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SiaCoin Review: All You Need To Know
Our SiaCoin guide and review will provide you with all the information you need. We’ll explain what the coin is, what the SiaCoin project does, how it is ready for the future, and provide our opinion on the project itself. As always, be sure to exercise caution and do your own research before investing in any cryptocurrency.
What is the Sia Cryptocurrency Project?
First things first, remember that the name of the project is Sia, and the SiaCoin is the token behind it. We’ll discuss the token later on but wanted to make that distinction from the jump. Sia is a cloud storage solution. Think of platforms like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Cloud, and Google Drive, and you’ll be on the right track.
What sets Sia apart from these and other cloud solutions is that it is open-sourced, decentralized, and blockchain based. Simply put, Sia offers a decentralized cloud option where your files will live securely on the blockchain.
Storage solutions which rely on centralization often have a single point of failure. These systems may also misuse your encrypted information for business payouts and profits.
Sia combines a significant amount of unused storage capacity along with the blockchain to create a decentralized, encrypted cloud storage option. This eliminates the need to trust a centralized data platform.
Who is Sia?
Nebulous, Inc., the company that started Sia, was established in 2014. In 2015 they launched the Sia Storage Platform. Nebulous is based in Boston, MA. The project receives funding from companies such as First Start Ventures, INBlockchain, Fenbushi Capital, and Raptor Group.
Here are a few core team members associated with the Sia project:
David Vorick – The CEO of Sia is also the project’s lead developer. Vorick graduated with a BS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Luke Champine – Champine spent time at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with Vorick. However, Champine dropped out of school and focus his efforts on Sia. He is currently Sia’s core developer.
Johnathan Howell – Howell started learning how to program around the age of 10 and has been deeply interested in it since. He brings to the table an M.A. which he earned at Savannah College of Art and Design. Howell works on the front-end of the Sia platform to deliver a clean and easy-to-use UI.
Zach Herbert – Herbert is the Head of Operations at Sia, excelling at product and project management. He is currently working on his MBA at Harvard Business School. Herbert graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Boston University. He joined the Sia team in 2017.
What is SiaCoin?
SiaCoin is the cryptocurrency used with the Sia system. Anyone with extra room on their PC can use the Sia decentralized network. In exchange for their storage space, they’ll get paid in SiaCoin. On the other side of the coin, anyone that needs space pays in SiaCoin to a host.
SiaCoins have a special purpose in that they allow file storage contracts to execute on the Sia network. It requires hosts – who set their own hosting fees – to keep files in the agreed-upon amount of space for the agreed-upon amount of time. Once the agreement concludes, it releases payment to the hosting party in SiaCoin.
However, if the host loses the files or goes offline during the agreement period, they do not receive payment. Sia contracts on the blockchain ensure that both the user and the host are satisfied. The incentive here is for the host to set a price that renters will pay while providing flawless uptime.
When Sia launched, the team chose not to have an ICO event. They opted to raise their funds from several independent investors and the coins were then launched with the mining of the Sia genesis block. The team raised $1.25 million during its funding and didn’t require the use of an ICO, which is rare in the cryptocurrency community.
The company held a crowdfund for Siafunds, selling about 1,000 in total. These funds are a secondary cryptocurrency and Sia paid out 3.9% of all storage contract payouts to those that hold Siafunda. Even though Siafunds are no longer available to purchase from Sia, you might find one on Slack or Reddit if you’re interested.
The potential behind Sia as a decentralized cloud storage provider is significant. This coin could disrupt an industry valued at billions of dollars. The platform offers a more secure, private, and cost-effective solution than anything currently available on the market.
Since Sia does not require a central data farm on which to store information, it could revolutionize cloud storage. Using the blockchain and allowing peer-to-peer storage means that a centralized location is no longer required. It also gives users the option to search for cheaper options that fit their needs.
On average, it costs users on Sia’s platform around $2 a month to store 1TB worth of files. This is significantly cheaper when compared to the other file hosting platforms we mentioned earlier like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. If Sia can continue to provide a cloud storage service at that price, then the big players in the cloud service industry could be in for a rude awakening.
You keep all your other cryptocurrencies in a wallet, and it’s important to do the same with your SiaCoins. You don’t want to keep your digital currencies in an exchange since they are susceptible to hacks, so make sure you get your coins moved to a wallet.
Sia recommends that you use its wallet to store your coins. When you launch the Sia app on your desktop, there is a wallet option which Sia developed. The team maintains the wallet and when you sign up for it, the password and seed information reside safely with you. Since it’s a desktop wallet, it’s safer from online hacking.
Once you download the Sia software and synchronize with the network, you can sign up for the wallet. Then you can generate your receiving information so when you exchange other cryptocurrencies for Sia, you’ll know just where to send them.
SiaCoin is a competitor to current cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and others. However, these services are all centralized where SiaCoin is not.
While SiaCoin is one of the few projects which can boast a decentralized cloud platform, there are a few others in the same space giving it a run for its money. Here’s a look at a few other projects that can be seen as SiaCoin competition.
Filecoin is a cryptocurrency which resides on the second layer of an InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) project. This open-source currency targets aiming a decentralized yet permanent method of sharing and storing data. The Filecoin network offers a decentralized hub which allows users access to additional storage from those who have extra storage.
Those that provide storage are called “miners” on the Filecoin platform, whiles those offered storage are “storage retrievers.” Filecoin makes use of a Proof of Storage concept, which is similar to the popular Proof of Work (PoW). This method determines whether a miner has performed their storing or retrieving duties.
Storj has received quite a bit of attention and might be SiaCoin’s most serious competitor. It shares similar characteristics with SiaCoin in the way that it goes about its decentralized storage method. However, it does not offer smart contracts on-chain.
The Storj pay-as-you-go model has plenty of potential, as does automated agreements between those that need storage and those that are providing it. It will be interesting to watch and see which method users find more attractive over the long run.
Of course, using the pay-as-you-go model means that those hosting no longer receive payment when the user leaves. This could be a big issue in the long run of the project although developers believe it won’t have a great impact overall. Watching these two protects go at it in the coming months and years should be fun to watch.
One last SiaCoin competitor is the prominent MaidSafe project. This decentralized storage company is an intriguing option with no shortage of ambition. MaidSafe seeks to not only improve upon existing decentralized storage technology but to improve on its efficiency as well.
Unfortunately, development for the MaidSafe network has been very slow, which has resulted in low activity levels. While MaidSafe provides a unique method to allow its users to safely and securely store data, it appears this once exciting project is on life support.
Should I Invest in SiaCoin?
Ultimately, the decision to SiaCoin is up to you, however, it’s always best to have as much information as possible. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider before you make your decision.
- Sia distributes and encrypts your file across a decentralized network. You control your own data, along with your private encryption keys. No outside third party has access to your files.
- With Sia, your files are distributed on nodes throughout the world. This means there’s no central point of failure and mimics the uptime of many centralized cloud solutions.
- An open blockchain marketplace with Sia means that hosts set their prices. The market will dictate whether prices should be lower or higher based on demand. Additionally, renters pay for their storage space using SiaCoin.
- Sia’s decentralized cloud solution is completely open source. It receives contributes from its community, as well as support from its high-quality engineers.
- Those using Sia’s platform are paying on average around 90% less than they would on other cloud storage platforms. Currently, it costs around $2 a month to store 1TB worth of data with Sia.
- While Sia is not hacker-proof, it’s definitely less susceptible to a hack than centralized cloud solutions are. Since hackers would have to launch an attack at multiple points instead of one central point, Sia is more difficult to penetrate.
- Sia’s platform only allows payment with its native SiaCoin. This means users must first either mine SiaCoin or trade for SiaCoin on an exchange before they’ll have the ability to pay for their data storage, which can be a hassle.
- Outside of its platform, there aren’t many uses for SiaCoin. This makes the project less appealing to those who might consider investing in it.
- Even though other cloud solutions like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Dropbox are centralized, they own the vast majority of the market. SiaCoin is facing a steep uphill battle to gain market share and adoption from potential users.
SiaCoin has the potential to be a very interesting project. It’s not a far stretch to suggest that peer-to-peer storage might be the future of storing data and files. This is especially true as the amount of data we store online continues to grow. Consider how much data you’re currently keeping on a “traditional” cloud storage platform like Google or Amazon.
While Sia has performed well in the past, it needs to prove that this cryptocurrency is resilient enough to weather a bear market. SiaCoin has come a long way since its founding, but it still has a long way to go to be considered relevant.
There are a few reasons for concern with SiaCoin, one of which is competition now entering the market in the form of projects like Storj and Filecoin. While these coins don’t present much of a problem right now, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to gain market share.
Still, SiaCoin is in a very lucrative market and would have no trouble sharing the pie with other companies. Estimates project that the cloud storage industry could bring in over $75 billion by the year 2021. If Sia somehow takes even a portion of the market away from giants like Google and Microsoft, then it might turn out to be a worthwhile investment.
Still, the combination of cloud and coin makes for an interesting investment opportunity. For that reason alone, Sia is a project we’ll be watching for the foreseeable future.
Want to drill into the details about Sia coin? Learn more in the Sia Coin whitepaper.