NEM's Catapult and MAIDSAFE

Interesting post on the NEM forum ( NEM is a project I follow actively)
Nem has been working hard on Catapult, under the radar, and is very undervalued in my opinion, a bit like Maidsafe.

Here is an excerpt:

On a different note, there is a reason too. Decentralized computing power or decentralized storage just isn’t a viable economic product. Because it is decentralized, you would never be able to get a product as reliable as what you would get from Amazon or Dropbox. Amazon and Dropbox already have some levels of redundancy and protection, and for a decentralized network to have the same level of reliability, it would have to have A LOT more redundancy than the centralized players. So a user will either end up paying the same amount for an inferior product with decentralization or pay a lot more for a product that is just as stable. AirBnB and Uber were able to tackle an industry with some gaps in their model. But distributed computing power and distributed storage is already been optimized for maximum efficiency in the centralized world. It is going to be really hard to find gaps in Dropbox’s or Amazon’s model.

Look at a decentralized model like the blockchain. It is sooooooo terribly inefficient and weak compared to a centralized database solution, but what it offers is an extreme level of security. For storing, money, people will be willing to deal with the decentralized drawbacks for the increased security, but for securing their family videos, or running a model 3D, they don’t need high level of security, they want the cheapest, quickest, and easiest option. Amazon and Dropbox know that and have offered a service that is already finely tuned and optimized for that. Both Amazon and Dropbox have free tiers for smaller users, it is going to be hard for Golem or Storj to beat free, easy, and reliable.

If decentralized storage or computing power is viable on a decentralized network, you will just see Dropbox and Amazon move into that market, the same way that power companies offer people with solar panels a few pennies for directing electricity back into the grid. But I doubt we will see that as it doesn’t make sense I am guessing.

for full thread

Hard? Not really: they offer no coins, Golem and Storj do.
On top of that G & S enable users to rent out their computing resources in exchange for money. Decentralized money in users control, so no fiat currency that can be devalued whenever the central bank feel like it.

What might be a really BIG mistake to make is underestimating decentralized systems and how they can be funded by everyone worldwide. If something is a solution that is really needed bad, it can be crowdfunded within hours, minutes LOL even seconds: don’t underestimate this space.

Within a day we can crowdfund one of these and create a crypto nation at sea, if we want too.


And of course something is too hard until it is done by someone.

Man can’t fly in the air, he’d have wings if he was meant to fly. What’s that up there in the sky - it looks like a balloon with a basket under it with people in it - the hot air balloon

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I never bothered using my spare resources or saving my data with Storj. I’ve followed it casually for years, I’ve been emailed about all the tests and opportunities etc. The reason I never bothered is because I don’t really need the storj tokens. Earning a few spare cents that have to be traded back to fiat to be spent is fairly uninteresting for most people who can afford to provide some spare resources. If the fiat value of the SAFEcoin rewards was the only incentive to farm, or if price the only reason store data on SAFE then I would not have been all that interested in this project in the first place.

The incentives for using SAFE are very different and quite unique. Amazon will never be able to offer true censor resistance or security for your data. These things are going to become progressively more important in the future, not less important. A centralised model could never be as secure or offer as many incentives as a well-designed decentralised model (since the value can be shared in a decentralised one).

The assumptions about efficiency also don’t really wash. It is not a fundamental truth that centralised systems must be more efficient or faster. Serving data from multiple locations simultaneously can be faster than getting it down one pipe (like bittorent). The fact that centralised systems are currently more efficient than the decentralised ones is just a consequence of them being more mature whilst the decentralised ones are brand new. I feel quite confident that decentralised can win all of the efficiency wars eventually.

Let’s not forget the biggest part of all this too, the bottom line. Spare resources are free. The coins are free for the users to earn and therefore the whole service is free for anyone who can provide spare resources. Free is as good as it gets, but the centralised free comes with all kinds of strings and caveats attached to it. Free on SAFE means free forever, reliable, always accessible, censor resistant and truly secure. Amazon can’t offer any of that; they offer temporarily free, subject to terms and not at all secure, not as reliable or accessible, not censor resistant.

The OP in that post is dead-wrong that decentralised can never be a viable economic model. In fact the exact opposite is quite clearly true. Free/spare resources must necessarily end up cheaper than the centralised model since the centralised paradigm requires profitability and the amount and quality of the spare resources we have is growing exponentially. In the long term it is quite obvious that we will end up sharing our enormous spare resource capacity rather than going to centralised providers that have to spend the GDP of a small nation to keep their infrastructure running, then they need to make a profit on top. Using middle-men can never be an optimum economic model, nor can it be as efficient as finding the solution to working without them.