Similar projects


Let’s try to list projects that are similar to MaidSafe or parts of it.

Ideal format would be:

Name (with hyperlink to website if applicable)
Status (concept / alpha / beta / released / dead)

Short description
Optional comparison with MaidSafe.

The idea is to have a list of pointers to facilitate discovery. Ideally, this would expand into a wiki page where comparisons could be made.

Status: alpha

Paid for storage business (no other functionality) based on a network of professional storage providers (analogous to the bitcoin mining network). Siacoin is purely for storage purchase and resource reward - see economics description on reddit.

I placed this at the top because I think it is the most relevant I’ve seen so far, though not a direct competitor really as the economics, implementations and goals are quite different - see comparison discussion on reddit. The lead Sia dev made some ill informed claims about SAFE on that discussion which suggests to me he sees SAFE as a threat to his business model, which while decentralized, is still big server oriented, and otherwise fairly conventional. If as he claims Sia offers much higher performance, the two will exist side-by-side, if not, he’s toast!

Status: alpha?

Decentralized storage network with client-side encryption. There are ambitions to use it for decentralized social networks, Dropbox-like services and so on.
Free software, fair number of committers.

Space Monkey
Status: released

1TB extra HD space - Space Monkey forms a global distributed storage network, you’ll be able to access and store data from anywhere with an Internet connection, even if your own device is offline. (comments about)

Status: crowdsale finished (9% subscribed), approaching beta

Blockchain with smart contracts like everyone else?

Status: in development

Bitcloud is a universal protocol aiming to provide a massive distributed
database and filesystem, or “virtual hard disk”, capable of storing data encrypted and signed across all connected nodes, protecting privacy and guaranteeing quality of service (QoS). Builds on the ideas of the blockchain and Tahoe LAFS, but the blockchain is replaced with a dist. db.

Status: live and under active development.

On the face of things it sounds remarkably similar to Project SAFE, even using DHT and Kademlia technology, encryption routing and communication (node addresses are effectively encryption keys). So it achieves anonymous, fully encrypted, non DNS, non TCP/IP routing, and on top of this application services are provided such as own flavour messaging, chat, torrent, distributed storage, and legacy services though “tunnel” bridging tools (for example traditional websites accessible anonymously via i2p). Open source of course.

Status: alpha

A cryptocurrency where the blockchain is extended with smart contracts, meaning distributed apps can be built on top.

PermaCoin (pdf)
Status: ?

“Permacoin is Repurposing Your Bitcoin Work for Data Preservation”

Status: concept

“Filecoin is a data storage network and electronic currency based on Bitcoin.”

Status: beta

“The Master Protocol facilitates the creation and trading of smart
properties and user currencies as well as other types of smart
contracts. Mastercoins serve as the binding between bitcoins (BTC),
smart properties and smart contracts created on top of the Mastercoin

Status: released

“Built on NXT. Burst isn’t just a clone with a new mining algorithm, it has and is
getting new features all the time, such as escrow, which has already
been implemented, and many more planned and coming soon”

Status: released

In a nuthsell, it’s a PoW (Proof-of-Work) coin, based on NXT ( It basically uses HDD instead of traditional GPU’s/CPU’s/ASIC’s to mine coins. At the moment all that is stored in the space used up on your HDD, are plots, which don’t do anything really but take up space.

Indie Net
Status: concept (alpha nov 2015)

  • p2p infrastructure
  • user owned privacy oriented social network
  • (indie phone)

Eris by Project Douglas
Status: Something on github

  • decentralised application “framework” that can sit on any blockchain (targetted at Ethereum / Bitcoin but not tied)

  • uses the blockchain’s own currency

MaidSafe vs other initiatives for a decentralized internet
Meshnets on Maidsafe


Idea and original direction by Eben Moglan. Has been in development for a couple years.

The idea is to make an open-source hardware/software solution for anyone to have a home server with privacy and encryption easy by default. Supposed to include various aspects of client side encrypted shared storage of data, telephony, networking, Tor, etc. Very cool ideas but not sure what progress has been made to date. The original vision is eclipsed by what Maidsafe envisions, but very ambitious. – secure/encrypted/decentralized data storage. This is in development, fairly early stages. The originators won (or placed in) the Texas Bitcoin Conference Hackathon for this idea and initial work. I believe they’ve even consulted with David Irvine on this.


There is a similar thread here. I will lock that one and point it here. Relevant quotes from that thread below:


Oh yeah sorry, I searched for duplicates but missed this one. I say we merge them.

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Mentioned by someone as things he prefers to the idea of MaidSafe:


Hyperboria is a global decentralized network of “nodes” running cjdns
software. The goal of Hyperboria is to provide an alternative to the
internet with the principles of security, scalability and
decentralization at the core. Anyone can participate in the network by
locating a peer that is already connected.


Cjdns implements an encrypted IPv6 network using public-key cryptography for
address allocation and a distributed hash table for routing. This provides
near-zero-configuration networking, and prevents many of the security and
scalability issues that plague existing networks.


“Pursuit” looks extremely similar and a bit worrying - not released yet but apparently some examples soon. University of Cambridge involved amongst other universities and well funded by industry - Is this the main competition and is the race now on?
Factsheet here: under “overview” along with videos.


I spent a few minutes looking for some sense of the architecture or approach being used and was unable to find anything. It is very obtuse! I thought MaidSafe was hard to grasp, but David Irvine’s presentation got me up to speed in no time.

Pursuit has some similar aims - in fact it could be an app built on MaidSafe.

I saw no mention of p2p, but lots of high level “requirements” type language, and conceptual stuff. They have a demo (or two), but again there’s no description I could find of what either of these blackhawk and blackadder actually do, or how they are implemented, other than they are built on top of the “Click router”.

I don’t see this as a competitor yet, but I’ve given up trying to find out. Maybe @dirvine has come across Pursuit or the Click Router and can shed some light?

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Similar aspects appear to be that It labels information rather than urls, thereby gets rid of central servers and distributes this info across many computers in decentralised way- seems similar to me if not identical. Data shares are user chosen rather than app chosen and you can share with different groups etc (as with safenet) - there is a very good medical user case on the video, identical to safenet ideas. Benefits and aims are the same ie privacy, freedom and security etc.
Like you , I do find some things unclear and it would be helpful for somebody smarter than me to explain what differentiates these systems.



The main difference appears to be around whatever “click routing” is, as opposed to “Maidsafe routing”…maybe


ANother area that would need to be similarly capable is concensus decision making and the ability for this to support a cryptocurrency, as well as security. It would seem necessary, if this is indeed a distributed (serverless) system, but I saw no reference to either.

Links to useful nuggets about things like that would be useful if you can remember where you found those ideas.


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Hi, I followed a link in another thread:

no cryptocurrency though you are right and article is dated, so not sure what going on with it.


Thanks for the link. Seems like its a relevant project, though details sparse or burried. Shame its not easier as it would be interesting to read the equivalent discussions on a similar project - simlar aims, challenges. Might find some things we haven’t catered for etc.

I’m seeing some differences. It seems closer to transport layer, focussed on request / receive / republishing data addressed through URI’s and tagged (signed?) to validate content, originator and restrict access. While there is talk of not relying on servers - I read it as not actually eliminating them and providing cloud style pooled storage for users. It seems more like a way of decoupling the data from where it is stored (so users/clients request data without knowing where it is stored, and it is retrieved automatically from wherever it happens to be (the original source, or any computer that already accessed it). Data could start on servers, or on users’ own machines if these allow public access, but this isn’t I think doing the same thing that MaidSafe does: explicitly store data on the network in a secure, encrypted way and ensure it is always accessible (with versioning etc.), nor is there any reference to trustless stuff needed for crypto and smart contracts. No mention of bitcoin etc either.

I think the claim to eliminate servers does have validity because the architecture means that information that is widely requested will be sourced from other places than the original source. So any old computer could be the original source, and provided the data has been accessed already and is still cached on the network, it would be available whether the original source is still online, and even if that source can’t supply the demand. So essentially any computer could deliver content with very high demand, regardless of its own bandwidth. This effectively makes all computers peer perform alongside more powerful servers. What it does not do is provide any guarantees about data being retained, at least non stated, so I think this is not MaidSafe. It seems to be a lower level layer that provides some of the benefits of MaidSafe.

There is no indication of a deployment project - this was a demonstrator only. The project may be dormant. I’ve queried their twitter feed and will update if they reply.

UPDATE: I was referred from twitter to email, but ten days and no reply, so just went back to twitter!
UPDATE: I got an email response from the project leader. Here are the relevant bits:

Dirk Trossen wrote (30-5-2014):

… Anyways, it was interesting to look at Maidsafe, also in relation to PURSUIT. The goals are very similar when it comes to security and privacy, and we also looked into obscuring information requests, lowering the ability to profile…But there are also differences. Pursuit was an infrastructure project with the ambition to replace current (IP) routing approaches. This ambition adds more goals compared to Maidsafe, such as optimising resource usage along the dimensions of computation, storage and communication (e.g., using constraint-based path computation approaches, cache placement solutions, …).

In terms of implementation, we rely on our node implementation called Blackadder, which implements the high level goals (including the support for optimised dissemination strategies) in a flexible software architecture. It runs over native L2 or tunneled via IP. We also have done work on diffusion through net coding that’s included in the implementation. Akin to original IP implementations, a node can take several roles, not only be an end node.

In conclusion: the main aims are the same but the infra target of PURSUIT leads to differences in order to achieve scale and performance (we are already at a level of 10gbit/s forwarding performance).Although the project has ended, its results and code is used in other projects as well as planned efforts at EU level.


PURSUIT is not at the same level as MaidSafe when it comes to commercial readiness. There will be follow-on research activities, including corporate developments. But again, they’re unlikely to yield in products in the near-term. You can find some of the developments in the IRTF ICN research group, which also includes some of the corporate players. Also, the EC H2020 funding programme includes references to ICN (information-centric networking) and therefore solicits follow-on work.

Please feel free to share this communication –there’s nothing secret, really, and PURSUIT has always been very open.

More links:

Article on Cambridge Uni Website

“…a proof-of concept model for overhauling the existing structure of the
internet’s IP layer, through which isolated networks are connected, or

“…users would be able to obtain information without needing direct access to the servers where content is initially stored.”

“Instead, individual computers would be able to copy and republish
content on receipt, providing other users with the option to access
data, or fragments of data, from a wide range of locations rather than
the source itself. Essentially, the model would enable all online
content to be shared in a manner emulating the “peer-to-peer” approach
taken by some file-sharing sites, but on an unprecedented, internet-wide


great, nice work and really good to know. It was the video use scenarios that originally set alarm bells off - however this could be implemented in safe just as easily by sharing with gp’s, hospitals etc.


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Api for developers - ready in 60 days

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@David could you make the first post of this a wiki please? How easy is that and must you be an amin to do it?


Indie Box:

They’re currently crowdfunding:

And have a meetup if you’re in the SF bay area. I’ll definitely be attending!

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Space Monkey:

1TB extra HD space - Space Monkey forms a global distributed storage network, you’ll be able to access and store data from anywhere with an Internet connection, even if your own device is offline.

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Re: Spacemonkey

Centralised control of decentralised tools - this may be a significant competitor, and threat to adoption of fully decentralised solutions like MaidSafe because: a) consumers may not understand there is a massive difference, and b) the centralised controlling corporations have the money to advertise their way to dominance and subvert / swamp the truth regarding how these compare.

One factor in our favour, and a powerful one, will be cost. Whatever they throw at promoting their systems, ultimately they want to make money from them, and that is a cost that we don’t have.

Another is that centralised control is a single point failure that will fail badly from time to time, and each time will be an opportunity for MaidSafe and SAFE network - just look at the mess Ripple are in for precisely these reasons right now! - see Reddit on Jesse Powell / Jed McCaleb story this week


Re: Space Monkey

I don’t see how they can keep charging a subscription fee for this either. I could see people using them for a while but as memory gets cheaper and subscription costs continue, the number of folks on the network might dwindle thus making it harder to get your stuff while away from your local network.

We in essence pay people (in safecoin) for what these corps are charging for + we have other features. We shall see how it pans out…


Agreed, this can be a real opponent. Centralized groups have a massive advantage in that they can coordinate easily, and they can market. If someone can create a decentralized system for marketing, that’d be huge in combating similar centralized projects.