Siacoin's upcoming HF, Bittrex adding USD market for SC, market and price analysis

Siacoin is all set for the hardfork scheduled for block 179,000 expected to be on Wednesday, October 31st. The core developers hope to improve the performance of Sia network, and give the power of mining back to the community.

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Sia Tech - An Introduction

Sia is one of the leading decentralized cloud storage platform to rent and host. Based on blockchain technology it creates a data storage marketplace that is more robust and more affordable than traditional cloud storage providers. The idea of Sia was originally conceived at HackMIT 2013. It is a combination of smart contracts, erasure coding, and encryption; ensure secure, private, and reliable decentralized storage. Users all over the world contribute disk storage from their computers to form a decentralized network. We have a few rivals available in decentralized storage industry such as Storj and IPFS.

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The Technology

The foundation of Sia is proof of work (PoW) blockchain. Siacoin, the native currency of Sia, is created only as block rewards during mining on the Sia Proof of Work blockchain. Sia's hashing algorithm is blake2b. p2pool and multisig wallets are both supported on Sia.

How does it work?
When a file is uploaded to Sia, a storage contract is created containing the Merkle root of the file, a reward for the host, and a penalty for the host (both in siacoins). After an agreed-upon duration, the host is required to prove that the file is still available by providing a random Merkle proof. If the proof is valid, the host is rewarded; otherwise, the host is penalized. Random numbers are generated deterministically using the most recent block as a seed. Sia has support for two way payment channels, and two way contract diffs. Among other things, this provides massive scalability, and eliminates the need for untrustworthy 0-confirmation transactions. Once you join a payment channel network, all transactions within that network will be instant and final, with no risk of a double spend.

Sia’s software is completely open source, with contributions from leading software engineers and a thriving community of developers building innovative applications on the Sia API. Thriving decentralzation, in July 2018, Sia moved its code to Gitlab as GitHub is closed source and centralized.

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SiaCoin (SC) - Mining, Block Reward and Trading

SiaCoin is a cryptocurrency by Sia tech. It can be mined as well as traded on cryptocurrency exchanges. It's supply is Unlimited – there will never be a cap on the number of Siacoins generated. The Proof of Burn mechanic functions to eliminate coins from the supply, so there needs to be a constant allowance of new Siacoins being created. Prediction is by 2020, there should be about 45 billion coins in circulation.

Mining and Block Reward
First 100 blocks or so were mined by the developers of SiaCoin before releasing the code + miner to the public. Other than these first blocks, there is no premine for siacoins.

The first block was mined on 5/9/14 and reward was 300,000 siacoins. The number of Siacoins created each block is (300,000 - height). This means that a block with a block height of 165,000 created 135,000 Siacoins (300,000 - 165,000). After height 270,000, the block reward won't get lower and all blocks will have a reward of 30,000 Siacoins.

Screen-Shot-2018-10-30-at-11.58.57-AM as on October 30, 2018.

Trading
With a circulation supply of 37,644,578,595 SC, avg. exchange trading Price of SC is $0.006820 USD. It has market capital of about $265 million USD. According to CoinMarketCap, Binance, Bittrex, Poloniex, OKEx and Upbit handle over 90% of the trading volume.

The value of the siacoin is inextricably tied to the amount of storage in use on the Sia network.

Hardfork - Why, When, FAQ

Why?

Siacoin originally could be mined by renting your free HDD space to the decentralized network, even with GPU but wasn't profitable. Then, in June 2017, Sia announced manufacturing and selling ASICs for Sia - the Obelisk SC1. Nebulous (parent company of Sia) was manufacturing ASICs for Sia.

January 2018, Bitmain announced their first Blake(2b) ASIC, entered into Siacoin minning and posed a direct attack on the community. The Antminer A3 was more efficient than the Obelisk. The best course of action was a hardfork to stop Bitmain but the core developers decided against forking.

When?

After much discussion and careful deliberation, the Sia core team has decided to reset the Sia Proof-of-Work function to brick the Bitmain and Innosilicon hardware. The fork is scheduled for block 179,000 expected to be on Wednesday, October 31st.

Sia v1.3.7 is released on October 22, which fixes a difficulty adjustment issue. If you rent space on the Sia network or are running a Sia host, this is a required update to remain on the Sia network or you'll be penalized and lose contracts. As of today 49% of hosts are still running older version. It is expected that this change will dramatically improve the performance of having thousands, and potentially millions of files owned by a single Sia user, and allow Sia to scale to hosting very large single files (on the order of tens of Terabytes).

FAQ about the fork and the exchanges supporting the fork can be found here.

For more updates on Siacoin hardfork watch

Price and market analysis.

SC is under a dollar valued cryptocurrency, a good to 'have in portfolio' for investors. We do notice the spike in price after the release of Sia v1.3.7. After October 23rd, the price was almost constant at about $0.0071. At the time of press, it is about $0.0067USD.

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While keeping market cap at $264,965,784, we see growth of about 50% in the trading volume from October 28th to October 29th. This may be because most of users must be moving coins from exchange to their wallet before fork.

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With more excghange supporting Siacoin, a hope of better performance of the network and mining power back in the hands of miners after the fork; we hope the price of SC keeps moving forward.

Bittrex announces a US dollar (USD) market for Siacoin (SC)

Bittrex, in meanwhile announces launching a US dollar (USD) market for Siacoin (SC). Just 2 days before fork, this announcement could be helpful for their customer. Eligible Bittrex accounts created before October 1 are enabled for USD trading now.

References: Medium, Twitter, Bitcointalk, Sia Explorer

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