Ethereum's Rise and the Effect on MAID

I know there have several topics on comparing MAID and Ethereum - mainly that MAID is like Bittorrent/Tor and Ethereum will be for smart contracts mainly in the financial world (but also with say the Internet of Things). Essentially the gist I got was that they could be complementary.

However there also seems to be a lot of overlap with what ETH is able to do that MAID will also be able to do. I’m seeing the Ethereum Name Servers (ENS) coming out and all the different Dapps that are being build. What exactly can MAID do that ETH can’t?

From the reading I’ve done, it seems the advantage that MAID has is the scaling issue - no blockchain, no scaling issue. And inherent with no blockchain means greater privacy. Will these two be issues that Ethereum will struggle with?

My main question is whether the first mover advantage that Ethereum has by releasing earlier than MAID means that people will simply continue using Ethereum because they’ve already invested the time/code into building dapps on Ethereum. If they can create everything they would have created on MAID, but on Ethereum, why not just keep using Ethereum?

I’m a total beginner on both these technologies, so I’m probably not seeing the very obvious points, so if someone could highlight them I would really appreciate it!


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This is a concern of mine as well.

I would prefer SAFE technology to win out in the long term, because it seems cleaner.

However, Ethereum looks to be working towards similar technology to SAFE, with Swarm. Perhaps they’ll just “steal” SAFE technology, which is their right since it’s GPL code.

On a technical basis, I agree with you that scalability is a very significant advantage for SAFEnetwork, compound by the fact that this is built in - rather than bolted on.

The other, which is related, is efficiency (energy, time to confirm etc). Blockchain as a foundation makes everything built on it inefficient, unless you then build something in top to overcome that. This means trading something off for that efficiency and scaling, so you will likely lose some the benefits of the blockchain in its own.

With SAFEnetwork, there’s no trade off. You get scalability, speed, data and energy efficiency, and then build on that. So if you need a ledger, you can have it, but without losing any of the efficiency. If you need anonymity, it’s there by default etc.

First mover advantage works only for essentially similar things. If SAFEnetwork performs as we hope, it will be too different, offer too much advantage not to be deployed. Those who stick with a significantly inferior technology always lose out.


I agree - scalability and energy efficiency are key advantages which will become more and more apparent as things scale up. Security may be another differentiator, although it remains to be seen how this will work out. I’m not that familiar with Etherium’s security model TBH.

My main concern with Ethereum is the difficulty in deploying bug free smart contracts. My main concern with SAFE is the lack of smart contracts. Both of these are issues that will be addressed…formal verification for Ethereum contracts, compute for SAFE. BTW, can somebody point to the latest greatest info on the roadmap for SAFE compute?
For scalability, Ethereum will have Raiden soon and sharding further down the road. Something like ZoE ( will address privacy. For energy efficiency and mining decentralization Ethereum is planning on moving to PoS, so also not too worried about those issues.

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The thing is that because of the multifaceted aspect of MaidSafe, we can get mass adoption from a myriad of purposes, and it will synergize with the other capabilites of the network.
So who cares if Ethereum becomes more popular with smart contracts, MaidSafe can take over the data hosting and storage arena, eventually people will end up using the safecoins for pure convenience.

What if IPFS becomes and Storj becomes more popular than Maid?

SafeNetwork can still become popular because of its currency, instant transference and free transactions, eventually people using the currency will end up adopting the storage and communication network.

So what if SafeCoin and the Storage capacity isn’t popular? What if it becomes popular because of its anonymity?

Etc… etc…

It has so many killer features embedded that it is almost guaranteed that from one way or another it will become popular. First mover advantage of other projects are of no concern IMHO.


Approachability, accessibility and enthusiasm are key for me.

SAFE has been the complex idea up until now, and Eth the simpler proposition (smart contracts). But when it comes to market penetration it is the other way around. SAFE becomes the simple, easy, accessible thing that everyone can use from day 1. Eth is a developer playground, not the public’s.

And don’t forget how powerful privacy/freedom is. I’d wager SAFE will get a hell of a lot of press quite quickly. It’s a much bigger story than Eth really, despite the cross over in some of the services we’re hoping to see them provide.

The incentives model for SAFE is also far more compelling and more likely to go viral for so many reasons imo. It just needs to be launched to start sprinting and it will soon overtake the other ‘solutions’ that don’t solve nearly as many problems.

Who knows though. If you really believe anything you just close yourself off to the alternatives, so having faith is meaningless really. All we can do is look at the facts about how they work and try to imagine what people want, what they’ll use and why. If SAFE works it looks like the winning proposition from where I’m sitting. :confused:

The formula for success is much more than just a list of features or first mover advantage.


Ahhh that’s a very good point about the ledger. So something like Ethereum could exist on the Safe Network itself, with all the built-in advantages of the Safe Network?

That’s the hard part to really wrap my head around - the gazillion possibilities there are.

Yes, agreed. Even Tor nowadays is not very anonymous at all.


I’m not very familiar with those new additions to Ethereum. It seems as happybeing pointed out that all of those features are already in-built within the Safe Network, do you see any potential trade-offs with those things being implemented into Ethereum?

Thank you everyone for your replies so far. It really is a lot of fun exploring both these projects and their implications for the world.

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It’s the same situation with our broken internet or with the (imo) broken blockchain concept. Either you redesign something to work as you want from the ground up (innovate) or you take an existing, field-tested innovation and keep building on it and adding plasters/band-aids to try to make it work the way you want.

I much prefer David’s approach, and although it has been much more of a challenge and taken much longer, it should yield much more impressive results in terms of disruption.

As others have said, SAFE has a whole load of killer features from day 1. Eth still doesn’t even have 1 killer app or unique and valuable feature and it has been operational with hundreds of devs working on it for over a year. SAFEcoin alone is enough to swing public interest more to us, and that isn’t even a small slice of the totally unique pie that SAFE offers.

Absolutely. The key thing with Ethereum is the ability to escrow funds. The conditions for releasing the escrowed funds are arbitrary due to the Turing complete scripting language. This is what makes it a very powerful system. Not only this, but the contract that the user is entering into is known to all parties due to it being public and auditable on the block chain. Contrast this with the legacy financial system where people must trust one another or third parties to uphold their contracts. SAFE network would act like the legacy financial system in this regard at this point.
Take a look at the thread about making a chess game on SAFE network for a simple example. In there I posted a link to how a chess game on Ethereum was developed. SAFE network lacks the sort of consensus layer that lets you implement the ‘terms of engagement’.
That being said, I think SAFE network is the best distributed storage solution going, and the SAFEcoin functionality will also be great.

Of course I could just not be fully understanding SAFE network yet