The most revolutionary products in today’s day and age offer a better product at a lower cost to consumers. While this statement might sound so simple, in a capitalist market where there is so much competition, getting this right is something only an extremely small amount of companies can manage to do. In a huge industry like cloud storage, which is dominated by tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Dropbox, it adds even another layer of difficulty. Well everyone, I’m here to tell you today that Sia was able to pull this off.
Sia is a decentralized cloud storage solution. For you non-techies out there, most you probably have at least some experience storing files inside Google Drive, Dropbox, or something very similar. Google and Dropbox both have massive data centers with thousands of servers. When you store a file on a service like Google Drive or Dropbox, your file actually goes onto one of their central servers, which they are paying millions and millions of dollars for.
Instead of setting up a huge data center, Sia built a marketplace for unused hard drive space. Although I absolutely hate this comparison, think of it as “Uber for hard drive space” (I will explain how it’s even better later on). When I store a file on Sia, the file is broken up into 30 different pieces. Each one of these pieces is then encrypted and sent to a hard drive anywhere around the world. When I want to download the file back from the Sia network, only 10 of those pieces (any 10 not a specific 10) have to then be collected and sent back to me. Because only 10 pieces are required, Sia is also able to offer 3x data redundancy, in case someone decides to take their computer off the network.
Anyone with unused hard drive space who is looking for extra cash could join the Sia network as a “host” and get paid. Sia pays their hosts in a cryptocurrency called “Siacoin.” Why a cryptocurrency? Well, anyone following Uber over the past few years knows how difficult their road to profitability has been. Truthfully, they aren’t even close. They are losing millions of dollars per year. One of the main reasons their costs are so high is they have to hire a ton of employees to vet new potential drivers, inspect cars, etc.
Sia’s biggest hurdle is verifying that a host still has their responsible part of the file a user is paying to host.. Instead of hiring employees to do this, Sia built the platform on a blockchain, where each file is periodically verified on the host’s machine using a “smart contract.” This, along with not having to pay for any servers, makes Sia’s overhead extremely low, allowing them to offer an EXTREMELY low price.
Sia is still putting the final touches on their product, so they have not done much marketing yet. However this has not stopped it’s cryptocurrency, Siacoin, from skyrocketing. Already the 16th most valuable cryptocurrency on the market today, Siacoin continues to climb as more and more investors become aware. With a solution as good as Sia, it’s hard to argue that Siacoin will not be a top 5 cryptocurrency by the end of 2018.
Follow me on twitter @maxekaplan for the latest news on Siacoin and blockchain tech!
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