With #Maidsafe 's release of "vaults from home" on their SAFE Network test net (operating as 10 nodes on Digital Ocean which anyone can try out) we truly do get a real glimpse of the future today.
SAFE NETWORK: The BIG IDEA- Internet 2.0, with Crypto
NOTICE: Before you start in, this is a LONG Educational/Reference post, I SUGGEST YOU PLEASE skim the titles and pics first, before you decide to "dive in" , in order TO give this post the time it needs so the reader will deeply understand what is going in the SAFE Network, WHICH IS a different crypto beast from anything out there. (Most Blockchain knowledge won't help you with this one...)
In the making actively since 2005, definitely a "Pre-Bitcoin Effort", Maidsafe made a hard pivot into a crypto offering in 2015 and, as an interim placeholder, did an ICO sale of MaidSafe token, which was issued using the "coloured token" scheme of Omnicoin.
In observing and tracking their efforts the last 3+ years, the team at MaidSafe led by a Scot, David Irwin (Involved in Saudi Aramco Network Build), I must say, do have staying power and the 'dogged' determination needed to get to the finish line as originally envisioned. The core Maidsafe development team is largely in tact, with only one leadership change on the biz side (BD/Sales/Marketing/Finance).
The SAFE Network is essentially an integration of cutting and leading edge open source with some home grown open source (PARSEC consensus for transaction approvals) which is really best described as a distributed private permissionless ledger, open for use and development by anybody.
To understand SAFE Network at a high level, essentially the SAFE Network modifies and integrates a combination of DAG, Gossip and Cassandra (Bit Torrent) open source technologies along with some open source special sauce "PARSEC" consensus "greenfield" created by the Maidsafe team, where the latter PARSEC invention was collectively and very much organically designed by the dev team at Maidsafe and published for anyone to peer review in the open source community. The net result of what I call a "mashup", is the SAFE Network (Internet 2.0+ crypto) which achieves
Highly Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance , @ scale. (which is a big deal for those 'in the technical know"...)
For the visually inclined watch the Binance Academy Video below: (4min 9 sec)
SAFE Network, which has been largely re-built in the Rust Language (after a foray with Node.js), was a technical direction decision made by the development team in early 2018. That means Maidsafe has been actively working within the Rust programming language the last 2 1/2 years across a team of about 15 people, designing and building SAFE Network Node, which as a result, does have speed, built-in garbage collection (to avoid those old C/C++ memory leaks from crashing the system at unknown intervals due to malloc (memory allocation function call) mis-use) AND, most importantly "fearless concurrency" tightly integrated with safe operation. Concurrency is one of those programming language features which is a "must have" requirement if you as a development team are building distributed solutions that need to scale to billions of users, like SAFE Network.
In just the last few months, here now in June 2020, SAFE Network is finally emerging as a platform any end user will be able to make use of.
The "incentive" (biz model) is about any user getting paid for sharing disk space (also operating a Node) at the 'basic' entry level .
At the moment, even without running a Node, the user can download the SAFE browser, to access other content and applications developed (or currently under development) running on a test SAFE Network (these content and distributed Apps operate on machines running the SAFE Network Node) , gaining secure access through a very secure SAFE browser (Open Source fork derived from peruse..... ) to access their own and others content management systems and distributed applications, which are mounted on one or more 'vault" node(s).
The SAFE Network Nodes(essentially data storage "vaults", an encrypted part of your hard drive, which is a portion of the hard drive you personally setup to share the amount of storage you want to make available on the SAFE Network for others to use) keep the SAFE Network running, where the nodes also contain & run logic (background processes, while you work) where the primary task is to create copies/remove duplicates of your files and running applications, moving them to active nodes automatically, to make sure such content and functions are always available to the user, as Nodes and 'vaults' on the network come and go. There are other background processes running consensus ( 'consensus' in SAFE Network terms means multiple majority Node agreement has been achieved (51% or more, the % amount can be dialed in by the app in the future) that a Safecoin denominated transaction wishing to be approved is indeed valid AND, can then be attached to the internal distributed private ledger in a mutable/unchangeable form and allow the transaction/transfer of value to proceed from one vault/app wallet to another) , mount/dismount of SAFE apps, the vault etc., so it will be interesting to see what the CPU, RAM utilization and disk storage overhead looks like in this next set of public beta tests exercising the "vaults from home" feature of the SAFE Network (look for a future report to post that info).
Sharing/Selling, Acquiring/Buying Disk Space AND More: With Safecoin
If you need disk space and/or wish to distribute your files safely on the SAFE Network, you pay for that distributed, redundant disk space by setting up storage volumes on the SAFE Network which get activated when you send the SAFE Network some Safecoin (from your secure Node/Vault wallet) to pay for the amount of storage you want. Those nodes willing to host your encrypted files, essentially have an ask price, tied to reputation, as I understand it, and get paid their "going rate" for the storage capacity, reliability and speed represented by the SAFE Network reputation score. All of this happens privately and automatically on the SAFE Network.
PARSEC: The Consensus Brain : Proof of Resource Expressed as Reputation by the SAFE Network
7min 43sec Crash Course on Parsec for the technically inclined explained by Maidsafe core-developer Dug Campbell. (Circa Sept 2018)
Investors beware. :)
Collectively, through the PARSEC code running on all nodes of the SAFE Network and communicating between nodes, the SAFE Network PARSEC distributed 'brain' is essentially keeping track and updating all nodes reputation levels based on their overall performance, "aging" the nodes up from infant to adult to elder status, as transactions are approved (setting up, adjusting or deleting storage capacity, in the first incarnation of SAFE Network "vaults from home". PARSEC works in the context of the SAFE Network taxonomy of infant, adult and elder nodes where reputation is determined by way of a " proof of resource mechanism" in the PARSEC code (this is roughly equivalent to PoW or PoS use in BTC's blockchain) . There is more on this taxonomy here, suffice it to say is node with Elder reputation level does more stuff and can reap more incentives/rewards for the operator of that node in the form of Safecoin, which will be swapped 1:1 for one with the existing Maidsafe coin, when the SAFE Network exits beta into production mode, which imo is likely to happen sometime in 2021, with some basic level of utility attractive to most end users.
From BitcoinWiki, "Developers creating apps for the SAFE Network also get paid "App developers will also be paid automatically, by the Network, as their app is used in Safecoin" and "There is also Community Engagement Programme. This programme matches community developers with immediate and fundamental network requirements. Community members are encouraged to create teams and bid for projects that can be suggested by the community or MaidSafe. Successful teams will receive funding from MaidSafe’s CEP fund and/or the community itself. These apps once completed cannot be revenue earning."
Token 2 Coin in 2021? Maybe.. Production SAFE Network? Possibly.
For the purpose of disclosure on my part, I don't have an interest in Maidsafe or hold their token AND have never held it. :)
The Maidsafe token currently trading on HITBTC and Bittrex will be swapped out 1:1 for the Safecoin when it becomes available as the utility token part of the SAFE Network production systems roll out. That said, the Maidsafe token price today (up to 267% since its inception) at US 13 cents (last time I checked Maidsafe was #106 on Coingecko) is quite a reasonable investment given the amount of value delivered into the test network and the fact Maidsafe now feels it worthy of a 'public beta' tag AND, the sheer upside, IF the team can truly make it "click and run" so that even "Nanna' can use it (and make some money sharing her hard disk). ;)
The future of the SAFE Network is the Safecoin?
As to which exchanges (central of DEX) the new, proposed, oft talked about on Maidsafe hosted forums, Safecoin for Safe Network get's traded on, that remains a bit of mystery to me, as I am uncertain from reading the SAFE Network forums if a Safe Network vault/node operator can in fact, take Safecoin off the Network as designed and place them in a wallet supporting the new format (need to check this) and from there, actively trade/sell Safecoin, or even stake Safecoin on one or more exchanges when the time comes. So more homework is in order here. on my part. (I will report back in a future post)
Of course, to build reputation, availability, as well as reliability are factored into the vault reputation score, as will speed ( I would think), so a fast, always on vault node, with few errors (no corrupt files showing up) will increase a vault's reputation to the elder class of nodes and, presumably increase your share of rewards for running the network .
Maidsafe does use the Omnicoin format (like Ripple), a technical 'hangover' of sorts from the VERY early days of crypto. Pre-2016 and earlier.
The markets on which Maidsafe token trades are not really all that mainstream, so check their liquidity before you "dive in" with any sort of investment, and make sure your wallet supports the Omnicoin format (a wallet supporting Ripple 'should' work).
"Frugal Scots they are, rollin' their pennies before they spend 'em, wisely" at Maidsafe
The team at Maidsafe have sipped on their 2015 (and likely 2017) gains and made more than modest technical advances along the way (with not a lot of person power), in delivering "vaults from home" on their DO test SAFE Network of 10 nodes of 7 elders, 2 adults and 1 infant, so you and I can see how it works.
'Splitting' (or zoning of the network based on node pre-fixes) is not yet implemented, so the test SAFE Network as deployed on DO "Digital Ocean" by Maidsafe, will be limited to support a 'minimum' me thinks, of at lease 1000 vaults "maximum"? (This representation by Maidsafe of Network node test SAFE Network capacity perplexes me a bit, so time to dive into the documentation a bit more.)
I am not clear on which coin format Maidsafe will pick for the Safecoin minted as a SAFE Network utility token, which gets generated and burned by what is essentially a distributed network of self maintaining and updating nodes/vaults, aka acting alot like a DAO "Distributed Autonomous Orgaization" in my books, operating vaults/wallets and hosted Apps (Content Management Systems, basically anything you can created from their SDK for the node) all accessible from a SAFE Network browser, which picks up node info and makes published links accessible to the user in easy to use Web formats? (need to check this one out).
Given the SAFE Network privacy design, the founder David Irwin has stated in a few posts (to paraphrase again) "once we release the production SAFE Network into the wild, it will grow and take care of itself" (Multiple, divide, rejoin, self heal, etc..).
Well time will tell if Mr. Irwin turns out to be right. ( For sure such a private DAO available for use to anyone is bound to shake a few up in the govt ranks and central bank's decreeing & printing all that inflation out there in the world of fiat money).
Project Transparency? Yup Maidsafe has it.
Maidsafe has done an exemplary job of being both open and accessible and documenting what they do, where they are going, quite well, especially after the initial 2014/15 pivot into crypto, which frankly, even in October 2017, when I started following them, before the big December 2017 peak, Maidsafe were a little less organized than they are today. (but still way better organized and transparent than most back in 2017). Reddit, Discord and their own Forum Content site and Dev site keeps you well informed as does Twitter, Facebook and Telegram.
Open Source 100%- From VC startup with Trade Secret IP to fully public GitHub repositories- The Maidsafe Journey (recently)
At first, Maidsafe had taken some startup money, about US $5M if I recall correctly, around 2014/15 to help jump start and pivot the Maidsafe (Massive Array of Internet Disks SAFE) into crypto, where the money came out of a small boutique VC firm based in Chicago, IL, USA. Then, the MaidSafe ICO was able to attract at the time US $10M or so, which was considered a very decent level of interest at the time, in fact market leading for a short period.
Key components of the Maidsafe code were kept under wraps for a while (About 19 files patent applications by Mr. Irwin et al) , where it look liked the MaidSafe management team was thinking of licensing the tech. Since the time around early 2018, the Maidsafe SAFE Network code has been 100% open source (public Github), as their biz model subtly pivoted to PS "Professional Service" in support of Opensource deployments of all or parts of the code utilized in Private Enterprises, where, from what I can tell, that same code base was also published on public Gitub.
Maidsafe's Loft goal: "Re-invent the Internet the way it was originally intended.."
Now that "vaults from home" are here- Next Steps?
In the early days, circa 2015 to 2017, founder David Irwin (with his CFO Nick Lambert, since departed) made "the rounds" in Silicon Valley getting positive acknowledgements from "internet founder" and guru Vint Cerf(ARPA/DARPA/SRI) as well as Marc Andreessen(Mosaic/Netscape) respectively, where both said (to paraphrase) "they (Maidsafe) were on the right track and, that is how the Internet should have been built in the first place".
Hi praise indeed, which subsequently landed Maidsafe a (likely discounted) ICO purchase investment from Banktothefuture (UK) and Max Keiser (USA) in 2015, together with a show appearance granted by the latter and, numerous "pre and post" 2017 December Crypto Market spike interviews in the alternative media, for sure, helping to pump up the Maidsafe token price to at that time (2015) an ICO take of over US $10M, nicely bolstering the working capital number needed to move forward with the project.
At one point, at the height of the December 2017 craze for crypto, Maidsafe had a crazy US $ 1.17 valuation per token, which in fact was much less crazier than others attempting to crack the much less ambitious IPFS 'Inter Planetary File System' "vault" value add crypto model. (Sia, Storj , Filecoin, etc.. are also on that pretty large list)
Today (as of this last edit) Maidsafe is trading around 11.5 cents up in the last 180 days from a low of US 4.5 cents, more than doubling in very light volume trading.
It is worth mentioning, in the first quarter of 2018, a small remote India software development and test team was hired by Maidsafe to increase development velocity.
Next Steps- get people to try out "vaults from home" on the Digital Ocean hosted test SAFE Network.
Now that Maidsafe have their SAFE Network test net operating on the Digital Ocean network hosted as containerized nodes, living in Virtual machines Maidsafe rent from DO, to host those SAFE Network nodes for the public beta test net service, anyone can, in theory, try out SAFE Network "vaults from home" functionality.
A word of caution, 'anyone' means those users who are 'command line savvy" ( that is have some skill working from a Terminal Window in either Windows or Linux) AND, have downloaded and installed all the necessary "stuff" from Maidsafe to get that to work AND, have done the RTFD (Read The F___ing Manual) diligence to clearly understand what they are getting into with Maidsafe and their SAFE Network vision/version of Internet 2.0, crypto style.
TK Investor Advice- any investor doing proper diligence on Maidsafe should expect to spend a few days of quality time (16+ hours) on this 'research effort' as a an investor, strung out over a few weeks, to really fully understand the broader market implications of what the MAIDSAFE team is building in SAFE Network and how the Safecoin replacement cryptocurrency future value can be assessed. (This is not like Storj, or Sia or Filecoin/IPFS, its much more, it really is Internet 2.0 with Crypto.)
TK Observation- In interacting with Maidsafe as an interested user I found this requires some quality reading time to get the right merit points, in order to unlock access to deeper tech knowledge on the MaidSafe 'named' SAFE NETWORK forum and developer sites.
TK Verdict? Try Maidsafe out- SAFE NETWORK "Vaults from home" AND, get a glimpse of the Bigger 'Internet 2.0' future now.
When thinking about "vaults from home" on the DO test SAFE Network, to me, for the technically inclined, the user effort sounds like it would be an illuminating experience and, for many with an open mind, such an effort will generate as many questions and answers, likely opening up the test user's "third eye' as to the enormous and endless possibilities for building apps on the SAFE Network, which previously, were simply a pipe dream, especially where BIG distributed privacy applications are concerned.
Will the SAFE Network scale at production time?
A big dig into their comprehensive Roadmap gives me the confidence that I think so, as David Irwin the founder/inventor, is an old, experience networking integrator and programmer (like me) leading the effort, who 'gets it', something you can plainly see in MaidSafe's implementation (and attention to detail in the documentation) use of IDG 'Internet Gateway Discovery' protocol and how a network of vault nodes can traverse local NAT " Network Address Translation" setups found in those home routers which support IDG. You need to know and understand IDG , its one of the key protocols utilized when building big fast distributed applications which ride on top of today's Internet Protocols (IP, TCP, UDP, BGP etc... ). (So this won't be a sheep to slaughter exercise. ;) )
TK Note- to run cloud apps @ scale, imo, a service designer needs a deep understanding of diffserv is useful too as it applies to running big distributed apps on top of VXLANS with some form of QoS between the WAN, the Processors and Storage in the Data centre used by such containerized vaults running in virtual machines on hardware in the DC or colo.
TK Tech TIP- To be able to try out the Maidsafe SAFE Network "vault from home" test network operating on DO, you first need IDG protocol turned on in your router. Beware- Not all routers ( the cheap and/or old ones are often the culprits) support IDG, so read your home router documentation before trying this out, so you don't waste any of your valuable time.
Kudos to the MAIDSAFE team, congrats to each dev and test member for getting "vaults from home" deployed on the DO test SAFE Network AND,
my message to the team there?
TK Prediction: 2021, the Year of Internet 2.0- SAFE Network style, crypto included.
I think 2021 will be an excellent year for Maidsafe.
My Reasoning? Heck the current Maidsafe price is right, and the privacy @ scale, with decent incentive upside for sharing disk space initially, certainly looks good from my perspective, so maybe, just maybe, I dive in myself and acquire a few Maidsafe Coins and 'hodl' for a bit, that is, IF the MAIDSAFE test results from "vaults from home" look good coming from this new test SAFE Network running on Digital Ocean.
SAFE NETWORK VAULT USER EXPERIENCE
To get the inside scoop on the User Experience Build effort for Vaults from Home, circa Nov. 2019, here is an excellent 9 min video Jim Collinson from MaidSafe walking you through on screen, how to set up a vault to start earning (test) Safecoin on the SAFE Network through their easy to use web interface (WIP so its likely to have changed a wee bit since then). A Deeper dive Circa Feb. 28 2020 is here 17min 52sec which is a tour on how you can control access to your personal data on the SAFE Network
Plus the Maidsafe team, imo, is really, really close to the big break thru technically, one which will realize a better form of Internet 2.0 for everyone, which actually respects everyone's privacy and personal sovereignty as well let anyone have fair access and participation in helping run and grow the SAFE Network, no matter how small you are (one server in the home office is enough) with commensurate rewards for commitment to helping foster the SAFE Network crypto economy.
I encourage you all to check back in a few months here on TK for another SAFE Network post on how that very private "Internet 2.0" SAFE Network testing turned out and what will be next.
TK over and out. :)