Hosting means you are contributing your excess storage space to the Sia Storage Platform. You're helping to keep data where it belongs – safely in the hands of those who uploaded it, the renters.
You also earn Siacoin, the cryptocurrency that powers the Sia network. Siacoin can be used to purchase your own storage space, or converted to other cryptocurrency or fiat on crypto exchanges.
Hosts are a critical part of the ecosystem. You are contributing to the decentralized network that is the heart of Sia.
Storage contracts are one of the most important features of the Sia network. They are what allow the entire Sia ecosystem to work in a trustless way – they form blockchain-enforced contracts between you and the people who rent your storage space that are automatically fulfilled.
As a host, you're part of a marketplace where you compete with other hosts for renter contracts. Competition should drive prices down, and demand should drive prices up. The goal is a market where people can upload their data with maximum security, minimum cost, and at fair rates that provide revenue to the hosts.
As a host, you earn Siacoin for the storage space that you sell. But in order to create additional incentive for hosts to be good hosts and sustain a reliable network, you also put up collateral.
- Collateral – An amount of Siacoin that you're willing to lose if you aren't a good host.
Having collateral incentivizes hosts to be online and to keep their renter data intact. Hosts that go offline or lose data lose their collateral, and hosts that stay online and keep data safe get their collateral back.
These are the key concepts to keep in mind as you begin to think about selling storage on the Sia Storage Platform.