Performance and Cost Analysis of Sia, a Blockchain-Based Storage Platform

Phillipe Austria, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Chol Hyun Park, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Alex Hoffman, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Yoohwan Kim, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Cloud storage has become a prevalent choice for data storage for both business and personal use due to increasing data use. While cloud storage services, such as Google Drive, provide customers with high levels of data integrity and security, customers however lose privacy and require trust in the service provider to not act maliciously with their data. We explore an alternative to centralized, traditional cloud storage (TCS) using blockchain technology. In this paper, we tested and evaluated the performance and cost of Sia, a decentralized blockchain-based storage platform (BBS) that ensures users' privacy. The platform allows users to rent storage space from other users in exchange for Siacoin, Sia's native currency. Metrics were evaluated through various storage tests and results were compared to Google Drive. Performance tests showed Sia's available time, how long it takes for a file to upload and be download ready, to be 8-12 times slower than Google Drive. In contrast, Sia downloads were 2-3 times faster. Cost test revealed Sia's overall storage spending to be comparable to Google Drive and other popular TCS; however, results raised questions about spending details. Further testing is needed to fully understand the complexities of a BBS platform like Sia.