This Guide serves as a crash course for crypto investors to have an all rounded understanding of Sia blockchain and its cryptocurrency Siacoin, yet not too heavy to digest particularly for beginners. Thus, we’d like to call this one a bite-size information of Siacoin; where we’ll break down some of the more complex issues most face when trying to understand cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies in general i.e. buzz words or terminologies, into small yet compact and easy to understand.

Let us do the hard work so you can focus on deciding what matters more to you: To Invest in Siacoin or Not. Sounds cool? 😉

Read on.

The guide incorporates illustrations and examples from real world applications, translated into Siacoin’s very own version, essentially to provide you with a vision on the specific characteristics of Siacoin that are in-common with the current world and much more.

Hopefully with this technique, we’d be able to encourage more readers to identify more hidden gems, value its underlying technology and support its potential growth prospect, not just for Siacoin but other cryptocurrencies in the market. That way, we’d built a healthy cryptocurrency ecosystem based on sound investment decisions, one that supports viable products and services, rather than for speculative means.

So, let’s begin shall we?

Ahh.. wait a minute. Before we jump straight into what Siacoin is, here’s an important question for you.

Does the word “cloud storage” rings a bell to you?

Why, you may ask and how does cloud storage relates to Siacoin?

Well, technically the underlying concept of Sia Blockchain is similar to Cloud Storage. The word “Cloud” refers to the Internet, thus Cloud Storage is defined as a cloud computing model which enables user to store and sync their data to an online server. This allows a user to access files from multiple devices to for viewing and editing, which makes it a great backup alternative to local hard drive.

Data stored here is accessible from various distributed and connected resources. Each platform is managed by a cloud storage service provider on a storage servers. To name a few, Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive and Apple iCloud are among some of the reputable cloud storage service providers available in the market.

Sia Blockchain against Cloud Storage

Essentially, conventional cloud storage provides the benefits of flexibility of data format storing, file sharing, multi-device accessibility and data backup.

However, certain advanced benefits such as security and administrative features as well as increased storage capacity are designed for paid corporate enterprises subscriptions or require upgrade from free to paid accounts. Charges increase with additional storage capacity and/ or additional features on a monthly basis, which may total to a huge amount in the long run particularly for large organizations.

As a matter of fact, some cloud service providers reserves the right to access a user’s file if prompted by law enforcement. Sadly, this makes storing sensitive, private datas online, not-as secured as it deemed, as concern remains on third party’s ability to abuse the privacy rights of users in pursue for higher profits. On top of that, you might even face difficulties in accessing or sharing files if your Internet connection happens to be slow or unstable .To monitor if your connection could be trouble, running speedtests through out the day should give you a clear picture.”

Now, what if there’s a blockchain technology which provides all the above benefits of cloud storage, coupled with maximum security and privacy protection yet minus the huge subscription costs?

In particular, one which allows us to “rent” or “sell” idle hard drive storage capacity in exchange for a consideration, in the form of a cryptocurrency?

Ladies and Gentlemen, this leads us to no other but Sia. 

What is Sia and Siacoin?

siacoin and sia

Launched in June 2015 by founders David Volrick and  Luke Champine, Sia Blockchain is built on decentralized global data sharing network based on the concept of data storage marketplace between three parties: Owner of hard drive (the Host), User of storage space and a panel of Coordinators.

The Host could sell the hard drive’s excess capacity to a User seeking for additional storage capacity. The Host benefits from letting the unutilised space in exchange for Sia’s altcoin, Siacoin while the User gets to enjoy a cheaper and more reliable storage platform in comparison to the traditional cloud storage as mentioned above.

Currently, Sia has a market capitalization of over $90 million since its release in 2015 at the time of writing. At present, the platform is supported by more than 800 hosts worldwide with a total accumulated available storage space of over 4.0 Petabyte of which only approximately 170 Terabyte has been adopted, and still counting.

Why Invest in Siacoin (SC) Cryptocurrency: Sia Features and Technology

Sia is a peer-to-peer network formed by hosts around the world to create a collaborative cloud for data storage. This removes the need for a centralised server which leads to a reduction of cost, enhances accessibility, increases speed and greater reliability. Data files are encrypted before spreaded over numerous nodes to prevent a single host from holding a significant piece.

Sia is a decentralised distributed storage network that is tracked by smart contracts. These smart contracts are encrypted using private keys (passwords) which only the rightful originator (uploader) holds. Fundamentally, Sia moves conventional storage away from the cloud and back into your hands, giving you full control over your valuable datas.

In summary, the key characteristics of Sia Blockchain are as such:

  1. Sia provides 100% Private Data Storage through Data Encryption
    The User will receive full control of his private keys that no one else could hold except for himself. This ensures that only the rightful owner has access to the datas.
  2. Siacoin Platform is Fully Decentralised
    The platform is fully decentralised which bring security and privacy level to a whole new level as no third party central authority get access to your datas in any ways.
  3. Sia Blockchain Services is Highly Affordable 
    Subsequently, the removal of a central cloud storage service provider contributes up to 90% of cost savings from most conventional storage capacity subscription packages.
  4. Siacoin Blockchain Increases Speed of Accessibility
    The distribution of redundant files on multiple active host’s nodes worldwide ensures minimal point of failure during transmission.
  5. Data Secured with Sia
    The application of the Proof of Storage allows a user to efficiently verify accuracy of its data with the server, ensuring data to remain secure and free from third party manipulation.
  6. Sia incorporates File Contracts
    The signing of contract as a proof of engagement between the Host and the User needs to be completed as an assurance for data protection and to confirm a successful transfer of Siacoin.
  7. Sia’s Smart Contract Functionality supports the Growth of Altcoin Projects
    Being a completely open source platform would allow fellow contributors and developers to create and operate new applications to on top of Sia just like Ethereum. We’ve seen how Ethereum well positioned itself as a catalyst for growth by allowing other coins to tap on its platform as a source of origination.

If all the applications as above are as true as claimed, Sia could potentially emerge as the next rising star being that there is a growing evidence of real world applications supported by a strong community of storage hosts and demand for such services. The platform is poised for greater scalability in the near future should the projects built on the backbone of Sia takes off successfully, which in turn would strengthened its foothold in the cryptocurrency community.

What can I use Siacoin for?

Now that you understand how Sia works, you might be wondering what is the medium of exchange between the hosts (sellers) and users (buyers). To recap, Sia functions exactly like a virtual marketplace where abled sellers and buyers meet to exchange services (storage capacity) for X amount of “cash”. In this case, the “cash” would be Sia’s altcoin Siacoin- just like any traders market! For now, let’s name this barter process the Siacoin traders ecosystem. 🙂

Here are three ways on how Siacoin is used or exchanged in this ecosystem to ensure an effective and secured Siacoin traders ecosystem :

  1. 1 Siacoin Storage Ecosystem

    The traders ecosystem is free for entry as there is no “middle person” centralised authority, which allows the hosts and users to deal directly. One will need hold a minimum of 50,000 units of Siacoin at all times to be a Host. Every Host sets a competitive price on how much they are willing to take in exchange for their storage capacity. At the same time, they could advertise their availability and set certain conditions such as storage standards and penalty. 

    The User source for a few potential Hosts while distributing their files to these pre-selected hosts as they go. The idea is not to put all eggs in one basket, so to have at least a few accessible options in the event that any Host turns down the offer.

    Once both party decided to proceed with the offer, a “Contractual Agreement” will come about, clearly stating how the operations will take place. Upon confirmation, payment would be made by the User in the form of Siacoin. Interestingly, the User may opt to incentivise the Hosts with Siacoin to secure the best level of services throughout the entire engagement period.

  2. 2 Siacoin File Contracts

    The “Contractual Agreement” mentioned above refers to the File Contract or a series of File Contracts, which is a valid representation of the engagements. These Siacoin File Contracts are recorded on Sia’s Blockchain for verification by the Sia community.

    Each File Contract carries information of the deal such as amount of capacity to be allocated to the User, engagement duration, Proof of Storage frequency to be provided by the Host, Siacoin fee and more.

    It’s good to note that the terms of Siacoin File Contract is highly flexible and can be curated according to the needs of the User and Host. That means, the contact could be amended to account for future negotiations and price discount.

  3. 3 Siacoin’s Proof of Storage

    What is Siacoin Proof of Storage? Proof of Storage, as its name suggest is a form of evidence that the Host will need to provide on a timely basis, to demonstrates that the data has been stored or kept at his hard disk. Siacoin payment would be released to the Host from time to time, upon each successful sight of evidence.

    In the event that a Host fails to provide the Proof of Storage, the Siacoin would be directed to the Missed Proof of Address, a temporary holding account until the Host responded with the Proof of Storage.

    If Sia platform identifies a frequent series of absence of Proof of Storage, he may be penalised according to the terms of the File Contract. In severe cases where multiples failure to provide Proof of Storage are involved, the File Contract may be terminated.

How to get Siacoin for "Free"?

Are you feeling excited to explore ways to collect your very first pool of Siacoin?

If you happen to have idle storage capacity on your Hard Disk, by all means, go ahead and be a Host. Team of developers would also be paid Siacoin, SC for their work in maintaining the platform or for offering other services. Alternatively, you could also be a Miner for Siacoin which will be covered below. 

Siacoin Mining

Bitcoin is a Proof of Work- based cryptocurrency requiring mining machine to solve highly complex mathematical algorithm to be rewarded with a block of token. Siacoin mining works the exact same way as Bitcoin’s, whereby each one block mined translates into one Siacoin. Siacoin started off with 300,000 units and when the threshold of 30,000 coins are mined at block 270,000, it will remain at a fixed amount of 300,000 forever.

The good news is, the system’s algorithm has been set in a way that there will be one successful miner at each interval of 10 minutes. That equates to 144 lucky miners daily.

Mining Siacoin utilises the same technique as most cryptocurrency mining are, mainly reliant on customised mining hardware to provide computing power. To begin your Siacoin mining journey, you will require the Graphical Processing Units (GPU) such as ccminer and Sia-CUDA-Miner. Unfortunately, there are only two GPU that are available in the market currently to mine Siacoin.

Once that is done, you will need to obtain a suitable Siacoin Wallet to store Siacoin safely. You may choose either the Windows or web wallet though we recommend the latter if you’re just starting out as its more user friendly but quickly move into a more secure wallet which will be further explained below.

Best Siacoin (SC) Wallets

Cryptocurrency exchanges are susceptible to crypto theft which has occurred quite frequently, causing massive wipeouts in just a matter of minutes. To protect your altcoin investments, it is advisable to store your coins in a crypto wallet rather than keeping them in the exchange. 

How crypto wallet works is by generating private keys on your device away from the exchange account that changes every minute. And enhanced measure of security is by opting for crypto wallet that generates keys offline which further limit the access of the key to only yourself.

Presently, Siacoin supports wallets for Windows, Mac and Linux. As mentioned above, there are four types of Siacoin Wallet for you to choose from:

  1. 1 Desktop Wallet: Siacoin Sia-UI Wallet

    The Sia-UI Wallet is created and operated by developers of Sia Storage Platform, Nebulous so you can rest be assured that it’s internal built is specially designed for optimum safe storage of the coin, just like most cryptocurrencies internal wallet. The app is available for Mac Linux and Windows OS and is compatible with all iOS devices.

    The wallet provides you with a seed and unique password whereby, either one has to be presented to gain access to your wallet. Be careful not to lose both though, else you would no longer be able to retrieve your wallet.

    To obtain a Siacoin Wallet, all you need to do is download and install the software from Siacoin official website onto your desktop. Follow by syncing the wallet with the Sia Network. Once the computer has been set up, remember to generate and save the receiving address. The address could be retrieved by clicking onto the icon “Receive Sia Coin”.

  2. 2 Siacoin Exchange Wallet

    Most cryptocurrency exchange provides a built in web wallet to facilitate temporary transfer or trading of coins. As mentioned, storing your coin here is least advisable as it brings the highest risk to crypto theft, considering that it is based online. 

  3. 3 Siacoin Mobile Wallet

    Mobile Wallets are software wallets that can be download on the mobile device to store cryptocurrencies with the need for immediate usage such as using it as a means of payment. The availability of Siacoin Mobile wallet is still extremely rare at the time of writing but we still manage to find one, which is an Android app known as “Sia”. However, we would recommend Siacoin Hardware wallet and desktop wallet over this storage solution as both of them have far less issues and are more stable and reliable.

    Android Download

How to Transfer Siacoin to Siacoin Sia-UI Wallet

Here are 5 easy steps to transfer Siacoin to your Siacoin Wallet:

Step 1: Download the latest version of your preferred Siacoin Wallet.

In this example, we’ll use the Sia-UI Wallet for guidance.

Step 2: Extract Siacoin Wallet file, run Siacoin UI and click onto the SiaUI.exe file to synchronise with the Sia blockchain.

Tips! Remember to connect your device to a power socket as the entire process might takes hours.

Step 3: Under the Siacoin App, click onto the Wallet Tab and click "Create a new wallet".

Step 4: Copy both the seed and password. A gentle reminder to not lose both of these as you will not be able to retrieve your Wallet if it happens.

Step 5: Secure the keys at a safe place and click confirm.

How to Receive Siacoin from Siacoin Sia-UI Wallet

Step 1: On the top right hand of the wallet, click onto the Receive icon.

Step 2: Check and tick the unique address displayed in your Wallet. The same address would also be used to send Siacoin.

How to Send Siacoin from Siacoin Sia-UI Wallet

Step 1: Next to the Receive icon, click onto the Send icon.

Step 2: Type in the number of Siacoin to send.

Step 3: Input in the receiving Wallet’s address.

To avoid typing the wrong Wallet address, do use the copy and paste function instead. Alternatively, you may also scan the QR code for maximum accuracy.

Step 4: Click Send.

Where to buy Siacoin

The following are a few exchanges in the market to buy Siacoin:

  1. 1 Buy Siacoin (SC) on Binance

    Established and based in Hong Kong ,Binance is an extremely popular choice around the world. With its remarkably low transaction fee (0.1%) and its wide range of coins selection, it is not difficult to see that why it becomes such as huge success in the world of Crypto. Binance now offers SC/BTC, SC/ETH and SC/Binance Coin(BNB) as trading pairs.

  2. 2 Buy Siacoin (SC) on HitBTC Exchange

    If you’re buying SC on exchange for the first time, you might want to consider starting out with HitBTC as it is the ONLY exchange that provides a step-by-step trading demo to help beginners grasp basic trading techniques quickly with added user-friendly interface. Like Bittrex, HitBTC also has a 2-factor authentication for added security.

    However, these benefits were offsetted with very slow transaction speed requiring 14 days confirmation period and withdrawal alone takes approximately 20 days even though the platform charges high fees for both transactions. New users may not appreciate the stringent verification of personal information and slow customer support. 

    HitBTC also offers SC/ BTC and SC/ ETH pairings.

  3. 3 Buy Siacoin (SC) on Bittrex Exchange

    One of our favourite exchange equipped with great cryptocurrency reviews online. Not only the platform process deposits, tradings and withdrawal almost instantly, it also keeps up to 90% of invested funds offline coupled with a 2-factor authentication, making Bittrex one of the most secured exchange to use.

    Bittrex Exchange is originated from the U.S. and its developer team constitutes of highly reputable technology companies namely Microsoft and Amazon which certainly gives users a peace of mind. 

    Bittrex offers SC/ BTC and SC/ ETH pairings. At present, the platform supports over 190 cryptocurrencies.


  4. 4 Buy Siacoin (SC) on Poloniex Exchange

    Established in 2014, Poloniex is based in the U.S. and is registered with Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCen), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to combat financial crimes. Poloniex currently supports over 70 altcoins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Siacoin to name a few. The platform only supports the trading of other altcoins against Bitcoin.

    On the surface, Poloniex’s interface is rather user-friendly as well as provides technical charts for analysis and live chat support functions. Deposit and withdrawal fee is kept at a considerably minimum rate.

    Unfortunately, the platform runs on centralising private keys which leads to high risk to users. We’ve also observed that Poloniex has a reputation for weak customer support while the location of its headquarter remains unknown. 

    Poloniex too offers SC/ BTC and SC/ ETH pairings.


  5. 5 Buy Siacoin (SC) on Shapeshift Exchange

    Shapeshift runs on both mobile and web platforms while offering trading of larger blockchain tokens. The platform claimed to be one of the fastest and safest way to switch from one altcoin to another.

    Shapeshift offers SC/ BTC and SC/ ETH pairings.


How to buy Siacoin (SC) from Cryptocurrency Exchange

Buying Siacoin from the exchange is one way for you to get hold of the coin quickly without going through the hassle of selling unutilised hard disk space or mining.

In comparison to the larger and well known cryptocurrency giants namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin, Siacoin’s trading volume is relatively small. The coin has hit a market capitalisation of $89,506,125 and a total circulating supply of 38,302,102,589 coins at this point of writing. That being said, to purchase Siacoin, you will need to hold either Bitcoin or Ethereum which would then be traded on the cryptocurrency exchange for Siacoin.

Before you begin any purchase of cryptocurrency, you will need to convert fiat currency into one of the top Cryptocurrency which are primarily Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum(ETH) or Lite Coins. Most cryptocurrency exchanges accepts USD or Euro.

Here are 5 easy steps to buy Siacoin from cryptocurrency exchange:

Step 1: Identify a Reputable Cryptocurrency Exchange where Siacoin (SC) is Listed

Bittrex, HitBTC and Poloniex are among some of the renowned exchanges that enables you to purchase Siacoin from.

Step 2: Compare the trading price between BTC/ SC or ETH/ SC and pick the highest conversion

Step 3: Load your preferred cryptocurrency exchange with Bitcoin or Ether

Step 4: Trade Bitcoin or Ether with Siacoin

Remember to provide your SC Wallet address. The wallet address could be retrieved by clicking on the designated wallet platform’s Siacoin icon.

Step 5: Once the exchange is completed, your SC will be reflected into your preferred Siacoin Wallet.

Our Verdict

Prior to ICO, SC raised approximately $1.25 million from its initiation of genesis block mining. Upon being listed on cryptocurrency exchanges, its’ initial cost was about $0.000032. SC’s all-time price high is $4.30 achieved on the 4th January 2016.  From 2015 until 2018, we’ve observed an overall growing trend, of which reflects a high of $0.111708 on this year’s 6th January 2018.

Is investing in Siacoin a sound decision? When it comes to making investment decision particularly in cryptocurrency, it’s very important for a technology to have real-world applications due to the nature of uncertainty surrounding this industry. In our opinion, subscription to a third party cloud storage service provider does has its pros and cons.

Let’s not be oblivious to rising cases where valuable datas have been leaked to the public and possibility of datas being manipulated by conventional service providers.

While we’re equally appreciative that most cloud storage companies are offering complimentary services for a certain storage space, we can’t deny the fact that the freemium maximum capacity are constantly close to being breached, especially in this information-loaded era. It’s good to take note that subscribing for additional storage cost would be most costly over time.

Siacoin platform technology beautifully wipe away the above concerns by charging only $2 per month for a storage capacity of 1 Terabyte and a minimal $1 for bandwidth download. Secondly, we love that the blockchain is fully decentralised, ensures maximum privacy and reliability by giving users full control of their datas. Thirdly, we’re quite positive with the idea of receiving the Proof of Storage before Siacoin is released to the Host.

Considering that there’s a need for affordable storage space, the growth prospect of this coin remains high until a similar competitor comes into existence. Well, as for now Siacoin’s major competitors are Google Cloud, Amazon and Microsoft Cloud so any new developments by these cloud service providers would influence the prospect of Sia blockchain. 

What do you think of Siacoin? Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comment section.

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