Ethereum is a smart contract platform that enables developers to build tokens and decentralized applications (dapps). ETH is the native currency for the Ethereum platform and also works as the transaction fees to miners on the Ethereum network. Ethereum is the pioneer for blockchain based smart contracts. Smart contract is essentially a computer code that runs exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference. It can facilitate the exchange of money, content, property, shares, or anything of value. When running on the blockchain a smart contract becomes like a self-operating computer program that automatically executes when specific conditions are met. Ethereum allows programmers to run complete-turing smart contracts that is capable of any customizations. Rather than giving a set of limited operations, Ethereum allows developers to have complete control over customization of their smart contract, giving developers the power to build unique and innovative applications. Ethereum being the first blockchain based smart contract platform, they have gained much popularity, resulting in new competitors fighting for market share. The competitors includes: Ethereum Classic which is the oldchain of Ethereum, Qtum, EOS, Neo, Icon, Tron and Cardano. Ethereum wallets are fairly simple to set up with multiple popular choices such as myetherwallet, metamask, and Trezor. Read here for more guide on using ethereum wallet: How to Use an Ethereum Wallet
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.