required before uploading. Employing a technology termed Reed-Solomon erasure coding, found mostly in DVDs and CDs, the project can split files into “segments.” What this erasure coding means is that any 10 of, say, 30 segments can restore a user’s data.

Thus the software deems both sections of files and individual users as “segments,” and division into 30 segments of any incoming data is standard. A user’s files are then dispersed to hosts spread out across the globe.

The Sia structure also ensures that no one individual can become a point of failure. By its very nature, the system also enhances broad network uptime and dynamism. If this sounds like a company making work for its users, it isn’t. It’s a part of the process, the facility of decentralized storage, and if anything, represents no greater effort than legacy cloud providers.

Even if 20 out a total of 30 hosts are offline, the remaining 10 can validate and restore, in a seamless application of the decentralized ledger. Before data leaves a user’s PC, it is encrypted and thus secured, and a host then stores a segment of encrypted data.

Amazon and other service providers don’t encrypt data by default, and at face value, storing encrypted segments does seem a lot more secure than an unencrypted single basket stashed somewhere on the web. Innovative indeed, the platform also employs the Twofish algorithm. This is a secure, open source encryption standard, one that attained finalist status at a recent Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) contest.

Smart contracts enable the despatch of files to hosts, with pricing, uptime commitments and other necessary details all agreed and made plain between parties. Sia employs what it calls “file contracts,” a type of smart contract, that enables the system to generate “cryptographic service level agreements” (SLAs) that get cached on the Sia blockchain.

Sia Is Cloud Storage With A Few Cool Differences

All participants – renters and hosts – pay with Siacoin, the native currency of the platform. Renters obviously pay for storage, but hosts too need to deposit collateral Siacoins to transact. Payments are effected along similar lines to the Bitcoin Lightning Network, using a protocol called payment channels.

Constant micropayments move between renters and hosts off-chain, an attribute that greatly liberates the network’s scalability and efficiency. In a delicate balance (although innate to the build is a fail-safe for retrieval via segments), the build sees users incentivized to stay online to pick up contracts and interact with renters. The bond lodged with Sia in the form of collateral Siacoins also encourages hosts to be attentive online as their interests are tied into the process.

File contracts are prepaid and renters are obliged to set aside the required amount to see a contract to completion. A typical contract on the platforms runs for 90 days, after which the hosts are obliged to demonstrate that they are still securely storing a user’s data. Should the set aside amount exceed the contract’s value, unspent coins are returned to the renter once the contract has expired. In the event that a user doesn’t renew a particular contract that has now expired, something called “file repair” kicks in and Sia will automatically move the files to new hosts.

The proof of safe storage a host must present at the end of a file contract need to reflect on the ledger within a specified time frame. If the host meets these stipulations, they are paid for the value of the contract. If they fail to do so, their rating drops and they are penalized. This is all enabled by an app called Merkle trees. What the technology does is enable a small segment of data to corroborate the existence of the entire stored file or files. A network advantage and further testament to the project’s ingenuity is that these proofs are small, regardless of file size, and therefore don’t burden the network in spite of all being stored on the blockchain.

The Sia Storage Experience

Complaints about the platform are few and far between, remarkable for such a complex offer involving so many parties. Users remain wholly private in their transactions, as do hosts, with only the company identifying parties through initial authentication.

Users control their private encryption keys and their own data at all times. Not even Sia itself can access a user’s data, due to the encryption and tight security protocols at play.

In an unscientific but valid analysis aimed at an approximation, it would appear that in comparing costs, Sia can save existing users of alternative cloud platforms up to 90 percent of their current spend. This is s a huge difference and a large part of why the company has made such good inroads into the arena to date.

By way of example, a user storing 1TB of data via Sia will pay around $2 a month. A service provider like Amazon S3 would land at around $20+ for a comparable facility. Although very different by nature, uptime on the network capably rivals that of legacy cloud storage providers. The Sia API is also growing in industry, as developers build aligned apps with the company’s open source software.

Final Thoughts on Siacoin (SC)

In a real sense, Sia is enabling a different yet familiar storage marketplace where there is far more legitimate, intense competition for business. Prices are competitive, and unlike a distant corporate storage provider, where such dynamism is absent. The Siacoin can be mined and traded for other altcoins or cashed out, depending on a user’s wishes.

Based on current growth, user reviews and overall running of the platform to date, it would appear that project has built something truly novel yet also sleek. Uncluttered by user issues or sticky points in the protocols, the Sia alternative is gaining traction and set to impact on legacy providers over the short term in ways that only blockchain technology can enable.

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