Project Update – 5/10/2019

New Team Role/Title

We’re announcing a new role/title of Chief Solutions Architect for team member Boris “starius” Nagaev. He is a long time Sia contributor with a number of innovative ideas on the platform and is key in translating our Software Specification into actionable coding sprints. Changing his title acknowledges the bridge between what we need and how we accomplish it. Congratulations starius!

Current Development Initiatives

One reason SiaPrime exists is to fill in holes where Sia is lacking or a featureset is further out on their roadmap. While recover by seed and file sharing are frequent asks, we believe in other critical features required for proper cloud storage. Pay only for what you use, small file support and an improved metadata are key to providing a business-grade, S3 compatible product. The first two are self-explanatory while metadata holds the key to provisioning a true “bucket” based architecture with permissioning, versioning, authentication and lifecycle rules. Two initial sprints; prepaid downloads and postponed uploads when tied into our Relayer module will deliver “pay as you go” while a feature we call sector mapping addresses the 4MiB sector sizing by allowing us to identify 16k pieces inside a sector and perform file operations on them. We also propose to move metadata into a database, which itself gets replicated to the network for improved durability and disaster recovery. Much of our current effort has been raw research and design into these foundational initiatives with starius and core dev, zer0main making good progress.

Our new front end dev, ben has spent the last six weeks getting up to speed and helping lay out our internal direction and is now set to tackle our data collection/presentation modules. We expect to design robust network and blockchain explorers and complete them with granular performance statistics. We are greatly appreciative of community efforts in this direction and expect to support these as we develop modules built directly into our application suite.

Speaking of data, our network guru J is working on a project to gain better understanding of ways to leverage parallelism in file downloads by altering redundancy ratios in erasure coding. We believe we can dynamically scale redundancy for customers such that different data needs receive different ratios as a first level storage classification. An example might be fresh data with an expected high rate of download activity. The idea is that this data may be spread out over 80 or 100 host nodes vs 30 to increase performance significantly by increasing the number of potentially higher thru-put nodes providing the data. We’ll have more details on this soon.

Open Source

After much investigation, we have decided to go full open source on the product. We first thought we needed to protect IP zealously to engage companies but there are other ways we can use to drive customers to use our platform. We might incentivize hosts to favor our data as an example. OSS has a lot of potential power in helping us deliver the product while also providing clear messaging that can separate the Prime cloud from traditional providers. The belief is going full oss will also help our status in the crypto community in general.

Website Translations

Thanks to community supporter, Jordi and team members Forest and zer0main, we now have the bulk of the project website available in 4 languages; English, Chinese, Spanish and Russian. Pages not currently translated are in process. We continue to seek additional languages and translators, please reach out if you can assist.

Egg Hunt

Community user arpox found all seed words before everyone and claimed a 20m SCP wallet. The promotion was an exercise in teaching people about SiaPrime while bringing in new community members. Several hundred people played all the puzzled and numbers across all our social properties increased. We can say it was an unqualified success! We’ll be doing more over 2019.

Exchange Activity

With a month under our belt, the Crypto-Bridge integration has proven good. There is good liquidity on the site and community folk have stepped up with market making bots to ensure orders can occur. Price is low as we start but should slowly work it’s way up as we continue to hit our project goals. To trade, start here
Also, community member jsherm has a short video explainer on trading between Satoshis, a critical feature while we are under 10 sats on the BTC pair. Thanks Sherm!

Additional pairs with activity include:

1.4.x and Network Reset

We’re very impressed by and thankful to our initial group of host storage node providers. You built out a working test network quickly, allowing us to create programs such as Revenue Sharing. You are truly the backbone of the project.

In preparation for upgrade to Sia 1.4.x, we ran into a challenging issue. The integration of an open source mining pool software included rogue coding that messes with contract formation in an important way (see this proposed commit that was later included). The issue is current contracts will not carry over thru the upgrade and we decided after much discussion, testing and codework to revert this code and ask hosts to refresh/reset from scratch with the new version. Our plan is to do an initial 20 hosts so that contract formation proceeds with the balance moving at their own convenience. We’ll provide some compensation for risked collateral/potential storage revenues based on the latest host incentive snapshot. More details will come when the upgrade is ready.

On the 1.4 Upgrade

Sia has done a good job but has a fairly decent number of fixes they intend for a quick 1.4.1 release in coming weeks. Core dev cometiclimey has done his usual stellar job of working through the contracts issue (with the whole team and a few community members assisting) and is driving the upgrade development. Our plan is to finalize internal testing on 1.4.0 and then do a round of testing when 1.4.1 ships, then upgrade the first batch of SiaPrime host nodes. I expect this to occur later this month. Also included in the upgrade are commits making host farm exclusion optional, new bootstraps and a hardware platform update for docker containers (an area we are keen to focus on for easy host node setup).