Filebase and Sia Decentralized Storage

Filebase is an object storage service that provides a middleware layer between the Sia decentralized storage network and any application that supports S3 compatible object storage. Siacoin is the cryptocurrency that is used by renters to compensate storage hosts for storing their data. Notably, Sia is not an ERC-20 Ethereum token, but a distinct blockchain secured by a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus algorithm of its own. Sia is a more decentralized storage network than Storj as it does not rely on centralized storage bridges operated by a third-party. However, Sia’s storage prices are more unpredictable as they are determined by the supply and demand in the market rather than a fixed price such as that provided by using the Storj network.

Using Sia for an application’s backend storage requires a developer to set up a Sia wallet, run a Sia node, and purchase Siacoin from a cryptocurrency exchange such as Binance. Also, the Sia network requires renters to make a commitment to rent an amount of storage for a certain period of time, by executing a smart contract using their Sia wallet. Similar to Tardigrade Cloud Storage, Sia uses Reed-Solomon erasure coding to safeguard its users’ data. Approximately 9% of Sia’s storage hosts can disappear, so the configuration that Sia uses requires a minimum of just 10 of 30 hosts to rebuild the parts lost by the hosts that went offline. The smart contract automatically penalizes hosts that do not meet the agreed level of uptime by burning the Siacoins that they’ve staked.

Many (most?) developers do not want the complexity of setting up their own Sia wallet and Minio gateway to upload files to the Sia decentralized network using a S3 SDK, so this is where Filebase comes in. Although the “wholesale” price of storage on the Sia network averages about $2/TB ($0.002/GB) per month, Filebase resells Sia storage to you at $5/TB ($0.005/GB) per month. As of the time of this writing, the Sia network has a total of about 2.247 PB of storage available. Filebase provides a free plan with 5 GB of storage, a Starter plan for $5/mo with 1 TB, and Pro plan for $15/mo with 3 TB of storage. Filebase makes a profit by betting that they will be able to rent storage on the Sia network for less than half a cent per GB per month, net of their bandwidth expenses and the operating costs of providing a S3 gateway to you. If you use Filebase to connect to the Sia network, you do not need to set up your own instance of Minio to have a S3 endpoint that you can deploy your applications against.

Filebase can be used similarly to a conventional object storage services such as Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, or Google Cloud Storage with a S3 compatible interface. Of course, the centralized part of the equation is Filebase itself, meaning that you need to trust that Filebase has executed the necessary smart contracts with Sia storage hosts to keep your data safely stored. If you require an absolutely decentralized storage solution, then it is better to run a Minio gateway with your own Sia node.

If you want to try Filebase’s Sia-backed object storage, sign up for a free account and you will receive an API key and secret that allows your applications such as NextCloud to connect to their endpoint. You can integrate Filebase decentralized object storage with NextCloud using a similar method to connecting NextCloud with Tardigrade Cloud Storage or with other object storage services.