The idea for the project was conceived back in 2013 at HackMIT, which is a hackathon hosted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The idea is simple, allow anyone to rent out their storage space and in return reward them for their contribution.
The promise of Sia is a decentralized network of datacenters that, taken together, comprise the world’s fastest, cheapest, and most secure cloud storage platform.
Currently cloud storage services are mostly centralized and the data is stored on a third party server. With Siacoin, the storage would be decentralized as each user would contribute their own share of resources.
You may think “There are plenty of decentralized storage projects, is Sia any different?” It is true that Sia has its competitors, Storj and Maidsafe are just a few. However, what sets Sia apart lies in the intricate details relating to maintaining the decentralized ecosystem.
For example, the Sia blockchain has the ability to create a smart contract that would ensure the host is paid for their services. Check out our MaidSAFE vs Sia vs Storj article for more info about the differences between the three.
You can give Sia a try by visiting their website and downloading the wallet software. Once the wallet is up and running you will be instructed to create a wallet. Once that is done, simply purchase storage space with Siacoins and you can begin uploading files to host on the network in no time.
Furthermore, if you want to contribute your personal harddrive space to other clients, you can become a hoster yourself. Select the storage folder you would like the files to get sent to and click the announce button to let the peers know you area available for file hosting. For obvious reasons, the files will be encrypted so you won’t be able to tell what kind of data users are hosting on your machine.
After using the wallet for a few minutes, the GUI feels very smooth and the UX is easy to navigate. If you have some unused hard drives sitting around, right now might be a good time to take a look at Sia.