Please note: this is a repost from Medium — please feel free to support and comment on the article over there too, if you are able.
A Spotlight on: The New Digital Economy
This is an exciting chapter for us, as a key part of the architecture of the SAFE Network. SAFE needs data to operate and data cannot be maintained without incentivising resource providers (known as Farmers). This incentive is Safecoin. You can see how Safecoin works on a technical level by checking out the latest iteration of the RFC which details out the build beautifully. But today, we’d like to discuss another core aspect of the New Digital Economy within the Network: making sure that you no longer pay for your digital life with personal data.
The world of surveillance capitalism
The term ‘surveillance capitalism’, coined by Shoshana Zuboff, is an economic logic that has taken advantage of the prosumer of Web 2.0. This logic monetises human experiences. Every single action you take online, every step you track with your FitBit and each song you play on Spotify is greedily consumed and commercialised by the system. Our online lives are reduced to a raw material — the oil of the digital era. But there is a clear alternative for those who believe paying with personal data and accepting tracking and surveillance by Silicon Valley behemoths is no longer acceptable.
Paying your way with Safecoin
Safecoin is a cryptocurrency like no other (if we do say so ourselves). There’s no limit to the number of transactions which can take place and those transactions happen instantly and simultaneously. Unlike other forms of digital cash, they don’t rely on a blockchain so there’s no public ledger. Only the current and previous owner of each coin are known to each other so you can be paid in private. With the announcement of Facebook’s Libra project, privacy-centric coins are becoming ever more important for those who believe as we do that financial privacy is a fundamental human right, with money acting as a token to enable freedom of speech.
Anonymity is often missing in crypto payments. Take Bitcoin. It’s one of the least anonymous digital payment methods available today. There are many different privacy-focused alternatives that seek to fill that demand (for example ZCash and Monero). And the game moves on further with the introduction of Safecoin.
On a more practical level, Safecoin will be super-easy to use. If you can send someone a payment today via PayPal, then you’ll be more than ok to send a payment via Safecoin. This simplicity is often missing in cryptocurrencies, which means a user needs a certain level of technical literacy to get involved. We want to make sure that inclusiveness runs through the veins of this new economy.
Opening up the (economic) world
For those who provide resources to the Network — bandwidth, storage, online time — the rewards will be digital and accessible. Through this, they earn Safecoin, which can then be used to buy Network resources — like the one-time fee for uploading data to be stored permanently — or exchanged for goods and services like any other currency.
No pleading with a bank to let you open an account. Or waiting for an institution to deem your local economy worthy of the expenditure involved in building a branch. Just set up online and join the Network from anywhere around the world that you have a connection to the Internet.
This won’t be the last you hear of the New Digital Economy. No, we’re only at the beginning of exploring the value this will unlock, not just economically but socially and politically too. Your personal data will become valuable — because you will always decide who will have access to it and be paid accordingly.
You are no longer the product. You are the Network. And now, the choice is yours.