Sia is a new, highly efficient decentralized file storage network that operates using cryptocurrency-based compensation. Hosts can join Sia, offering their local storage space to consumers in return for compensation. Consumers can then rent storage from these hosts by spending cryptocurrency.
On Sia, many hosts work together to store large volumes of data.
The network has been designed with speed, reliability, and affordability as the highest priorities.
To achieve this, data is split up into hundreds of erasure coded pieces distributed across the network.
The network is self-repairing, such that if any host drops offline, the missing piece will be recovered and replaced within a few hours.
A file will survive even if dozens of hosts drop offline at the same time.
Having the file in hundreds of places enables massively parallel downloads, like a torrent with hundreds of seeders.
The throughput on Sia should max out most consumer-grade connections.
One of the biggest improvements Sia brings to the cloud storage market is the price.
Currently, 1 TB of high-speed and high-reliability storage can cost upwards of $20 per month, but a 1 TB hard drive costs ~$40 and has an expected lifetime of 18 months.
Even after electricity, bandwidth, and redundancy, the cost of cloud storage should only be $3-5 per month.
On Sia, anyone can join the network as a host.
This removes the barrier to entry for hosting data on the cloud, and lowers prices to the actual cost of storing data.
Anybody can join the network as a host, and anybody can use the network for storing files.
Every client receives the same quality of service, whether they are renting 5 megabytes or 500 terabytes.
There is no file discrimination, and there are no corporate deals or favors that occur over the network.