Siacoin (SC) Review (UPDATED 2018): A Beginner’s Guide | VKOOL

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Blockchain technology has exploded in the past few years, going from a mere experiment in how to maintain security and records to a full-fledged way to change, evolve, and improve nearly all areas of technology from banking, to peer-to-peer trading, to loans. Now we have a blockchain application that aims to take on another area that could be considered “new ground” – online storage.

Learn more about this new, exciting service with our trusty guide. And if you like Siacoin and are in the market for other new investment opportunities, head on over to our new list of the top altcoins of 2018.

What's Siacoin?

Siacoin (or Sia for short) is a system that offers decentralized storage for users using the blockchain approach. While big storage companies like Dropbox and Apple have their own, centralized cloud storage options, Siacoin is supposed to give power and ownership back to individuals. With this platform, not only can anyone access or even host secure information, documents, or files, but all transactions (including contracts and proofs of storage) can be verified using the system's public blockchain.

How Siacoin Works

In a way, Siacoin works a little like Uber, but for your hard drive, eliminating the need for centralized cloud storage like the kind offered by mainstream companies and instead using a user-based system composed those who have hard drive space, and those who want to use it. Transactions are paid for in Siacoin and are made secure by proof of storage and contracts that can be verified on the blockchain.

Siacoin is comprised of two main groups of people: providers who have hard drive space for “rent,” and clients who ask for access to the providers' storage space and pay them using Siacoin, the in-app currency that makes things work.

It's all done on people's own terms, too. Providers set whatever price they want and do whatever they can to make themselves look like they can be relief upon, and set out the rules for if anyone causes trouble or breaks the contract. They can even deny people from using their hard drive space if they don't agree with what the person wants to store, such as illicit, illegal, or unethical material.

Clients have their own protections, too. They can split up their data across several providers to make sure they can always have access to their files, in case a provider is either lazy or outright refuses to release a file from storage. They can also insist in contracts certain terms and penalties is the provider doesn't keep up their end of the bargain, as well as offer rewards to providers who do a good job, providing the incentive for providers to offer fast uploads and quick communication.

How do you get started? First, you create what's called a file contract. This is stored in the Siacoin blockchain, so that it can be verified in case there's a disagreement over terms later on. This contract is drawn up between both parties and contains details on how much will be paid, how much storage will be used, and so on and so on. This contract protects both parties and makes sure that everyone is being held accountable.

How does the Siacoin currency fit into this? It's how clients pay providers for their storage. Clients upload a certain amount of Siacoin to the contract that is automatically transferred to the provider in proportion to the amount of documents or data you upload.

Providers have to provide something called “proof of storage” to the platform to prove to the Sia system that they're actually hosting the client's data according to the contract. If they don't provide proof, the contract can be canceled. When they do provide proof, they get their coins (although they have to wait for certain conditions to be met).

In this way, Siacoin provides a safe, secure, two-way system for people who don't have to worry too much about if the other person can be trusted or not. The system is set up to make sure everyone's satisfied before anyone gets anything. Siacoin isn't the only coin to offer an alternative to proof-of-work, though, and you can see some coins that offer a similar system on our new list of 2018's best altcoins.

Why Should We Care About Sia?

Sia offers a lot of things in ways that other storage systems don't.

First, they offer complete privacy through Sia's encryption. Hosts can't access their client's data unless they have the decryption key, which is solely in the possession of the client. This is in comparison to other companies that can access your data at any time.

Second, it's way more affordable than traditional cloud services. Depending on your contract's details (which are up to you and the host), you can spend as little as $2 a month for a terabyte of storage (which can cost $23 on another service like Amazon).

Finally, it offers a powerful level of security due to is decentralized nature, so even if a hacker could break into the system, they wouldn't be able to affect all users' content.

The Trading History of Sia

While very few coins are doing “well” right now, Sia has made some advances. Sia was trading low in the last couple months of 2017, but around the middle of January of 2018 it got a huge boost, but then in about two weeks it settled back down to a cost of around $.04 per coin.

How To Buy and Store Sia

The three main places you can get Sia are Bittrex, Poloniex, and Upbit, using Bitcoins or Ethereum. Unlike many other coins and currencies, Sia only actually has one place where you can store it, and that's the proprietary wallet, which you can get from the Sia website.

The Future of Sia

The company behind Sia is making a lot of changes to the platform, featuring major improvements to the services provided by the app. A couple of improvements include making the time it takes to process a contract shorter (reducing from 60 minutes to 5), using wallet seeds to recover files, bug fixes, and allowing partial downloads, among others.

Further down the road, the folks at Sia want to introduce streaming video, as well as the ability to support file sizes of over 10 terabytes at a time, and have more support for mobile use.

Siacoin is improving their platform, but they're not the only game in town. Other great altcoins can be found at our new annual list of top cryptocurrencies here.

Siacoin vs Storj

Both of these services promise decentralized blockchain-based cloud storage. While Siacoin rents out storage on a person to person basis, Storj focuses on using “nodes,” allowing files to be dispersed in pieces among a number of different hosts so that not only is the file encrypted, but no one has the full file. Siacoin provides that idea as an option, but it doesn't appear to be the standard. Both services provide tokens (Siacoin and Storj Tokens, respectively) as compensation for renting out hard drive space.

Siacoin vs Filecoin

Once again, we have two similar systems based on blockchain decentralized storage. Both use blockchains as the “ledgers” where records of transactions and contracts are kept. The main difference is that Filecoin seems to have more use, since it can be exchanged for dollars, Bitcoin, and Ethereum, while Siacoin seems to be meant more for powering the internal economy of the Sia system.

Siacoin vs Pascal

These are pretty different applications. Siacoin is a token used to pay for transactions using the Siacoin cloud storage system, while Pascal is more of a traditional cryptocurrency. Pascal's other difference is that they are trying to make it a fast and efficient transaction currency, while Siacoin doesn't seem to be as focused on that. Siacoin is 100% blockchain-based, while Pascal seems to have an option where earlier parts of the blockchain can be “pruned” for more efficiency, without losing security.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do you know how to buy Siacoin?
    You can buy it at the Bittrex, Upbit, and Poloniex exchanges.
  2. Where can I read news about Siacoin?
    You can keep up with the latest news via their Twitter account.
  3. Is there a prediction for the price of Siacoin?
    It's hard to tell. You'll have to look for trends in the markets (and with similar coins) and make your own decision.
  4. What is the Siacoin wallet?
    The Siacoin wallet is an “official” wallet and the only place to store Siacoin.
  5. Can I read about Siacoin on Reddit?
    Yes, there are active conversations about Siacoin on several subreddits.
  6. Can I get information about Nxt coin on Reddit?
    Yes, you'll find a subreddit dedicated to Nxt where users are discussing it.
  7. Is Siacoin an exchange?
    No, Siacoin is a P2P cloud storage service.
  8. Is there a Siacoin wiki?
    No, right now it doesn't look like there's a wiki for this service.
  9. Does Siacoin have a Twitter?
    Yes, you'll find information on them from their Twitter as well as their official website.
  10. Can I buy Siacoin with USD?
    That depends on which exchange you use.
  11. What is Siacoin?
    Siacoin is a decentralized cloud storage application where people rent out hard drive space in return for Siacoins.
  12. Is the Siacoin wallet an online wallet?
    Yes.
  13. Can I use the Siacoin wallet on iOS?
    The Siacoin wallet is available from their website only, and can't be used on mobile, to our knowledge.
  14. Can I get Siacoin on Binance?
    No, right now the coin isn't traded there.
  15. What's the value of Siacoin?
    Recently the price has been hovering around $.04, but you'll need to check the markets for the latest.

Conclusion

This app aims to cover an area that not many other blockchain technologies have attempted to tackle, and it will be interesting to see how it catches on. If it does, the value of Siacoin will definitely go up, and as other service try and get onboard with delving into the possibilities of distributed, decentralized cloud storage, it may very well change the way we store data. Look out, Dropbox.

And if you think Siacoin has some impressive things to offer, you're in luck. There are some other great coins that could very well hit their stride in 2018, and we've come up with our new list of top choices. Read it here.

Peter Lehmann

Peter is a blockchain investor and cryptocurrency writer at Vkool.com. Since 2014 Peter has advised blockchain startups and ICOs on content marketing, strategy and business development.

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