I’ve been thinking about the incentive structure and economics behind the SAFE network, and how it is powered by continuous NEW data being added to pay for existing data upkeep. And it all just seems a little like a pyramid to me, a little unsettling to me. My friend agreed and thought of a suggestion for how the SAFE network COULD be structured, economics wise.
The following is my friend’s proposal for how the SAFE Network’s economic model should function. The network purposefully charges for GET requests to avoid perverse incentives, ie, the cost of the network bandwidth will not be spread across all data equally or paid through upload costs. It also allows for unwanted data to be removed from the network in a situation where there is both an absence of demand for the resource and no-one willing to subsidise continued availability. This looks to be a much more efficient and sustainable economic model which allows SAFE to retain many of it’s technical and design advantages while creating a more direct and sensible market for resources between users, uploaders and farmers.
Farmers set two fees rates. The first is the KEEP Fee; it pays for for availability, uptime and storage costs. KEEP Fees are paid directly to the network and are managed by the network, they are spent as the farmers “wage” to keep farmers reliably online and keep data “alive” (available, stored). The second fee is a GET Fee, it is paid by users to farmers (in a semi-direct manner) in exchange for bandwidth and etcetera. They’re initially paid to the network and only withheld if farmers refuse to allow access to data, do not provide the requested bandwidth or provide unacceptable quality of bandwidth. There can be a GET Fee market where users can pay for higher bandwidth (ie, download speeds).
When fetching data, users pay their GET Fee to farmers, plus an attached KEEP Fee. The KEEP fees that are paid to the network will accumulate over time and will be be released slowly by the network to farmers as according to the fee rate that they have set. As a result of the gradual release of the buildup KEEP Fees to the farmers, they will subsidise both current and future demand for data availability.
When data is no longer requested from the network, the built up KEEP Fees that were paid to the network will be slowly expended, thus there will come a point when farmers are no longer paid to keep data available. When this occurs, there will be data “death” (deletion by farmers).
Uploaders will pay a modified GET fee for the bandwidth required to upload data, plus a larger KEEP fee to cover initial write costs and immediate data availability. They can choose to pay a KEEP fee as large as they want, paying a large KEEP fee will keep the data available for a prolonged period of time in absence of any GET requests and is thus useful for long-term personal file storage. Finally, note that anyone can donate to contribute extra KEEP fees to the network for any given resource.
A lot of specifics are glossed over here (for example, we may want to hide total sum of KEEP Fees paid to the network for any given resource unknown to farmers), however most of the considerations not pointed out here should not be any different to the current way in which the SAFE Network is meant to do things.
This would allow for data that is truly useless to not be stored on the network, making it more efficient. As it doesn’t have to be perpetually up. And it also allows data that people want to access to stay up, meaning it is censorship resistant.
I don’t know if there are any specific reasons to have the safe network the way it is, so this is just a couple thoughts.