You are not comparing like with like imo.
There is no real competition for SAFE because no one is building anything like SAFE.
Yes, a lot of the functionality we’ll see on SAFEnet can be duplicated by various independent projects, but Maidsafe are not building another blockchain solution and none of the other projects are close enough in design to consider this a ‘race’ imo, not yet anyway.
Ethereum is still at least two years away from a possible sharding solution. They can pay their devs $500k pa, it won’t help them get it done any quicker.
I’d be wary of getting pulled by the tide. If you dig deep you’ll find this isn’t really a race at all, despite the tendency to treat bubbles of growth/interest as if they were yardsticks of success. All the matters is the real bottom-line, what will people use, why and when? All any of us can do is try to unravel our own interpretation of how that plays out based on the information we can put together. I think supporters of this project tend [by necessity] to be very independent-minded and they don’t much care what the crowd thinks. Eth can go to $100bn cap and they can pay their devs $1m pa, it wouldn’t make any difference to my investment choices. Blockchains have a very, very long way to go before they could really claim to make something like SAFEnetwork redundant. We still seem to be many years away from that from what I can tell.