MaidSafe as an alternative to Dropbox/cloud storage?

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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True, but on the whole I think we’ll see the amount of PUTs/Safecoin will go way, way up.

I think that when you activate your account you should be able to buy as much storage/PUTs as you want at the current price, and have that cap be quantified in terms of mb-gb of data. If you buy lots and lots, you’re risking paying a much higher price than if you bought it in more moderate chunks as you need it. It COULD go the other way, but I’d bet against it, especially for some time to come. Storage and communication should get cheaper as the network grows.

I like to think of it as buying a data cap which you could have automated to purchase more at the current safecoin price whenever your cap falls below a certain level. If you go too low and either don’t have any safecoin in your account or haven’t set up such an automatic process, you’re informed you need to purchase more.

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For traditional “static” storage, it makes sense. Buy 100 (GB) and get 100 (GB).

But according to discussions that is not how SAFE works. I gave examples how SAFE storage is based on availability (which fluctuates), not a set in stone amount.

If I’m wrong, and it IS a set amount, then speculators have an opportunity to capitalize on market fluctuations, and some people would hoard. I wrote a post how this is possible here.

I think we can try a better way to manage consumption while mitigating speculation. A speculator cannot speculate if they aren’t able to resell. A hoarder cannot hoard if they only pay the moment they consume. That is why I’m in favor of only paying for what you PUT at that moment.

If PUT costs dramatically decrease as both you and I suspect… then wouldn’t it be better to pay for consumption as you go? Buy 100 Gallons of gas at $4.00… then gas goes down to $2.00. The gas you hoarded costs more than paying as you go.

I’m not talking about getting something you can resell. I’m talking about as follows:

a. You are activating an account or are low and need to up your margin.
b. You purchase one safecoin worth (or more) of PUT allowance for x gb of PUTs. The amount of gb is determined by the network algorithm per current network supply and demand at the time of purchase.
c. That amount of gb of PUTs is credited to the data PUT cap on your account. It is not transferrable. (You use it or not, but you can’t transfer it. I think that’s what @dirvine means by “use it or lose it”.)
d. As you send messages, store files, etc., the software subtracts PUTs from you cap.
e. When the cap gets too low to PUT the data you wish to PUT, you must purchase more. This can either be done automatically or by prompt, depending on the apps available and your own settings.

If you think PUTs are going to get more expensive, you might wish to speculate and buy a lot upfront, but that’s still for your own usage, not for resale. But, as we both think, this would not be a wise move since if you only buy, say, one safecoin worth, the likelihood is that you’ll be able to buy more for the next safecoin if you wait. Could go the other way on a short-term basis, but I think it’s pretty certain that as the network acquires more resources, technology gets cheaper, and safecoin acquires more value, the amount of PUTs/safecoin will go way up.

So an individual who wants to ensure that he’s got a certain amount of cap, no matter what, is free to buy it upfront and use it whenever. That’s speculation on his part, but only as far as his usage costs go. Since he can’t turn around and sell his cap, there’s no motive to do it unless he sincerely thinks it’s going to get more expensive before he uses it.

If you create an account for some temporary purpose and abandon it, the unused portion of the data cap is lost.

To handle this otherwise will be wildly complicated, I think. This is pretty straightforward and comports with what you’re talking about in your post. You just haven’t “consumed” the storage, but the safecoin is non-refundable.

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We are mostly aligned.

This is where we disagree about what is possible. I believe accounts (storage) can be transferred.

  1. Create 100 generic storage accounts give names like stor001, stor002… etc. This is known as botting.

  2. Activate 1TB of PUTS on each account.

  3. Wait for a killer App or Mass Adoption… resulting in SAFE storage costs to rise.

  4. Sell the account login and password externally, transferring ownership.

  5. Create your own storage front-end portal business, using those 100 accounts on the back-end.

If #3 event ever occurs, people will find a way to do #4 & #5.
That also assumes activating 1TB of PUTS remains exactly the same, and does not depreciate.
If 1TB of PUTS does depreciate, it hurts everyone. This will cause a negative feedback.

If #3 never happens, then no worries. I like to consider all possibilities.

There are faster, easier ways to make money by speculating on Safecoin directly. But if SAFE storage fluctuates wildly, this will be a window of opportunity.


@dyamanaka i like your idea of having other coins of smaller value like in games: gold>silver>copper. With this we could have a pay per PUT system. The network would allow you to redeem the lower coin for the bigger one but not the other way around.

I think you could have the advantages of the decimal without its overhead and annoyance.


I think you are wrong here.

Safecoin is the tradeable asset for the network. To allow swapping storage cap between users creates another tradeable asset.

Just because you can hoard something doesn’t mean you can sell it.

This is the problem quote from @dirvine : “It is pretty much pay on put. You charge up your space account with safecoin and will be told how much space is left based on current prices (so if you leave it and store nothing your space will likely decrease).”

My impression is that the above quote is a miscommunication on the fly by our hero after too many questions and too little sleep. :wink: It actually contradicts the other quote above, if you take it out of context. In the context of the original communication it’s not saying what it seems to say here.

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Yes. That is the alternative plan, if Safecoin’s fiat value rose too quickly… before we switched to decimal Safecoin.

It is supposed to be easy to implement. The idea is not really mine. It came from @dirvine. I just flushed it out a bit with some explanations. And you’re right, that solution would also help (Pay On Put) very easy to understand.

In this case, the copper version of Safecoin can account for 1MB PUTS.


I agree… @dirvine needs more sleep.

OK I hear you guys heading for a snooze now :slight_smile: been a long few days. Thanks again for all the ideas they help tons and are worth an incredible amount to us.


I don’t know if #4 is possible: you would have to be able to change your password/PIN and from the explanations of how self encryption works that doesn’t seem to be possible. So that needs checking. Also, if it isn’t possible, that makes password security vital, so in practice I hope you are able to change password/PIN.

#5 is possible but involves a lot of work (investment - in development and storage), and produces an inferior product (storage with latency due to layering), which means that investment is harder to recoup - it has to be done on price, yet it can’t be cashed in quickly because it will take time to sell it all, which in turn adds marketing costs. This is not an honest business model, but an attempt to cache in on a freak event (storage cost spike) that is against the proven and most likely tend, and might simply not happen. I think this is a very poor scam, so I can’t imagine it being attempted by anyone with significant resources. Surely speculating in the price of Safecoin is far more attractive based on #3.

I think the low chance of #3 makes this a very risky and therefore unattractive proposition. I think #5 is impractical even if 3# happens. Even if #4 is possible, I still think people with these skills and resources can make money in much less risky, less investment intensive ways.

I judge that attacks of this sort are likely to be limited because of this, and so not a real concern for the network. The risk is therefore not serious: the risk is that the price of storage might be ever so slightly inflated because a tiny proportion of the network storage was subject to speculative hoarding.

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I agree. Those profit opportunities are unlikely to happen for the reasons you mentioned.

However, I still prefer a (Consumption Model = Pay on PUT) compared to a (Subscription Model = Pay for Blocks).

IMO, it makes a significant difference in consumer savings and real-time Network accounting. I’ve already made arguments for consideration. And I’ll concede subscription is more familiar and maybe easier to code.

Please consider this… Would SAFE storage be used efficiently if people are able to reserve space they don’t use? Or would it be better for them to pay for what they need in real time?

Apologies for beating a dead horse.

I think it’s important to set correct expectations. If subscription is as some believe… buying blocks reserve a set amount of space. Then the Network MUST account for that or suffer the possibility of systemic failure. Subscription works with static storage because the seller (Dropbox) can guarantee availability at any future point in time.

SAFE storage is especially dynamic and uses real time availability. IMO it is a bad idea to guarantee storage availability in the future when the Network cannot know what will be available later on. If storage is not guaranteed, as I believe, then we shouldn’t even give the impression of a (GB) amount. Instead, just let the consumer fill up their PUT Reserve (Safecoins), and use that portion of Safecoin like fuel.

I’m sure the Devs have considered this already. So I’ll leave it there.


@dyamanaka You make some good points that I think make pay per PUT worth considering.

I agree with your point in favour of pay per PUT, and have two concerns against which this needs to be balanced:

  1. The relative computational & storage costs of one model versus the other, or some halfway house. My guess is that doing a Safecoin transaction per PUT us a lot more costly, but I don’t know.

  2. What users want! I think we need to sit in the user’s chair and see how the different user experiences compare. My feeling is that people like to know up front what they are paying and what they are getting for it. Buying blocks gives a clear (familiar) way of understanding a purchase scenario, which makes the choice easier to weigh up and act on.

I can see ways to make pay on PUT more transparent (e.g showing the current price, rate of depletion etc, somewhere easy to check) but think they compare poorly in UX with: being prompted to top up, deciding how much to buy for now, making the transaction, and then being able to forget it until next time.

Many people are very familiar with pay to top up due to pay as you go mobile phones, and other pay in advance methods for energy use, travel cards, filling with gas/petrol and do on, so I think the model has a lot going for it from third point of view.

There are pay as you use models too of course, but I’m not aware of ones where the price is subject to continual adjustment, and occasional spikes. If we can find any, we should look at how the concerns I’ve raised affect them.

It’s a pain to be watching the cost and worrying that I might suddenly be paying a lot for storage and using it up without realising. Here a price spike, even a very short lived one, could potentially hurt a lot of users all at once and get SAFE a bad reputation. This is a serious risk that I think we’d need to eliminate.

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Agreed. :smile:

I would go with “best” user experience and Network sustainability overall, where ever that leads.

  • Computational cost for granular accounting is also my concern. I mentioned previously… when we switch to decimal, this would not be a problem. Until TestNet3, we won’t know definitively. Would be nice to test a “copper” version of Safecoin (1/1000) and see if charging per MB bogs down the Network.

I was thinking about making the copper Safecoin version a “decimal type” from the start. It’s already so tiny in fiat value and not really worth stealing. Could be a clever way to test decimal security along side the more valuable Safecoin. In fact, when a user allocates Safecoin to their PUT reserve, they convert it to decimal. That’s brilliant!

  • Yes, users ultimately decide what they want. I think people are already familiar with a consumption model. All we have to do is explain it the same way they consume gas for their cars. Or how people pay for minutes used on their phones. I think people can relate to this very easily, even non-techs. And the market for SAFE will be much more than just “cloud storage” consumers. A Different Perspective made it pretty clear the next generation want a Social Network.

I like your suggestions for transparency in UX and it would help a lot!

As for your last point, price spikes could hurt people, the same way gas prices hurt the world globally. At the same time, it also calls new farmers to “action” and helps stabilize the Network. So it works both ways.

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As for your last point, price spikes could hurt people, the same way gas prices hurt the world globally. At the same time, it also calls new farmers to “action” and helps stabilize the Network. So it works both ways.

Just to clarify, I’m not against price spikes, but against constructing a system that would hurt users before they realised what was happening, and a lot of users all at the same time.

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You can still “top up” with the “pay on PUT” model. However, instead of topping up your storage space, you’d just top up your SafeCoin.

This is kind of like how DigitalOcean and other services do it. You can do with your or Steam account, your Xbox account, and many others. You deposit money into the account and then any monthly fees are debited from there until you run out. Optionally, you can have them charge to your credit card once you run out or just have them send you an email saying you require more funds.

I don’t think this is a difficult concept to understand. Pre-buying space isn’t necessary.

Ideally, we’d also have safeguards put in place to restrict the amount of usage. You could put in a rule that says “don’t debit me more than $10/mo (or X SafeCoin/mo)”. Going beyond that would require your authorization. This way people don’t get slapped with a nasty bill if PUT prices sky-rocket for whatever reason.

As a user, I don’t think I mind the pay-on-PUT method, particularly if prices keep going down, then I know I’m always getting the best rate. With the safeguards in place, I know I won’t accidentally spend more than I intended.

Again, this is similar to DigitalOcean. They charge by the hour, but they won’t exceed a set monthly rate. This way if you cancel/shut down your hosting early, you pay less, but you also know what to expect. Similarly, with SAFE you wouldn’t be paying for storage you aren’t using.

Moreover, the “buying storage” concept might actually be more confusing to users. Because you’re not actually buying storage. With traditional storage services (like Dropbox), you get that storage space back when you delete a file. If I’m not mistaken, with SAFE, you’d have pay for that same space again. So we really shouldn’t conflate the two models, because they aren’t the same.


What about only allowing pre-buying space up to the worth of one SafeCoin? If a SafeCoin gets you 2 GB of space, you can’t buy more space until your available space drops below 2 GB. It doesn’t have the inefficiency of pay-per-put, where you are paying per MB, but at the same time it stops excessive hoarding.