Backup System Files Securely in Cloud using Sia Advanced Encryption Blockchain

The idea for a distributed blockchain storage system was originally conceived by David Vorick in the summer of 2013. A discussion with Luke Champine over email, resulted in the “Nimbus network” formally released by David at the HackMIT hackathon in September, with a presentation outlining the idea which was now called ‘Bytecoin”.

In early 2014, the project was renamed “Sia”, after the Egyptian god of perception. 

The Sia project originally used a Proof of Storage consensus on hosts grouped into “quorums”, that were jointly responsible for storing users’ files, however this model was changed to the Proof of Work concept with code iteration based very closely to Bitcoin, deviating only to improve its known deficiencies and to add the transaction type that enables storage contracts. The genesis block was created on the 6th June, 2015 at 10:13 EST.  

       How Sia Distributed Cloud Blockchain Storage Works

If you are not familiar with Blockchain technologies, some concepts may be a bit confusing to grasp or believe can be possible based on our experience of traditional computing systems. The trick is to have an open mind and know that advanced algorithms coupled with unlimited computing resources, can cause some interesting things to happen.
At upload, the Sia software divides files into 30 segments each targeted for distribution to hosts across the world. File segments are created using the Reed-Solomon erasure coding technology, commonly used in CDs and DVDs. 

Sia uses this technology to ensure files are divided redundantly, where any 10 of 30 segments can fully recover a user’s files, ensuring there is no single point of failure on the Sia network. This feature means a Sia user can download their files even if 20 out of 30 hosts go offline, representing a truly decentralized and resilient backup system. 

Two types of users exist on Sia Blockchain; the renter and the hosts. Before files leave a renter’s computer, each segment is encrypted using Twofish algorithm which ensures that hosts only store encrypted segments of users’ data. This model differs from traditional cloud storage providers like Amazon who do not encrypt user data by default.

Renters on the Sia blockchain essentially form file contracts with hosts, setting pricing, uptime commitments, and other aspects of the relationship between their hosts. No third parties are involved in these storage agreements as smart contracts are automatically enforced by the Sia network. 

How to Backup and Host Data on The Sia Blockchain Network

Unlike the traditional backup systems with physical storage drives, both renters and hosts use a unique token called Siacoin that operates the Sia blockchain network.

Renters use Siacoin to buy storage capacity from hosts, while hosts deposit Siacoin into each file contract as collateral. Any file contracts typically last for 90 days and renewed within the expiry window, or unused Siacoins are returned to the renter at the end of the contract period.  

To ensure redundancy, Sia automatically moves renter data to new hosts in the event individual hosts go offline, ensuring renters have access to 100% of their data.

As you can imagine, the process to start backing up files to Sia blockchain takes a few steps to first set up your program, acquire the Siacoin, configure your wallets and then begin the file upload process so let’s dig in;

Below are some pre-requisites to acquire Siacoin

·         A smart phone with an active number to which you have constant access
·         A valid e-mail address with constant access
·         A form of identity verification such as Driver’s Licence or Passport
·         A valid bank account
·         A valid Visa debit card
·         A laptop or desktop computer with Notepad open to record details

For this set up we can acquire Siacoin from Cryptocurrency exchange Binance. If you are not familiar with how to use cryptocurrency exchanges, you can create an account and hit YouTube to learn how to buy digital currencies on Binance. 

Ensure that all sign up information is recorded and kept safe as well as setting up 2FA for logins and withdrawals, to keep your account and assets safe.

Once your Siacoin is purchased we can proceed with setting up the Sia UI program on your computer and begin the configuration process.

1.Downloading Sia UI Application

Visit Sia website and download the latest version of the Sia UI software available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. 

After installation, which is straight forward completes, spend some time to familiarize yourself with the Sia UI interface. It is vital that you store your 25 pass phrase seed keys in a safe and secure place, since this is the only way you can recover your account in the event of a disaster.

You have the option to change this password however to a simpler phrase to access the wallet. The long phrase will still be required if you want to recover the wallet account on another machine so keep it very safe. Sia will now sync the 6GB blockchain database to your computer after a few hours.

To change your password, click MORE in the Wallet interface and select change password.

2.Transferring Siacoins from Binance into Sia Wallet

At this point, I’m assuming you already know your way around Binance, completed your 2FA and KYC to allow withdrawals from the exchange. You can purchase Siacoin using BTC/SC pair and access your wallet to see the funds available. The number of Sia coins you purchase depends entirely on your storage capacity requirements. For this set up I’ve purchased 3,165 SC.

Find your Siacoin deposit address in Wallet interface > Receive > Generate New Address. It is advised to generate a new address for subsequent coin deposits.

You can now initiate the transfer of Siacoins from your Binance wallet into your Sia UI wallet.

 3.Setting up Sia Storage Allowance

After your Siacoins have arrived, you should see the total wallet count and transaction information in your dashboard. Navigate to Files where we can set up storage capacity allowance in File Manager.

Click Setup Allowance to pop up the storage configuration window as shown below. Notice 500 SC offers an estimated storage of 830.36GB with contract fees of 146.48 SC. 

Go ahead and tweak to your required storage capacity. Currently Sia Network offers about 1.6 petabytes of storage capacity running on hosted nodes worldwide.

Sia allocates funds in advance with tokens locked for 3 months, which can be scaled up depending on user or organizations requirements.

Give Sia some time to create the smart contracts for file uploads. Contracts typically complete after 6 confirmations as depicted below. Wait until all contracts are confirmed before beginning file upload.

All status should go green to confirm contracts created and ready to upload by accessing the Files interface. Sia handles file uploads from local drives or externally attached drives via USB or NAS. 

The upload process from here is straight forward targeting the folder you want to upload and Select Folder.

Bear in mind that all subfolders and files will be uploaded with the hierarchy structures intact, so you have the option to drill down and load up any folders you choose.

Files are then split into chunks for redundancy and fired across the Sia blockchain network all around the world, with hosts storing the files in an encrypted, tamper-proof format only accessible with the private keys of the renter.

Backing up data with Sia represents an extremely cost-effective storage, secured with AES encryption and performance/cost savings of about 90%. To put it in perspective, 1TB storage capacity on Sia costs about $2 a month compared to $23 for the same storage on an unencrypted Amazon S3 cloud bucket.

4.Setting up to Become a Host on The Sia Blockchain Network

Sometimes in the crypto community, Blockchain is sometimes described as the gift that keeps on giving. Probably because of its numerous functional use cases and utility functionalities. Sia also offers users to earn Siacoins by becoming nodes in the network, and offering their unused HDD space to renters in return for income in the form of Siacoin SC.

Becoming a node on the Sia network requires you to have Sia coins in your wallet to create the storage contracts, that later become your proof of work of storage to collect your earnings.

Add some storage to your host account and flick the switch to announce your host.


This write up is aimed at demonstrating some of the benefits and features of the Sia Blockchain Network, how it works, how to acquire Sia coins and the process of setting up your first backup job. Sia represents a top class defense against Ransomware Virus attacks.

Extensive features and functions can be performed on the Sia network, such as mapping Sia as a drive to your computer and uploading files to a cloud bucket. You may want to bookmark this article and return later for updates.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comment below or join the Reddit community where developers and experts can help resolve any issues

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                    Written By:   Reddit/r/Codexploitcyber

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