Bitcoin is the first successful internet money based on peer-to-peer technology; whereby no central bank or authority is involved in the transaction and production of the Bitcoin currency. It was created by an anonymous individual/group under the name, Satoshi Nakamoto. The source code is available publicly as an open source project, anybody can look at it and be part of the developmental process. Bitcoin is changing the way we see money as we speak. The idea was to produce a means of exchange, independent of any central authority, that could be transferred electronically in a secure, verifiable and immutable way. It is a decentralized peer-to-peer internet currency making mobile payment easy, very low transaction fees, protects your identity, and it works anywhere all the time with no central authority and banks. Bitcoin is design to have only 21 million BTC ever created, thus making it a deflationary currency. Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm with an average transaction confirmation time of 10 minutes. Miners today are mining Bitcoin using ASIC chip dedicated to only mining Bitcoin, and the hash rate has shot up to peta hashes. Being the first successful online cryptography currency, Bitcoin has inspired other alternative currencies such as Litecoin, Peercoin, Primecoin, and so on. The cryptocurrency then took off with the innovation of the turing-complete smart contract by Ethereum which led to the development of other amazing projects such as EOS, Tron, and even crypto-collectibles such as CryptoKitties.
Sia is a decentralized cloud storage platform similar in concept to Dropbox and other centralized storage provider where instead of renting storage space from a centralized entity, clients rent storage space from other peers. The only difference is Sia uses blockchain to facilitate transactions Nodes provide storage to clients using the Sia blockchain as contracts. Before storing the data, the data is encrypted into many pieces and uploaded to different hosts. Siacoin is created by David Vorick and Luke Champine of Nebulous Inc. As the traditional storage platforms are higher in cost, more expensive and data is not well protected. Siacoin promises to offer secured storage transactions with smart contracts which is more affordable and reliable. Moreover, it is completely open source which means many individuals have contributed to Siacoin’s software hence there will be an active community building innovative applications on top if the Sia API. In 2018, Siacoin aims to introduce file sharing and be the go-to cloud storage platform for companies. Their goal is divided into 3 time frames which are short-term, medium-term and long-term development. Short-term development focuses on file sharing between Sia users. This allows Sia users to share files in the platform without having to take it off the cloud while increasing network utilization. Medium-term development’s goal is to enhance partnerships. This means reaching out to large companies like Netflix and Dropbox to hopefully be able to be their storage and distribution framework. Lastly, long-term development aims to expand its horizon to share files with non-Sia users and support mobile wallets.