Editor's note: This column has been updated to disclose the writer's advocacy of blockchain technology--the underpinning of all crytocurrencies--and a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warning about these investments.

You may have heard of Bitcoin and most likely Ethereum at this point. But Sia ( Siacoin) is also a major contender in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. As of the time of this post, Sia's native token, which is called Siacoin, is one of the top 16 most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world in terms of market cap. What makes it so valuable, and why is it growing so fast? Well, for starters Sia is trying to disrupt Dropbox and Amazon S3.

Disrupting Dropbox and Amazon S3 is no easy task. Providing a better solution at this point would almost seem not possible. However, Ethereum has been literally changing the internet as we know it, and many more companies are capitalizing on blockchain concepts and creating their own solutions. It should be noted here that I am an advocate of blockchain technology.

The idea behind Sia is that instead of everything being essentially hosted on central servers, Sia's blockchain technology will decentralize file storage and make it open source. Sia will then allow companies to get involved and host their own private decentralized cloud and sell that as a service to their customers. This could in theory drastically reduce hosting and storage costs, and most likely will.

Editor's note: Bitcoin and digital currencies, as with any investment, may involve the risk of loss. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has warned that virtual currencies, including Bitcoin, carry "significant risk" to consumers.

Further, Sia will not be the one accepting payments from customers but instead will allow others to do so on its platform. Sia essentially provides the platform that will have users paying for storage and providers running their own private decentralized cloud. This could the beginning of the "hosting of the future" in which it's not truly based or entirely reliant on central servers anymore.

Sia is one of the few blockchain companies that are very open and straightforward about their road map (Sia's looks quite promising). Within the next release (this month), the company says it will have a working simple file-sharing system live on its platform.

As a cryptocurrency, Siacoin also looks quite promising. It currently makes the top 16 of cryptocurrencies in terms of total value (market cap) and is up 2,406 percent in value over the past year. The price per coin is 1.5 cents as of the time of this post, and there are 26.8 billion in circulation.

At the end of the day, this is only the beginning for companies like Sia. The disruption to the tech world has only just begun, and the sky is truly the limit. Is blockchain tech reinventing the way the internet works and the world communicates? Will Dropbox and Amazon S3 soon be outdated, overpriced, and obsolete? Time will tell.

 

Editorial Disclosure: Inc. writes about products and services in this and other articles. These articles are editorially independent - that means editors and reporters research and write on these products free of any influence of any marketing or sales departments. In other words, no one is telling our reporters or editors what to write or to include any particular positive or negative information about these products or services in the article. The article's content is entirely at the discretion of the reporter and editor. You will notice, however, that sometimes we include links to these products and services in the articles. When readers click on these links, and buy these products or services, Inc may be compensated. This e-commerce based advertising model - like every other ad on our article pages - has no impact on our editorial coverage. Reporters and editors don't add those links, nor will they manage them. This advertising model, like others you see on Inc, supports the independent journalism you find on this site.