MaidSafe as an alternative to Dropbox/cloud storage?

@mnpenner :

Is “farming” going to get me SafeCoins which I can then in turn use to “buy” Safe-storage?

Yes, this is likely the model, for the reasons Nick mentioned.

Access to public data will always be free, only storing/uploading is charged. There is no ongoing fee, just a one off upload cost, so your data won’t be deleted if you pay to upload and leave it. No need to continue to farm etc.

Payment for storage will happen in blocks (e.g pay for 10GB capacity). Giving you a storage credit that is yours to use up all at once, or over time, as you wish. When you’ve used it up you’ll need to buy some more.

These are all things to be trialled in testnet 3, but this is the model that seems to answer the technical issues

UX Of Business Model

It’s really helpful to us to hear your questions. One of the things we need to do is improve the usability/user experience of this model. How easy is it to understand? How does it compare with other models (e.g Dropbox subscription)? Do people trust that it’s pay once, store forever?!

I think simply the fact that it is a different model creates a barrier to understanding and adoption that we will need to overcome by making it easy to understand and to trust, when people who already have expectations about how cloud storage works encounter SAFE Network. Most of whom won’t ask these question, they’ll make their decision based only on what is presented.

I’m sure @N1ckLambert and the team have thought of this, and when the technical options are clearer (testnet 3) it will become more of a focus.

@happybeing doesn’t your quote contradict @dirvine’s quote here ? I’m a little confused about how this works right now so not sure :slight_smile: .

I read David’s quote as a prevention from storage space hoarding and your quote implies to me that you can buy and use it whenever you want to.

I don’t see the difference.

Maybe the confusion is with “pay on PUT”? Perhaps clearer as: you must pay in order to PUT.

The way you do this is by paying to credit your account with an amount of storage that is then used up by uploading, storing messages etc (each PUT will shave a bit off what is left). Once exhausted, you need to “top up” again.

This avoids the problem with the cost of a single PUT being less than a Safecoin, and similar issues.

Well, that’s my understanding! :slight_smile:

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Ah I now see why I deleted my post first :slight_smile: . I was confused by the ‘storage credit’ what actually is safecoin. I thought you meant storage space with storage credit .

But that’s exactly what I mean by “storage credit”!

You decide how much storage you want and buy it in a batch, in units of let’s say 10GB. When you do that, you pay in Safecoin at the going rate. That is the point when your wallet gets debited.

As you store data your Safecoin wallet is not touched. If it was per PUT, how would you charge the wallet for 0.001 Safecoin (or whatever it works out)?

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This does incentivize hoarding and I thought that’s something we don’t want.

You say you buy it in a batch, but according to David the storage you buy and do not use will decrease (to prevent hoarding). Buying it in a batch and store later on incentives people to buy up all available storage space and sell the account with X GB storage space for example.

I’m probably misunderstanding something here so enlighten me :smiley:

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Like I said, that’s my understanding… Just based on what @dirvine has said, so he’s the guy to clarify. David, please review my explanation above and respond to @Melvin’s hoarding concern.

I can see problems for people trying to hoard in the way you describe - it will push up the price of Safecoin for example, making storage expensive to “pre-own”, but best for David to clarify first.

Yes this is something we are looking at now and discussing how best to explain these novel concepts concisely to non technical users. I think trust is something that we and the network will need to earn :slight_smile: As well as explaining concepts to users, giving them access to users support is also a key consideration here.


I think you will only hoard storage promise of space, so that is OK. The safecoin will be consumed by the network and farmed out.

So putting more into storage means you just gave to farmers more who will hopefully distribute it (well it’s distributed to them). When you need to use that space you hoarded (expensively) the network will ensure you get it even if it has to increase famers rewards to do so.

Hope that makes sense I know I am very bad at explaining this. It will be much clearer when we implement it as my head won’t be in routing algorithms :slight_smile:


@Melvin & @happybeing,

I’ll try to clear the confusion with examples, assuming I understood “The Safe Network’s economics” thread correctly.

  • Currently, the smallest transferable unit is 1 Safecoin… no decimals.
  • We plan to switch to decimal Safecoin after the Network grows bigger… maybe in 1 year?

This means storage pricing must be expressed in the following way.

1 Safecoin = X (GB) Available

Here’s an example of fluctuating pricing, based on Network Utilization (supply/demand).

(March 5 2015)
1 Safecoin = 1 GB Available
Paying 1 Safecoin allows you to store up to 1 GB… at that moment.

(December 25 2015)
1 Safecoin = 500 MB Available
Paying 1 Safecoin, allows you to store up to 500 MB… at that moment.

Here’s where the confusion comes from.

If a consumer pays 1 Safecoin on (March 5 2015) but never actually stores (PUTS) anything, their available space is reduced down to 500 MB when they try to store on (December 25 2015).

This is what I referred to as the “use it or lose it” approach. This discourages hoarding and encourages consumers to buy only as much as they need… at that moment.

There are some points to consider.

  1. If the user sees 1 GB “available” today then 500 MB later, will they feel ripped off?
  2. Is there a way to manage this negative feedback?
  3. Is there a better way to do storage pricing?

1A. Probably. Most people will “assume” if they pay 1 Safecoin, the displayed storage amount is what they will get.

2A. Yes. Since the smallest unit is 1 Safecoin, that should be the default block amount purchasable at the moment a user tries to PUT data. In other words, they cannot buy more than what they upload on a “Pay-on-Put” basis.

Example. (Pay On Put)

  • Consumer first tries to PUT 250 MB of data. The Network gives them a message (Accept / Decline), charging them 1 Safecoin, which gives them 1 GB… at that moment. They can either use the remaining 750 MB or leave it as credit. But they do run the risk of their 750 MB reducing if prices go up.

  • The Network only charges for data when a consumer tries to upload (PUT). The consumer cannot arbitrarily spend 100 Safecoins to buy 100GB and upload at a later time.

  • This process makes it very simple for the consumer. Try to upload, get a message of how much it costs. Or better yet, have a real-time display of how much 1 Safecoin = X (GB) in the SAFE App Launcher.

3A. Yes. Once we switch to decimal Safecoin, the PUT charging can be made more granular (cost per 1 MB), instead of charging for batch amounts (1 Safecoin per X GB).

@dirvine & @nicklambert if you feel any of this is wrong, or need clarification, I’ll be happy to edit it based on your input. I hope this is helpful.


No it seems nice, I like all the differing ideas. I suspect we may need to test this all out. You spend ages on this and are very convincing. We will draw it up in the new language to see how it looks.


Is this currently how it works? If so, which part of the network is responsible to keep the balance of credits?


That specific portion you quoted is a solution I came up with just now. Credit to @Seneca as he was part of the discussion.

The discussions on this forum indicate that a consumer can buy storage ahead of time via blocks. Example spend 100 Safecoins to buy “promise to store X space” at a later time.

I was suggesting we remove that ability because it causes confusion as well as problems. None of this is set in stone. We need to test on TestNet3 before we can get a clear view of how it “should” work.


Ah ok. I wasn’t aware of the discussion around the idea of buying blocks of storage in advance. I understand it might makes it easier to grasp for user since buying blocks of storage is a familiar concept but it doesn’t really translate well to the way Safe works, I think anyway.

What’s the reason why we don’t want to split Safecoins at launch, computational overhead?


From what I understand, it was a security feature. So if an attack were possible they would only be able to steal 1 Safecoin, instead of the entire wallet balance.

1 Safecoin = 1 one vault location
10 Safecoins = 10 vault locations

Sorry if I can’t explain it in technical terms, but that’s how I understood the reasoning.

EDIT: I just realized I was answering a different question. The computational overhead concern will be resolved when we switch to decimal Safecoin. For now, it “might” be an issue if there are Massive amounts of Safecoins being transferred. But some believe it may not be an issue as the Network grows because it will have more nodes to distribute the load. Again, testnet3 will help us get a better view.


Hum, interesting, got any link on the subject?

EDIT: Actually I found a few searching for “granularity”, I’ll read that.

Here you go :smile:

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Here’s a counter argument to the (Pay on Put) model.

If users must agree to every portion of PUTS, won’t they get annoyed having to (Accept/Decline) every message that pops up on their screen? Absolutely. I know I would. That is probably why most people like to buy in blocks, so they can do one transaction for a lot of activity. It will get even worse with more granular charging.

Automated Charging Solution

Upon account creation, the user MUST confirm they are aware the SAFE Network will auto charge them for PUT activity. This removes the (Accept/Decline) annoyance. Consumers should see their Safecoin balance reduce every time they PUT something on the Network, giving them the ability to monitor their usage.

I’m sure there are other solutions. But I think the best solution is one that enhances the user experience and makes it as simple as possible. Keep in mind, the SAFE Network will do much more than just cloud storage.

Yeah it would be an awful user experience to ask every time a PUT is made. But if the wallet comes with a good variety of safeguard it shouldn’t have to.

Personally, I’d love to see a little green light in the bottom corner of the Launcher lights up whenever a PUT request is paid for.



Love the green light idea!

A consumer PUT Reserve would be ideal. This would be done in the account “activation stage”.

Instead of buying 1000 GB of storage availability, they reserve 1000 Safecoins for PUT activity. That reserve amount is automatically deducted as PUTS are being made. If their reserve is ZERO, they get a message saying they need to add more. Safecoin is now seen as fuel for the Network!

  • This solves the problem of users trying to hoard space for future use or resell.
  • This removes the expectation of a set amount of storage.

Some days their PUT activity may costs more, some days it will cost less. This brings awareness to user consumption and may even encourage personal responsibility.

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