Some things from my personal experience in Australia. We are also noted for adopting technology fairly quickly.
My adult children have a wide range of friends of varying background. All use one or more of the encrypted messaging systems and none are of a technical background like those here. My Daughter often laments that she cannot and will not store her photos on the cloud or dropbox because of concerns over who might gain access to them, and she was married before there was talk of security and doesn’t talk tech with me. Basically she gained this “concern” from media and her friends. So there is a perception that a secure online storage system is needed.
Basically from my interactions with my children and their friends I see a longing for securing communications and storage that is not readily available now. Even the media in Australia make note when they talk of the dark web that it is sites that don’t have their sites advertised on Google, so the people are getting used to the dark web just being areas of the web that are not advertised.
People don’t use the “dark web” simply because they have no need of those things it offers.
But SAFE will be offering in a easy and simple automatic way secure communications and storage that they can and want to use. Obviously not everyone, but a lot of the younger generation do want it, even if they give out a lot of personal info on facebook. As my daughter explained it to me, they do this because they have no other suitable way to keep up with their friends, now SAFE can offer a method where the user decides what happens to their info. Many give up their privacy because they don’t have any other method, no way out mentality.
Basically unlike the “dark” web which is relatively difficult to use, SAFE will be offering an easy way to have all the security that people have given up hope on having. Advertising that baddies can store their vile files on a network that even the cops cannot penetrate will awaking the desire to have personal security and privacy that they once thought unobtainable. As @Jabba says this will not happen overnight, but will happen if SAFE can deliver the network and keep it simple as click to install and click to setup an account.
About the only thing regulatory bodies can do that will significantly slow down the adoption of SAFE is to make it outright illegal or demand licensing of nodes.
I think if we stand back a little and look at other major crypto projects (I realise SAFE isn’t actually a crypto project as such) we can see that they are doing OK. Bitcoin is known by a majority of non-rural western people in the last couple of years. Etherium is even being looked at by banks and large companies. Bittorrent is even adopted by Microsoft to help distribute updates, and bittorrent was labelled as the primary tool of the pirates. Tor the haven of the “Dark” web is supported by the 5 eyes governments.
I can see a longing for privacy and security in the younger generation even though they have given up on having it. Introduce SAFE, advertise as the “dark” web that the police cannot penetrate and the baddies communications are secure and unreadable and you will awaken the desire for privacy that is a part of human nature.