What's a killer app with safe?

Every new technology is fuelled by a strong minority that popularizes it and funds it. For SAFE to take over, you’ll need more than just “This is cool technology”. You need something that has a broader appeal. What would that be? What would that killer app be that people will want to try out? What’s that huge advantage over anything out there that will attract Jane Doe to join? For the internet, it’s been porn and gaming. What will it be for the SAFEnet?
I can think of these things:

  1. Storage
    This is an obvious one, but I’m not convinced that this will move a lot of people. You’ve already got free storage solutions from various providers that people use and trust. Why would they want to learn a new interface, etc. for the same service?

There’s only one thing I can think of: Popularize this as a service to keep your most important documents safe forever: Copies of birth certificates, passport, property purchases, etc. This is a platform people can trust to never share or lose their most private data. This will not be anywhere near “Big Data” demands, but it’s a way to brand the network, create positive associations and establish it as a useful service for a small niche. The service needs to exclusively talk about this. It’s not a competition with general hosting. It’s a specialized service that helps you keep your most private and important data at hand in case you lose originals. It needs to hold the user’s hand and help someone set up the safe storage, i.e. “Scan your birth certificate. Upload it HERE. Scan page X of your passport and upload it HERE. Scan document X and upload it HERE.”

You need to keep pushing the fear of what can happen if you save this stuff outside the SAFE network. People are already doing it and you need to tell them why they shouldn’t.

Another application would be sensitive, medical data. This may be more difficult because of all the regulations around this. I’m not sure how easy it would be for a clinic to switch to SAFE. They’d also have to have someone in charge of this who will never ever lose any keys. But there’s already been at least one outrageous case in Sweden of sensitive data of millions of people being leaked in a way that would be impossible in SAFE.

A distant third would be something like a diary app. But there’s already a million of those out there and most people don’t value privacy and security nearly as much as us. They’ll blurt out anything and let companies have their passwords saved in cleartext. As long as they have to enter a password, it’ll sound safe enough to them.

  1. Games
    What games could SAFE possibly provide that nobody else can provide? I can’t think of anything.

  2. Social Media
    Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. are so popular, I don’t see any added value that SAFE could provide to make people switch or add this to their portfolio.

  3. Porn
    It’s already ubiquitous. Only the bad kind would find some innovative use in SAFE. That’s not the publicity we want or need for this to take off. So please stay away from this as far as possible.

  4. Hosting your site
    Wordpress is making it so easy, it’s ridiculous. You don’t need a domain. You don’t need to worry about hosting. You sign up and you write. Doesn’t get easier than this. That doesn’t mean we don’t need services like this. We definitely do! It just won’t be THE killer app.

  5. Piracy
    This one looks hot. No way to take things down. Unlimited storage. Data security. Always accessible. It’s easier for people to offer pirated media as well. If someone can come up with a way to create an app similar to Popcorn Time, that may be the killer app. Developers can anonymously keep building on it and will not be able to be forced by any court to take it down. It needs to be easy to access movies and shows and once any media file is added, you don’t need to worry about the amount of seeders or anything like that. It’ll be there forever. Another use case would be sci-hub. Running that must be stressful for the current maintainer. If they could switch over to SAFE, that would make their lives much easier and would provide consistent means for people to access those services.
    If those services would take off, there’d be a lot of demand for people to contribute to the network. Miners would come and we can have nice things. Normal people don’t have bad associations with pirating I think. They just want to consume media. And then on top of that you can add the service I’ve seen circulated around here multiple times: Artists can upload their media onto the platform to be monetized with safecoin, like spotify.

  6. Forums
    Unless you’re trying to discuss something illegal, it’ll be impossible to compete with what’s out there. So let’s focus on the harmless illegal things:
    Oppressive regimes. We need people who speak those languages to create online communities for dissent. This is something that anyone in the West will be able to get behind. There’s a humanitarian aspect. Charities may find this useful. China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, are the most notorious offenders, but there’s plenty more. If you could use the SAFEnet to spread news and help people in difficult situations, that would be really cool. I think it’s important to really push this quickly. The name SAFE is already amazing and difficult to propagandize. If it’s publicly associated with helping people in need and creating a safe space for the oppressed, then this will be very strong publicity and a great counter to any propaganda against the project. If anyone has any ties to organizations like this, they should start pushing this to them as soon as the network becomes useable. Help them set up a SAFE-site. Show them how to use it. Spread the truth about human rights abuses. Popularize tiananmen.safe in China and other things underground. Make sure to teach them how to use this safely. You can still get caught if you’re not careful about what you reveal about yourself. The organization can talk about this in their newsletter to its donors, thus spreading the word.

People WILL use this for things others disapprove of. That’s kind of the point. But I think the first priority needs to be to create positive associations to allow people to see the SAFEnet as a kind of extremely useful, but “neutral” internet in which good and bad people act instead of seeing it as something only used by criminals and extremists. This will work best, if there’s a solid group of respectable or at least not unrespectable power users who depend on this service over against the old internet and keep adding to SAFE’s growth.


Don’t forget that you’ll never run across a 404’d link again.

Though for forums, games and social media it’ll also be usefull that data is more accesable, I can make a post to my own website, which all those platforms can then read and display (granted, that’s possible already, but tricky)

And personally I’m hoping for a gaming platform with universal data where life, money and items transfer between games, though that’ll be almost impossible to pull off properly.

Either way, unless I’m mistaked no 404’d link will ever block you from researching an obscure problem.


That almost never happens to me these days.

I’m not sure what you mean by this. Links can already be posted and accessed anywhere anytime. There’s something I’m missing in what you want to say.

What incentive does a company have to share their game with other companies? If that incentive exists, what stops them from doing this today?

It depends.

If you want a specific version of something, which is guaranteed to an the same as the last time you looked at it, the clear net isn’t great. Stuff is often moved, edited, changed, censored, etc. Perpetual data will be a real winner for resolving this.


I’m not talking links, embedded directly since in the safe network it always has to grab the file so it doesn’t care where you uploaded it first, but yes, its possible already, just trickier to do.

The site you’re viewing the content from is simply a shape around it, rather then the content being part of the site.

None really, which is why its just a wish that’ll never come true, well that and its impossible to balance properly.

Well you can’t force people to use your items in their game but you can’t really stop them either if its public data.

What I would love to see is one “big game” emerge where there is always new content being added by various creators. Like instead of putting out a stand alone game they find ways to link it to the content that is already there. I guess the incentive is people would rather play the big game then a bunch of separate small ones maybe? What stops them from doing it today is you would need to access the database of say everquest to know what sword to give your WoW character and sony and blizzard keep that as private data. If it was on the SAFE network that would likely be public data anyone could harvest and incorporate into their offshoot of the big game.

I think it’s best to think of SAFE as infrastructure, like a set of cables and switches and disks, so the killer app will be built on top of it. Or you could say the killer app is the collection of features offered by the network itself, many of which won’t be apparent to the end user but will be to developers, for example simplicity of storage APIs and having security built in. Thinking that way also gets around the dubious activity question. People are using infrastructure for naughty things now, but it’s the applications built on the infrasctructure that are drawing attention, not the dumb machines and operating systems underneath. No-one blames Windows or Cisco for black market trading or whatever.

I agree that a niche focus will probably be best, especially at first, and security is the thing that really sets it apart. SAFE can be private as well as public, like the community network - it’s possible and very easy to restrict who joins, and a locked-down network could well be suitable for medical records or somesuch. Immutability doesn’t play well with things like GDPR at the moment, although that may change as blockchains become more mainstream, but if it can get past the regulators (big ‘if’ I know) then it could be suitable for many sorts of data which must be both highly secure and available.

Privacy apps and the personal data economy offer an opportunity. It’s been painfully slow but people are starting to catch on, and it would be hard to start another data grabbing Facebook-type network now. But I don’t think a social network will be a SAFE killer app, as a lot of the bells and whistles people like in networks come as as result of data mining. Privacy alone won’t cut it.

I think most opportunities will come with the IoT and autonomous AI, where the self-managing aspects of SAFE will be really helpful and could be a simplification over what is available now, and if Solid takes off integration should open a lot of doors down the road, provided an efficient way can be found to integrate the two systems together.


Vitalik had some comments on this. Basically it can allow smaller projects to generate a combined network effect and take on larger companies that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

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Disagree strongly here - the porn industry is extremely centralised and top-heavy (wink wink), and is ripe for a decentralising shake-up. I think there’s an appetite for this amongst porn makers and enjoyers (and maybe also a fair amount of current non-enjoyers, who don’t appreciate the state and output of the porn industry). All I’m saying is that there’s no good reason to believe the porn landscape, generally speaking, wouldn’t become quite a different (more creative, interesting, intimate and gentle) place given a few years of SAFE.

I would almost go so far as to say that some sort of open source porn service that made it extremely simple to do live streams, video chat, upload and view content, with the site developers/maintainers only being paid via PtD while creators have complete control over their content/ideas/etc, easy and painless microtipping, would have a reasonable chance of being a big draw for people. All reasonable freedoms to creators and consumers, no weird algorithms influencing human desire, the usual useful features, etc.

Now, the ethics of this make my head spin: would there be some sort of community review process to monitor and ban/discourage illegal/harmful content that would be possible to implement? Or some sort of labelling and filtering process? Or the site operates explicitly as a mere ‘hub’, condemns loudly any illegal activity, and thereby attempts to wash its hands of any responsibility?

I’m not suggesting we get into these questions now, but if someone gets the answers right, I can see it being a ‘killer’ (lover?) app. Just think of all the possible ‘safe sex’ puns…


There is a market need for multi-device compatible personal photo and video storage system that can compete with Google, Dropbox, OneDrive etc.


I totally get what you want to say, I have some ideas about a killer app that can incorporate everything with smart systems in play so minors can be protected and activities that may disturb you or may be illegal in a country may be hidden from the a user that chooses so.

as for the porn I agree that a truly good person has to make an app/site that will be safe space for sex workers and sex consumers to have a good time!

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Because it’s a pay once, store forever service. Normal offering are liable to disappear after a decade.

The value of tasks that you only have to do once, is powerful… coupled with good version management options, to be expected will be very attractive.


Add to that reliability: its a big deal when your data is not available and it happens with increasing regularity. SAFE will effectively eliminate that - if you have connectivity you will have your data (no longer dependent on server problems, DNS issues, removal of services etc.).


Booting my desktop OS from SAFE Network.


or any other state image… data lump, might be useful for scaling distribution of that… I’m thinking memory state of complex machine.

like a blockchain. People hate filling up their drives with such data.

:zap:Where we’re going, we won’t need blockchains. :zap::alien:

but yes, alsorts of legacy data :grinning:

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Distributed, publicly writable DBMS. I say “DBMS” not “database”, because technically blockchains such as Bitcoin are a “distributed database”. But they are not one that you can create custom tables, indexes, and queries with (e.g. not like MySQL, MongoDB, Postgres, etc).

The “killer app” being that anyone can update the database (subject to permissions) without requiring registration. For example, if creating a Twitter clone: anyone with a SAFE address (and SAFEcoin) can insert a record into the Tweets table, but users can only edit or delete entries that were created by them.

I haven’t been able to determine if implementing one is possible with the SAFE network today. I believe it is technically possible with other projects (cryptocurrencies that support smart contracts). There was a discussion last year about databases on the SAFE network. RDF support seems like it might be able enable this functionality, but I’m not sure if it’s robust enough (i.e. able to discover RDF statements that were created by strangers). A while ago I looked over the code of Patter (it seems to be a similar/compatible use-case), but the program seemed broken to me the last time I tried it.

Here is a disgraced App that falls squarely within Safe Networks sights for displacement sporting a 100 million install base.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Recent questions about SAFE’s societal implications