The SiaPrime network is comprised of a core protocol, a P2P storage network and a marketplace mechanism to match buyers with sellers of storage. On top of this architecture is a robust interface/API to allow expected behavior for a cloud storage product.
The client splits files into chunks, then Reed-Solomon erasure coding expands each chunk into many identical pieces (The number is determined based on desired durability using an M-of-N schema). Pieces are encrypted by the client before upload to a network of disparate storage nodes ensuring data security and durability, requiring the loss of an improbable number of storage nodes client data becomes unrecoverable. With this strategy, we achieve better than 11 Nines of durability.
Smart contracts validated on a public blockchain are negotiated between client and storage nodes in a built-in competitive pricing/performance market. The blockchain uses a Proof of Work algorithm where powerful ASIC computers are required to reach consensus. Anyone may participate in mining to earn rewards in the form of a utility coin from validating blocks. Coins are used as the base currency to purchase and sell storage on the network.