The differentiation between the node/vault and the user account is something which we sometimes lose track of in discussions, and I realized it would be good to establish how these two things interrelate, and how each comes into existence. So I’m going to lay out my best understanding of how it will be, and some other incidental details, and hope anyone who actually knows better will affirm or correct.
In order to join the network as a user, one has to have access to a device running software native to the SAFE network. So setting up a full relationship (farmer and user) with the network would first consist of installing the software on your own computer (or other device) and setting up a node which becomes a functioning part of the network. The owner/operator of the node/vault would have a node ID and Password strictly for access to set and adjust certain settings related to the node, such as assigning storage parameters, assigning a user account to be credited with safecoin proceeds, etc. By default, the node would retain to itself any safecoin, until assigned to some other account by the node owner/operator.
One would then log off while leaving the node running on its own.
At this point it would be possible for anyone to use the device running that node and establish a relationship with the network by logging in with a user ID, password and PIN. Creating an account and logging into an account are identical actions. It’s just that if you have created an account before, entering the same info will put you in an environment which contains previous account data.
Having created an account, there will be a unique ID number associated with the account. As the owner of a node, one would take that number, log in to the node and enter the User ID number, so that any safecoin generated by that node would be sent to that User Account. This could be repeated on any other nodes one controlled so that all farming proceeds would go to the one User Account (or wherever else one chose to have it assigned).
A new User Account comes with an initial amount of available storage, which cap has not been determined as yet. Due to possible attacks designed to overload the network with junk storage, I imagine that the initial cap will be fairly minimal, perhaps 1Gb to 10Gb, though I’ve repeatedly hear David Irvine discuss the cap as “up to the network average”. To be able to store more on the network above that cap, one will need to pay the network to raise that cap. The price of this added storage will be set by a network algorithm designed (in conjunction with other factors such as the rate at which farming awards are given) to help keep a good balance between available and used storage. This price is denominated in safecoin without knowledge or concern by the network as to what the value of safecoin is in relation to any other currency or commodity. When this cap is raised for this account, it is raised permanently. It is not an ongoing payment.
The safecoin paid to the network is taken out of circulation and “put back in the ground”, so to speak, to be recycled as fresh farming award in the future.
What we have, then, is nodes which are tied to specific devices, owned by specific individuals or groups. The network is not concerned with and has no data on who owns the node. As long as it functions correctly, it will be awarded safecoin. To the degree that the node functions well and as predicted by the network, it will have an improved rating and will have an improved opportunity to receive safecoin. If a group wishes to share the proceeds of that node, it is up to them to work out the arrangements by which such proceeds are divided. This is of no knowledge or concern of the network as a whole.
When anyone wishes to access the SAFE network they will have to use a device running a SAFE node (unless there is some other provision I don’t know about). But they can log on to their account and have access to whatever they have associated with it.