Sia Triannual Update: September-December 2017

By Zach Herbert
Sia Blog
January 6, 2018

What a year it’s been! Back in April, we started the tradition of updates every four months?—?the Sia Triannual Updates. You can read the first and secondupdates on our blog. This third update will be a little different. Rather than focusing only on the last four months, we’ll cover the entire year!

For those of you who’ve recently joined the community, Sia is a decentralized cloud storage project that aims to be the storage layer of the internet. On Sia, files are split up into tiny encrypted pieces and distributed across a worldwide network of hosts. Anyone can rent storage space, anyone can sell their unused space, anyone can mine Siacoin. We believe that giant centralized data centers, like those run by Amazon, are inefficient, unnecessary trusted third parties. We aim to replace all of them with Sia.

Development

We recently released the much anticipated Sia v1.3.1 update, which brought significant improvements to the renting experience. The dev team overhauled much of the upload code, created a new on-disk format for file contracts, designed and implemented a new write-ahead log (WAL), and more.

We recently released the much anticipated Sia v1.3.1 update, which brought significant improvements to the renting experience.

This means that uploading files to the Sia network is a much more pleasant experience. I was able to successfully back up my entire home folder using the Duplicati integration. Duplicati compressed 18.51 GB of data (about 26,000 files) into 10.86 GB (about 20 zip folders) and uploaded everything to Sia in less than three hours on a residential connection.

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Besides our Core team contributions, almost 20 community members contributed to the v1.3.1 release. This is really important and exciting. As an open source project, Sia depends on an engaged community of contributors. And as we build Sia into a true storage platform, we will look to our contributors to build innovative applications on top of Sia.

For more v1.3.1 details, including a full list of contributors, you can read the release notes here. And if you want to download it and give it a spin, head to https://sia.tech/apps!

In other dev news, we want to give a big thank you to user tbenz9 for cleaning up the Github issue tracker, creating a new template for submitting issues, and sending out weekly dev updates. The community is now more informed and engaged than ever on Sia’s development.

Since January, we have had 3 major releases?—?v1.1.0, v1.2.0, and v1.3.0. We are proud to be one of the projects in the crypto space that has a track record of delivering working software with regular updates, and very much look forward to introducing new features like file sharing in early 2018.

Community

In the beginning of the year, the Sia community consisted of about 5,000 total members across our different channels. Today, we have grown to over 110,000 community members across Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Discord! That’s a 2,100% increase in the size of our community.

Today, we have grown to over 110,000 community members across Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Discord!

But it’s not just about size?—?it’s about quality. We believe the Sia community is one of the most knowledgeable, engaged communities in the crypto space. Rather than focusing solely on trading and coin prices, our community discusses the technology and the roadmap. They give us feedback. They keep us accountable.

Steve Funk joined us as Community Manager a few months ago. He manages our team of awesome moderators, makes sure everything is running smoothly across our different channels, answers incoming support emails, and sends out monthly community updates.

Steve has now come onboard full time as Head of Support! In addition to continuing his existing work, he will turn a new focus toward education and support. Steve will be launching SiaTV in early 2018, our official YouTube presence. And he will be working to improve our knowledge base, guides, and tutorials.

Company

Sia’s parent company is called Nebulous, Inc. Nebulous employs the Sia Core team, and is the company that has raised venture capital money for Sia’s development. Nebulous also owns Obelisk, Inc., the subsidiary developing Obelisk mining hardware.

Until now, Nebulous has been headquartered inside the Raptor Group offices at 280 Congress St. in downtown Boston. Raptor is one of our venture capital investors. Since it isn’t our own office, we do most of our work out of a house (similar to the Silicon Valley TV show).

We are very excited to announce that the Nebulous team will be moving into our own office in downtown Boston, on Batterymarch Street. Both the Sia Core team and the Obelisk team will be based out of our new office. Once we move in, we’ll post some photos and start to host local meet-ups.

Siacoin

Siacoin has majorly increased since January, from a market cap of about $5 million to a high of over $3 billion today! We are thrilled that Siacoin has entered the billion-dollar market cap club, and look forward to seeing even more growth in 2018.

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Siacoin has majorly increased since January, from a market cap of about $5 million to a high of over $3 billion today!

We strongly believe that Siacoin belongs among the top ten cryptocurrencies. By continuing to release quality software and grow the network, we are confident that we will get there.

Network Stats

In January, Sia had about 75 hosts offering less than 500 TB of storage space, and a total contract size of 35 terabytes. Today we have almost 1000 hosts offering over 3.3 petabytes of space, with a total contract size of 400 terabytes! That’s an 1,200% increase in number of hosts and a 1,000% increase in paid file contracts being created on the network.

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That’s an 1,100% increase in number of hosts and a 1,000% increase in paid file contracts being created on the network.

We recently passed a 3% utilization rate on the Sia network?—?meaning that about 112 terabytes of the 3.3 petabytes available is currently in use, storing real files.

As we continue to improve the Sia software, we expect utilization to continue to increase. When we introduce file sharing in 2018, we expect the stats to skyrocket.

Contributors

This year we’ve seen a large influx of Sia core contributors, as well as projects being built on top of Sia.

To name a few:

  • Luxor: a company that builds Sia-centric apps and services. They’ve already rebuilt our Explorer and launched mining pools for Sia and Decred, and they will be working on Sia-UI and other apps in 2018.
  • Minebox: a company that is building a Sia-connected network attached storage (NAS) device. They were recently acquired by ClearCenter.
  • PixelDrain: a file sharing website powered by Sia.
  • Obelisk: our subsidiary, building ASIC mining hardware for Siacoin and Decred.
  • SiaBerry: an OS for using Sia on Raspberry Pi.
  • SiaDrive: software that allows you to mount Sia as a drive on your desktop (to enable drag-and-drop similar to Dropbox).
  • SiaHub and SiaStats: network stats, charts, and metrics.

All these projects are listed on the downloads page on the Sia website.

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Obelisk

Obelisk is a subsidiary of Nebulous (Sia’s parent company) that is developing ASIC mining hardware for Siacoin and Decred. As a reminder, ASIC mining will make the Sia and Decred networks more secure. Check out the blog post here that details the importance of ASICs.

The Obelisk batch 1 presale successfully closed in late November with 3598 SC1 units sold (for Siacoin mining) and 2963 DCR1 units sold (for Decred mining).

We opened Obelisk batch 2 last week and have already sold over 1000 units. Batch 2 is open until January 31.

We’ve also taken steps to build out an Obelisk dedicated team, and will continue to do so throughout 2018. You can view the team info on the Obelisk website.

The first miners will ship by June 30, 2018. This will be an exciting year for Obelisk!

What’s Next?

2018 is going to bring some big developments.

  • File sharing and other software improvements. In 2018 we will finally release file sharing between Sia users. This will introduce a new use-case for Sia, while also increasing network utilization and network effects. View the full roadmap here.
  • Enterprise partnerships. Our goal for Sia is to serve as the storage layer of the internet. We want companies like Dropbox and Netflix to use Sia to store and distribute their content. Once file sharing is introduced, we will be ready to approach companies for pilots and partnerships. By the end of 2018, expect to see several meaningful partnerships with enterprises who are storing data on Sia.
  • Updated Sia brand. The Sia software is clean and pure, and we will be updating the Sia branding to reflect those qualities and better appeal toward companies. Expect to see an updated logo, color scheme, and website, all of which will make Sia feel more modern and clean.
  • Overhauled Sia-UI. In addition to updating the brand, we have tasked Luxor with developing an overhauled Sia-UI. This will make Sia far easier to set up and use on a regular basis. They will start this work in Q1 of 2018.
  • Community and support. Steve Funk joined us full time as Head of Support, and he will be working to put together updated guides and documentation for using Sia. He’ll also be launching SiaTV, which will include video walkthroughs, tutorials, interviews, and more!
  • Marketing and public relations. We intentionally keep a low profile. In 2018, that will change. With Sia almost ready for early enterprise adoption, we have hired a public relations firm to increase awareness of Sia and decentralized cloud storage. We will also be increasing our inbound marketing efforts, improving the blog and putting out more high-quality content.
  • Fundraising and team growth. We will be raising money to grow the team and increase our pace of software development.

That’s it for this Triannual Update! We’ll be publishing the next one in April. Stay tuned.

To read the original article, click here.