New people to cryptocurrency may think of Bitcoin as the sole currency in existence – contrary to popular opinion however, many currencies are increasing in popularity. Siacoin is among the currencies innovating strongly on the data storage front.
What is Sia?
This is an online platform, and its coin is the Siacoin – a cryptocurrency conceived in 2013 as part of a project at the HackMIT (a hackathon hosted at the MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The purpose was to allow anyone to rent their storage space, resulting in rewards for their contributions.
The platform acts as a storage platform (similar to Google drive or Dropbox). The only difference is that Sia is a blockchain-based, open-source and decentralized cloud storage space. Sia combines large amounts of unused storage space, and then joins it to a blockchain, resulting in decentralized and encrypted cloud storage. It therefore, eliminates the need for centralized data centres, which are vulnerable to security hacks.
Why is Siacoin different?
What sets the platform apart from other platforms is the attention it gives details, particularly when it relates to maintenance of the decentralized system.
For instance, the Siacoin blockchain can generate smart contracts that make sure the host (the person renting out their storage space) receives payment for this. Some of the things that make the Sia platform worth exploring are:
The complete privacy of you data (due to decentralization)
Affordability of thee storage, which is about 90% cheaper than other cloud storage providers
The platform stores and distributes redundant files on global nodes, therefore removing any failure links.
Open source software and marketplace on the blockchain.
Alternative coins to use
Siacoin has the potential for increasing popularity even further with time. However, other coins provide viable alternatives, and we have put a list of some of them.
Ripple/XRP – based on open-source internet protocol currency, and formed in 2012.
Lisk – founded in 2016, it aims to simplify development of blockchain technology, therefore allowing for faster transactions.
Bitcoin/XBT – the most famous cryptocurrency, from 2009. It is similar to Siacoin because of the proof-of-work system, though Siacoin uses a different mining algorithm for cheaper costs.
Cardano – thought to be an open-source digital currency, and constantly evolves itself from research and scientific philosophies.
Ethereum/ETH – this is a 2015 decentralized software platform allowing smart contracts to operate without interference from third parties.
NEM – this is another blockchain currency from 2015, and utilizes Java script in its coding.
How Siacoin works
Siacoin is the currency that develops the Sia platform. Decentralized storage means any user of the platform can rent out extra space on their PC to the network, and they receive payments in Siacoin. In a similar way, if you want to use Sia storage, you will have to pay Siacoins to your host.
Once you transact the coins, the Sia network executes file storage contracts on the network blockchain. The host must keep the files for a specific time (depending on the data owner) and in a specific space. The host will receive payment after the time elapses (in Siacoin). If the host loses the files, they will not receive payment. This is due to the smart contracts that protect the owner of the data as well as ensuring the satisfaction of the host.
Trading in Siacoin currency
Unlike other currencies, Siacoin did not begin its life as an ICO – it instead began when the mining of its genesis block occurred. This has seemed to work for the platform because investors such as Raptor Group and Fenbushi Capital gave above $1.25 million in funds.
The supply is unique because there is an infinite supply of Siacoins. The developers got the first 100 blocks, with the initial reward being 300,000 Siacoins – the reward however, decreases exponentially by one unit for every subsequent block.
The best way to acquire the currency is by purchasing another currency in common supply, such as Bitcoin – then exchanging it at an exchange provider. This is because it is difficult to get Siacoins outside of the Sia platform.