Project Name: Sia Satellite
Project Lead: Michael Bulanov
Sia is a decentralized cloud storage platform where the renters form storage contracts with the hosts in an open marketspace and pay them in Siacoins (SC). The open marketspace ensures that the renters pay a competitive price for the data they store but can also expect a reasonably good quality of the service provided by the hosts. The decentralized nature of Sia ensures that there is no single entity controlling the renter’s data which, combined with a sufficient redundancy, means that the data will remain available as long as it is paid for, even if a part of the hosts goes offline or disappears entirely.
Unfortunately, you can currently only use the Sia storage platform if you have Siacoins. For most of the users, those who have just heard about crypto currencies but never actually used them, this means an additional barrier. To purchase SC, one first needs to open an account with a crypto exchange, often go through a KYC process, deposit fiat money, buy Bitcoins (because on most exchanges SC can only be traded for BTC), and exchange them for Siacoins. All this significantly hinders a broader adoption of Sia.
Sia Satellite is a business model that can help overcome this barrier, at the cost of some centralization. A satellite is a network service that forms contracts with the hosts on behalf of the renter, manages these contracts, keeps track of the spendings, and pays the hosts with SC. The renter uploads their data directly to the hosts and downloads from them, thus reducing the load on the satellite. At the end of each period (usually one month), the renter pays for the service with their credit card. An upfront payment is also possible. An upfront-paying user can enjoy certain benefits, like setting price limits or selecting the hosts to store their data with.
When using Sia Satellite, a renter does not need to own SC to use Sia storage, nor do they need to know about SC at all.
Sia Satellite consists of the following three parts:
- The satellite service, run on a remote server by a third party (the satellite owner)
- The tweaked renter software, run locally by a user
- The web portal, used to register user accounts, provide usage analytics, and pay for the service
When the service is fully developed, anyone will be able to run their own satellite. The name of the project was intentionally chosen very generic, so that those who later want to run their own satellite node can choose whatever name they like.
Running many satellite nodes distributed all over the world can mitigate the centralization piece, similarly to public Skynet portals. The owners of the satellites can charge reasonable fees for providing their services. The more satellites there are, the stronger the competition between them, and the better the price/quality ratio of the services.
The project source code shall be maintained in a public repository located at GitHub - mike76-dev/sia-satellite: A network service that allows credit card payment for Sia storage..
The minimum viable prototype, a satellite daemon capable of connecting to the peers and syncing to the blockchain, is already running instead of the Sia daemon on https://mike76.ddns.net/pulse.
The project shall have the following milestones:
- Development of the satellite service (Dec 22 - Jan 23)
- Development of the customized renter software (Jan - Mar 23)
- Development of the web portal (Mar 23)
- Testing of the product (Mar - May 23)
The project will be using renterd software as the base for the customization. The progress of Phase 2, and consequently Phase 4, will therefore depend on it. This is the risk that the project lead shall take, and he shall request no further funding beyond the proposed duration of the project.
The project is requesting 26,000 USD, paid in Siacoins, for the following six months. The spendings can be itemized as follows:
- 24,000 USD shall constitute the salary of the developer, paid monthly or quarterly, at the discretion of the Foundation, at the beginning of each period.
- 1,000 USD shall be used to pay for the project infrastructure (remote server, subscriptions, etc.) for the duration of the project, paid upon completion of Phase 1.
- 1,000 USD shall be used for testing of the product (mostly for paying the hosts that the software will form contracts with), paid upon completion of Phase 2.
The progress of the development shall be reported on a monthly basis in the community Discord.
The project lead is kindly asking the Foundation to review this proposal. He is also encouraging the community to ask as many questions as needed to improve the clarity on the project scope and the expected outcome.