Beyond Safecoin and avoiding unnecessary forks

Exciting times you can tell the Safe Network team are on a roll now things are heating up. After the Safe Network gets up and going and the world starts to see fee free near instant Safecoin transaction abilities there will be some who will almost immediately want to issue their own token with similar properties.

This thread discusses the likelihood of forking and a few seem to downplay the risk based on how hard it will be for a small forked network to compete on merits with the established incumbent Safe Network. I agree they are probably right when judging just on quality of resulting network. However given what we know of the history of Bitcoin and Ethereum (before ERC-20), forking just to get a branded coin will happen pretty quickly anyway and forked projects historically do not seem to care about how decentralised or big they were Vs the project they forked from (i.e. the “shitcoins”). They can be effectively ignored but perhaps there is a better way…

If the Safe Network supports something similar to Ethereum’s ERC-20 and ERC-721 technical standards early on then it will avoid the incentive for others to create so many forks.

The absolute worst case would be a fork of the Safe Network that then adds it’s own ERC-20/721 technical standard before the Safe Network can get around to it and so captures the network effects for all those that want to issue their own tokens with similar properties to Safecoin. It would also then be the network where any decentralised/exchanges migrate to. That could not be so easily ignored.


I just noticed some related news out today that also notes the related network effects:

There are so many more factors on forking SAFE than just the coin. I really feel will be the most successful fork (network) will be the one that has the most agreeable and sustainable economy for all parties.

That’s why we had such long and sometimes heated debates years ago about Pay The Producer (PtP), App / builder rewards, content (data) creator rewards, and all those things, being built into the network level.

The most successful instance of SAFE won’t (in my opinion) have to do with some flashy coin, but have to do with which network attracts the content creators, app Devs, and farmers the best, while keeping things balanced enough for other users to not jump ship.

So the SAFE that has the “best” (and who knows what that means until real world markets and users decide in the wild) economy for everyone, by implementing PtP OR PERHAPS NOT IMPLEMENTING IT AT ALL (and going for a completely next-gen opt-in donation-based digital economy where the economics are decided by the users instead of at the network level) would be the best fork. Very excited to see these types of tests.

That’s how I understand things.

Don’t forget, SAFE isn’t just some blockchain, or token creation tool like ERC’s or Omni etc. It’s an entire internet. Many more factors at play.


Also in terms of creating a token standard on SAFE, that seems to already be at least partly possible, if you check out @bochaco 's “ThanksCoins” project, or the test CLike coins wallet I think.

So I’d imagine some sort of library, even if it’s primitive, would be included or ready around launch time, either by MaidSafe or hacked together by any of our passionate community members :heart:

Tokens should be native data structure. With all wallet functions like safecoin has, or as similar as possible. It should be solved on network level. Who would trust a token which is not standardized, backed by network rules and protected from issuer misuse? Would you trust a custom token created by someone if you have to trust him on everything? Tokens backed by network can be issuer agnostic. Like we have public data, we can have public token type. Someone creates the token, people start to use it and token should survive even if original issuer is gone. There can be of course public/private, with immutable properties after initial creation/mutable etc… Imagine how cool would be public tokens, you know nobody can change their properties, even issuer. You have a wallet for them in your web with few lines of code. Peer to Peer economy would explode. Tokens are amazing, because you can create initial token inflation out of nothing with zero costs and than build a custom economy and services about it and make it valuable. I really hope for such kind of tokens and not for some custom crap.


I guess the success of SafeCoin as a medium of exchange will depend on its ability to regulate supply in response to economic activity involving it.

If SafeCoin fails as a medium if exchange, it can still succeed as a means of keeping the network operating as intended.

Rather than forking, I would first think about a new coin or protocol for tokens as an overlay or add-on feature.

By the way, won’t forking be limited by MaidSafe’s patent portfolio?

I think you summed up the thread I linked to pretty well @whiteoutmashups, and I agree. However we now know from Bitcoin/Ethereum projects that for better or worse speculation appears to be one of the drivers of the positives you list, especially early on in crypto currency sphere. Take my worst case scenario and some enterprising and profit driven team forks the Safe Network and works day and night to put into place token issuing features for anyone to use without permission. Along comes another profit motivated team with a great idea that can go with the original Safe Network, do all the work upfront and reap App / builder rewards in the future as their delivered App is used. Or they can go with a fork of the Safe Network that while not as well established, happens to offer a token issuing technical standard already which will let them do a tried and tested crowd sale to make new hires cover their up front costs and then some. As a bonus some other project teams have also gone with option B as well and there is a fledgling atomic swap exchange already so the beginnings of a market. Which attracts speculators, which attracts more teams both scammy and talented, and farmers, and then content creators follow… you get the idea. We really want to head this off if possible IMO and keep those network effects for the original (and only) Safe Network.

Yes, this! Although I question if this is something that can be added as just an App by community members (even if it could, as @Antifragile says: who would trust it?) and whether it is worth the risk to just hope someone makes it happen before a fork does. From my understanding of ERC-20 it is a standard that required features built into the core, by the core team and I suspect the same will have to happen in the Safe Network. Worthy at least of a will “look into it” item list further out on the project todo list.


Please please, just make the network super understandable, accessable and marketed correctly for non crypto people. Possibly get someone with no exposure what so ever in crypto speak to write stuff.

Definitely -at least first point of sight- no mission statements about road maps, dev groups, RFC blah blah. Sure if people want to scratch the surface it should be available (doh!). Keep it simple stupid.


I have added this here as in my opinion this is crucial to wide and rapid adoption. If forks and competitors can come along and mis? appropriate 10 plus years of work then this is important. And a foundation like maid is surely what is wanted rather than a private company with possible rent seeking tendancies?

Yes there are an infinite number of ways people can try to play games and boost forked networks, but everything you’ve listed and more all are for short term gains (or losses). The real winner, long term, will be the one that proves to be balanced enough to keep the most people using it, long term.

There’s really nothing anyone can do to stop people from trying different gimmicks with new networks, since it’s open source.

But I don’t think this interferes with SAFE long term. It’s not like one of those random teams will accidentally create the most balanced system for the global economy.

And if they do, humanity wins out anyway :+1:

Also, I can delete this post if anyone wants me to, but I wanted to say I kinda wish that MAID as an investment didn’t really exist. I feel it complicates the development of an open source codebase / community developed and maintained network.

Kind of hard to have an exclusive token with value tied to it exclusively, while the whole network is open source. That’s more of a corporation type thing.

Anyone with a keyboard can Ctrl+C a new instance once it’s live (and should be encouraged to), but that would compete directly with MAID and all its hodlers. Also I worry fear of hurting the investors might make more of SAFE’s development closed off, in parts. I’m not sure.

Just thoughts. Just saying I wish there was no harm or financial risk for the holders of MAID, if others created networks and forks. Would be great to let “competitors” test new ideas without anyone being financially hurt. What do the community members here think of those types of topics?

At minimum, MAID at least will have collectible value forever :+1: since it will always be tied to the first known test of a decentralized network.

All the (decent) crypto projects are open source. That’s why there are some many cryptos. Litecoin came first with it’s first “improvement” of hash and faster block times. Then the joke of doge which took off. Then d,e,f,g… Every one takes a base and then makes a change or improvement or something, but Bitcoin is still king.

SAFE is a little different that is a “massive” base and some things just can’t be changed, but rest assured there will be forks and it will most likely have to do with farming rewards or put cost algorithm changes.

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If said forks are anything like Bitcoin forks, they will likely just tweak parameters. Things like farming reward size, developer contribution, PtP amount, etc. These will be relatively easy to change.

Then will come people messing with node aging time, group sizes, how quickly new vaults can be added, etc. These will be harder to rationalise, but relatively easy to change.

Eventually, some forks which actually add something will come along. These bits will probably also be open source and could be integrated into safe network if useful.

I don’t think these things are all to be feared. These are chances to run what-ifs when there is real investment on the line. A proliferation of alt networks will also grow the pie as a whole and will publicise safe network indirectly, much in the way alt coins have bolstered cryptocurrency as a whole.

Maidsafe will always hold massive respect by the community, having created the original and people will give maximum trust to the team’s network.


If you fork the Safe Network, you lose the data already on it. That is not the case with Bitcoin etc.


The Maidsafe Foundation is a Scottish charity which owns the patents and a controlling share in Maidsafe Limited.


That’s a key aspect. Losing saved data, including safecoin balances, is hardly acceptable to users.

We could imagine a network where a large number of Vaults would start using unofficial software that would lead to a fork with data included but, compared to a fork in a blockchain, it seems an extremely difficult process.


Excellent point.

Forking a Blockchain project more or less has an immediate user base.
Forking SAFEnetwork - who’s your user base? How are you going to convince people to leave behind their SAFEMail and SAFEDocs…


Was just thinking if you could say that SAFEnetwork is a fork of the current internet.
Probably a good marketing soundbite? We know SAFEnetwork is so much more.

“Crypto projects fork crypto projects… One team in Ayr just forked the entire internet.”

Web1.0 … Web2.0 … Web3.Ohhhhhhhhh SAFEnetwork, 3rd times a charm.


Especially when they have paid to upload them for good.


It also minimizes the chance of a fork due to so much invested… Unless the forked network also offers 1:1 maid to forkcoin. Or 1:1 other crypto to fork coin.

Here’s an Unpopular idea to increase early adoption : offer safecoin to BTC 1:1. This would be fine if the MAID and BTC addresses are cloned to SC wallets and accessible via private BTC key. There are only about 5% as many BTC as MAID and the instant increase in initial user base would be huge advertising . Think of it as a payback for all the years that the BTC block chain and it’s users kept MAID safe.

If the network upgrade process is done well all these factors can be self optimized better than any human tweaks.

The place where forks could happen would be for new features or datatypes or security measures. Good amounts of PtD with a sandbox arena could help make sure that these features get integrated into SAFE (if proven to offer an improvement).