Siacoin Guide: Making Data Storage Easy?
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The age of decentralized storage is finally here. Sia Coin establishes a decentralized storage plan that will wield underutilized hard drive space around the world to create a data storage marketplace. Those with free space will have an opportunity to sell this space to others instead of just letting it lay idle.
What is Siacoin?
SiaCoin (SC) is a decentralized platform that seeks to utilize unused hard drive space all over the world to build a data storage marketplace. It is essentially a data storage marketplace that projects to be more reliable and cheaper than the conventional cloud storage.
The platform is currently active in about 884 hosts, has a storage capacity of 4.4PB, used storage of 171TB and a market cap of $700,000,000. The data storage will be completely private as the users will have full control of their private keys. Unlike other cloud storage services, Sia Coin platform will be completely decentralized ensuring that no third party central authority has any access to your data. This storage promises to cut costs by about 90% as compared to other cloud storage. It also seeks to eliminate single points of failure by distributing redundant files on nodes in all the active hosts.
SC platform is a unique service. It ensures privacy by encrypting your data thereby protecting it from access by third parties. The provider, thus, cannot access your data as you control your private keys. SC solves data storage problem considering that it is efficient, secure and affordable.
SiaCoin Interesting Features
- Data encryption – Users/clients are in full control of their private keys. Providers cannot mess up with your data.
- Affordable – Sia platform is 90% cheaper than traditional cloud storage services
- Security – Proof of storage ensures that your data remains secure and free from manipulation
- File contracts – Clients and providers must sign contracts as a proof of engagement to protect data and confirm payments.
- It is a completely open source platform that developers and contributors can create and run applications
How Does SiaCoin Work?
This ecosystem comprises of clients and providers. The providers are also called the hosts, and the clients are called the users.
- The hosts make their storage space available, and the users rent out this space.
- This market space is free, as the users and the hosts trade directly.
- Each host sets their price and decides which data to store.
- Hosts can advertise their availability, set their penalty and storage standards.
- Clients can distribute their files to different hosts to ensure that they remain accessible just in case one host denies them access
- The client and the host must have a contractual agreement on how they are to operate
- Clients can give incentives to the hosts to ensure that they receive the best services. Clients pay the providers using Siacoin.
- The client and the provider must file a contract or contracts for their engagements.
- These contracts are recorded on Sia’s blockchain for verification by peers on the network
- These contracts are flexible based on the agreement between a specific provider and client
- The contracts define the duration of the agreement, frequency the provider should provide proof of storage and the fee.
Siacoin’s Proof of Storage
Proof of storage is meant to protect users from fraudulent hosts. The host should provide specified proof of storage from time to time to receive payments. Failure by the provider to give proof of storage in time prompts the system to send the payment to missed proof of address. The payment is held here for a specified period awaiting the provider’s response. Providers can be penalized if they consistently fail to provide proof of storage and may have the contract terminated if they miss excessive proof of storage.
Traditional cloud storage services are not only expensive but also risky since you relinquish your data to a third party. The service provider can easily manipulate your data. While there are a few cloud storage companies that offer limited storage space for free, most charge a premium for their services.
Let’s see what Sia provides.
- Siacoin charges $2 per month for storage of 1TB and $1 for bandwidth download.
- Sia is completely decentralized and private. As noted earlier, all data is encrypted, users can split their data and store in different hard disks, and they have full control of their private keys.
- Providers must always provide proof of storage.
SC is the token or the digital currency used within the Siacoin platform. It is used to pay and reward providers for their data storage spaces. Like many other cryptocurrencies, mining SiaCoin requires the use of customized mining hardware. The coin relies on these miners to provide computing power. The miners are rewarded using the Sia Coin.
Like bitcoin, Sia Coin is a Proof of Work digital currency in which you have to solve complex mathematical problems to get a block reward. This reward reduces by one Sia coin after every block mined. It began with 300,000 coins and has been reducing by a single coin to date. When it reaches 30,000 coins at block 270,000, it will remain consistently at 30,000 for eternity. The platform has configured itself in such a way that a solution is found by a lucky miner every 10 minutes.
- If you want to mine SiaCoin, you will need to set up your mining hardware. Initially, you could easily use Graphical Processing Units (GPU) to initiate the mining process. Today, you can only use specialized mining hardware such as Sia-CUDA-Miner and ccminer.
- Once you have set up your mining system, you will then need a SiaCoin wallet. You can either choose a web or windows wallet. While a web wallet is easier to use if you are just starting out.
The SC Coin
We’ve already stated that SiaCoin (SC) is the token or currency used to pay for services rendered on the Sia platform. This coin is used to reward miners that keep the Sia network alive with their computing power, pay developers that contribute different services and providers who contribute the main point of sale of this network which is computer storage space. In essence, SiaCoin is the fuel for the Sia platform or network.
SIACOIN Price Growth
The Sia platform was developed in 2015. Sia Coin (SC) was released in August of the same year. Before initiating its ICO (Initial Coin Offering), SC initiated a genesis block mining in which it raised about $1.25 million. Its initial cost after being listed on various exchanges was about $0.000032. The coin has seen a gradual growth hitting a high of $0.111708 on the 6th of January 2018. This coin hit an all-time high of $4.3 as of January 4th, 2016.
Like all digital currencies, this coin is volatile with its price changing from time to time. As of writing this article, the price of one SiaCoin is at $0.021097. This represents 81.11 percentage decline showing the level of volatility. This change is just in about four weeks. It has a trading volume of 8, 921, 530, a market cap of 692, 974, 075 and a total supply of 32, 847, 043, 440 coins currently.
Considering the service this platform is offering, it seems to have a bright future if the system will remain stable. There is a need for cheap storage space in the digital space that is currently not fulfilled by the cloud storage companies. This also a good chance for speculators to buy when the SiaCoin price is still low and wait for it to increase.
How to Buy SiaCoin?
Buying SiaCoin is an easy process. As of the moment, you cannot use fiat or conventional currency to buy the token. You will require having major digital currencies like ETH/BTC to exchange for SC. If you do not want to buy or mine, you can rent out any available disk space you have and get paid with SC. Here is a step by step guide on how to go about buying this coin.
- Identify a reputable exchange that has listed SC (we shall look at those exchanges below)
- Check the available trading pairs like BTC/SC and ETH/SC.
- Fund your preferred exchange with either ether or bitcoins
- Create an SC Some exchanges like Bittrex provide a web wallet once you sign up an account with them
- Initiate the trade from your exchange and provide your SC wallet address (You get the address by clicking on receive Sia Coin icon on the wallet platform)
- Once the exchange is completed and confirmed, your SC coins will be transferred to your Sia Coin wallet where you can use them at your discretion.
Like all other digital currencies, it is important to keep your SiaCoins in a crypto wallet instead of leaving them in the exchanges. Exchanges are vulnerable to hacks and can also collapse at any time. Whenever any of this happens, you risk losing all your coins. Wallets simply store your private keys outside the exchanges and some completely offline. This means only you will have access to those keys.
There two possible wallets you can store your SiaCoins-
- Bittrex exchange provides you with a built-in wallet within the exchange once you sign up for an account. This is a web wallet that is also referred to as hot storage. It can still be accessed by hackers considering that it is online.
- There is a special SiaCoin wallet called the Sia-UI. This wallet is developed and maintained by SiaCoin developers. Once you sign up for this wallet, you have to keep your seed and password safely as you cannot access your wallet if you lose the two. It is a desktop wallet hence more safe from online hacking.
- Signing up for one is easy as you simply visit the official Sia Coin site and download the software which you then install and synchronize with the Sia Network.
- Once it is synchronized and set up on your computer, you generate the receiving address by simply clicking on the “Receive Sia Coin” icon
Best SiaCoin Exchanges
Apart from mining and receiving Siacoin as payment on the Sia platform for hard disk space, you can also buy Siacoin from various exchanges. We shall go through a few of them.
This is a crypto exchange developed in the United States. Its developers hail from reputable technology companies like Amazon, Qualys, and Microsoft. It is a secure and fast trading platform that keeps 80 to 90% of its funds offline and has two-factor authentication. Its custom trading engine computes trades immediately they are placed preventing backlog. It also enables fast deposits and withdrawals. They have some of the best reviews online. This exchange offers SC/BTC and SC/ETH pairs.
There are some advantages and disadvantages of using this exchange.
- It has a friendly interface.
- The only exchange that has a trading demo to familiarize you with the platform.
- Has the 2-factor verification added on security.
- Has SC/BTC and ETH/SC pairs.
- Deposits take about 14 days to confirm; withdrawals take about 20 days
- Stringent verification requiring a lot of personal information
- Fees for deposits and high fees for withdrawals
- Very slow customer support
This is crypto to crypto exchange based in the US. It has been in operation for about four years now. It is registered with FinCen (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network). Let’s look at some of its advantages and disadvantages
- Technical analysis charts and live chat
- Friendly interface
- Deposit and withdrawal fees subject to the crypto’s blockchain minimum transaction fee
- Supports more than 70 popular digital coins
- Low deposit and withdrawal fees
- Negative reviews
- Poor customer support
- Its headquarters are not known
- Private keys are centralized putting them at a great risk
SiaCoin seems like a good investment idea considering the service the Sia network is offering. Once it gets running effectively, it could be a very stable coin. If you want to invest in this coin, this is the right time to buy in when the price is still low. However, take caution and invest only that which you’d afford to lose.
Thank you for taking time to go through this article. We hope it has been informative enough to enable you to make the right decision. Check out our site for more of such content.