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Nebulous | Firm behind the Sia Decentralized Cloud Storage Network

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June 2, 2020 | 

Dan Mitchell |  0 Comments| 

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You may not have heard of Nebulous, or it’s Siacoin cryptocurrency (SIA). However, it might surprise you to find out that SIA ranks 62nd in CoinMarketCap’s top 100 rankings of cryptocurrencies by ‘market capitalizationzation’.

At present (22:24 - June 2, 2020), CoinMarketCap reports that Siacoin has a market cap of $97,976,175 USD, with a 24 hour trade volume of $2,238,721 USD. It has been enjoying a steady positive trajectory because, as recently as April 21, 2020: the token was registering as low as $54,765,868 million market cap and USD 1,035,427 24-hour trade volume.

What is Nebulous, and the Sia Network which they are behind?

Boston, Massachusetts (USA) based Nebulous describes itself as an organization action which contributes to what it sees as a ‘Decentralized Internet’ and is behind not only the Sia Network but also other projects such as ‘Obelisk’ and ‘Skynet’.

The obelisk is a team under Nebulous which focuses crypto mining: individually, the design and manufacturing of Proof-of-Work mining hardware for Siacoin, Decred, and Grin. The ominously named Skynet got announced as an additional decentralized file-sharing platform as a supplement to its existing file storage solution.

The ominously named ‘Skynet’ is a decentralized file-sharing platform, complimentary to the Sia decentralized file storage network. Another recent Sia development was the integration of video-streaming, meaning that clients could generate URLs for third parties to use within their chosen media players for playback of files stored on its decentralized network.

While the idea of a blockchain-based cloud storage network may not be entirely original for the average spectator, Nebulous’ Sia Network got designed from the bottom up to offer a truly end to end decentralized solution. Most other solutions / traditional storage providers rely on some form of middleware which is distinctly centralized - such as Amazon Web Services.

The Sia Network

Sia Network is self-described as a provider of “decentralized storage for the post-cloud world” which “leverages blockchain technology to create a data storage marketplace” with the benefit of being “more robust and more affordable than traditional cloud storage providers”. Sia also calls itself “the world’s first decentralized storage platform”.

It claims to offer greater “affordability” with the claim of prices being 90% less than “incumbent storage providers”, while also boasting a thriving community of approximately 29 developing contributors.

Additional benefits include.

  • Total privacy: encryption and distribution of data/files via a decentralized network -> non-custodial -> “You control your private encryption keys and you own your data.”
  • High redundancy actuation: distribution of potential points of failure rather than centralized.
  • Fully open-source: including the ‘Sia API’.
  • Marketplace: “decentralized storage marketplace in which storage providers compete for your business, which leads to the lowest possible prices. Renters pay using Siacoin, which can also be mined and traded.”

Furthermore, Sia comprises an international network of ‘Sia storage providers’ spanning Europe, Asia Pacific (including Australia), South Africa, South America, and the USA / North America.

Sianotes vs Siacoin

Siacoin is the token which resides at the centre of the Sia Network economy. It serves as a means of payment for services/fees on the network, such as the purchase and sale of cloud storage space. It can get acquired on a variety of exchanges, including Binance, Bittrex, Shapeshift, Poloniex, Upbit.

Unlike many of its peers who have drawn regulatory ire (Telegram, and more):  the Siacoin itself has never get used as a means of fundraising (Sianotes played that role). Due to the dual token system behind Sia.

This has helped isolate the regulatory issues associated with the fundraising - from the activities of the active token, allowing it to continue operations despite the previous action concerning an unregistered securities offering (AKA Sianotes).

Sianotes is now redundant, however, served as a token for an investment offering of Sianotes which took place in May 2014 and raised $120,000.

Investors purchased Sianotes with the expectation of a return on investment based on the business developed using these funds (which would theoretically otherwise not be possible) - and these Sianotes were later exchanged for the current representation of investment: ‘Siafunds’.

On October 1, 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nebulous reached a settlement agreement on the 2014 offering: resulting in “no enforcement action” being instigated by the SEC.

Nebulous claims that it hadn’t and does not admit or deny liability in this settlement - and due to the isolation of Siafunds from future actions or tokenomics: no action had nor will be taken against Siacoin or Siafunds on this case.

As stipulated in the settlement, Nebulous has had to pay:

  • Disgorgement of $120,000
  • Prejudgment Interest of $24,601.85
  • Civil money penalty of $80,000

Coming to a total of approximately $225,000.
 

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