Is SAFE really that big of a deal?


Had some free time so I thought I’ll have some discussion.

So I’m a casual reader of the forum and being someone with non-technical background, try to understand the concepts of SAFE and what it will be from here.

One theme that I’ve observed is that many people make posts about the development of SAFE as an incredibly important and paradigm shift of an invention.

Having spent a couple of months reading, to be honest when I do tell my friends about interesting projects in crypto space, I say something like this:

“It will be really private, you will not be tracked, a lot of porn will definitely shift to it and we won’t need vpns to see them (porn is banned in my country) and you won’t have to worry about your favorite movie streaming sites being shut down - you will have to make a one time payment to store files and those files will only be accessible by you, same with websites - no monthly payment - an alternate internet so to speak that might draw in the dark web.”

But then I do tell them about the development of Swarm, Blockstack, Swirlds and other projects that are hoping to do the same things.

Frankly most of my friends don’t care about privacy, the explanation is that they’re not public personalities whose data will be snooped or they will be blackmailed or something - it will be cool if they could see porn without vpn’s but vpn’s ain’t too difficult to run, they would rather use the freemium models provided by current web to save or share pictures (insta, facebook, whatsapp) or just save them on their pc’s or phones so they do ask why would they pay to post stuff on the internet? To expect them to install Safe Vault and run it to earn safe coins and then use those coins to post on safe net is just too much - and these are well educated people, with their own laptops etc.

So lately I’ve come to view Safe as an interesting project but not ‘world changing’ or ‘paradigm shift’ ‘life changing’ etc. I have trouble relating with that view - just the fact that you’ll have to pay to post or save pictures or files etc. is asking too much in a freemium addicted world.

One of the reasons I like EOS (not shilling for it) is its staking model - want to use EOS storage? lock EOS in your account - wanto to use EOS network? lock EOS in your account - this gives them the ability to say: free storage!

I wonder if Safe can use some type of staking model

So yeah just my 2 cents, I think Safe is undervalued as of now but I think to imagine mainstream adoption of Safe is being a bit too optimistic and since the network’s safety is linked with number of vaults, that is a bit concerning.


Interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing it.

Maybe we here are in a disconnected bubble. It’s definitely an idea that we should inspect from time to time, regardless, just to stay real.

You’ve yourself pointed out some of the things that will get people interested: viewing content they otherwise couldn’t. All that will be necessary is to download the SAFE Browser. Viewing open data is free.

From there, at least some people will be eager to run vaults to assist the network, and earn safecoin. While I tend to downplay safecoin because it’s about the network–it isn’t just about a new cryptocurrency" but about an new way of communicating, organizing, being free and responsible, etc.–I do not underestimate the value that people will place on a currency that is backed by contribution to a revolutionary, uncensorable, private, secure and autonomous data and communications network. One which is virtually instantaneous, anonymous, scalable, etc. People will place value on that and want some of it, for PUTting data to the network, for sure, but also because it HAS REAL WORLD VALUE that will be in demand.

Safecoin will, itself, be a huge boon to network adoption, as it should be.

Privacy, security and freedom, when they are default and easy, will also be more attractive than you think. Yeah, currently people who “have nothing to hide” will use insecure open networks, because the alternatives are daunting and so forth. When it’s easy and hip, things will be different.

Besides, just because the majority aren’t concerned about something as important as their own privacy and security, doesn’t mean we can’t attract them with superior tech and economics to do it better.

Anyway, that’s some of my optimistic fan-boy views. Maybe we’re wrapped in some sort of tech-cult thinking. Always possible. I’ve been there before, actually, so it’s good to do a reality check now and then. So thanks again.

Perhaps others will share other aspects I’ve overlooked, and perhaps ones that you have that prick the bubble.


Why would you ever have to pay to post or save pictures or files more than the resources you have contributed? So for instance why wouldn’t an allocation of local disk space be equal to SAFE space? If you had no resource to contribute I could see a cost. But this price point at the beginning based on unused excess capacity helps get at zero marginal cost.


People like the free model now but when a large enough number of people realise that the likes of Facebook are manipulating their mood the consensus will change in that. That shift takes time. For me data storage, internet of things devices and autonomous systems alone will be enough to make the network thrive. If I run a company that holds personal data it makes sense to store it securely because there is a massive cost to a data breach. This is an example of the market taking care of things. Iot devices have to migrate to a secure system it’s not acceptable for companies to see their product been hacked for misuse. Again the market will help them migrate to safe. Any kind of backend code runnning autonomous logistic systems are vulnerable and why risk a hack if it’s possible to prevent.

Also we must not forget to take off our western rose tinted glasses. We may have a reasonable free internet but much of the world do not. For them safe makes a lot of sense.


I think it has value for web hosting services. Pay once, and a resource is always available? That beats paying a webhosting company monthly. Sign me up!
I bet so long as there was adoption enough of safe browser that site creators could justify putting the sites on safenet rather than clearnet then small business would enjoy the savings.


I can easily see a browser addon that makes you see ads and pays you in safecoin for it(if safecoin is divisible which I hope it will be). So you may not even need a vault even, just good old ads for posting your pictures.


Since birth, the human species has accumulated information. Everything around us is information. The cup from which you have coffee is information, the car in which you ride is information. In a universe dominated by entropy we are creating more and more accumulation of information.

Creating a decentralized, self-sustaining, autonomous network will do with information what the bitcoin does for money.

As soon as we get rid of the servers, we will also get rid of the ISPs. Just as the planet has a biosphere, there will be an infoosphere. The first step towards this is the world’s first autonomous network!


Not sure how that is going to happen with hub and spoke architecture in combination with the current wholesale/ retail broadband business model (in Australia)


I was going to say something similar. It is very attractive to be able to focus on building your site or app instead of having to put a lot of resources into managing the infrastructure required to support it’s operation.


In my country in 2000-2004 we had neighborhood networks. Personally, I have pulled a cable to 5-6 neighbors. These networks shared information offline with no connection to the rest of the internet. We built and maintained our infrastructure ourselves.

I can easily imagine whole cities with SafeNetwork infrastructure. As people from individual cities pay for cable to neighboring cities and thus along the chain.

Even now, in small villages where large ISPs have no coverage, enterprising people share the internet with antennas at 10-20 km…

Here, you can see the removal of cable lanes we stretched 15 years ago …


Radio mesh networks can certainly work, but not without the will of government in big cities. In Australia we have the National Broadband Network that needs to be paid off via this wholesale/ retail model.

Basically I’m saying if your using wires, your going to have ISP’s…here in Australia at least.

I would be interested to hear of ways you could avoid central control over wired infrastructure.


In poor countries, control is something relative … The state closes its eyes to small violations that everybody does …

It is clear that the SafeNetwork will be used differently in different countries and will have a different level of decentralization (freedom from ISPs). At least at the beginning … I am sure with time that the DAO model will also apply to ISPs.


I just read about swarms, after reading your comment. I see a huge amount of convergent evolution (I assume) between how it is proposed to work and how SAFE will work.

I had trouble with EOS. There’s a CERN invented protocol, and there’s also a steem proposal that seems to want to use the CERN protocol grafted on to IPFS, and then make you hold tokens which are refundable, if you want to store data. The whole steem thing seems to be a little ponzi-ish to me, to be honest, with their steem power and powering up and holding tokens, all seem as being engineered as ways to reduce liquidity of the tokens to get them to raise in price. Regardless of whether that’s true, I didn’t see anything novel here, as they are grafting the CERN software to IPFS with themselves as a middleman. I may be completely misunderstanding this however.

Bottom line, however, is execution, I suppose. Sure there are lots of projects that would like to crack this nut. It’s a hugely worthwhile nut to crack. So listing a bunch of projects that are attempting it should not really discourage, since any worthwhile objective should have multiple groups striving towards it. I have not seen any group that is nearly as advanced as SAFE on this journey, and frankly, if they are based on a blockchain, I think they are building their house on sand.


We need public ‘chains’ for government though, I haven’t seen any mention of Data Chains used as a public database of sorts.


Okay a couple thoughts here on some common reasons for privacy.

  1. Avoiding advertising algorithms and corporate tracking. It’s everywhere on the net including Facebook et all social media. You do a search on your favorite search engine on the possible side effects about a medication for a family member or friend and suddenly facebook is trying to sell it to you via ads. You consider buying a shirt and suddenly you’re swamped with fashion advertising in your inbox. This is a practical example of why people would want privacy.

  2. Avoiding social and work stigma for one’s personal views. One should not be fired from their JOB or be unable to get a job because of their sexual orientation or preferences (this is a growing problem in the U.S.). Also one should not be unable to get a job or travel because of one’s political affiliations or inclinations. I’m not talking about anti social behavior here. I’m talking about “Does this person support the government or x or y political party or not?” Take the social credit system put in place in China right now as an example of what i’m talking about. This is another reason why SAFE will be important.

  3. Avoiding ridiculous amounts of government regulations. I’ll leave it up for debate as to what regulations are needed or not but many are not and just impede small businesses from starting up. Sometimes people just want to trade money for services on a small scale. That requires privacy.

  4. Avoiding taxes. Transactions conducted using safecoin will not be taxed because you can’t tax what you can’t track. This will make SAFE very attractive to anyone trying to avoid taxation or conduct private transactions.

  5. Free speech. Sites like Facebook and instagram censor people and manipulate their streams via algorithms. But on SAFE users can post anything and can be utterly uncensored in what they say. Moreover they can be completely anonymous and distribute content safely and without the fear of it being taken down by central authorities.

  6. What your “friends” don’t seem to realize is EVERYONE has information of value and once SAFE is up likely one of the things that will arise is a bidding war for information and secrets. Credit card numbers, sin numbers, addresses, real names, birth dates, bank account numbers, sexual preferences, physical characteristics, phone numbers, contacts and relationships, the works. Your best friend could earn money by auctioning off your dirty little secrets and you’d never know it.

  7. Your “friends” don’t sound like they’re in poverty either and struggling to make ends meet. Otherwise they’d consider the implications of farming coin as an income source as an interesting possibility. As would the possibility of being paid for content creation and app development for the network.


There has been a few mentions


Good stuff, thanks for that…

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I can see your point. But i think people will find such technology useful to more than just what Maidsafe intended it to be. I think it will be interesting to see how it grows as it gets adapted.

Hi Warren,

The impression that I have is that you can farm Safecoins by running a vault - so you contribute resources to network and you’re rewarded via lottery. I don’t think one can just start putting files on the network by the simple act of running a vault - so one would need to run a vault for enough time to actually earn the amount of safe coins required to upload the data they want.

This is what I was referring to - people new to the network would either have to pay to post on the network, or run vaults for enough time to have gained some coins and use the network. It will not be that you start a vault of 25gb and then you can upload 25gb worth of data on the network.


Thank you for the clarification. Will be interesting to see the weighting that turns out to be optimal.