Data chains: what? why? how?


Good way to put it.

The intention here is never to have given the complete 100% answer, but enough to get people going in the right direction with their thinking and self-study :slight_smile:

Because we all need to become part of it, and be working on these things together.

Just thinking out loud. I always see this bit


I though that datachains held meta-data (data about data, such as pointers) and not the actual data. So in the event of network outage, the meta-data “skeleton” can be quickly re-established through datachains hooking up again to reform the original datachain tree, and then the actual data, when it is retrieved from archival storage, is validated by the datachain tree so that the pointers would then point to something rather than nothing. Is that picture correct or have I got it screwed up?


Yes this is a critical point, you have picked up. We want to be able to accept data based on strict metadata checks (not hashes alone in some cases, but not so bad if sha3 or hmac etc.). Anyway I digress (as always).

The important point is being able to provide/get data from anywhere and the network to be able to accept it as valid and having been previously audited for inclusion on the network.

So the chains should be very small and as the network grows, become smaller (checkpoints can be taken) so very efficient. Then with genesis block known, networks can be identified, which leads to some really interesting things.

[off topic]
Imagine network for X type data that require Y privileges, or private/uni/health networks that can speak to public networks etc. It does open up a wealth of possibilities. In the future inter-network communications and agreements can be made, thereby taking this tech much further with specialisations possible. So Tesla cars have a network and can speak to highway controls or something (no passwords etc. to lose, no data leaks etc.), or even better hospitals and researchers securely sharing data and analysis etc.

I add this as a probing question, perhaps not having SAFE do absolutely everything for all situations makes sense, but the underlying protocols can allow a much larger even more decentralised (tree’s of tree’s chains).

We are not working on that though, but it can be interesting to look at these possibilities for the future.


The fundamental problem is that you still need to distinguish between this piece of meat and that piece of meat. The Tesla cars might be able to have their own password-less network but the car still has to decide whom to allow to get in the car. Similarly for the other networks that you mention.


The tesla network would have a genesis of say “tesla” and the highways with a genesis of “highways”. They are coded to accept the genesis of each and there for can interoperate. It can be that simple.


You blow my mind everyday. I was just reading one of your last posts and it made me think of old discussions about segmented networks and how any transactions that would happen on the smaller segmented portion would not be valid on the larger network once they had reconnected, this would still be the case correct?


Yes, but also the ability to program acceptance would also exist now. SO cross network transfers could become available. Needs an awful lot of thought, but the tools would exist.


That’s interesting as off chain transactions like this are possible but you just publish it when online is accessible so almost like a pending transaction only I can definitely see the complications of the whole thing. Seems like something for down the road someday maybe but cool to know that it could be possible :slight_smile:


What is to prevent the genesis becoming a choke-point that a government can use to exert control? Not for virtual things such as SAFEnet, but for a physical network such as highways and cars. Basically, if I were a criminal with enough armed muscle at my command, I would make sure the highway and car networks ran datachains that had a tax flag and you literally can’t add your car or drive on the roads without the tax flag properly set. Sure, you might argue that other people could establish their own car and highway networks, so that kind of freedom exists, but I would use my armed gang to prevent any such highways being built in my territory.


It’s only an identifier locked in an immutable chain.


OK, but the cars and highways are large, physical things that can’t be hidden, and datachains secures them into an unbreakable network. So an authority of sufficient size can dictate that only a network of its specifications can exist in a given geographic region.


@bluebird Government could abuse any open source software how are you supposed to stop them?


What do you mean, abuse open source software?

@dirvine was describing a kind of network of things that is not software but would be made “unhackable” by datachains. My response is that if it is a physical thing easily identified as a car or a highway (or even a human being) then it can be controlled by the state and the typical means that is used is to control the entry and exit points (air and sea ports, banks, roads, big publishers, hospitals, universities and… (tada!) servers). OK, so you use this tech to get rid of servers. Check. And big publishers. Check. Banks. Check (definitely). Universities? Check (eventually). But the big physical artifacts such as cars and roads (and hospitals) are hard to hide or get rid of, so making them unhackable makes them a big thing that the government can grab hold of and control your access to.


From what I understood they have there OWN Genesis block that functions with the safe network much like sidechains would in bitcoin, now I’m not sure how they have there own Genesis block besides forking their own network and the data chains can interoperate, so it would have to be elaborated by David but I thought the point you were making is they can use the software to do their bidding in which case we can’t stop them.


No, if they can’t identify it, grab it or kill it then they can’t control it, and their excuse for being disappears. Good luck trying that with FOSS in general.

But cars and roads are easily identified and controlled by the state. Making them more secure doesn’t help us to be free.


Not in my vocabulary AFAIK, If I say this or absolutely or guaranteed certain etc. then it’s a mistake. Nothing is guaranteed and nothing is unhackable.

Securing anything of ours, even a bit does though make us more free I would argue. It seems only logical that security -> privacy == > freedom for all.


Not necessarily. If (not so hypothetically!) one lives on an island and the border controls are made more secure then that does not enhance ones freedom of movement.

Of course, as I have contemplated from time to time, owning a yacht might be a way to hack all that. :slight_smile: Right now, I’ve got my hands full taming software, and at least when I fail I don’t end up at the bottom of the sea. :smile:


If the chunks are obfuscated before they’re stored in Vaults and the datachain is made out of these hashes of obfuscated data then it’s quite a dark chain. Even you as a person can’t find the hashes of your own picture in the chain as they’re obfuscated by the datamanagers. Maybe combine it, keep all in the dark except for everything you want to be open. So a public ledger for Safecoin receipts for people that want the data to be public (like a crowdfund where the project want all to be open) and for the rest just Safecoin transactions in the dark. And maybe a voting chain for votes or something.


I wasn’t referring to SAFEnet but a hypothetical future network that uses datachains such as @dirvine was describing for Tesla cars or highways. That would not be “dark” by its very nature. Sure, the cars might communicate with each other without needing passwords and still be really, really secure, but the fact of it being a car and running a certain operating system would be indisputable.


I live on such an Island (V.large one). Boarder controls have skyrocketed since I last went overseas a couple of decades ago. Didn’t need a passport or other ID to visit NZ but now even carrying a 600mL bottle of water is a criminal offense and off to jail. (They cleared an airport and houses surrounding because of 3 such bottles of commercial bottled water in checked baggage last year).

I get what you are saying about a criminal group being able to control the activities of people using physical goods in an area they control. If your car is not paying the taxes then the enforcers (police) can stop you on the road and the proof is in the datachain (structure/data).

But I am wondering that even without datachains and another method to have this interaction was used then the controlling group would enforce control anyhow. Perhaps then for that purpose datachains might not provide the freedom that it can in other areas.

My view is that governments will still have the most control over the physical things they can easily control. Cars and highways are an obvious example, since they can be physically controlled. In our “fine” state we now have police cars fitted with number plate recognition and also major points in the road system, like bridges etc. Even now the tolls points also use it to bill you and now no toll booths. Neither datachains nor SAFE nor FOSS will be a direct solution to that surveillance and tracking.