Bit-torrent vs. Sia (and blockchain based filesharing in general)
(published to make this information more accessible to the world)
The blockchain's number one strength is dealing with untrusted parties. The blockchain provides tools for guaranteeing that the outcome is favorable for you, regardless of what the other party does. The blockchain is also developed for a Byzantine environment, meaning it is assumed that there are nodes which will intentionally break the protocol in order to take advantage of you and/or the other network participants. Bittorrent is not developed for an adversarial environment, and generally relies on trusted third party services such as trackers to function well. Even in the absense of trusted third parties, bittorrent is reliant on most everyone following the protocol closely and correctly, and has a low tolerance for nodes that are intentionally misbehaving.
Sia improves on bittorrent in a few ways. The first is that you don't need rely on trust alone that nodes will be holding your data. You can use both a financial carrot and a financial stick to ensure that nodes have a reason to hold your data. Second, Sia allows you to choose who is storing your files. In Bittorrent, someone will generally only have a file if they choose to have the file, and they will only seed the file if they feel like it. The tit-for-tat system usually relies heavily on a third party service such as a tracker to enforce fairness with data sharing among the clients. Bittorent also does not feature any built in encryption or access control, while Sia features client-side encryption by default, and has much stronger reliability properties.
In short, Bittorrent has minimal applications, mostly related to file sharing where lots of people want to hold and share the same files. Bittorrent is not strong against attackers, and generally relies on third party services to function well. Sia is good for any sort of remote private data, has strong resistance to attackers, and can provide uptime guarantees on files that are private, as there is a financial reason for hosts to hold files they don't understand.
Good reading! There is just so much misinformation around about sia now that sia is getting some traction at exchange(s?). In these cases I would urge anyone to guide these misinformed people with a reference to some more solid sources of information like this.
Take for example:
"sia is just a clone of maidsafe" well, ok :)
"can't wait the release" errr.. umm.. it IS released already
I don't mean we should take part in trollbox shouting, but even recruiting a "hired gun" to straighten out sia-facts on forums would not maybe be a bad idea? It would be also underground marketing but not too agressive.
The community, we, are the hired guns. I have been spreading the word and I have always received positive responses. All you need to do is be tactful and talk out of your heart about your true interest in Sia as a technology.
Yes, that too. Now my intention is not to play down the importance of a strong community. But in the long run the community can take you only so far and that is somehow made visible with the situation of Nxt imo. Superior technology with a good community is in the shadow of inferior but heavily marketed cryptos. So hard core coordinated marketing does have it's place and might even be imperative at some point.
I think it's a significant improvement that Sia allows you to choose where your files are stored