Always interesting to see people researching and thinking in real world numbers like this. I hadn’t even considered people might hire space in a data centre to run a vault. I was more thinking of data centres themselves (gradually) switching over to SAFE.
What I see in those figures is that it might in theory be worth buying a $22 drive and earning SAFE coins at somewhere in the region of $5 a month, but is that enough for people to actually do it? Will they give up 10GB for 5 cents a month? On the other hand for a company to do this at these prices on a large scale is obviously a genuine business proposition, because people are already doing it.
I do really hope dirvine and neo are right about the home vault having the advantage, but I’m still struggling to see it in practice.
Either way, for me the question that is still important is: How can we distinguish an individual human owning a vault at home from a virtual machine owned alongside thousands of others in a datacentre or wherever, and how can we give that individual more of an advantage?
One fairly leftfield idea that I like is to make farming into a game that is essentially an elaborate Captcha. eg. A farmer is occasionally prompted to feed the animals and water the crops. Obviously something like this wouldn’t be proof of unique human, but it may not need to be - all we’re trying to do is further slow down the factory farmers, in tandem with all the other measures for Sybil resistance. Something like this also raises the idea of attracting farmers with the offer of fun, something virtual machines struggle to enjoy, as far as I know!
I suppose a more obvious way is to dilute any factory farmers by doing everything possible to get as many individuals as possible choosing to run vaults. To this end, I like the idea of making running vaults and creating content front and centre of the User Experience, rather than surfing the web. It sounds a small thing, but I think it could make a lot of difference, and in a sense, it’s this potential for interaction that social media thrives on. Personally I don’t see a problem with being quite aggressive about this, bundling a vault with the browser, requiring an account to have a vault linked to it etc. but I’m aware this isn’t part of the plan at the moment.
Not sure they’re much use in themselves, but just putting these thoughts out there in the hopes of triggering some better ideas from smarter people than myself! As with the more fundamental security measures, I feel like a lot of little things adding up could really make a difference to slowing down the big guys.