Decentralized cloud file hosting service operator Sia has announced the launch of an automated peer-to-peer blockchain-based collaborative cloud for data storage, allowing users to create tailored storage plans with robust security protocols. Similar to decentralized storage projects Filecoin and Storj, Sia aims to create a trustless, fault-tolerant, file storage service.
The Sia platform stores personal and user data across multiple nodes and tracked by automated smart contracts. Files are protected through a multiple-stage process and encrypted with an algorithm called Twofish.
The strength of the platform relies on its Reed-Solomon-based file distribution system. All user data is split into several pieces as it enters the Sia client, leaving very few fractures necessary to recover the original data. These pieces of sensitive user information are padded to 4 megabytes, to protect user privacy. Finally, each padded piece is encrypted using unique encryption keys in the client side.
These security protocols are designed to prevent hackers from seizing user data of the Sia platform in an event of a data breach.
“Hosts receive an encrypted blob and are not given any information about where the other pieces of the file are. Even if they found out, they would still have to crack multiple encryption keys to recover the file. Cryptographic checksums are maintained by the client that alert the user to any tampering that the hosts may have attempted,” the Sia team told Bitcoin Magazine in an interview.
According to the team, the sophisticated encryption and decentralized file distribution system of the Sia platform could be used for decentralized application development. Its API enables developers to store files of the application directly into the Sia client, allowing third-party app users to directly access their customized data storage systems without revisiting the original client.
The company also announced a partnership with flexible back-end application development platform Crypti to allow its engineers to integrate the Sia API to grant access to its data storage client.
“Crypti has integrated with Sia as a storage layer for their decentralized application development. Sia provides an API that can be used to upload files to the storage network. Crypti is a flexible platform that can integrate with multiple backends, but Sia is the first decentralized offering, allowing developers to build truly trustless Crypti apps,” the Sia team told Bitcoin Magazine.
Both third-party application and the Sia platform users are given the permission to issue smart contracts for file storage. The feature allows an uploader and a host to agree on storage terms including duration of storage, payment scheduling and amount and embed the information onto the blockchain, creating an unalterable contract automatically.
“When the contract ends, the host must submit a storage proof to the blockchain, demonstrating that it still has the file specified by the contract. If the proof is valid, the uploader’s money is transferred to the host, and the host’s collateral is returned. But if the host submits an invalid proof, or no proof at all, then all of the money is given to the uploader,” explained the Sia team.
“The extraordinary parallelism of the Sia network means that upload and download speeds can saturate most connections. The vast array of distributed nodes means that Sia would make an excellent CDN. The erasure coding algorithms over the global network make Sia much more resistant to block swan outages such as power failures and natural disasters. The specifications of the Sia network are superior across the board,” claimed the team.
Currently, Sia’s cloud storage network is being sold at at $3 per terabyte per month. According to its website, the network is hosting over 1 terabyte at time of publication.
Now that the project has officially launched, the Sia team aims to onboard developers and enterprise customers. As the platform gains traction, the team plans to continue to improve the core Sia protocol and hire talented engineers to improve the platform’s security protocols and user experience.
Joseph is a web developer and designer, writer and a passionate musician who loves to travel. He has worked as a researcher for a number of venture capital firms and as a freelancer designer for resorts and corporations in Korea and the Philippines.