Providing free access to end-users


I was wondering if it is possible to provide users with free-access to the network if they use my app?

If I write an app that is popular, one could use it but in order to PUT data trough my app (e.g. share a photo), one must own and spend safecoin right? I see this as a fundamental problem for wide-spread adoption since most normal users do not know how to buy safecoins, are deterred by the complexity or are just too lazy. They just want to open their app and share a photo (like instagram or whatever)

Same goes with file sharing. Let’s say someone creates a magaupload kind of service, I doubt a lot of people would use it because in order to upload they need safecoin.

When I write a popular app, I earn safecoin from it. Would there be an (automatic) way for my safecoins to be used as credits for my users? Say I earn 1 safecoin, I would like my users to be able to spend that 1 safecoin and upload content. I then wonder if the rate I earn safecoin would be enough to support my userbase. How is the earn/spend ratio on a popular app?

The problem that I see with maidsafe is that it does not adhere to the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) for end-users. For broad adoption it must be simple for people to fire up and app and start using it. Users don’t understand why they should pay for content (they have bittorrent etc…) nor would they want to go trough the hassle of buying safecoins in the first place.

Another question; it says in the docs that I need to put my wallet address or ID in my apps so the network knows it has to give me coins for my apps that are being used. If I create an open-source app, could someone not just take my address/ID out and put their own in or is it so that in order to be able to access my content one would need the correct public key and substituting it with something else just won’t work?

Hope someone can share his/her thoughts on this.



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If you are interacting with the Safe Network at the level of an app developer who is looking for a backend storage solution equivalent to AWS, then your customers never have to know that its the Safe Network providing that solution for you. (unless of course you want to advertise that their data is stored in the most secure system ever devised by a Scotsman).

You simply take the budget you would be paying to Amazon, buy safecoins on an exchange and purchase storage every month. In fact depending on what you are doing, you might use some kind of hybrid set-up where you use the Safe Network to archive your customers user ids and personal information that you don’t want to take responsibility for storing or static data that you need to have access to but that the app doesn’t need to interact with at network speed, but then for the directly interactive stuff you use a centralized server with lower latency than the Safe Network can offer.

This is essentially the solution that @Seneca has proposed for a gaming app, and if you search for the discussions on gaming you can learn more about that.

The answer to this has to do with deduplication, with is one of those subjects that is so mathematically complicated that whenever @dirvine answers questions on the subject I’m left questioning the basic fabric of reality…

With that disclaimer, the jist is that in order for an app to be tagged as an app, it has to be basically in an executable format, (or some kind of docker container). Regardless it has to be in a format that the network can recognize and that can be downloaded directly to a user’s device and run without compression (which is how you would normally get around deduplication).

This means that if someone uploads the same app then, to the extent that each chunk is the same, then the network knows that its the same, and further knows who the senior uploader is. I don’t believe that the wallet address for an app is purely in the code of the app itself, in the way that free public shares are, I think its involved in the ownership of each chunk of the app file.

This sounds like a very cool App idea

Thanks for your reply.
This is not what I mean.

Let’s assume one would like to make a portal where users would share their music, much like a (legal :)) torrent site with content without the tracker aspect.

Users would fire up my app, it’s just a site running on localhost that connects to the maidsafe network.
Now in order for them to share and thus upload their content they would need to pay safecoins. This is what I would like to avoid so hence the question if I can donate my coins back that I earn in some automatic fashion.

Great idea, but I can’t answer if/how you’d implement it.

Do remember though that unlike bitcoin, users don’t have to buy Safecoin and jump through all those hoops. They can farm it by enabling a farming vault when they install SAFE. This will be very easy, so the only question is whether the user’s setup and availability can farm enough to meet their storage needs. But initially, it will at least be enough to get people started.

It will also be made easy by existing users sending invitations to friends which can include some Safecoin to get them started (and also as soon inventive to create their account).

I lost you here.
What do you mean with uploaded apps?
The way I understand is that i can make any application, desktop, local web app, mobile app… whatever… and connect to the safe network treough API. I don’t understand what you mean with duplicate apps.

I am just wondering how I can keep things open source and still earn from the app. Take my example of the local web app that is a portal where users can share their music. How does this work?

I’m sorry. I was thinking you were discussing releasing the app through the safe network as an “internal” app.

One of the reward models is designed to reward app developers for bringing in new users and data to the network.

Out in the wild, just using safe for storage, you are essentially talking about the classic, “how do you monetize Open Source.”

Really the only solution which is the safe network offers is on their own internal ecosystem, which will allow internal app developers to compete for Safecoin. That internal apps are different from the apps which use the API. I’m sorry that I got confused.

Ahh, oke, I got it now.

The thing is that I don’t think this model would work very well. It’s too much hassle for people to buy safecoin.

The only way to make this thing work is to inject the money you earn back into the system for people to use.
If you want a true censorship free, FOSS and free filesharing application for instance, you need everyone to be able to use it without having to buy some currency. Nobody would use it. If any of the popular torrent sites would charge every user $3 a month, it’s user-base would probably vaporize.

So how much safecoin would 1GB upload cost? If one could cover the operational cost with ads and inject what is left back to it’s users, users could then upload/share data for free. For that to succeed, the revenue must be more than the demand for uploading content. I would like to see some math on this :smile:

Then the question remains how censorship free this really is. Because in this model, would everyone not upload to one place (vault) of which I would have they key? And therefor could I not be forced into destroying the vault and all its content?

Thanks for the clarification!

I think the default model should be that end users can use apps for free and that the developers are payed automatically by the network. Additional models can be added with user payments and subscriptions etc.

One interesting thing is that bandwidth will be free if I have understood it correctly. Also, for example a video app can manage tons of video data that is stored as the end users’ own data, so there will only be costs for storing meta data.

I think that if everyone had to buy safecoin it could lead to slower uptake on app usage, but I believe that most people will earn the vast majority of safecoin via farming, which will be as simple as setting up an account and configuring the vault via an API and they will just appear in your wallet. Not having safecoin would make the initial barrier to entry lower, but would lead to a number of issues with regard to incentives (lack of) and security.

We will start to gain a better understanding of this during test net 3 and will of course relay results. Personally I think it would be great if the Internet could move away from it’s reliance on advertising and surveillance as a business model. It’s that way of thinking that got us here in the first place. I believe that we need to start valuing content and content creators more and safecoin is a way of having a built-in revenue stream for open source app developers.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought users only pay Safecoin when their data storage exceeds what the user provides to the network? So, if for example a user provides 1GB of storage to the network then that user doesn’t pay to put data onto the network until they exceed 1GB of storage. Please let me know if I have this right?

You always pay storage with Safecoins. In order to get Safecoins you need to let other users put their data on your computer and then when they access it that’s when you earn your Safecoins. So it’s not a direct 1 on 1 relationship between what you offer and what you can use. In other words, you need to farm some Safecoins first before being able to upload anything. The Safecoins you get is the proof that you have provided space to someone else.

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@N1ckLambert :

I believe that most people will earn the vast majority of safecoin via farming, which will be as simple as setting up an account and configuring the vault via an API and they will just appear in your wallet.

I hope and believe you mean UI, not API! :slight_smile:

Enabling farming should be as easy as checking a checkbox (or not unchecking), with suggested defaults for any user configuration such as vault size and location.

@betterthantrav That was one method which has been discussed, but I think the front runner solution is: all storage is paid in advance (in units of say 1GB) and users will either need to earn Safecoin, use donated coin (e.g from a friend’s invitation to join), or purchase it on an exchange.

The are topics discussing this in depth.

Thanks for the clarification I had a feeling I was mistaken.

Sorry, UI. Thanks for the correction @happybeing!

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Let’s not forget the level if free access to end users that will be had by all, from the start.

At least under what I think is the current plan, anyone can access the network on a read-only basis. That’s not nuthin’. Set up and have a wallet address, view whatever public shares are available, download files, etc.

Then using any other communication mode (email, phone, face-to-face), I think there’ll be plenty of ways to get some safecoin to PUT data right away, in order to store on/communicate with the network–such as charity faucets, friends, exchanges, etc. Then farming will catch up to most peoples needs for safecoin to fully use the network.