Added: January 31, 2018
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Sia is the first decentralized storage platform secured by blockchain technology. The Sia Storage Platform leverages underutilized hard drive capacity around the world to create a data storage marketplace that is more reliable and lower cost than traditional cloud storage providers.
Sia encrypts and distributes your files across a decentralized network. You control your private encryption keys and you own your data. No outside company or third party can access or control your files, unlike traditional cloud storage providers.
On average, Sia’s decentralized cloud storage costs 90% less than incumbent cloud storage providers. Storing 1TB of files on Sia costs about $2 per month, compared with $23 on Amazon S3.
Sia distributes and stores redundant file segments on nodes across the globe, eliminating any single point of failure and ensuring uptime that rivals traditional cloud storage providers.
The Sia blockchain allows us to run this marketplace without an intermediary. We secure storage transactions with smart contracts, creating a more reliable and affordable offering when compared to traditional cloud providers. No one person or organization can censor or deny access to data — not miners, not developers, nor any government. Sia’s distributed, decentralized storage technology is stronger, more secure, more efficient, and more equitable for the entire ecosystem.
Sia believes that neither individuals nor institutions should be beholden to large corporations. Sia was created to promote and safeguard users’ freedoms. It’s our attempt to bring decentralized storage built on blockchain technology to the mainstream without sacrificing price or performance.
Our long term goal is for Sia to become the backbone storage layer of the Internet.
How Siacoin Works?
- Files Are Divided Prior To Upload
The Sia software divides files into 30 segments before uploading, each targeted for distribution to hosts across the world. This distribution assures that no one host represents a single point of failure and reinforces overall network uptime and redundancy.
File segments are created using a technology called Reed-Solomon erasure coding, commonly used in CDs and DVDs. Erasure coding allows Sia to divide files in a redundant manner, where any 10 of 30 segments can fully recover a user’s files.
This means that if 20 out of 30 hosts go offline, a Sia user is still able to download her files.
- Each File Segment Is Encrypted
Before leaving a renters’ computer, each file segment is encrypted. This ensures that hosts only store encrypted segments of user data.
This differs from traditional cloud storage providers like Amazon, who do not encrypt user data by default. Sia is more secure than existing solutions because hosts only store encrypted file segments, rather than whole files.
Sia uses the Twofish, an open source and secure encryption standard that was a finalist in the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) contest.
- Files Are Sent To Hosts Using Smart Contracts
Using the Sia blockchain, renters form file contracts with hosts. These contracts set pricing, uptime commitments, and other aspects of the relationship between the renters and the hosts.
File contracts are a type of smart contract. The Sia blockchain is specifically designed to store two types of data: Siacoin transactions and file contracts.
Renters typically form 50 file contracts with top hosts on the Sia network.
- Renters and Hosts Pay With Siacoin
Both renters and host use Siacoin, a unique cryptocurrency built on the Sia blockchain. Renters use Siacoin to buy storage capacity from hosts, while hosts deposit Siacoin into each file contract as collateral.
Micropayments flow between renters and hosts using a technology called payment channels, which is similar to Bitcoin’s lightning network. Payments between renters and hosts occur off-chain, greatly increasing network efficiency and scalability.
Since hosts pay collateral into every storage contract, they have a strong disincentive to go offline.
- Contracts Renew Over Time
Renters prepay for storage within file contracts, setting aside a fixed amount of Siacoin to be spent on storing and transferring data. File contracts typically last 90 days. Sia automatically renews contracts when they are within a certain window of expiring. If contracts are not renewed, Sia returns any unused coins to the renter at the end of the contract period. As individual hosts go offline, Sia automatically moves renter data to new hosts in a process called file repair.
- Hosts Submit Storage Proofs
At the end of a file contract, the host must prove that she is storing the renter’s data. This is called a storage proof. If the storage proof appears on the blockchain within a certain timeframe, the host is paid. If not, the host is penalized.
Storage proofs are made possible by a technology called Merkle trees. Merkle trees make it possible to prove that a small segment of data is part of a larger file. The advantage of these proofs is that they are very small, no matter how large the file is. This is important because the proofs are stored permanently on the blockchain.
Official site: http://sia.tech/
Siacoin Wiki: https://siawiki.tech/