Archive for the ‘Tests and Reviews’ Category


Earlier this week we have checked out the current status of Burst, an interesting altcoin that uses free HDD space for mining as well as started using SIA – a Blockchain-based cloud data storage service that has its own crypto currency token used to pay users sharing their free hard drive space (also mineable). So now it is time to share what we have earned or should earn for 5 days of mining Burst coins and sharing our free space using the Sia and also to compare to what we have earned as a rewards for testing the Storj DriveShare service that we have posted about yesterday.

We are starting with Burst, for 5 days mining the coin with 100 GB plot size (rather small) in a mining pool we have managed to earn a little short of 180 Burst coins. These coins are immediately available in our wallet once they are confirmed, unlike with DriveShare where rewards are currently distributed on a monthly basis for the previous month and when the contract ends for hosing files on Sia. Looking at the current exchange rate for Burst is 19 satoshi per coin, so for 5 days this means we have managed to mine just about 3420 satoshi. An estimate for 20 days based on these earnings in order to be able to compare to the earnings from Storj means we should expect to mine the Burst coin alternative of about 13680 satoshi. Just as a comparison, for 20 days sharing the same 100 GB size of data on the DriveShare in the current beta we have earned as a reward a little over 12 SJCX coins or about 115000 satoshi. So even with the not so high rewards in the current Storj DriveShare beta you can earn more than mining Burst with the same shared free space. The catch with Storj however is that you need to invest in at least 10000 SJCX coins and have them in your wallet in order to be eligible for receiving rewards.


Moving on to Sia that is similar to idea to Storj’s MetaDisk and DriveShare services, however unlike with Storj’s services Sia is already operational and you can purchase contracts ans share files or host files of other users and pay or get paid for your services. After 5 days of running the Sia wallet and client sharing 100 GB of free space on the network we are at an estimated 520 Sia coins to be earned once our current contracts are over. This is with a set price of 100 Sia coins per GB of space per month which is below the average usually floating in between 130-160 Sia coins per Gigabyte per month price that can even go up to about 200. The current price of Siacoin is about 7 satoshi or this means that when we fulfill our hosting contracts we would have earned 3640 satoshi for 5 fays or an estimate of about 14560 satoshi for 20 days in order to compare with the Storj rewards.

The catch with Sia is that even though we are sharing 100 GB of free space for 5 days we have managed to get contracts for hosting only about 3.5 GB of user data. Interestingly enough with just 3.5 GB we have managed to get an estimated earnings of slightly more than when mining for Burst coins, but still significantly less than we have earned from Storj’s DriveShare beta rewards. IF we multiply the rewards for the 3.5 GB shared data to estimate what would the full 100 GB earn if we have sold the full size result in about 14872 Siacoins in earnings. That would mean that for 20 days if we managed to immediately sell the full 100 GB free space that we decided to dedicate to Sia we could have earned nearly 105000 satoshi. This would be significantly more than form Burst, but still lower than the DriveShare rewards estimated for the same time and with the same amount of free space shared.

So it seems that Storj’s DriveShare beta service and the rewards that are being distributed for helping in testing and developing the service is more profitable at the current exchange rates and the potential for even more earnings s there once the service is ready for official launch. The drawback however is that you need to invest a significant amount in at least 1000 SJCX coins in order to be eligible for rewards. Also once again the service launches it may face the same problem as Sia at the moment – not enough users to quickly take up all of the offered free space by hosters. Sia has good potential to develop and compete with the likes of Storj, but it needs more users and needs to address some important things that we have covered in our initial impressions. The advantage that Sia has is that you are able to mine Siacoins in a more traditional way, however this also needs work as currently it is only solo mining and there are quite a few inconveniences present there as well.

Then comes Burst, it also needs more work to become more user friendly and easy to get into by novice users. Burst has a lot of extra features, however they are not that well described or easy to be used or whatever, making their presence insignificant if they do not attract users or are being used just by very few people. Then again you may also say that the coin is undervalued at the moment, another possibility that results in low profit for mining Burst at the moment…


Last month we have decided to give out a try of the latest Storj DriveShare GUI and to participate in the beta testing of the service. We also wanted to check out the rewards that people are getting in return for their help in testing out the network and today Storj will be distributing the next bath of rewards. We have participated in the test for about 20 days with 100 GB of space shared on the network and according to the data published our reward for helping test the network in January is a little over 12 SJCX coins with about 94% uptime for the time duration. With the current StorjCoinX exchange rate this is about 115000 satoshi or about $0.45 USD, it may not seem that much, but do not forget that these are rewards for beta testing the service. Sharing more space for longer time with better uptime should bring you more rewards, though this should give you an idea on what to expect should you decide to help with beta testing. What you should know is that helping with beta testing won’t be that much profitable, but once the service officially launches what you get back in return for sharing your free hard drive space should be more rewarding.

For the moment however the users beta testing are required to purchase at least 10000 SJCX in order to be eligible for rewards and the rewards themselves are not that big unless you share a lot of space. The people sharing 25 TB of space each for the service are apparently getting about 1500 SJCX coins as a reward. So getting into the beta testing phase and participating in the reward program is more for people that do believe in the service and as a kind of a long term investment as well. You can of course participate in the testing of the service without having 10000 SJCX in your wallet, however this way you will not be eligible for receiving rewards for your help and support. So if you are interested in checking the service out you can head on to the official DriveShare website and download the GUI version of the software.

The number of unique participants in the beta testing of the DriveShare software in January is 533 that are eligible for rewards according to the official published rewards list. The list also includes 1222 more users that do not have 10000 SJCX coins in their wallet, meaning that they are participating without receiving rewards. As a comparison in December last year there were 420 unique wallets participating with at least 10000 SJCX and receiving rewards and 711 more that were not eligible for rewards. For November the numbers were 352 and 663 respectively, for October there were 342 and 393, so there are more users joining and helping test the service. Last week the service has announced the reach of another milestone in their testing phase, passing 2 PB of total storage shared and now it is already over 3 PB of storage shared.

Visit the official DriveShare website for more details about the beta of the service…


We are continuing our recent look into blockchain-based storage services such as Storj and crypto coins that are mineable with HDD such as Burst with another similar service that is more like Storj and Burst combined into one – the Sia. This project offers users to store files in the cloud using other users’ free disk space and people with free disk space to earn something extra by providing it to the network. Sia uses SiaCoin, a crypto currency token that is used for getting contracts to store your files as well as to get paid for sharing your free disk space. The SiaCoin is also available for mining in a more traditional way, so you might want to try that as well as an alternative way for obtaining the crypto currency token used by the service instead of trading it on an exchange. So far, so good everything sounds promising, especially considering that Sia is already operating a working network, though still in beta, with users hosting and buying space as well as mining. The question is how well it all works out and is it worth spending time and free space or even mining at this point in time, we wanted to know exactly this…

The Sia wallet integrates all of the basic functionality you need in order to operate with the service including the options to create contracts and upload files as well as to access them or to lease your free disk space to users needing such. This means that the wallet needs to be running all the time and that goes as well if you want to be able to mine SiaCoins as well. Currently SiaCoins can be mined using a GPU miner, an OpenCL one that works on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs, though it should be faster on AMD-based video cards. You can expect to get up to about 900 MHs from a Radeon 280X or a GeForce GTX 970 as a reference, but do note that the miner for Sia is also pretty CPU intensive, so if running with multiple GPUs the hashrate may slow down if the CPU gets overloaded. So far the Sia GPU miner needs quite a lot of extra work to become really useful, there are still no pools for SiaCoin mining and you need a running and unlocked wallet on each system you want to mine Sia on. Furthermore you need to run a separate instance of the GPU miner for each GPU you want ot mine the coin with, so with the current network difficulty and solo mining it may take quite a while until you hit a block, making the mining not to attractive.


To get to try sharing some files by renting some space on the Sia network you can use a faucet to get some SiaCoins, however it seems that the faucet has some downtime, so alternatively you can purchase SiaCoins from Poloniex where they are traded with a price of 7 satoshi per SiaCoin (pretty cheap). You can see what is the average price per GB per month in SiaCoins in the wallet among the currently active available hosts to get an idea how much you may need to spend depending on your storage needs. So with 200 SiaCoins per GB per month if you need 1TB of storage you would need to pay for it about 0.014 BTC equivalent or a little over $5 USD each month. The service encrypts the files and apparently stores them on multiple hosts in order to ensure availability even if one of the hosts experiences some downtime. The problem here is that managing your files from within the Sia wallet is not the most convenient you would expect, so this is also something that needs work as alternative cloud storage services like DropBox and many others do provide much more convenient access to user’s files.


The part where you are Hosting user files and are getting paid in SiaCoin in return is probably what more people are interested in. Here you set your price in SiaCoin per GB per month and the amount of free space you want to have available for sale and start waiting for getting contracts from people that need space. Dedicating 100 GB does not mean that they will be instantly filled at the moment even if you set a very low price of just 10 SiaCoins, it is wise to see what is the average price at the moment and base yours accordingly in order to get contracts as well as for them to be profitable. Based on your active contracts you will see what is the expected earnings that you will get at the end of the contract if you manage to fill them in. It is not very clear what level of downtime is acceptable before a contract is cancelled, but restarting the wallet a couple of times did not pose a problem for our few test contracts at a very low price. What is important here for providing Hosting services via Sia is that you need to be able to have your PC running the wallet accessible via an external IP, you can use port forwarding and the wallet supports UPnP as well. Though we’ve had a fair share of issues with connections not going through even though UPnP was working and port forwarding was just fine, leaving the wallet run for a few hours and these have disappeared by themselves. Getting your computer Hosting files on the Sia network accessible over the Internet could cause some issues for novice users and it also makes it hard to run multiple computers sharing free storage from a single external IP.

After spending a day trying to make Sia work properly and experiencing a few issues with things not working and trying to make them work we can conclude that although Sia does work decently it still needs a lot of work. The wallet needs to become more user friendly, better access to stored files is a must in order to get wider user adoption and to attract more people hosting files on the network, pool mining support needs to be added and the GPU miner needs to be further improved to support mining on a different computer running the wallet and so on. Sia, much like many others, also suffers from the lack of detailed information and answers to the many questions that new users may have, there is some information available and it is not very well structured, so that also needs quite a lot of work too. You can still give Sia a try if you are interested, but it is too early for people that are interested in seriously using the file storage functionality or the ones interested in earning from sharing their free space. At the moment Sia is at a stage where you can just give it a try to see how it works and what you can expect in the future, not something that you can use to make good profit mining or sharing free space. We are going to be checking Sia again at a later time to see how things may improve in the future…

For more details about the Sia collaborative cloud data storage service…