This is an interesting question, all the developers and investment really should be flying in to SAFE much faster than many of these other projects, but it’s also fairly obvious and understandable when you think about it imo.
Firstly, SAFE is quite complicated to wrap your head around and most of us spent weeks asking questions before the penny really dropped. It needs to be seen working to be understood by anyone who can’t be arsed to spend all that time learning about it.
Secondly, there is a gold rush going on. Developers are building on what they have with the options they have available. The self-fulfilling prophecy of Eth’s success has a gravitational pull and justifies itself by the numbers of developers and amount of investment it has created. It doesn’t need to have solved scaling, privacy, mass appeal or efficiency, it only needs to nod at the work being done on solutions and the size of its ecosystem to convince more and more people to follow the herd.
The rush to beat everyone else to the big disruption is a seductive draw. If you were working on a DLT project that could operate on Ethereum what would you do at this point?
Personally, I’m a firm believer in standing still or moving slowly in the right direction rather than running the wrong way. I can understand why Eth has 50x the investment atm, it has a product and is not just ‘theory’. I actually think that makes it the worst bet in this space right now (from an investor perspective), since it has one of the least appealing risk/reward profiles.
History has some important lessons for us too I reckon. Mass adoption is not something that big business, investors or developers dictate or decide (although they all try and would love to succeed), it is something that they chance upon, respond to and search out.
Eth is still a developer playground and needs its killer Apps to gain any traction in the real world. When SAFE does launch it is the killer App. Any random person can and will find SAFE immediately useful and accessible. Eth has been around for a while, but it’s still no use to most of us. I can think of several reasons I’d use SAFE on day 1, and I can think of half a dozen very obvious killer Apps that would be the talk of every living room and newspaper within months of SAFE’s functionality existing in the wild.
Ultimately this war for dominance of the new digital age won’t be won or lost by the greed fuelled rush of speculators, startups or developers, or by the decisions of big multinationals (much as I’m sure the board at IBM or microsoft would like to think they are making these choices for us). If we were fighting on the same terms then network effect would be insurmountable, but really we aren’t and it isn’t.
This war will be won or lost in our living rooms, by word of mouth (passion), and on the bottom lines of the balance sheets of every business in the digital world.
I agree with neo that the timeframe for SAFE’s success is not endless. There is certainly a point at which I’d worry that the world will miss out on the unique aspects of SAFE because so many of the useful aspects have been solved in less efficient ways, but we are still a long, long way from that imo.
I think there are a lot of good reasons to be very excited by DLTs and the kind of functionality we get from them (like Eth’s smart contracts that first got me really excited about this ecosystem in 2015). It’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about SAFE now. Thinking about smart contracts that scale with empowered users in a new data paradigm set on the foundations of a resource-based economy gets me very excited.
So if you ask me, the valuable questions to answer are not ‘why isn’t all the money flowing into SAFE right now?’, that’s easy enough to explain. They’re questions like, ‘what will the public do and why when SAFE launches?’ ‘Will the economics work?’ 'How will it evolve and change? ‘What will get press coverage or find immediate and unique utility in certain groups and why?’ ‘What will we all actually talk about and use and why?’
I absolutely agree that there are still risks, but at this point the risk is still that SAFE doesn’t work, not that SAFE could ‘lose’ the battle for mass adoption in the first wave of speculation and before it has even launched a basic functioning network that proves all of the theory. If and when Eth (and others) actually solve the many problem they are working on we might have an issue with SAFE’s success, but even then, I would never discount the solution that could be in every newspaper and on every living room PC within a matter of months.
The really good news I see is the $30bn cap that’s rising fast in crypto. There’s a whole lot of interest and money ready to fly at good solutions and there’s a tremendous amount of energy swelling in our ranks. This ecosystem will form the basis of SAFE when it launches so I see huge amounts of potential being created. You might just get your wish and see trillions invested and many thousands of devs working furiously very soon after the launch of a live network