Funding for MaidSafe company - update

I’ve been hodling since a month after the original ICO … but who’s counting :wink: Whatever the choice, to hodl or trade, it’s all good, just a preference. There are advantages and disadvantages to each strategy.


Hi David and all,

I have begun a line of open questions to you and Nick in the forum about the management of the project and its funds. I do this in the capacity of an outsider and someone who has voluntarily invested in the project in various ways over many years. So far, because the project is incomplete, I have little to show for it, the same is true for everyone else who has done so, except of course the few handfuls of people who are drawing a salary from the funds invested by outsiders - they have a unique and unusual position in this community in that they are being paid on a monthly basis for their time and effort given, essentially no risk for them. All investments go this way, money comes in, it gets spent, hopefully some useful output is created - I don’t mean to convey entitlement. The thing is, most other investments are associated with some forms of rights and rules, such as in the case of equity where in the event of liquidation company assets can be sold to recoup capital, and before things get that bad there are AGMs, EGMs and audited accounts and reports etc. (I know MaidSafe have equity investors too, but I’m asking q’s with a mind to token holders). It is because of this unusual set-up in which MaidSafe’s investors and community stakeholders are in such an unprotected/impotent position that I am so interested in establishing the health of the project and its future. As a point of comparison, VCs (professional investors) have unfettered access to the management teams of their start-ups and use it liberally if they have any concerns. Like VCs we should be concerned, skeptical, encouraging and supportive. I think this community is nothing if not encouraging, however from what I have seen, those who become disenchanted tend to leave, thus leaving a fairly one sided public voice.

I hope then that people reading this understand I am not trolling for the sake of personal gratification nor that ‘my bags are too heavy’ - indeed the heavier my bags are the more my incentives align with the project and community. So, with that context in mind, here are the reasons for my unease…

While there have been justifications given for delays, largely accepted by the community, MaidSafe has repeatedly given the impression that the the concept is workable, code largely complete and timelines would be short. To list a few examples…

21-Nov-2007: This is a promotional video for a precursor to the SAFENetwork. “Science fiction? Tomorrow might be closer than you think. Perpetual data is a revolutionary new concept in the way we store share and protect the worlds hugely expanding base of knowledge.”

14-Apr-2014: “At this time, MaidSafe has completed the foundation libraries and associated code. […] Full public launch of the network will take place in the very near future. Earning capabilities will be added to nodes over a period of several weeks after the initial network testing is carried out and any issues and critical bugs are resolved.”

15-Aug-2014: Max Keiser: “One quick question, when does it launch?”, David: “Test net 1 is up and running now, test net 2 and 3 are another 6 weeks… 8… each so… this year… we’re up and running now.”

24-Apr-18: Nick: “based on current run rates and assets/prices we require no additional funding for at least 24 months by which time I would anticipate we will be revenue earning and sustainable/approach sustainability.”

I don’t want to dredge up ancient history to reanalyse these examples, but merely to highlight the potential for disparity between expectations and reality.

The rhetoric over that past few years has been, possibly as a result of lessons learned, to shun timing and deadlines, at least publicly, under the rationale that creativity doesn’t work to deadlines. I happen to agree with that. From a skeptic’s point of view though, lack of commitment to measurable milestones works very well to protect a non-performant or failing project from its creditors. The MaidSafe company has had multiple funding rounds alongside marketing messages similar to above which give the impression that the concept is sound, but just needs some capital to pay for developers to fix some bugs, run some tests then finish the implementation of the concept. In addition, I would not expect in this advanced stage for creativity (and therefore lack of committed deadlines) to be so prominent in the project. I don’t think most people invested thinking it was a research project along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be nice of the internet was decentralised?” but more along the lines of “This is how the new decentralised internet will work - we’re ready to build it”.

On the one year anniversary of this thread, upon prompting, Nick updated us on his 2 year estimated projection to financial sustainability. He told us another funding round was likely. I had not seen mention of timelines slipping or duding becoming short during the previous 12 months of weekly updates, it was largely good news followed by more good news.

Of course at this point I, and one or two other people, ask a few more probing questions, not invasively so and I hope inoffensively. Since the company’s future is now in dependent on finding external funding and therefore at very real risk of closing, I’m particularly interested in learning more about how committed the paid team members are to the project - does ongoing work only depend on them getting paid a salary or is it something they would strive for at their own risk too. This is an uncontroversial question as is the way many open source projects are born - at the developers own risk. If funding fails and the core team are not available for some reason or another to continue because of that then community members need a backup plan. To this end I wondered why there is little engagement from external developers so far. The evidence suggests it is because there is little motivation to spend time on the project at ones own risk where there are developers being paid to do the same work. Thus I described the MaidSafe company as having become a cage for the SAFENet rather than an incubator.

In one response, David, gave me the following:

“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.” (my emphasis)

I think this is a very inappropriate response from a paid insider of a private firm to its supportive investment community given it history of missed targets, reworked solutions and somewhat ill-advised marketing rhetoric. The impression given is that everything is fine because of some “tricks up our sleeve” and that its “best” for me/us to just sit tight and wait for “deliverables” and that they will “speak for themselves”. If these tricks are so important to the success of the project that they are worth mentioning in this thread and that they are so smart they will “have folks spinning backwards” then why is it such an intrusion of mine to ask what these are? I even gave the qualification that no-one would mind if they are half baked at this stage and that I was interested only in a 1-2 paragraph explanation. Instead we are spending far more time talking about things being fine rather than how they will be fine. No, I don’t think we should wait for deliverables to speak for themselves, I think the safety of the project at this late stage depends on integrating the community with the development and that means not being proprietary over ideas.

As Marsellus Wallace says in Pulp Fiction, “The thing is Butch, right now you’ve got ability, but painful as it may be, ability don’t last, and your days are just about over. Now that’s a hard motherf%cking fact of life. But that’s a fact of like your ass is going to have to get realistic about. You see this business is filled to the brim with unrealistic motherf%ckers […] you may feel a slight sting, that’s pride f%cking with you. F%ck pride!”

Okay a bit over dramatic, but I think sums up nicely :slight_smile:


Wtf Oo do you have a large short that is about to blow in your face or why this sudden attempts to bind resources and keep people from working to the common goal (here +in telegram) ?! in a situation where pieces look like finally really falling into place and the path to launch has never been so clearly outlined+tasks are being specified and nothing at all worked not like planned since the start of this process?!?!

Edit/ps:… There is times where loosing patience is only natural and understandable… But there is times where it (depending ofc of the amount of energy you put into the criticism) just looks wrong… If you’d put that energy in something productive we’d again be many hours closer to success :man_shrugging:


Okay … so I really don’t want to reply, but so much of what you wrote is just begging to be questioned.

I presume you are not a VC of Maidsafe …

and yet you do.

I can guess that I probably come across as a Maidsafe zealot … in truth I’m a Safe Network zealot … there is a large difference there. If I were a VC, then Maidsafe would be the target of my interest as that’s where my future profit will come from. As a token hodler however, my interest is in the product … and the code is there in the repo’s being worked on daily. I should be so lucky that it get’s to beta and I don’t have to do anything except stand on the sidelines and cheer … opacey, you are acting like an entitled child. What is it you are doing to build the network? Are you writing code? Are you contributing cash (i.e. are you a VC? - I don’t think so but to correct me if I’m wrong).

Token holders have no rights here - if you think otherwise, please show me the contract you have with Maidsafe - and please post it publicly so we can all see it.

If you feel you’ve been conned by slick words … well you know where you can sell your tokens and you know the way out of the project.

Token holders are not stakeholders in Maidsafe - it’s really just that simple. We are just supporters of the development of the network. If Maidsafe folds, then we will have to seek another way to get it finished. IMO, Maidsafe has no obligation to the token holders … We supporters ‘support’ Maidsafe because they are doing the heavy lifting that is all.

It feels like you are trolling out of some sense of entitlement. Please come down off this high horse. If you want some access to what goes on behind the scenes at Maidsafe then become a VC and sign an NDA.

I honestly hope that David does not respond any further … but he probably will - because he is a very decent guy and I suspect he does feel guilty that the project has taken longer than imagined/projected. In the end though, there is no way anyone short of being a god, can predict the future … so anyone who takes the predictions of someone as gospel is by definition a fool and if they then attempt to hold them to those predictions they are certainly (and quite incorrectly) feeling ‘entitled’.

Just my two bits.


Maybe it is all about “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.”

Come on… be fair


@opacey I don’t want to spend time in these discussions, so I have refrained from even saying I disagree with you until now. So I’ll say it here.

I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask questions but this dogged digging for information is why most projects would brush you off without giving any meaningful information in the first place.

Effectively you are treating the Maidsafe team as untrustworthy, in which case I really think you’ve made a poor investment choice - based on that judgement. You are trying to have that corrected, but I think you will have to live with it.

The Maidsafe team and particularly David are cut from different cloth. Many don’t know the history behind why I say that because David doesn’t mention it often, but it is there and with your grasp of the history, I expect you are aware of what David has done which makes me say that.

To me it is perfectly reasonable for David to say stuff is coming, hold onto your hats and judge us in what we deliver in the next few months and say not a word more about how. You can make your investment decisions based on that and have no right to any more. It is already more than you will get elsewhere, plus you have studied the history. Because I know you have that history, I can’t make sense of why you are doing this or the reasons you give.

In the respects you raise, equity holders have no more protection than coin holders - such privileges come only with large equity stakes. So I expect we’re all in the same boat, and here for our own particular reasons.

You have the right to have your say, but not to have everything you request.

From what I see David and the team are already delivering, so the thing to watch is whether that continues. Looking back over the last year I’ve already observed a gradual coming together in the various areas and an increasing number of deliverables. So to me this is not out of the blue but part of an ongoing trend.

The need for extra funding is a disappointment, but that’s the nature of start-up businesses. I guess many here have watched Silicon Valley, which while very funny was also pretty true to life in this respect.

On this issue, again I look to the track record and see that David and Nick are not just reassuringly businesslike, but have done this before, planned ahead, replanned, explored multiple options, raised funds in different ways and always come through with the interests of investors very much in mind - and - without sacrificing the goals of the project. Quite the contrary, they’ve made difficult selfless choices that have made themselves much less money, preserved investors interests and kept true to the vision which brought this community together. Those who leave do so for many reasons, but those who stay do so because the vision is the most important thing about this project, and there isn’t anywhere else that comes close to it IMO.

This, combined with the trust I have in David gained through my close involvement in the community for years now, is enough - so I don’t worry, don’t need to consider whether I should invest so much of my time. And I don’t spend time in forum discussions that can be more productive elsewhere.

This is of course diverting my time from other things so I’ll end there and hopefully can leave it at that.


I think it sums up your feelings/take on things and you are allowed to think what you want. You can feel as entitled as you wish as well, heck man you can quote any slander you want as well. I am not sure where your loyalties lie, or if you are trying to demotivate or help, but it’s not cool dude, just not cool and it is making you look like something i hope you are not.

If you cannot see recent progress in the last few weeks and change of pace then I cannot really help you, but as a paid insider (whatever that is), then at least I can try.



The PARSEC is done. It is the most amazing thing. It is done !


I don’t think this is a big reason why there is little engagement from external developers. And it is very difficult to get (open source) developers to contribute: a well paid job. Reasons for doing open source development: to add lacking functionality you need, to improve your CV, to learn a new language and of course a lot of other reasons. The current plan contains a lot of elements to make it easier/more compelling to contribute to the code. For instance command line tools that will do something will be more popular to improve upon, then e.g. ‘help wanted’-issues of the safe_client_libs, I think (but I could be wrong).


First, I have no doubt whatsoever about the personal dedication of @dirvine to get to the finish line, whatever it takes. This is not in question.
Second, it is not only investors who should ask questions: If you consider the cause truly important, and want the project to be a success, you should actually be interested in how to add safeguards against failure, plan B, etc. Sitting back and hoping for the best is too passive for me.

So questioning everything is really important and healhy, if you truly care, and to truly care you don’t need to have any money invested in it.

However, I respect that the project is created and owned by MaidSafe though so we cannot make demands, and requests from the community must continue to be respectful. (It generally is I believe.)


Hey Oscar, I know you mean well but don’t make the man (or us) regret that he shared that tidbit. I think it’s fair if they want to keep an edge internally, especially when once something like that is out in the open others can play on it. We know what he let us know and we can either believe it or not. They may or may not have something up their sleeves that allows them to have a rudimentary test, Alpha, or better running in a couple months. Given it came from an honorable man and they don’t like to make crazy promises, I think it holds weight. On the other hand, timescales are tricky but would assume September by the latest since that’s when they’ve been aiming having the new data types ready for the Hackathon. To me if the RFC’s are any indication then things are moving quickly in that exact direction.


To those who don’t know, @opacey has organised two SAFE Network meet ups recently and has long been an active forum member. Having met him a couple of times I have no doubt about his integrity. He is definitely one of the good guys.

As a crypto consultant, no doubt he has clients that he advised to invest in MAID having been impressed by the scope of the project and this, I suspect, is the background to his line of questions. We all wish progress had been quicker.

I hope I’m right in assuming that Oscar. If so, perhaps it would have helped to explain where you’re coming from.

Personally I don’t see anything wrong with raising these sorts of questions, after all an excess of consensus is not always a good thing and hard truths need to be faced. However, as others have pointed out, I don’t think you can really expect MaidSafe to lay out detailed plans for the benefit of coin holders and small investors. I can’t think of many small businesses that would do that.

I’m also interested in your distinction between the salary-drawing team and other contributors, developers or potential developers. As discussed in this post, don’t all decentralised projects work this way? A central team formed into a company is the norm and it would be difficult to coordinate something so complex in any other way. (You mentioned MimbleWimble/Grin which does seem to have an interesting model but that’s definitely the exception rather than the rule).

By the way there was a VC behind MaidSafe, we could all expect to have much less access to the strategy than we have with the current arrangement, and much less say as a community in the future direction.

Many open source projects struggle to get external developers. The vast majority of projects on GitHub have precisely none, but I’m pretty sure it’s not because some of the developers are paid. There are plenty of Golang contributors even though it’s owned and controlled by Google. Much more likely is that they are waiting for the API to be stable and for there to be some quick wins for them personally – as @draw mentions.

Anyway, there’s always more than one way to skin a cat and it would be helpful, with your experience of looking at other projects, if you’ve seen other ways that might merit a look.


Horror, my three cats terrified of horror … but if I have to sacrifice them for the good of SAFE … Dracarys!


MAIDSafe ARE doing the heavy lifting, and all we have to do is buy and hold. Considering the talent on the project, and work being carried out, I should be feeling guilty just holding the tokens.

The team, the skills, the daily contact with maidsafe on the forum, the roadmap, … , the product being worked on (better than Blockchain), the testnets and preview products, the bucket of cheap $0.13 coins I picked up…

The dev con, the meetups, the talks,…

There is nowhere else, no other projects, that’s as genuine and valuable.

I do feel a small amount of guilt that all I have to do is just buy and hold. I’m not doing any brain work for maidsafe.

I’ve introduced many people to this project, :sweat_smile: some bought at $1.00 … .eeeeek. But they still value what is being done and look forward to every technology update. No complaints, just greatful to have the opertunity to be in on this project on the ground floor.

Thanks for your hard work maidsafe, there is a massive silent crowed out there that are very happy with you.


Well I think that your feelings don’t reflect the truth. You believe in the Safe mission, that means a lot. That’s a way to give support and contribution to the project though that’s not through developing.

Waiting for years and putting at risk own money for a vision (without any assurance of success) is just for fools. But life awards foolish after all


I have just opened an independent public wiki for everyone, but especially for people who want to do more (e.g. beyond “buy and hope” :wink: or who have difficulty diving deeper into the technology or economics. Kind of a “Friends of MaidSafe” site, but with a scope perhaps slightly broader than that of this forum.
Not sure if this will be embraced, or frowned upon (or worse), so not posting an URL yet. I would love to have a dedicated thread here to discuss its content and editing, but I don’t want to impose.


There will always be a guy that brings up old failed predictions (seemingly all of them – especially given that 2007 video, which even I have never seen before!! yikes)—right before the biggest breakthrough of all time. Maybe things will continue taking longer than expected. …And, even during the next similar-time-to-now in the future, there will be yet another guy, saying the same things, pointing out past failures. Eventually, though: things will launch. And then, “that last guy standing” will be like, “Aw, crap. …Well, at least it’s finally here.”


Link please! [20 characters]

Edit: didn’t read this bit…

so not posting an URL yet.

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The fiat that folks laid out for Safe tokens was a gamble…a punt on the belief of a good thing and one that could have been recouped with a handsome payout if they were paying attention.

If your still holding those tokens 1/ waiting for a bigger payout 2/ waiting to utilise within a new paradigm or 3/ ??? …well you just have to accept the project for what it is and encourage the people of Maidsafe to keep improving.

I don’t think you drive down to racetrack for inside information, you have the form guide and bet accordingly. The Projects form guide is the weekly Dev reports, ongoing test-nets and the commitment of it’s support staff. I think that form guide is looking good.

Those who bought shares are believers in the company itself and believe Maidsafe will have no problem in future funding rounds if required.


Thanks, I will gauge interest, and enjoy an extended Memorial weekend first, before potentially facing a moderation nightmare.