What Is SiaCoin?
Sia is a decentralized blockchain-based data storage service. It was created by a company called Nebulous, Inc., based in Boston, MA. Sia was launched in 2014 with David Vorick as the project’s lead developer and current CEO.
The crypto enthusiasts among you should already be familiar with the major concepts behind blockchain technology: decentralization, privacy, and security. Most products built using this technology are focused on the financial industry, such as cryptocurrencies, or smart contracts. Sia is one of those products that dare venture further.
The Sia Storage Platform (SSP) is a blockchain-based alternative to the commonly used cloud storage platforms like Amazon Cloud, DropBox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. The way it works is that it leverages under-utilized storage from computers around the world to create a virtual space for storing data. Compared with centralized storage providers it’s way faster, costs 90% less, it’s more reliable and private.
Sia encrypts the stored data and then distributes it across the nodes on the blockchain network. This way, you have full control over your files and you’re the only one with access to your encryption keys. SSP uses a native token called SiaCoin (SC) to power up the platform. For example, if someone lends extra storage on their computer, they get paid in SiaCoins and vice versa, those who need storage pay SiaCoins to their hosts.
Like any other cryptocurrency, SiaCoins need to be kept in a digital wallet. However, not every wallet is compatible. Below we’ll review the best SiaCoin wallets for you to choose from.
Sia.UI is the official wallet for storing Siacoin, developed by the same team that created SSP and the only one that’s recognized by the platform. This makes it the most trustworthy one out there. It’s a desktop wallet which means it’s available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Once you download the Sia.UI, and try to launch it for the first time, you’ll have to let it synchronize to the Sia blockchain. This means that the wallet will download all the full nodes and the entire blockchain to your computer. This process takes quite a lot of time, even up to a couple of days during which time, every block with all the transactions every completed on the blockchain gets downloaded.
The Sia.UI wallet allows you not only to store your SiaCoins but also to use the app for renting or selling your empty storage space to other users, and receive SC as payment. You can upload your own files or let others do it on your computer. So far, almost one million people have downloaded this wallet.
Sia Cold Storage
Sia Cold Storage is another application for storing SiaCoins. The way it functions is that it creates a Sia seed and a collection of addresses for a Sia wallet. It’s a process known as “air gapping” where the app is run on an offline computer or an air-gapped LiveCD. This guarantees the best protection as there’s no risk of malware or viruses, and no hacker can trace your network and steal your address.
You can choose any of the generated addresses and share it with others to receive payments if you’re lending storage to someone, or use them to pay for storage yourself and have your data stored on another computer from the Sia network. You can also gain access to a mining pool anywhere in the world.
This app is usually recommended for long-term storage as making SiaCoin transactions can be a bit of a tiresome process. You can download it on GitHub.
Ledger Nano S
The third option for storing SiaCoins is purchasing a Ledger Nano S device, a hardware wallet that supports a wide variety of cryptocurrencies besides SiaCoins. This USB-like device stores your private keys offline and prevents hackers from gaining access and stealing your coins.
To use your coins, you’ll have to connect the Ledger Nano S physical device with your computer, having previously downloaded the required software. Each time you’ll have to sign in and authorize the transactions.
The only drawback with this device is that it has quite a learning curve to it and a great deal of command line work when setting the account and linking it with SiaCoins. There are a number of guides online or if you still don’t feel comfortable installing it on your own, look for a friend or expert who does.
Sia Wallet Android
Sia Wallet Android can be used by those who prefer using SiaCoins on the go. It’s the only mobile application or mobile wallet available. It was developed by a third-party, not by the Sia team, so it’s not an official app.
Similar to the official Sia.UI wallet, the app functions as a full node so the entire blockchain has to be downloaded as well. Again, be prepared to wait for several days until completion. The app allows you to store SiaCoins and upload files to it, but you can’t lend storage yourself because of the limited space on your mobile device. Makes sense, right?
The Sia Android Wallet doesn’t have a lot of downloads, barely one thousand, and a 3.9 rating, the main reason being the slow blockchain syncing. To unlock all the features you’re required to pay a $0.99 monthly subscription fee.
Disclaimer: Digital currencies and cryptocurrencies are volatile and can involve a lot of risk. Their prices and performance is very unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consult a financial advisor or obtain your own advice independent of this site before relying and acting on the information provided.