The sudden surge of remote workers in 2020 puts a huge strain on the existing cloud infrastructure. With companies relying increasingly on a limited number of cloud providers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, these centralized systems also became even more enticing targets for hackers. Regardless of many resources centralized services can dedicate to increasing their security, centralized structures only need a single point of failure to be compromised. Many times, its social engineering and not technology that provides the best opportunity for bad actors to infiltrate.
Social engineering is a manipulation technique that involves exploiting human error and misjudgment to gain information or access to a service. Despite training employees to be wary of social engineering, it isn’t easy to mitigate it altogether.
Siacoin proposes a solution to centralized cloud storage security risks with the Sia Server and Hosting Network. Siacoin offers similar services to the big cloud companies you’re already familiar with, but with the key difference of running on a decentralized blockchain infrastructure.
Clients can rent storage space on the Sia platform and pay in the native currency SIA for services. A central entity does not provide resources, but anyone with spare storage space can rent it out in return for Sia. With this in mind, some have compared Sia to the “Airbnb” of hard drives since it’s bringing the sharing economy to cloud storage.
On Siacoin, transactions aren’t overseen by a third party but governed through so-called file contracts. Whenever a user wants to store files on Sia, a contract is drawn that defines the terms of their storage, such as the duration, security, pay-out, and how many times a provider must provide proof of storage.
Users on Siacoin govern their own choice of provider; it’s up to them who they want to trust based on the reputation and reviews of a provider; it’s also completely up to them to define the terms of an agreement. If they want to pay extra for higher uptime, there’s an option to do so, which incentivizes providers to provide high-quality storage.
Whenever a file contract is created, the client will deposit Siacoin into it for future use. Throughout the agreement, the token will automatically be transferred to the provider according to specified pay-out terms. If at the end of the contract coins are still in the contract, they will be returned to the client.
Proof of Storage
Proof of storage is essential in protecting clients from malicious or fraudulent providers who would take the payment but not store their data. Providers must prove that they have stored what the client wanted to have stored in specified regular intervals to prevent this from happening. If a provider fails to prove that they stored the data, they will not receive any payments and might even be hit with a penalty.
Benefits of Siacoin
- Privacy: all data on Sia is encrypted. Unless the provider has the data’s private key, they won’t be able to see what is stored in their space. Therefore, the client has ownership and control over their data at all times.
- Affordability: Sia can be a lot cheaper than alternative cloud storage like Dropbox or AWS. Prices are mostly market-driven without one-size-fits-all pricing. Storing one terra byte of data on Sia might just cost $2 while you pay 10 times that price for storing it on AWS.
- Security: since everything is encrypted, no one other than the rightful owner of data can access it. Additionally, all files are decomposed into 30 parts before storing them. This maintains the stability of the network, ensures that data processing doesn’t fail.
Sia is a project by Nebulous inc and was launched in 2015 by the computer scientists David Vorvick and Luke Champine. The name is a reference to the Egyptian God of Perception.
Unlike many other projects in the earlier crypto days, Siacoin didn’t raise funds through an ICO but sold tokens in a private sale to investors like First Star Ventures and Fenbushi capital.
Considering that the importance of cloud storage is probably going to increase, there is a good chance that Siacoin’s network will gain further traction as a more secure and cost-efficient alternative to storing data.
Considering that all data remains encrypted, it is even an attractive option for businesses having to stay compliant with data protection laws.
Siacoin (SC) is now trading on Bitcoin.com Exchange with BTC and USDT pairs.