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What is Sia?

Sia is a decentralized storage platform that leverages blockchain technology to create a reliable and inexpensive data storage marketplace. Sia is hoping to revolutionize cloud storage industry that has long been dominated by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.


The parent company of Sia Storage Platform is Nebulous Inc. 

How does Sia work?

Sia works in a similar fashion as Dropbox or Google Drive, except that Sia is a peer-to-peer storage marketplace that is decentralized and encrypted for enhanced security. Being decentralized means that no one party is holding the information you’re storing.


Initially, the host and the renter of storage space must engage in a file contract, which is basically a type of smart contract that is stored on the Sia blockchain and is enforced by the network.  The renter pays the Siacoin upfront to the blockchain and the tokens are placed in an Escrow by the hosts, as part of the contracts rule of arbitration. The host is only compensated if the contract is met and they have provided proof of storage within a certain timeframe. If not, the coins are returned to the renter.

 
Before files are uploaded to Sia network for storage, they are broken down into fragments, encrypted, and then those fragments distributed across a decentralized network for storage.  When you want to access your file, the appropriate encrypted fragments are recompiled and you get your file back.

 

What is Reed-Solomon erasure coding?

Sia employs a system of storage called Reed-Solomon erasure coding to create file segments. What this means is that the data you store in Sia is divided in a redundant manner to create 10 to 30 segments that can be used to recover your files.

 
This technology ensures redundancy in file storage so that even if 20 out 30 hosts go offline, a Sia renter will still be able to get their files. 

What is Twofish algorithm?

Twofish algorithm is an open source and secure encryption standard that Sia uses to encrypt each file segment of user’s data before it is stored. Hosts in Sia blockchain only store encrypted file segments, rather than whole files. 

What is Merkle trees technology?

Merkle trees tech is an innovative technology that makes it possible to prove that a small segment of data is part of a larger file. Proof of storage on Sia network is made possible using Merkle trees technology. Hosts must provide proof that they’re storing renter’s data, and such proofs are stored permanently on the blockchain. 

What is Siacoin?

Siacoin is the cryptocurrency that is used to make payments for storage on the Sia network. Owning Siacoin allows you to enable decentralized payments via file contracts. Siacoin can also be exchanged for FIAT or other cryptocurrencies like, but not limited to, Bitcoin, Ether or Litecoin, on exchanges like Bittrex, HitBTC and many others.


The supply limit of Siacoin is infinite. That means there is an unlimited number of Siacoin available to be mined.

How do you mine Siacoin?

You can mine Siacoin using a GPU, but the profitability of doing so has decreased significantly. The Sia team recently introduced Obelisk, a custom ASIC miner for Siacoin that is 100 times more powerful than mining with a GPU. However, this product will not be ready for shipment until middle of 2018.

 

In order to profitably mine Siacoin, you have to join mining pools like Luxor and SiaMining. 

Are there Siacoin wallets? 

Currently, there are no lite wallets available for storing Siacoin. Sia-UI lets you synchronize the blockchain to your machine though it takes many hours to download. Once you have your Sia-UI set up, you can create your wallet in the app, have it synchronized so you can begin sending and receiving Siacoin, and also become a host in the network. 


It is worth noting that you need to download Sia-UI and create a wallet in order to start storing files on the Sia network. 


Sia is working on introducing file sharing between users in Sia blockchain. In addition, the company is currently developing an overhauled Sia-UI to make Sia far easier to set up and use.
  

 
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