Sia 101

Sia is file storage for the future

It's a cloud storage network that is faster, cheaper, and more reliable than traditional cloud storage providers. Your data is truly private and gets stored across the globe. This eliminates any single point of failure and ensures highest possible uptime, while making it impossible for any outside individual, company, or government to access, control, or deny you access to your files.

You can use SiaStream without knowing much about Sia, but if you're interested in learning more and possibly using Sia to store all your data, there's 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.

  • Node: Your instance or installation of Sia.
  • 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.
  • Siacoins: The utility tokens that power Sia.
  • Siafunds: A secondary security token 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.

Community contribution

While there is a distinct development and operations team, dozens of individuals have contributed to the core code or apps built on top of the network. 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 network in 2015. The launch in 2015 was also when the Sia blockchain, Siacoin, and Siafunds were first created.

Renting on Sia

When you upload files to Sia, 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 Sia. 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.


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