Raising the sights on what the fundamental components really are

Am I the only one that think Vault is just a subset of what a network node is?

From safenetwork.tech, with my edits:

Safecoin are given as an incentive to users for providing their resources to the Network. These resources are their: storage space, CPU, bandwidth and online time that enable the encrypted chunks of network data to be stored and retrieved from their computer the network to function properly and perform all of its services.

Is it only me that think Vault is only describing the storage space part of all the above?

Is it not much more that the components of the network do, than just store and deliver chunks of data? What about membership, security, communication (later computation) etc . etc? The full vision of what the network is and does, beyond the shallow misconception of many outsiders that it is just a data storage network?

Is Vault an accurate and complete description of what a working node in the network is and do?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

0 voters


Thats why the vault is referred to as a component of the node.

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It’s a bit more far stretching than that.

The repository / crate is called Vault, and the references in text is predominantly to the component being a vault. Overview of the repo:


An autonomous network capable of data storage/publishing/sharing as well as computation, value transfer (crypto currency support) and more. See the documentation for a more detailed description of the operations involved in data storage.

I suppose that is because most non technical people installing the node software will be doing so because they want to run the vault and also it is a convienent name.


… or they just want to run the software that enables the network to function properly and perform its services.

Meh, it’s a subset of what it actually does. There are plenty of possible names. It’s not more convenient than others. To me it looks like a name that has been there since the very beginning, many many years back, but today not really encapsulating what the components of the network are and do.

I think it is an important part of the entire idea, building the awareness, to be conscious of such details. The naming is very powerful, it guides people a great deal about how to conceptualize things. Not only for knowing what things are, but it also acts as opening and closing barriers for further development of the concepts.


Thats one reason I try to refer to it as the Node and only use vault when more appropriate


Vault makes sense semantically for storage but not for other things. @polpolrene and I hit this issue when putting together the Primer. While they have different connotations, the words ‘vault’ and ‘node’ are used pretty much interchangably in the RFCs and elsewhere - so in the end we just decided to go with ‘vault’ for simplicity’s sake and to differentiate them funtionality-wise from clients, but I was never really happy with that compromise. As a general term ‘node’ is preferable IMO. If I think ‘vault’ I picture a secure room with a heavy door, not something with open communication channels.


The network is composed of nodes and there are two kinds of nodes: clients and vaults. So a vault is a node and a node is not necessarily a vault. But when the context is unambiguous the terms vault and node are often used interchangeably.


Yup. And it’s the subdivision of nodes into clients and vaults that I think is not quite descriptive, even unnecessarily limiting. I think we can do better.

To be honest this is the first I heard a client being referred to a node. Especially when normal meaning of node in electronics or software does not.

No its not but it does contain the vault. But I suppose if you refer to a client (a connector) as a node then you would be right.

EDIT: fixing bad quoting

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Yeah, they do join the network, connect to sections, so they are some sort of node. But not a node in the same capacity (very far from it). Maybe it’s even quite misleading to label them nodes, considering the discrepancy.

(was about to mention the quoting :slight_smile: )

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The conceptualization of the components is actually just a part here in a greater scope of work I’m doing currently.

There are things I am discovering as I try identify characteristics and evolve features in the core.

So this came up, as I think it is fundamentally a limiting view of what we are dealing with, and that we can do better to capture the full strength of these things.

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I like Vault as it is pithy while conveying the secure storage aspect of farming, which is going to be the context in which most people will encounter it. Also because I think it is something that people will readily grasp and use.

I’m not too hung up on it being technically correct - we can have more precise terms for technical documents by all means but not necessarily for most folk who will be interested in using, and farming, but not the nuts and bolts.

So maybe the question/poll needs to consider the context and purposes of the term, not just technical accuracy (hence I didn’t vote).


I meant the description of this component at its highest level. The way communication about this system is carried about. My point is, that to fully convey, and effectively work with the awareness of the network capacity on all fronts, that this highest level nomenclature attempts at capturing the full extent of what a participating node is and does, more than just data storage.
I also think, that on other fronts, not related to outside awareness, there’s the inside awareness. That’s what I was referring to when saying that naming opens and closes barriers to what we conceive of things, in the work of evolving it.

It’s not a coincidence that this article is talking about “vaults”, even though the tasks and functionality described here are completely other than storage related:

The SAFE naturally begins to trust older vaults and once a user’s vault reaches a certain level it can start making decisions within assigned groups.

SAFE network hashing can result in the task assignment ot 2^256 different addresses. These addresses are split into sections and managed by different groups of vaults. The most trusted vaults in the group, the Elders, are required for forming a consensus on important decisions such as splitting up groups, merging with other groups, or handling Safecoin transactions.

I think that kind of supports the idea that the concept of these nodes, is bigger than its frame.

Quite abstract line of thought perhaps. It will hopefully get more evident why I am thinking about this, when some things I’m working on get published here later.


You may have a good point there. It has worked well for us in dev, maybe on release it should be called a farmer

Although the issue is it is more like a farm and the app devs are farmers who create products for the consumers (clients)


Imo, “node” is the most general technically correct term. Xor space is a tree data structure; a branch or leaf node of this tree is a general description for any agent occupying a region of that space.

Also, “agent” is another good technical description.

Vault, farmer, client, elder, child, cache, relay, compute… I understand these to all be node or agent personas…


Be aware though this is more like a hybrid p2p network. The clients connect to their close group (Elders). Where a client is basically client code, connecting with a public key as the address (they may have many). So the nodes (vaults/farmers or whatever) are really the p2p nodes. Clients just access those like a great big server.

Hope that helps.


Yeah maybe. I feel that might not be far enough yet, but it’s beginning to untangle it from one end.
I started another thread of thought along this line:


I think I’m getting your groove. Kind of everyday life terminology? Almost like how a human cell is described in terms of a city ex. Mitochondria is the power plant, endoplasmic reticulum is the highway, Golgi apparatus as the post office, etc.

But in this case it’s like our everyday human work and landscape perhaps? I might be off base but fun to bounce ideas.


Now I have to Google Golgi…
Is endoplasmic something to do with ghost busters?

Confused in the cortex.