First impressions of a Sia-enthusiast...

  • Hello,

    A few weeks ago I discovered the project and I was impressed to see that something like a “de-centralized storage” was already existent and also usable! My intention was to try leaving some files on the network connecting it to my nextCloud instance and, in the meantime, to host some files on my VPS installing a Sia node. This was not to earn SC, not to replace my other storage system, but, because Sia looks interesting I wanted to help someway.

    The first days I installed sia at home, just to try, even if I’d really can’t host anything there because of my slow upload speeds (1Mbit). I created my wallet and I read many documentation and tutorials.
    The first thing that disappointed me was the fact that Sia-UI showed 2000SC as the minimum to host some files. I’ve got that something has to be done to guarantee that the hosts do not enter-exit the Sia network, dropping the data uploaded by other users, but I pay 30USD just for this. I think this is pretty much, but I did it because of the enthusiasm. Note: At this point a normal user (not enthusiast for these new “things” like I am) probably would have closed the sia page going elsewhere.

    Back to my VPS, I had not much to offer, just 20GB of space but with unlimited bandwidth. I thought it was very different from the 5TB claimed on the Sia home page, but if the project aims to provide full and de-centralized storage, probably even my 20GB was worth of.
    So… I have money on my account, I have unlimited bandwidth and I doesn’t need to store 5TB of data on the network, just a few MB to try the network and, if the experiment will be successfully I’d probably leave my centralized cloud storage (I pay 0.23$/month for 60GB of data).

    Yesterday my node went online and announced on the Sia network.

    I set the prices lower to have the possibility to earn some contracts, but I know that I’m new so I’m penalized. I didn’t expect to have contracts or so in the short term. The only thing increased on my host was the “Settings Call”, gone above 5k …

    On the renter side I wanted to connect the node on my nextcloud instance and ,looking on the tutorials I had to enable an “allowance” before start putting my files on Sia, and I did.
    In the first place I used siac to set a 100SC allowance for 4 weeks. Not possible -> the allocated SC were not enough to cover the “contract” costs.
    Contract fees?? I can’t remember a single tutorial/wiki/anything were this was stated.
    As a user, I wanted to rent just a few MB, probably GB in the future, but I can’t find a way to allocate that space, I only need to allocate money/time and then. the high-and-highly-fluctuating price would do the rest. At this point I thought this was for me. Anyway, trying to go forward…
    With siac I set something that the node accepted and was 500SC for 4w, so I tried to lower that, putting 400SC and it accepted the setting so lower that as possible going to 300SC and lowering the period to 1h. It was just a try, probably I’m doing this wrong, anyway the client did not accept anything lower than 300SC, even for 1h.

    My initial 2200SC was already 1800 at this point, the client was forming contracts and I go away watching TV. Back on the server 2 hours later, my balance was 1140SC. Fantastic.
    No file uploaded and the 1h allowance was already gone, I spent 1060SC (that is about 16$) to do nothing, ah yes! I have 40 contracts in place…but summing all the “contract fees” I’m at 400SC spent.

    My host didn’t have a single contact so It haven’t locked anything. Where are the other 660 SC? I didn’t upload anything except for a single 127k pdf, what I payed for? I spent much money to try Sia but I’m not seeing any good point. Impossible to have any hosted files, I’m new, I have not 5TB but only 20GB… I’m not good enough. Yes… probably Sia will be used on the datacenters, where the devices have “spare” Petabytes to give to the Sia nodes…

    Yes, I’m disappointed, something expected to be user driven and de-centralized resulted on 30USD lost and nothing good on the near future. Probably I’m doing something wrong. Probably the system has to be tuned with the actual SC price…. I do not know, but now I’ll probably shutdown my node in a week or so… nobody will miss my 20GB …

    Last point: I’m now thinking about these 40 contracts in place. Are they permanent? Are they expiring someday? Are they already expired because of my allowance of 1h? I can’t understand this.


  • Why don't you have alook at Taek's very good write up on how the mechanics behind hosting works: in the "hosting handbook"
    ....but be aware that the amount of new hosts and the supply of storage is way over, what the demand for storage is, so it might not be easy to have any space rented out.

  • @aventrax
    The problem is- Sia isn't complete.
    But currently I think it is more important to implement missing functionality on the hosting (network) side than on the "client/UI" side.
    For example, restoring access to uploaded files after losing the renter data (restore renter contracts when restoring wallet from seed) is a critical functionality that is missing yet. Or is it working already?

    Yes, it is annoying for a renter. See my thoughts about it. It deters new users from starting using Sia.
    But the lack of information for the renter is less critical than lack of functionality. The disappointment in Sia would be bigger if the user (renter) has the impression all is working and easy to use, but loses all his valuable data at some point.

  • I'm not SAI, but I think the project is still in it's early days, yet experimenting.
    there is a good road map though.
    My understnading is SIA focus is to be the back bone of a decentralized storage network and let other parts to make it to the masses..

  • Sure guys, the project is in testing, but the money is real.
    I read the hosting handbook, it's very good, but this is not explaining something important, the project can't be used as a host nor as a renter. I can't see any benefit now to install sia:

    1. as a host, you can't got contracts because of the "top 10" hosts in place
    2. as a renter, it tooks money! much money, just for doing contracts!
    3. as a renter, why should I use it and spend money, if even you says that sia is not "ready"?

    Why cant' SIA balance the required SC dynamically looking at the USD/SC change? If I'd paid 2$ for my tests, probably I would not be here compaining about it...


  • as per your bullet 1: the networks decides the price - it is in theory referred to the rush towards the bottom, eventually making the price very very small.
    bullet3: It depends shat you defines as ready? SIA does offer storage and retreiveal of files on a very basic base. The price mechanics works, the transfer of revenue based ont hte host ability to do proove of storage also works - I see amounts coming in from old contracts.

    the issue still stands that the supply of storage is growing, but that the demand does grow much slower.. I personally do not see an increase in demand before there is a thin client that can be used for other services to build on also enabelling mobility as well. OR if SIA teams up with a 3rd party that can drive the demand up..

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