Siatech & David Vorrick’s superb post about the future of Siatech
Main developer and CEO David Vorick had recently a fantastic post about Siatech.
Sia is a network for remotely storing data. Typically called ‘cloud storage’, the core feature is that you can put data on the network and it will be available from anywhere in the world at a later date. Putting data onto a network means that someone else – a ‘host’ – is going to be storing the data, and is going to be responsible for returning the data when requested. Sia makes several key assumptions about the network:
- Hosts cannot be trusted – if they are able, they will spy, steal, and cheat. Strong mechanisms must be used to discourage and prevent malice.
- Hosts are not charitable – hosts need to be paid, especially if the data is private or is large in volume. Payment must be guaranteed.
- Hosts are unstable – a single host, and even a group of hosts, is liable to go offline even if they have a history of 100% reliability
- The network is hostile – if there is a way to be abusive, someone will discover it and cause abuse.
Sia is able to safely store data on a network that has the above properties. There are three core strategies employed by Sia to ensure the safety of data. The first is encryption, which serves to protect the privacy of the data even when the hosts are trying to view the data. All data on Sia is encrypted before it is ever sent over the network, and it is only decrypted after it has been downloaded. The hosts will never be able to view decrypted data.
The second strategy is redundancy. Data is not given to one or two or three hosts, but instead a myriad of hosts. Using erasure coding techniques such as Reed-Solomon coding, a high reliability can be achieved even without a high redundancy. The final strategy is to align the incentives of the hosts by paying them only if they store the data, but also by guaranteeing that they will get paid for storing the data, even if the renter is not online to make the payment. This can be achieved using a file contract, and a file contract can be achieved using a blockchain.
At this moment, Siatech is still in the Beta version. The version 1.0 is scheduled to be released in April 2016.
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