Siacoin (SC) is the native utility token of Sia, a blockchain-based distributed, decentralized cloud storage platform. Sia acts as a secure, trustless marketplace for cloud storage in which users can lease access to their unused storage space. Agreements and transactions are enforced with smart contracts, and Siacoin is the medium of exchange for paying for storage on the network. The main goal of the project is to become the “backbone storage layer of the internet.”

Sia was originally announced in May 2014 before being revised and re-announced a year later in May 2015. It officially launched in June 2015.

Who Are the Founders of Siacoin?

Sia was first conceived in mid-2013 by David Vorick while studying computer science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He discussed the idea over email with Luke Champine, a college friend, who joined the project’s development shortly after Vorick presented the concept at a HackMIT hackathon in September 2013. The project was officially named Sia in early 2014, a reference to the Egyptian god of perception.

Vorick and Champine were introduced through their college’s entrepreneurial center to Jim Pallotta, a billionaire investor and founder of Raptor Group, who invested in the project. Shortly before graduating from college, the two incorporated the company Nebulous Inc. — which has since been rebranded to Skynet — to formally handle the development of Sia.

What Makes Siacoin Unique?

According to its whitepaper, the long-term goal of Sia is to compete with existing storage solutions. It sees itself as being in direct competition with major cloud storage providers such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Because of its decentralized nature, Sia is able to offer competitive storage rates.

Files stored on the Sia network are divided into 30 encrypted segments, with each segment uploaded to a unique host for redundancy. The agreements between uploaders and hosts are recorded on Sia’s blockchain and enforced using smart contracts. Siacoin acts as the method of payment on the network, with renters paying hosts using SC, and hosts locking SC in smart contracts as collateral.

Skynet, the company behind Sia and Siacoin, has announced several products built on top of the Sia network, including SiaStream — a cloud-based media streaming application — and the Skynet network — its flagship content delivery and file sharing network.

The company has received several rounds of funding and grants, including from Bain Capital VenturesParadigm and INBlockchain. In addition, each storage-related transaction on the Sia network is subject to a 3.9% fee, which is distributed to holders of the company’s second cryptocurrency, Siafund — with Skynet holding approximately 85% of all Siafund.