Lecture 1 - The SAFE Network from First Principles (crowdfunding)

@frabrunelle and I have created a crowd-funding campaign to cover the cost of producing technical yet intuitive and accessible talks on the core ideas and algorithms behind the SAFE Network. Each instalment of the series will be individually funded and will in part serve to bootstrap the SAFE Pod in Montreal to become self-funded. If you found any value in the original raw footage of the first lecture, we encourage you to contribute to the campaign to have access to a distilled ~18min version of the core technical content.

For those who have not seen the original footage, the ideas presented are not exclusively tied to the SAFE Network and should help you better understand the underlying technical workings of the upcoming wave of decentralized applications and networks.


cheers up~


Thanks! Greatly appreciated!

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I am in - everyone this is a great thing and I have a small idea how much work and effort is involved, cannot thank you guys enough. Superb work



28.88 USD

Good Luck :smile:


You guys are awesome!


@erick You are awesome.


This brings up the question of funding for POD’s from the crowd sale.

  • What is the funding structure for POD’s are they all self funded like
  • Do POD’s only receive funds in SAFEcoin for improving the code

Whilst being awesome, I cannot see this being consistently funded throughout the series without business backing…I do hope to be proven incorrect though.

I’d rather see some of that Mastercoin cashed in to finance projects with value like this. This series benefits POD on-boarding and dissemination of the technical basis for SAFE…something Maidsafe do not have the time for presently.

It would be nice to have @Shona do her interpretation of each of these videos…to give continuity with the other vids she has produced. So we end up with a complete series, presented in two styles and comprehension levels.


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So far, Pods have mostly served as marketing hubs for the upcoming SAFE beta launch, and for that purpose it would make sense for MaidSafe to support them. However, since the value of Bitcoin is fluctuating widely and there is still uncertainty on the actual launch date, it is of utmost priority that MaidSafe reserves most of the funds to the core engineering work to get the technology right until the network starts generating revenues.

I personally believe it might not be that hard for PODs to become self-funded relatively quickly if they look beyond outreach for the SAFE network and instead focus on solving all technical problems that prevent decentralization of organizations, that will be analogous to the technical working of the network. Each of these problems can be solved using current technology and then migrated over to the SAFE network when it becomes operational.


  1. We need Bitcoin donation support for Tilt/Open (such as was manually done for this campaign). Another crowd-funding campaign could be done and reach way beyond the current crowd interested by SAFE, to fund a few months of development to do it. Once it becomes operational all subsequent campaigns with Bitcoin+US$ will be much less of a hassle to manage. We could get one or two developers on it and a part of the funds raised could be kept to fund the POD itself;

  2. @kirkion suggested to me today that in addition to online lectures, it would be great to have one-on-one tutorials offered as part of the course. I am thinking of adding those as a reward. By doing so, the Montreal pod can become a grad school-level training ground for the next generation of developers. As these tutorial sessions are offered, some money can be reserved to fund the development of online software that will make it easier to bill, record, edit, and distribute the sessions. That software could be used beyond that to offer remote expertise on legal aspects of Bitcoin technologies, and decentralized organizations. It could therefore be the focus of its own crowd-funding campaign and reach beyond programmers, and the SAFE crowd.

If the tools built are made open-source and available on the web, as more and more PODs join in and grow, the easier it will become for the next ones to join. We need no venture capital, only enough funding to have a few developers going at a level slightly higher than subsistence-level. Grad students are probably the best crowd to reach for that since that is basically the level at which they are doing research anyway.

There is ample opportunity here since, as we are building the infrastructure, we dramatically lower the cost of providing services that were served by existing organizations (that’s basically what the whole startup scene is about). I would not be surprised to find out that our own lecture series will be 10-30x cheaper to produce than online courses produced by other organizations. The key is that POD developers should not aim for multi-billion acquisitions, like What’s App, or 200k$ salaries but instead for comfortable living doing open source stuff that everybody can reuse and build upon.

Key areas which I think can be lucrative enough to sustain pods are:

  1. Payment infrastructure
  2. Teaching and Training Developers
  3. Legal aspects, such as incorporation, tax advice
  4. Financial aspects, such as accounting and collaborative funding
  5. Technical aspects, such as leveraging idle computing, storage, and bandwidth on the software side and open source and secure hardware and physical networking on the hardware side
  6. Coordination aspects, such as collective decision making, and resource allocation

These things are coming already with the Web and Internet so PODs can ride on it and accelerate the wave. If we remember to flow money in the whole ecosystem when we become sustainable, rather than hoarding it and trying to extract rent from the rest of society, that could happen really fast.


You’ve thought this through, I’m convinced :smile:


You sent $10.50 to
1JFfvJyfkPL2CLAX38FpQGrNaMHd16Hr4f on November 17, 2014.
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November 17, 2014 at 1:57 PM
$10.50 (0.02718658 BTC at time of transaction)
MrAnderson - Maidsafe.org Forum.
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Thank you! Great work and nice job staying ahead on this.


The bitcoin transaction has been confirmed 4 times so everything seems right. Note that we are manually handling Bitcoin contributions and therefore they do not appear in the Crowd-funding total.

We promise to return them at the end of the campaign if we do not reach the tilt amount (both in $US and BTC). If we reach the tilt during the campaign we will cash the BTC donations, and the transaction will be considered binding.

Please send me an email at ‘lecture1 AT (the rest of my domain name)’, as mentioned in the contribution button with your name if you want to be acknowledged as a contributor and receive an unlisted link to the edited video once the tilt is reached.

Thanks for your support that is awesome!

why have to reach the tile?? could you guys just keep the donations for next time lecture??

I have some suggestions regarding keeping costs down and revenue up:

  • Concentrate minimally on the live take of the lecture…just enough
    to capture the audio (i.e don’t broadcast it)
  • Use the questions that came up during the talk to reformulate the
    flow of the lesson, add in slides if necessary then do a prepared
    vocal over the slides (pop filter, compression etc)
  • Use presentation tools such as a pointer or other annotation as
    required…to give the slides some motion.
  • This approach would lead to a slicker product and the potential to be
    widely syndicated. If you get the audio spot on, the potential arises
    for audio distribution also, like itunes etc for in car learning.
  • Create a single page website for the series ( this is common for album releases for instance)

So in summary spend the effort on post event production/ marketing and collect revenue from sales of the narrated slides rather than pre-funded/ edited live lecture. Use channels such as Vimeo Pro to monetize.


I’ll donate more later on…

Keep up the good work



The money amassed for the campaign will be wired to a Canadian bank account with a one-time fee of 35$ once the campaign ends. That fee amount makes it too expensive to handle small donation on a regular basis.

Also the free version of Tilt/Open we are using does not have a feature for that. The PRO version (which adds 2.5% fees on top of the payment processor) can convert a campaign to a pre-order once the campaign ends. We will look into it for the next one to see if that could be used for ongoing donation.

Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll see with @frabrunelle what we can implement!

We will try both live editing and a pre-recorded webcast for the next one and see which one works best. And we will continually improve the post-production quality. We are getting help from a professional editor that is also an open source enthusiast so the quality should go up ;-).

As for the other suggestions, we are trying to both avoid ads and arbitrarily restricting access to monetize. Instead, the ideal case is to obtain enough money to cover costs and provide free access forever after. Following @kirkion suggestion, I’ll try to offer paid private tutorial sessions instead to establish an ongoing revenue stream. We will look into other ideas too!


I forgot to mention this, but for the future when your doing a crowdfunding you could use Rushwallet. They also have a funding option. VERY IMPORTANT SAVE THE URL & PASSWORD PROTECT YOUR WALLET.

For people who want to support you with a Creditcard payment you could use Gumroad.com


Watch this 8 minutes excerpt of Lecture 1 that explains the difference between unstructured and structured peer-to-peer networks and talks about the advantages of using the XOR metric distance.

Please contribute to our crowdfunding campaign if you would like to see more lectures! :smiley:

The full video (17.5 minutes) of Lecture 1 (which also talks about basic routing) will be released when the campaign ends (or you can get it as soon as we reach the tilt if you contribute to our campaign).