Funding for MaidSafe company - update

I’d rather see the project die than be compromised in any way.

Could the FOSS community finish it?

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Agree. Patent portfolio should never be for sale.

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I think Safemaid at least owes the holders of MAID ownership of the patents.

I also wonder why safenet was not split into a core and a higher layer, and higher layer outsourced to FOSS.

A highly pertinent question! I think it splits into two parts…

a) Would those who are part of MaidSafe now be willing to continue the project if the funding run out? (if not, why not?)

b) Has enough of the design been completed to justify/inspire a FLOSS community to emerge and carry the baton? As far as I understand it there is a lot of design work still to be done, not just the implementation and coding up of existing design work.

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It’s also worth asking why despite several attempts to kick-start involvement from the FOSS community, Maidsafe have so far had to go alone.

I think it requires particular skills (so a much smaller pool of people who could contribute) and has remained at the stage of needing a small dedicated core team - which makes it hard for people to contribute.

The project is perhaps approaching a time when more outsiders could contribute, but unless Maidsafe are unable to complete it I don’t think outsiders are able to contribute significantly to the core in the short term.

Later I think it will happen regardless.


This is not so simple, we are a company and pay wages for work. Many folk have families, rent and other commitments. Perhaps then look at community, many maidsafe staff are in the community. I have committed to launch the SAFE network and will. Who helps will be up to them, I think there are several folks would do just that.

To be clear, we have more runway that I had for the first many years and way more opportunities for investment. So it’s a hypothetical and that is fine.

Our best and 100% best bet is to launch a feature minimum complete network. so secure, safecoin, data network of individuals computers running the network. This is key and we have some tricks up our sleeve that you will see in the next 2 months that may have folk spinning backwards wondering how we did that. So watch this space and I hope all going well you will see a company moving fast here. Faster than anyone would believe, based on our last 5 years, where we did have to answer big questions. But don’t take my word for it, let the deliverables speak for themselves in the next few months. that is the best approach, but you will see it all happening in the project plan each week as things move around and blocks fall into place to create deliverables.

At the recent podcase @Viv and I did with @fergish we were not kidding almost all of those fundimentals have been shown in various guises, all we do now is pull it all together, so get the RFCs in line (ticking that off right now) , get impl specs and tasks laid out, resource those, move around the bits to find deliverables through the critical path and see what happens.

During that time we will look at funding closer, but with proof points that are current or very recent and a well laid out execution plan to full launch (the day safecoin is live). The proof though will be in the doing and now you will all see us progress all of this every week. So expect some more RFCs, laid out tasks and some deliverables to keep us all happy.


I both love and hate these kind of quotes.

Please elaborate @dirvine -sensei. Don’t keep us in suspense. Maybe give us a little glimpse, will you? :wink:


Every Thursday :smiley: :smiley:


‘RemindMe! 2 months’



I reckon David has got his sheep coding.


they are soay, I would not be surprised they could, the crafty wee buggers they are :slight_smile:


Oh man, for a team that does not give time frames, 2 months sounds a lot like a estimated time for something awesome :laughing: . And then going on talking about letting deliverables talk too? You would be getting my product managers all hot and heavy if they started reading such words.

I have 2 months to spare, welp back to work day grind for me. And maidsafe too, community folks stop bugging them so they can focus on code now(including me) :grin: .


I think crypto will go very high right this very moment and thus end all of this discussion.


Hi David,

Don’t you agree that, ultimately, it has to be that simple otherwise there is no hope? Let me explain why I think that… SAFENet should be a revolution, and few revolutions emerge from the 9-5 world of offices - revolutions are born of passion and desperation.

Apart from a group of cheerleaders, like me (most of the time :smile: ) and with a handful of exceptions like happybeing who are hands-on, I don’t think there is any public engagement with the development, why would there be if there is another team getting paid to do the work - an asymmetric market if ever there was one?

Decentralisation is a purely political concept, and politics means people. To arrange the corporate structure of MaidSafe around the development of the concept is a means to insulate and incubate the design until it is ready for release - a rational starting point for any complex enterprise. However, this incubator has become a cage. We are 13 years in to the design - having consumed millions of dollars of investment and the mechanism that produces decentralisation is not yet coherent. As much as you have done and as ingenious as you and your team are, you need an influx of creativity and idealistic enthusiasm. There are plenty of brilliant minds out there who would contribute if they had the opportunity to feel like a true stakeholder and on informational par with other developers. Imagine how you’d feel if you woke up tomorrow to an inbox full of solutions and pull requests from amazing strangers?

I understand that great innovations typically happen from one mind and appear in a similar way to black swans. In this case you are that mind, but I think after 13 years, you have had time to convey the extent of your inspiration to the public so that your swan can be given wings. Please take no offence from this as none is meant, but as a member of the human race, I think it’s safe to assume that 80% of your innovation happened 13 years ago. The investment has happened and the work that you can do as a company has been done.

If you have “some tricks up our sleeve” I have no idea why they are up your sleeve! What benefit could there possibly be from keeping them to yourself? If the company is just a means to an end, rather than a vehicle for having a comfortable life working on enjoyable problems and eating out three times a week then your goal must logically be to recruit as many creative minds to the problems at hand as possible. The open source community will emerge if they are on an equal footing and have been given enough of an idea to build on. Bringing in new money to pay geographically local 9-5 developers to work in an office is a tight bottleneck at this point.

The SAFENet primer should not have been a community effort, it should have been your work and your call to action. The community produced it out of a thirst to bring coherence to the ideas - clear evidence of the revolutionary and passionate force of the crowd that is not being tapped properly.

Perhaps the worst case of MaidSafe running out of resources would actually be the best possible thing for SAFENet’s future. If you are a driven revolutionary, I would imagine that you’d then panic, draw up a paper distilling all the essential ideas and designs as concisely as possible and then spend your free time finishing it in a public forum of like minded, equal footed strangers from across the globe.

So, yeah, that’s why I think it matters if the founders are willing to work for free. If they’re not, it isn’t really a decentralised project and suffers from a high single point of failure risk. Please don’t respond to any of my points here unless you want to, you have a lot to do and I more wanted to air my views in public - perhaps it’s therapy.


I had a thought on patents or at least IP as an attack vector.

Safe is integrating some outside tech, coding it their own way…but coming from the minds of others. This outside tech maybe has a licence that allows free use, no problems there.

But, what if any of this IP has originated from an undisclosed source and actually has been stolen.

I wonder if any claims of the original IP holder could filter through as a problem for Safe. How much due diligence has been done down the line to ensure the origin of all IP is known.

Interesting tought. Attack vector, indeed. Even if all the technical parts work perfectly, the maidsafe net could be forced to be rebooted by a hostile patent holder or patent troll. MaidSafe could be the Achilles heel until it relinquishes any central control over safenet.
This is yet another reason for the need of reducing the attack surface of a certain to be identified core part of safenet. I practically don’t know anything about safenet yet, but I fear the current architecture and design is by necessity (or by lack of proper design) one complex entangled system that cannot be split into smaller autonomous units. This impacts attack surface, upgrades, maintainability, robustness, stability, and required level of perfection for launch. In that case I would like to see a safenet that we could centrally backup and reboot abd carry in without loss of information. Maybe just the economic portion might need to be put on hold until the system has reached the level of perfection needed to live perpetually.)

Two months??? Wow. Finally its happening :blush:


Not sure where to post this, but I want to mention it at least once: I don’t know enough, and may sound alarmist or criticizing too much but as a stakeholder my intentions are to support the project, it’s people, long time leaders, and post hopefully constructive comments. I think I will put this in my profile.

Interesting thoughts @opacey and very nicely put. You’ve obviously spent some time thinking about this and I wonder if you can provide some examples of similar projects that are achieving greater outreach and if so what they are doing differently?

From my limited research it seems that most decentralised projects are in the same boat, struggling to get third party developers on board for whatever reason, or having to pay a lot for them in rewards (e.g. Blockstack), and even then with most of the engagement being apps rather than the core tech.

In the general case I can think of a number of reasons for this, briefly:

  • The number of get-rich-quick schemes diffusing interest;
  • The combination of ‘revolutionary’ ideals plus technical knowhow being shared by only a few, and with those few drifting to the most visible projects (like Solid);
  • The fact that “this stuff is much harder than we thought” leading to a wait and see approach or a loss of faith and redirection of energies elsewhere;
  • “What’s in it for me?” Most open source development is tweaking stuff that already exits to fit a particular use case, or apps built on top, which is not really possible until a project hits Beta.

In the case of SAFE in particular I can think of a couple more:

  • Rust - we’re fishing in a very small pool of potential core developers;
  • Complexity of the project - maybe it’s hard to see a way in as everything is built from the ground up. Elastos, the other project of similar scope and longevity, seems to be suffering from this;
  • Being first to ICO led to problems and the (relative) poor performance of MAID hasn’t helped;
  • Lack of visibility - in the world of the new and shiny (Tron, EOS) it may look like a has-been.

These are all significant barriers to engagement and it would be interesting to think about ways to overcome them. I’m not sure how realistic it is to decentralise the whole management of the project - can you think of any examples of this? - but we should certainly be thinking about easing the path in.


In the time I have been active here I understand the goal is for them to develop the core of the network and deliver it. Then continue to help work on it but I believe their hope is that they don’t have to be the ONLY ones working on the core at that stage and that the community can start picking up and improving/enhancing as MaidSafe shifts more towards app development at that stage in tandem with core improvements they want to make as well.

I think a project like this that has many components that required being developed at the same time running it more as a traditional company will yield a better product faster(I know the faster does not seem true since everyone knows the origins of this effort is as old as bitcoin without an MVP still). But I bet with no company/core dev group this thing would be like 20% or less of the progress MaidSafe has progressed with it.

I agree at some stage after we get an MVP an effort has to be made to make it “easy” for outside developers to start studying and understanding the core of the design and good videos/documentation on how to play with it in rust as a sandbox or w/e. It will be very important MaidSafe makes it easy to work on their network with quality tools and quick bootstrapping components and unit testing framework etc. But honestly thats so far down the road I prefer to focus on whats needed for a launch and worry about stuff we don’t even know if we need to worry about yet down the road, of course occasional pondering/pre-planning is good but don’t dwell on it too long.