Getting People to Pay for the Internet

I’ve been lurking this forum for a few months now and finally decided to make an account to ask some questions. The main question I have is what is the strategy for getting people to adopt to paying for Internet use/storage when for most people the internet incurs no visible cost. I understand that the cost of using the internet on a site like google derives from google monitoring your browsing and monetizing from the information they collect from you, but for many people they view the internet as a free medium. I worry that a barrier for the success of this project lies in people being unwilling to transition away from the current “free” internet, to the safenet where they can see the cost of use more openly. Has the team come up with anyways to address this? Or does anybody in the community have thoughts?


Safe net will be free to browse (read/download). It is only when you store data that there is a cost. For small amounts of data, this is likely to be vanishingly small, as so little data need a storing, by so few nodes. Of course, the market will dictate the costs, but I suspect a few quid a year will be enough for most people.

For those who host websites, the costs may well be lower too. Safe net can be considered as both an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model, which can scale massively without having to manage the complexity of the underlying hardware and software. This presents a huge opportunity for economies of scale, particularly as many vaults will be run super cheaply using spare resources.

Combining these two, may result in hosting savings being passed on the consumers, ultimately allowing them to benefit indirectly. Whether that is cheaper goods or a better service, if the total cost shrinks, it will be a net benefit.


If farming is truly granny-proof and stays decentralised then it will still be ‘free’ for a lot of users, even if they want to do more than browse. Free coins are still free money imo. Many users might not even know how else to spend them or cash them in. I’m hoping that most people farm for utility - to spend the coins themselves using the network.

As Traktion says, there are also a lot of USPs to SAFE that distinguish it from ‘the internet’.


@Traktion & @Jabba covered most everything. I wrote this earlier today which is also pertinent:


I wouldn’t worry to much about it.
For “regular” consumers who just wanna browse, share and connect there won’t really be any substantial costs to derail them. For the “heavier” users who want to store data, they are going be more than willing to pay that tiny sum for what they get in return- full security and privacy. Look at the disruptive effect Pirate Bay had on the industry and how so many flocked to share files. Yes it was free and SAFE won’t be fully free but what you get in return will outweigh the cost any day.
If you bought a new,nice car, would you not pay 50 bucks extra to park it in an enclosed and safe garage? There is nothing more valuable that we have as humans in the digital realm than our data. ALOT of people are willing to pay for security, until SAFE there simply has never been an opportunity to “live safely” on the Internet.
And once the network is up and running we will se a whole group of users run in, the business owners. This is a user base that often gets overlooked, but it is the foundation of the economy and the providers of goods and services we all need. As @Traktion says, SAFE as the IaaS and PaaS of a healthier Internet presents amazing opportunities for companies.
As a business owner myself I can’t emphasize how valuable it is to be able to store our data securely, to have full privacy in our internal communications and to be able to protect ourselfes of the plagues of the regular internet-malware/ddos’es/viruses/corporate espionage etc.
Running a business, specially an online business can be harrowing and the threats can literally bankrupt you over night.
I will happily pay for security and so will many more :wink:


Welcome to the forum :slight_smile: Glad you decided to change from lurker to contributor

What others have said covers most things, but here is my take on another aspect so often ignored in the “pay” issue.

So someone decides they want to use the internet, they need to

  • buy a computer (or use another person’s computer who paid for the computer)
  • OR buy a tablet, phone
  • Purchase an internet “plan” (prepay/postpay) or borrow from someone else who paid for it.
  • OR use a free WiFi hotspot, but the person knows this is saving them from using a paid for one. Often these spots can only be used if they are purchasing something like coffee etc

The point is we are directly paying to use the internet now, be it ourselves paying for it or someone we have a relationship with (parents, friend, as a shop customer, etc). So the concept of paying to use is not foreign to most people, and after SAFE becomes more common it will seem the thing to do. Get a coin and off you go and cheaper than chips.

Initially they will not have to get a coin because they are just using the SAFE network to look, download, play games, etc. But after a while they will want to store data, post a comment etc, so like an ingame purchase they need to buy a coin. I would hope by the time SAFE is becoming more common there would be portals to buy a coin with another payment system (BPay or Credit/Debit Card etc). Or they could just ask their mate to sell/give them a coin.

Obviously the problem is while the network is small (< 1 million users, 50K vaults) this may not be so easy to get totally new people to use SAFE when they haven’t even heard of it before. So expect quick growth to a certain point then growth will seem to slow to a crawl then it will take off again after enough people are using it.


I’m thinking that as an application developer for SAFE, I’d like the flexibility to pay for the storage of my app’s user’s data just as we do now, except covering costs with farming rewards instead of being subject to advertisement money.

For example, if I build an application where users send chat messages, they’d be using my application’s functionality to send a message to a chat room, which might be an action to put an immutable data to the network and insert it as an entry to a shared public mutable data structure.

One possibility could be that the amount of safecoin needed to upload that data would simply be deducted from the application owner’s account whom created the application. Although that may defeat the purpose of privately owned data.

Another could be to programmatically transfer safecoin to users that want to upload data to the network related to my app. I’ll be imagining how that might work…

It’s difficult enough to get people to switch to using new applications, but it may be a Herculean marketing challenge to ask users to switch to a simple chat app on another network and pay for sending messages.


I think this point cannot be stressed enough. There should be a big ol’ icon saying “click me and you get e-mail for free” or something. Then the vault should be configured fully automatically without any messing with partitions, port forwarding, installing software and the like.

Many people on this forum, including me, are not really technology experts. But just knowing what a “forum” is actually makes us into an elite of sorts. I don’t see people every day, but when I do, many of the ones I meet have never heard the word “Bitcoin”. These people still use the Internet - even to store things. Many of them just don’t come to think of the fact that their Facebook or e-mail account needs to sit on a hard-disk somewhere. They don’t know the difference between “Microsoft Word” and the Christmas_presents.doc they just created. “Hard-disks” and “document formats” are scary and of no use to regular folks. They’re for geeks.

I think it’s easy to lose perspective of how much you know once you get used to it. When serious grown-up people ask me if a rooster is needed in order for hens to lay eggs, or what “grammatical case” means, those question sounds crazy to me, but they are real. Different people just know different things. Let’s make farming really easy. Easier than using the app that requires the paying/farming.

I also don’t think “almost free” as in “cheap” is enough. There should be no need for any active transfer of visible value such as coins at all. (I still can’t post on Bitcointalk because they want me to pay some ridiculously small amount of Bitcoin to “verify” my IP or something. I just don’t like the principle of it so I go elsewhere.) Those who need more that say 10 GB of storage will understand and be willing to use coins. But the average e-mail user will not. He just wants to click and not think about paying anything in any form at all.


Could this be a smart contract? You pay them, but only after they have posted the message.

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Could an ISP subscription maybe issue untraceable ‘vouchers’ that could be claimed within the network?

So you pay say £30 a month for your broadband and that includes 5 MAID, You get a token through each month which you can then go to an independent Coinshop and claim the MAID as and when you need it. If you’re storing a lot of files then likelihood is you are savvy enough to know how to buy more should you need to.

Now I’ll be honest, I’m struggling myself with the untraceable part… if the ISP issues the token, they will know if that gets claimed so they could link your MADESAFE account to your ISP account. I’m sure there would be a way though…

I’m only suggesting this as it might be a simpler way for the masses…

PtDeveloper should cover much of that cost. You get 1/10 of the farming rate.

The immutable data is owned by noone so no problems there. The mutable entry can still be owned by the user and the APP pay for it AFAIK. Just the APP specifying the user as the owner when storing then paying for it themselves. OR it should be possible if it isn’t to specify who pays. OR see below

Well for immutable data the point is moot since noone owns it. If for mutable data you can store it as the APP owning it. THEN transfer ownership to the user, if the api doesn’t allow the owner and who pays to be different. While the transfer method is 2 PUTs instead on one it would still work.

Once safecoin divisibility is introduced then transferring small amount of SAFEcoin shouldn’t be an issue and payments are free of PUT costs according to David


Now there is an idea. A voucher simply could be a wallet address (ID) and its associated private key. Then the new user opens an account and supplies the wallet ID’s private key and there you have it a pre-paid account. A coin would be used initially to set up the account etc.

We could make an APP that takes “your” wallet and creates a set number of “vouchers” (actually wallets) and sends one coin to each wallet while generating the voucher. Maybe a credit card size image with a QR code and printed details, and then when a newbie requests a voucher off an ISP or shop or whomever they are sent one of the vouches.

Obviously the instructions on the voucher would also specify that the wallet should not be used once the account is set up since the private key may be known by other people. The instructions would inform the newbie that they should discard that wallet and create a new one.

The PROBLEM with this is that someone could request multiple “vouchers” and game the system to get these coins.


Forgive my simple brain, but i’m envisioning a pool of Kinder egg capsules (not in the US obviously), all filled with a QR code linked to ~5 MAID. You would randomly pick one outside of the safe network and then cash it in within. Now that just needs to be digitised… Come on neo, there is no spoon… figure it out :wink:

I feel like Steve Jobs… “Hey Guys, I’ve got a really vague idea, can you make it work much better than I could have ever have figured out and then I’ll claim it as my own?”. And make sure it’s vegan friendly.

Sent from my iPhone.


Thats actually simple. The qr code is the private/public keys for a wallet address. That wallet has coins and the voucher receiver sends the coins from the voucher’s wallet to their own. If new user then they create an account using the voucher’s wallet to pay for the account and then transfers the remaining coins to their own wallet that they create after setting up the wallet.

Technically: The wallet holds the addresses of the coins and the coins have the wallet ID as the owner.

So from physical paper to wallet. For the purpose of a voucher this is not too much a problem to give away coins since the one giving away the coins wants them to be given away and unlikely to scam and take the coins back. The one generating the vouchers could have recorded the codes and thus can at any time use the voucher’s wallet.

Thus the wallet on the voucher should be a “once only” wallet and discarded once the coins are transferred from the wallet.

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At some point in time, someone is going to have to simplify the codes to transfer to and from wallets.

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How so. Click add wallet and scan QR code. How can you simplify that?

Remember, you are talking to a 61 year old. How do you Scan?


Ah someone in my stage of life :slight_smile:

Phone or tablet or webcam usually.

Otherwise the voucher could be given on a usb stick as a file and copy-n-paste the codes into the wallet setup. Or maybe the voucher is sent via current email and copy-n-paste from there.

Really there needs to be the codes otherwise its too easy to get access and steal your stuff. The trick is to make it easy to copy the codes from one place to another but in such a way that it will not be intercepted.

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Copy and paste I understand. Thanks

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Private medical and and goverment inter dept would be happy to pay for this service. This is the private jet sending the message. If you want free coach section is available