Safe Network Primer updated (Nov 2021)


The Safe Network Primer has been updated.

So, what’s changed?

CRDTs were just a twinkle in @dirvine’s eye at the time of the last update, but now they are a fundamental part of the Network and crucial in achieving consistency without requiring a heavy-duty, network wide algorithm. Using CRDTs has enabled a shift to Register and Multimap data types, which are a lot simpler and more flexible than their predecessors.

Another part of the process of maintaining consistency and stability is Anti-Entropy, which ensures that a section is stable before changes are made within it. This is fundamental to every operation, and fortunately it lends itself to pretty pictures too, so AE has a chapter of its own.

Then we have DBCs. These have been covered in great depth in previous updates, and are still a work in progress, so the Primer gives an overview of what they are and what they can do. I suspect they will merit a chapter of their own in a future update.

The Node Age chapter has also been updated. This is something the team has been working on recently and a few processes have been altered as a result of experiments.

And then there’s Safe credentials. While not part of the core network, a good UX will be an absolutely crucial ingredient if the Network is to take off. @JimCollinson covered current plans in some depth last week, so the Primer just covers the core concept of n-of-k credentials. Once again, this will need its own chapter once the plans are implemented.

A couple of things have been removed too. First, the authentication process is being rejigged and is likely to look rather different from the old authenticator, but it’s early days and rather than add to confusion, I shelved that part for now. Second, the chapter on the API was hopelessly out of date, but the new one is beyond my ken for now, but I’ll revisit when I learn more.


Great work! This is a brilliant resource and I’ve introduced a few people to he project with it. Great to see it updated.


Is there a pdf version? It’s hard to give feedback without page or line numbers that one can reference.

If you just quote a sentence it’s easy to find using search. Anyway here’s a pdf Primer 2021.pdf - Google Drive


Here is a typo:

“When content is made public it’s containing”

It might make sense to search for all instances of “it.?s”, because obviously spellcheckers miss those.


Done [20 chars]


Thank you very much for your efforts @JPL! I posted an ad with the topic on Facebook :dragon:

Privacy. Security. Freedom


A very fitting picture @Dimitar great work

3 Likes is linked from “This is Safecoin (Safe Network website)”, on the Primer; but the page can’t be found. (It’s the first thing I stumbled on during my 2nd browse of the Primer, and felt like posting it here.)


Done [20 chars]


Amazing job! I’m reading it on a Kindle, and I feel like I purchased a great book about the Safe Network internals. It is for free, but I would have gladly paid for it. The information in the Primer is gold.

It has been difficult for me to keep updated with all the changes in the Safe Network. I was feeling more and more lost in the technical discussions. The Primer is getting me all updated again.

Many thanks to @JPL and all the others involved with this.

PS: If anyone is willing to read it on Kindle, the Primer doesn’t load on Kindle’s browser, but a trick is to print as PDF and email it to the Kindle device.