Whether you're brand new to the Sia community or just need a refresher on the basics, this article will get you up to speed.
What is Sia?
Sia is a decentralized storage platform secured by blockchain technology. The Sia Storage Platform leverages underutilized hard drive capacity around the world to create a data storage marketplace that is more reliable and lower cost than traditional cloud storage providers. Sia has its own blockchain, and a utility token that powers it – the Siacoin.
Your data is private and gets stored across the globe to eliminate any single point of failure, and ensure highest possible uptime. Since you hold the keys, you own your data. No outside company can access or control your files.
Sia has a few important terms that you'll want to get familiar with. These will be explained in more detail in their related sections, but here's a short sample.
- Renter: Someone who uploads files to the network.
- Host: Someone who lends their storage space so others can upload files to the network.
- Contracts: Formed between renter and host, contracts determine how much data is being stored, for how long, and at what price. These are automatically tracked and completed by the software and blockchain.
- Siacoin: The utility token that powers Sia.
- Siafunds: A secondary, revenue-sharing token on the network that grants the holder a portion of Siacoin for every completed contract.
What Sia does
When a file gets uploaded to Sia, it gets split up, encrypted, and sent all over the world. Renters upload files, hosts store those files, and everything is automated. Once you upload your files, the network ensures that they're always accessible to you by copying them multiple times. And they're never accessible to hosts, because they only receive pieces of whole files that are already encrypted.
Why it’s here
Sia’s core goal is to bring decentralization to data storage. We want you to be able to store your data in a way that gives you full, exclusive control. We want to make sure you're protected against theft, censorship, and that you are never denied access to your data by hackers, miners, developers, or a government body. Your data belongs to you.
Who makes Sia?
Sia was conceived at HackMIT in 2013 by David Vorick and Luke Champine. Over time, the crew has grown into the Boston-based Nebulous team, the core developers of Sia.
David Vorick: Co-founder and core dev
Luke Champine: Co-founder and core dev
Chris Schinnerl: Core developer
Matt Sevey: Core developer
Eddie Wang: Core developer
Zach Herbert: COO
Steve Funk: Head of Support
While there is a distinct development and operations team, dozens of individuals have contributed either to the core code or apps built on top of the platform. Check out our Contributor's Guide if you're interested in writing code for Sia and further decentralizing the project!
When it started
As noted above, Sia was first conceived in 2013. Nebulous, Inc. was established in 2014 and launched the Sia Storage Platform in 2015. The launch in 2015 was also when the Sia blockchain, Siacoin, and SiaNotes (later to become Siafunds) were first created.
Renting on Sia
When you upload files on the Sia Storage Platform, you become a renter. You upload files to other users who have made their space available, called hosts. We use the term renter because Sia creates contracts with other hosts:
- to store a certain amount of data
- for a certain period of time
- for a certain amount of money
Hosting on Sia
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.
Those are the basics. If you're looking for more basic info, continue on with the Get Started section of our support center. If you'd like a more in-depth look at something, check the support center homepage for your topic.