Update 02 March, 2023

Unlike hardware, with code it’s easy and cheap to add features. For a car manufacturer, even changing something as peripheral as a wing mirror means retooling a production line, testing aerodynamics, coordinating the global supply chain, and so forth, whereas the software equivalent can be written by a single developer in an afternoon. That’s beautiful, but it’s also dangerous: it’s always much easier to add than it is to subtract, and bloat creates more bloat — it’s self-multiplying. That’s why, strange as it may seem, we’re much prouder of the code we manage to strip out than the extras we add in.

From the outside, that might look like digging holes and then filling them in again, but actually it’s about sculpting each chunk of material til it’s as light as can be. That’s the bit that takes time, skill and precision. But because in the Safe Network every part is intimately connected with every other, the benefits of that effort eventually spread network wide.

Which is all fine and dandy until we want to demonstrate some important feature that is dependent on all that intricate chiselling going on upstream. DBCs v0.1 are now done, but DBCs are intimately connected with everything else. DBCs allow us to pay for storage, storage needs reliable handover, handover needs … etc. That’s why, as mentioned last week, we’ll be looking at a demonstration payment-only network that’s independent of the work underway elsewhere, one that doesn’t stray too far from the path we’re already on.

General progress

@Chriso is simplifying the CLI, removing the old node command and renaming the node safenodethanks for all the naming suggestions BTW :sunglasses:.

@Anselme has added a reason field to SpentProofs, written by the client and checkable by elders without requiring a signature. This should mean we don’t need elders to sign data, eliminating at a stroke the ‘old key attack’ vector, where a bad actor with a previous key can validate data. He has also cleaned up some odd loops in AE gossip logic.

Meanwhile, @joshuef has improved relocation logs to remove a couple of bogus and confusing errors that were making flows hard to track, and also tweaked node age for the same reason.

@Qi_ma has been refactoring section peers so we have membership logic in one solid place. This should help prevent issues centred around membership churn.

And @oetyng has been working on the payment network, the reason for which is given below.

A payment-only network

There are hard tech problems we are solving, and this is the real work of the project. But at the same time, we have some parts that already work well, one of those being our DBC technology. The payment network is a way to showcase—step by step—the attributes, features and performance of DBCs while we wait for our other innovations to mature.

We also want to be able to test and refine the UX, check for unexpected glitches, and work on other areas of the design.

A test payment network will be a way of emulating the way DBCs will be used on the Safe Network, one that’s independent of data storage while remaining as close as possible to the overall network design, with its safeguards against Sybil attacks, DDoS and the rest.

As stated in the intro: we want to make sure it fits as closely as possible with the rest of the design, while still being able to function as a standalone prototype. That way, we can take our learnings and just drop them back in.

Having a functioning payment-only network also has some tantalising potential to help us address some additional challenges:

  • Demonstrate and market some of the groundbreaking technology we have been working on. Getting eyes on the project and excitement for what is to come.
  • Directly benchmark performance against incumbent currencies.
  • Demonstrate the USPs over incumbents e.g. performance, unique abilities of DBCs, environmental credentials, etc.
  • Reignite interest in a project that some may have forgotten about.
  • Pilot exchange integration and acceptance of the economic tech ahead of full launch, where it will be critical to Network growth and accessibility.
  • Build out a node base ahead of full launch.

So all-in-all, it’s worth the feasibility assessment we are undertaking, as it could be a useful tool along the way to launch.

Testing… testing…

It would also be a way to spread risk, and tackle problems in a staged and coordinated way; as a big bang launch of both a payment and data network would naturally have more potential points of failure.

Whereas a separate payments network could be piloted and iterated upon without the combined risk. We can learn from it and continue to build. It’s not the full vision, but one part of a series of products that we can build, and will continue to build as we work towards that vision. A more agile approach if you will.

We need to work out how to secure it at each baby-step to avoid the inevitable spammers and attacks, but it’s full of promise.

Useful Links

Feel free to reply below with links to translations of this dev update and moderators will add them here:

:russia: Russian ; :germany: German ; :spain: Spanish ; :france: French; :bulgaria: Bulgarian

As an open source project, we’re always looking for feedback, comments and community contributions - so don’t be shy, join in and let’s create the Safe Network together!




Building excitement for the technology behind the utility token, the token economics and the token’s utility in the network is a great idea to get the narrow sited to funnel into seeing the much broader impact of the network as a whole.

Seems like a good approach while the other work and simplifications are being done!

Great work team @maidsafe


Is a payment only network just basically a type of crypto coin?


Thanks for the update Maid team. :slight_smile:

Is this payment only network going to be with actual SNT? Or would it be test-only tokens all the way until launch of the data network? Wondering if the former if this would run afoul of the regulators - as not a utility token (at least until data-network arrives).

Thanks again and keep hackin’ ants!



Oooh. I wonder if we’ll finally get a token name and logo reveal… :eyes:


There are a.number of was to do this—and we’ll scope out all—but it’s most likely it would be a parallel currency running the same DBC tech and APIs etc. It means we can figure out a lot of the process and economic and launch mechanism too. E.g. airdrop to MAID holders etc

This would, of course, be all worked through the official regulatory channels and processes. It’s not a hit and hope.


I just confused on how it’s secured. Just nodes without the storage? Node aging, relocations? They’d just be swapped out with storage nodes when the full node network is stable?


ChatGPT summary:

In summary, software code is easily and cheaply modifiable compared to hardware, but adding too many features can lead to bloat and inefficiencies. The Safe Network team is proud of stripping out unnecessary code and making each chunk of material as light as possible.

The team is currently working on a payment-only network to showcase their DBC technology and refine the user experience while waiting for other innovations to mature. The payment network also has the potential to demonstrate groundbreaking technology, benchmark performance against incumbent currencies, and build out a node base ahead of full launch.

The team is taking an agile approach and piloting and iterating upon separate products to avoid potential points of failure in a big bang launch of both a payment and data network. They are working on securing the payment network to avoid spammers and attacks.

Privacy. Security. Freedom


:+1: for going for the payment network first. Although this is only a small part of the SafeNetwork, it would probably turn out to be the most advanced cryptocurrency out there, right off the bat.

especially interesting if real SNT could be used


This seems like a major non scheduled change of focus and as such, Im worried.

I can certainly see the advantages but very very worried that the Payments only version will take precedence over the original vision.
How can we be sure this will not happen?
How can we be sure that if DBCs are any kind of success that the network I have been waiting nearly 10 yrs for now wont get quietly dropped as 'too difficult ’ by the greed driven influx of chancers that will inevitably flock round now?


With this comes funding.


From who and at what cost?
We already see the parasites circling.
User @Rabinovitch showed up the other day asking how he could make money. When it was suggested that the best way to make that happen was to help test, he disappeared like snaw aff a dyke.
Strange that, eh?


Im on the bus to the pub so wont be able to contribute much more tonight apologies in advanvce im not ignoring anyone.


Sure, I don’t disagree with that. Coin and trading will once again be the most popular thread.
It’s is not all negative though :slight_smile:


We’ll have to wait and see what they manifest here. It would be great if it were actually SNT for the data network. Securing a payment only network though is going to require PoW or PoS I would suppose. If data network can be added on later replacing the PoW/S method, then that would be awesome.

But for now we really have little idea about where this is heading.


Hi @Southside,

I want to relieve your concerns.

First of all, the data is part of the network fundamentals. There is no way to leave that out without changing the project entirely (@dirvine will not let that happen, you can be sure of that :smile:). In fact the entire team is dedicated through and through to the fundamentals.

To implementation details:
We are doing this iterative work using feature flags. So, we have a data-network feature flag, which is included in all tests and releases. This means we can’t develop the network without having all that working as well. Only for specific releases would we exclude the data-network feature, thus only exposing the payment network.

It’s secured the same way as the data network, it’s just less data to store. All the transactions that are stored on nodes is like any data. So it’s all the same logic with aging, relocations, splits when full etc. etc.
What we’ll likely do though is to require smaller nodes when payment only, and larger when full network.


Ah, I see. I was just under the assumption the Safe Labs stuff would be holding up the data network and so would also hold up the payments Network but as is, things are already acceptable, stable, and robust enough for a it to functions as a payments network?

Regardless, looking forward to progress!


Super excited about this, I think it will breathe a whole lot of new energy into the project.