I think we’re talking across each other here regarding a couple of the parts at least.
Time based on a consensus versus time based on centralized authority.
Make use of existing consensus infrastructure or create a new.
Use some other, non-centralized source of time.
They don’t need the data either.
The network is there for the users, not for itself.
Use cases for needing proof of when something happened… unless SAFE somehow lessened it’s ambitions for how important it will be in the world, then it is obvious just by looking at anything we do in society.
Overlay networks with their own consensus logic can be created for anything.
But not only will the wheel be invented again, the consensus logic that the network provides is and will be exceptional.
The nodes storing the data needs to be the ones verifying when it was stored. It is the most intuitive way. Maybe there are other ways, but it all seems very contrived, just to be able to say that we don’t touch time, as if it was something contagious. I think it still needs to be shown how a piece of data could be verified to be have been stored within a time span, without the storing agent being involved in that?
Time is just a measurement, a calculation based on some physical property. The problem with time is not founded in physics or natural law, it is founded in our current technical limitations, which currently makes it something sketchy and unreliable to work with if anything in network was to be based on it.
But it is not to be used by the network (as it is not needed), it is just a calculation output for the users to consume at their discretion.
Only reason the network would do it, is because it would be the best actor for it. I.e. it would produce best results at lowest cost. It is just sane.
Time is even more related to math and physics than economy is, but the network has no problem of getting 'dirty" by being fundamentally involved with dealing with economy - like pay the developer and other quite fuzzy concepts. (What is something worth? Quite an undertaking to measure that “accurately”).
I think it has a lot to do with preferences of the designers, about what the focus and purpose of the network should be.
But again, I am definitely not saying that the network internals should be based on time in any way. I think the fact that it will not, has often been misunderstood as time in any form would be detrimental to conceive of. Those are two very different things.