Purpose of self-encryption?

Did I answer this correctly, here: > No different than IPFS. You’re wrong. SAFE is autonomous, meaning no one has t... | Hacker News ?


Yes, as far as I see you did. We did have a ton of patents. They were taken out to get investment and keep out “the big guys” but the caveat was we could not use these to prevent any other OSS projects using them. We did this by coding the papers into mit/gpl code and letting folk know they had free use of the patents.

It all gets subjective, but the main part is totally decentralised, contract free network. A big one for me is running on the smallest of nodes with zero friction. i…e just run and earn


I am a big fan, as you know.

What do you think of the new Freenet? They are releasing in two weeks. How does it compare to SAFE, especially their ideas of smart contracts and agents written in WASM:

Here is an interview I did with Ian Clarke, the founder, a few years ago. It might sound self-serving but I highly recommend watching it as we go over a lot of aspects (including encryption and economic incentives) that SAFE also has to deal with. As far as I know Freenet was the first ever decentralized content network:

PS: I would love to come to Scotland sometime soon & organize an event to meet both SAFE and Freenet teams!


Really good interview. I have chatted with Ian on twitter a little. I Was aware of freenet years back amongst others. Where SAFE differentiated was the ability to login, believe it or not But back in 2006 there was no public / decentralised network that could store your private data and let you login. Then of course perpetual data, thsi is where we differentiated from freenet and later IPFS.

I like Ian and highly respect him. I agree with the points on centralisation leads to monopoly and so on.

The future I see is one where we have the above (login/perpetual) but in ways that everyone get’s value "paid’ for effort. So creators, resource providers, distributors and more. That chain is important.

The other critical point is ease of use, not only ease but complete simplicity (perhaps no apps at all).

Then true decentralisation in my mind means no MaidSafe or similar. The thing should evolve though many parties improving it with none controlling it.

It’s not a simple thing, but if we get it right, I believe it’s unstoppable and no centralised profit taking (value taking) mechanism would be able to find a space for the paywall/tollbooth.


TIL: there are two freenets:

  • the original which has been renamed hyphanet because
  • Ian started Locutus in 2019 and then renamed it freenet, which he presumably has rights to being the founder of the original


It would be interesting to understand the philosophical differences between the original and latest, which presumably lead Ian to start an independent project.

I wonder if they were related to economics, such as how to fund development because those seem quite opinionated in the original based on my very limited interactions with some of those involved.