This is The Block.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to share some alt coins that I personally like and feel have potential to “move the needle” on crypto usage over the next few years. Some of these I own. Some of them are coins I don’t have personally, but may in the future. I’ll note which ones I own. These are not meant as investment advice, or to tell you things you can’t find elsewhere. I mean primarily to open you up to new ideas that you may not have thought of, or expose you to potential applications that might appeal to you.
In any case, let’s get started with SiaCoin.
) is a decentralized cloud storage platform powered by its native token SiaCoin. How it works is simple: Storage providers use the Sia client to provide disk space for “rent,” which is paid for in SiaCoin. Users renting the space pay for space and in return get fully encrypted and decentralized access to their files, available globally and under no single central umbrella. If one storage device is taken offline, your data is still available.
Sia is generally cheaper than traditional cloud storage providers can offer, up to 90% savings. Storing 1TB (terabyte) on Sia costs about $2 per month, compared with $23 on Amazon S3.
Sia is open source. In addition to its open architecture, which is contributed to by a global team of resource professionals and engineers, it also offers an API, which is not something most coins offer. This means developers can plug into it, potentially offering new and interesting applications for access and file/data usage.
Finally, Sia offers a kind of decentralized marketplace, run on its own blockchain, for users to offer space on a bid basis.
Sia can be purchased on exchanges or mined.
It has an active development community, its subreddit and discord communities are lively and engaged, and the project seems professional and well-run by its organizers.
It also is one of the first in the field of blockchain file storage, so it has a slight advantage in that it has a viable product in usage. While it does have a number of competitors (MaidSafe, Filecoin, and Storj), it is definitely on the forefront, and if it continues to tread on its current path, may prove to be a useful coin to hold onto, especially if you’re in need of secure, decentralized file storage.
Is it a game changer? It’s not really forging anything that we haven’t seen before in terms of secure file storage, except for placing it on a blockchain instead of a central cloud server. But for some people, that is the deciding difference. Amazon, Google or Dropbox (or dozens of other file storage vendors might be resistant to hacking or 3rd party intrusion (including corporate takeovers or government warrants) for the timebeing–but that could change; with blockchain, there is no central entity to go after, no individual holds the keys to your files. By simplifying their mission, Sia has potentially given themselves and their users a firm grasp on the future of encrypted, protected data storage without fear of intervention or theft. That’s a strong play, even if it’s not particularly sexy. And while it’s unlikely to make someone a lot of money through price increases on the coin itself, that doesn’t make it an uninteresting or non-valuable asset to hold.
If you’re interested in exploring further, check out Sia’s website
Disclosure: I own some SiaCoin.