By Walid Dib
October 25, 2016
The usually quiet – but actively running – developers behind the decentralized cloud storage, Sia, have just released their most stable version yet: Sia v1.0.3.
David Vorick, the lead developer behind the project and Nebulous Labs co-founder, has been working on the project along with a small team of developers since 2014. He describes the main difference between Sia and conventional cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox in the fact that
“companies like Google have openly admitted to doing things like scanning all of your emails. Beyond the abusive privacy policies of corporations, all of that data sitting in one place is a juicy target for attackers. In a single compromise, an attacker was able to get nude photographs of a massive number of celebrities.”
According to David Vorick, also known by his online pseudonym “taek”, Sia on the other hand provides the end-user with a peace of mind due to the fact that it locks up and encrypts their data, putting them in control, and then spreads the data out all over the world, in a massive decentralized Blockchain database.
Since no single person controls enough data to do any damage, no attack can be made to scan or leak information, and no abusive privacy policies are possible.
Up until this update, however, David admits that Sia has had its fair share of bugs. Users were unable to estimate storage values correctly, and shutdowns had on a few occasions corrupted data files. Perhaps most importantly to the end-user though, is the use of the previous UI not being as friendly or intuitive as it is now.
Why v1.0.3 is the most stable version yet
A few dozen bug fixes later, David explains that:
“Sia v1.0.3 features a huge array of bug fixes and usability improvements. The most important one is that uploading will now consistently complete, even for huge files.”
He hints at the recent changes affecting major issues such as storage space. Now, he says, setting an allowance “will no longer spend too much money. The storage estimations are better. A large number of bugs affecting uploading and downloading have been addressed, including bugs that cause long pauses, freezing, overspending, as well as some fixes related to uploading security.”
While all of the above is quite technical and may be considered behind the scenes, Sia has finally reached the stability that was expected in version 1.0.0.
If you can’t beat them, join them
The developers behind Sia are realistic in their short-term expectations, and do not see themselves competing with giants like Dropbox – not in a conventional sense, anyway. “In the long term, we hope that user-facing apps like Dropbox and Google Drive will be using Sia on the backend. We have built a storage platform that other developers can use to construct their own data storage applications.”
David explains that even for the tech-savvy end-user, Sia’s storage prices are quite competitive, hovering at the time of writing at around $2 / TB / Mo, with strong indications that the price will remain that low or potentially even continue to drop for the foreseeable future.
The crypto-dilemma: Sia vs Maidsafe vs Storj
While there is no formal competition between those 3 cryptocurrencies (as pictures across cryptocurrency communities have shown all three developer teams drinking beers together), it should be elaborated that Sia possibly stands out since it’s the only platform that’s completely decentralized: MaidSafe still requires all of their nodes to run on servers under their own control, and Storj users typically go through a centralized gateway that Storj owns.
The road ahead
According to David:
“2017 will be focused primarily on growth. Sia has hit a critical point where it's usable and stable. There are a lot of people out there wanting to decentralize their data, and a lot of developers out there who want to bring more decentralization to their applications. Sia is ready to fill that need, and we're going to be working hard to spread the news.”
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