SAFE and the Free to Play Model

SAFE users are granted access to a fully functional network, but must pay microtransactions to access additional/premium content/services. What makes this better than the typical freemium model, is that users can pay these microtransaction with Safecoin they earned providing resources to the network.


I don’t think that’s accurate. Those so called premium services will compete with free as in Pop Corn time.

At the very least SAFE will hit sponsors revenues because they may not be able to serve ads on most services and even if they could they very likely won’t be able to get access to people’s info. But more than that mainstream content will be converted to the public domain. I anticipate that if people pay at all it will be after the fact and only what they think its worth and only to encourage future works. The middle men and the publishers who profit from being toll roads and gate keepers who profit from censorship and spin and restricting access are going to be cut out of the loop. This in my opinion will have huge implications for voting bodies around the world and gives us a chance at getting inclusive systems back and reversing the extraction or super low profit efficiency stuff that makes up these fake economies. But just to be clear even stuff that is offered as premium on SAFE is likely to be sampled and fed back in with the premium stripped. SAFE to me is universal unfettered friction free access to information including suppressed info and stuff organizations have tried to keep secret and suppress at great cost to humanity.

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Assuming we can divide Safecoins into smaller values, what makes Safecoins better is that you will be able to make true micro transaction. Usually the Freemium model is that you pay for a pack of coins then spend these coins in game. The reason is that transaction fees are high on credit card so you can’t make micro-transaction. With Safecoins there’s no transaction cost, so you can charge as small as you want. For example, you could make a streaming service that ask you to pay per frame. Or make a game where 1 gold is 0.0001 Safecoins and let the users trade them around to their heart’s content.

When we will be able to subdivide Safecoins, the micro-transaction economy will be one of the most interesting thing to see grow on the network.


Not sure how well that one would work, since it can instantly be ripped and be put on the SAFE network for free.

I very much agree. What I hope to see all over the SAFE network is a “Like” button that tips a SafeCoin (or a subdivision). I’m very curious whether it’s possible to have an economy where almost none sells things, but just produces for free and relies on voluntary gratefulness of their consumers.

On the current internet that cannot work, because there’s too much friction in available payment systems. Not only the transaction costs, but also the amount of effort it takes to donate a few cents on the internet is not worth the donation itself. SafeCoin (without transaction costs and instant transactions, integrated in the network itself, and hopefully easy to get through farming) is the most frictionless payment I can possible imagine. Donating with micro-transactions could become a habit you hardly think about anymore. Whenever you feel like something is cool or useful, you instantly click the button, and that’s that.


I think it’s gonna be the bottom layer of the Safecoin economy, tips flying all over the place. People will receive Safecoin dust for their comments, personnal videos, blog post etc. Add to that the app reward on cough PUT cough request and you have an incredible primordial soup to base your economy on. Awesome success stories could emerge from this.

I also think a lot of company will want to capitalize on this. With bitcoin it’s different because there’s a big barrier of entry but with Safecoins, all you need is a vault, there’s just no reason not to run one, it’s free money. It will become a no-brainer for a company to accept Safecoins, it’s just a question of time.


That is so very well put, thank you.


Maidsafe Blog
“Potentially, artists and film makers (this also includes those sharing funny home clips on YouTube) could make use of the SAFE Network’s optional watermarking system to ensure that they are rewarded as the originator of content and continue to be rewarded as snippets of their song or film are built upon and used by or aggregated by others. Digitally recording the content creators (through an anonymous ID) of each piece of work will enable the network to manage and pay out rewards without human intervention and without corruption.”

This I am excited for. I know there is a lot of debate on piracy and blah blah. You can’t always stop it and should not force or exclude the option (DRM). But! I feel as though water marking is like writing my name on a piece of clothing. It won’t stop someone from taking it but it lets people know where it came from and who it could be returned to or who could be compensated. With the micro transaction capabilities of safecoin I feel as though the ownership argument leans more towards, why not just “like”?
Also the fact you could aggregate content and build on top of it adding water marks I presume, this could do such cool things. What if that’s how news was fact checked? How songs or flics are made. Or create a file to send across the world where it gets passed on and each participant adds a water mark to see how many watermarks one file could get!
I actually don’t know the technical aspects of the watermarking option fully so these are all just hypothetical ideas I’m spewing but I would really like more insight into this feature if @ioptio or @nicklambert could go a little bit more into detail on this I think that’d be enlightening :sunny: :smile:
Is this a click button feature? Or something a little more technical?
“The public key infrastructure used in the Safe network in combination with the granularity of network transactions allows for creators to have much more opportunity to earn compensation. The option to tag publicly shared content with a public watermark of the original owners Safe network ID will give people options for raising funds from consumers on a programmatic, peer-to-peer basis”
This blogpost by @ioptio was an amazing contribution to how the network is viewed by creators and consumers and it makes me want to know more!

But will I as a user be able to store some private data on the SAFE network without safecoins? On Google Drive I can store a decent amount of data for free. And remember that storing data is a fundamental function of the SAFE network, not some additional premium service.

@anders the must pay stuff from above doesn’t seem accurate. Also I’ve not heard of any SAFE premium services, besides it being a dirty marketing word MaidSafe foundation is a not for profit or something similar.

@Nigel the desire to not to coerce people into things including exclusion of DRM sounds good at first by DRM equates to stuff like the non refundable impulse buy and shifting risk to the buyer. Relative to the new options its a scam. It also tends to imply interface games. My concern about encouraging the notion that approaches that arent working outside SAFE and actually necessitating the advent of SAFE itself can be ported over to SAFE is that its a non starter. Reminds me of the crew saying they wont just be a better portal to FaceBook.

As current plans stand, safecoins will be required to store private data @Anders. David was keen to have some free personal storage as part of the design, however, it presents adversaries with an opportunity to attack the network (write a program to create millions of free accounts, fill the free space and repeat). We should bear in mind though that these are safecoins that will have been earned through farming.

Consumption of publicly available data will not require safecoins.


I don’t have anymore details I can give you on watermarking right now @Nigel, sorry about that. I know that it will exist as a feature, but I’m not sure how it will be catered for within the UI, this is probably a feature that each app dev will need to cater for. Once we get through the next couple of sprints we should be able to start providing a bit more detail to this very valid question. It is an important aspect of the system. Apologies for being a bit vague.


Yes, it’s tricky to prevent abuse. It would be really great with a free storage quota though. When the SAFE network becomes popular many users will probably use the network without being farmers, and if they can’t store any private data then that’s a severe limitation. Even I am reluctant to become a farmer since the safecoins earned probably are taxable, and to stay legal, and I will, then how to pay taxes for safecoins earned will likely be really cumbersome involving conversion into a fiat currency and even that may be regulated or even illegal!

I really hope so! One other problem it may solve is the devaluation of a “Like” on the current internet. I’ve seen people (mostly teenage girls) scrolling at insane speed through Instagram pages “Liking” 3 pictures per second. I don’t think they’d do that if every “Like” would be a micropayment! :smile:


Agreed, having no space without safecoin is likely to be a limitation, but I am unaware of a way around this just now. I guess this is the crux of the current problem, we are so used to getting things for ‘free’ that it becomes a barrier when you ask people to pay, even with a token that they can earn by contributing to the network. At the very least, we need to make the acquisition of safecoins extremely easy, having projects like SAFEX (and I’m sure there will be others) with very clean and intuitive UIs will help.

Staying legal and paying tax is an important point!

Subject to legal disclaimers and the specifics of your jurisdiction, based on UK law I don’t think this is an issue though it will be a concern for some.

This is because:

a) For ordinary users who want to earn enough to cover the costs of their storage, the amount earned in a year for sharing a small amount of disk space will be so small it is unlikely to present an issue, perhaps a few tens of dollars per year? So as long as you don’t end up with a large surplus of valuable Safecoin, and are storing typical amounts for an ordinary user, I don’t think the tax will be significant enough to warrant concerns.

b) If one has a surplus of Safecoin from farming, and the value of Safecoin rises so as to make this a significant taxable gain, note: 1) that’s a nice problem to have and you can hopefully afford the time and an accountant to ensure you pay the right amount of tax and stay legal, and 2) In the UK - if my understanding is correct - tax is not incurred on the rise in value of an asset until you convert the asset (Safecoin) into something (anything) else. So you wouldn’t be liable to tax just because your Safecoin suddenly became worth a lot, only on the value of what you spend as you spend it.

For people farming quantities of Safecoin which amount to significant taxable income (i.e more than a few tens of dollars per year) the situation would be different, and they will potentially incur tax liabilities on the earnings even without a rise in the value of a Safecoin surplus, but I’m not arguing that here. I’m just suggesting that for most people this is unlikely to be an issue, based on the relatively small earnings needed in order to store typical amounts of data for an ordinary user, but subject to the disclaimer that I’m not a professional, and may be wrong, and of course laws differ in different places and can change at any time.


Don’t take this as tax advice, since I may be wrong, and get your own professional advice before making financial decisions because I am not qualified to give advice and not offering this information as advice. It is just my understanding at this time, and may of course change, or be just plain wrong!


If its free you are not the customer you are the product!


True, but sadly many don’t seem to care.

I’m currently reading a book called “future crimes” and the first half or so is devoted to this topic (mostly for context for the rest of the book) and puts things into proper perspective. Even though I knew everything the author was telling me, having it put in such blunt form was very sobering.

It’s only a limitation for people who doesn’t wish to participate in the network. And that’s fine. They can still download public content for free.

@bolet75 coined the term “collaborative cloud” and this is the concept we need to drive home. This needs to be written all over the place. When it’s understood, people will naturally understand that in order to use, they need to share. It might slow adoption at the beginning but it will also make sure that the community is build of people working together.

I’m no expert but to me it’s like saying the gold you farm in World Of Warcraft should be taxable, the cards you acquire playing Magic should be taxable, collectable hockey cards should be taxable, marbles should be taxable, pokemon cards should be taxable, lol even street creds could be taxable. It might sounds like a silly comparison but when you think about it it’s pretty much the same thing: a token you get by interacting with a close system that allow you to interact back with it.

If you sell your Safecoins for fiat then it’s another story. Anyway that’s how I see it. Until proven wrong, I’ll farm to my heart content :wink:

EDIT: Thinking more about it, the line is probably when you decide to use your Safecoins to buy something outside of the network: a pair of boots, a song, a movie, etc. Then it’s probably less of a gray area. But if all you do is spend it to put your data on the network, I wouldn’t worry about it.


@nicklambert as in @DavidMtl referencing @bolet75 “coining collaborative cloud,” it can be pitched as a mere delay in getting essentially free space. And that would make both intuitive and logical sense. The system really is taking steps to create a SAFE space and it takes a little time to create the conditions. Of course mechanically it will mean they are contributing space and cycles and bandwidth up front to get a flexible share of storage in the SAFE network and they will contribute some of the initial coin their initial resource contribution generates to do that, but that contribution can be automated with a check box and providing the “estimated time to free space arrival” once the box is checked.

So time and effort wise its not so bad and is like current sites that have a trivial verification process, but its even better because download functionality is accessible immediately.