SAFE's Impact: Speculation, Anyone?

I’m putting this under the new topic heading of Community–Initiatives because I don’t know where else to put it, and it may lead to some valuable insights regarding a topic I plan to introduce in this category later.

We all have much broader hopes and expectations as to what the SAFE Network and its technology may achieve, but viewing from the level of what we are rather certain will be in place at or near launch, I want to explore our different views of the effects and ramifications that will play out specifically because of this tech.

Here are the assumptions:

The network will have the following attributes:

  1. it will be easy to install the vault software on any computer and, with a decent internet connection, have it join the network and begin to function.

  2. Android devices will be able to access the network and farm, at least a bit, soon if not immediately.

  3. The network will be accessible to view public data from regular computers with SAFE browser extensions.

  4. Safecoin will be being farmed by all vaults at a reasonably even rate, varying mostly by connection and on-time (modified by amount of storage available).

  5. Use of the network will traverse national firewalls and will be difficult to distinguish from other traffic, allowing the network to operate across all national boundaries where internet connections exist.

  6. SafeX will allow exchange of value using safecoin on a peer-to-peer basis.

  7. The network is as resistant to attack as hoped for in the writings on the subject.

  8. That the network will be capable of the basics of secure storage and retrieval of data, private and anonymous messaging, public data access, etc., as per the SAFE Network Wiki.

In other words, just the basic certainties that need to be in place to fulfill the basic functions as promised. Not talking yet here about distributed computing, etc.

Based upon the above, what effects can we predict will result in society on the near and medium term? (If the network really functions as planned, the longer term is very different as the tech advances promise to be astounding and unprecedented.)

I know most of you have thought about such things. I know I have. Let’s air them in a speculative manner. See where it goes.

Who’s first?


That’s a tough one for me @fergish. I’m not into predicting, and if I force myself to try and answer this I find a void!

The first thing to come out of that is that this is about derailing the controlling, oppressive, exploitative and destructive processes that I believe are fast approaching a crisis point: anti-democratic surveillance and disinformation, and political-economic developments that we’re seeing becoming increasingly unstable and self destructive.

I find it hard to be specific because I think this process is very creative, chaotic and unpredictable. Yes we can imagine many of the kinds of app that will be built, that seems trivial when there’s a much bigger picture drawing us into this project. How that might unfold though, I really am unsure about.

I think it is beyond me to imagine it yet, though I am pulling threads together with the help of people like David, others on this forum, and articles like this one from Paul Mason (a UK TV economics reporter / journalist who has been covering the situation in Greece, and wider threads). I read a fantastic article that summarises his view that we’re approaching the end of capitalism (really this time!). He argues is fundamentally flawed and broken, in part because the traditional renewal of collapse (revolution) is no longer able to happen, and because we are moving from the industrial age to the information age, which have fundamentally different ways of generating value. He sees ring-fencing information and profiteering as undervaluing information, and being replaced by new forms of economy that are “out there”, but largely invisible to mainstream economists or media because they are different, and generally seen as insignificant. In his article he brings together disparate ideas (many contentious :-)), from open source, the sharing economy, and interestingly Karl Marx’s perfect information machines etc.

So I don’t see SAFE as a thing, a technology, but as a part of a bigger change that would happen without it one way or another. I think evolution is inevitable, either through collapse and start again, or through progression to a new level, and we are seeing a wave build that will either lift consciousness/life to a new plane, or collapse in order to restart. How that will look is very hard to imagine for me, but it is very exciting to witness and be aware of.

Paul Mason does give some ideas, such as moving to a society where people have to do very little to provide for our needs, because the work is done by machines. People are needed mainly to supervise the machines, and as the machines become ever cheaper to make, and ever more efficient, not many people are needed even to do that. So there is very little work for people to do. I’m not sure it pans out like that though. He admits it is utopian, and I think our love of utopias is about our need to be indispensable, or special, whereas I don’t assume that evolution has a special place for us. I think once we develop AIs that are more intelligent than ourselves, we will no longer be supervising them. Whether we are toast or not is speculation, but we will no longer be at the pinnacle, we’ll just be ants :wink:


I think that the safe network will serve as a tool to convert unused current day internet infrastructure into an asset for the mesh or otherwise decentralized networks of the future to use as a crutch while the networks of the future build up market adoption. If my understanding of maidsafe is correct, maidsafe could improve internet infrastructure on it’s own through indirectly incentiving big farmers with hundreds of built for maidsafe systems to lay down new/better networks in obscure areas to improve safecoin payout, being that more bandwidth means more connections which means better chances to earn safecoin. However, I’m not confident in maidsafe’s ability to completely replace the current internet, at least on a software level, due to my concern that the cryptographic based routing will result in uncompetitive latency for must have services such online gaming and netflix.

Finally, I think the lion share of the contributions that maidsafe will give at least in the short term will be the massive reduction of duplicate data, and the ability to provide big data to app developers on the ridiculously cheap.

Personal note: I can’t believe that it took typing this post to realize that Maidsafe can and likely will cause internet infrastructure development. :T

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Me, too, though I do get vivid flashes now and then. It gets hard to relate because there are whole contexts involved.

Interestingly, you’re telling me why you couldn’t adequately answer involved a lot of just the sort of input I’m looking to get on the table.

I agree that things are moving our way anyway. The emergence of MaidSafe is as much a result of emergent species intelligence (or some such) as it is the brilliance of David Irvine (maybe he’s the Neo of our tale? The inevitable result of the flaw in the equation?).

Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful input. Things to consider . . .


Hehehe same just happened to me in another thread… Sheldrake’s morphyc field? :smiley:
Yes it seems to me that safenet potentially can ripple through the physical infrastructure and not only network but energy and hardware as well.


Funny, isn’t it, how starting to communicate the kernel of an idea leads to more meat?

I’m not sure about the SAFE Network replacing the current internet. Don’t think that’s even desirable in an absolute sense. One thing is certain, though: the presence of SAFE in the world will radically change the face of the remaining internet. Also remember that the bulk of the program libraries for the network are wide open for development of any other projects creators care to use them for. That will change everything even further and faster, aside from what the SAFE Network does in itself.

I’m not sure about latency. I think there is a pretty good chance that this will not be bad. But even if it isn’t up to high bandwidth steaming, it will facilitate bulletproof off-channel connections to be made to accommodate almost anything.

As far as infrastructure goes, I agree. The functionality of true micro payments will, I think, make it possible to pay for wide-mesh as well as micro-mesh connectivity, as well as all sorts of other capabilities, so that entrepreneurs in far-flung places will start putting up their own towers to connect villages, etc., because it pays an income in crypto. We’ll likely see the grip of ISPs and major telcos go south, starting in places where they aren’t even in yet and taking over the world in mycelium fashion.

Uh, oh. Got me going.


By the way, @happybeing, thanks for being first. :smile:

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Here’s to keep you going: on top of being more anonymous than blockchain based cryptocurrencies, with effectively being the first fully asset backed cryptocurrency, assuming that it survives the black hats, I’m not even comfortable calling it a prediction that safecoin will be the new crypto to beat.

Edit: To be fair, obviously if maidsafe becomes (effectively) free internet, then that could get joe sixpack to switch his priorities up, and like you imply, there could just as easily be another protocol made specifically for the Gamer crowd.

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I’d say that it would make safecoin the crypto to Join, not beat. I don’t think there has to be one coin to rule them all, and I think the MaidSafe tech, whether on the SAFE Network or not, will allow all sorts of true value to arise in terms of currency.

The problem with all currencies currently in play is that they are not backed by actual value. I don’t care if there a bunch of them around, as long as they are actually based upon value. Safecoin will lead the way to a whole new dimension of this. Bitcoin and its progeny are better, but safecoin will be such an improvement that they will have a rough standard to live up to.


I think one of the immediate effects of safe is anyone on government assistance of any kind will be chomping at the bit to use safe to generate income. Given the sheer volume of people on welfare and the speed at which word spreads this is a sizable population. I know SAFE is not a “get rich quick” scheme however income is income. Also this will affect people in the third world as well and allow them to generate an income. At the same time it will allow for ANYONE access to education, news, literature, entertainment of all kinds and all of this censorship free. It will allow everyone to publish what they have to say. Currently you need a fair bit of funds to get a website. Maidsafe from my understanding will change that. Which will in turn me that demand for cheap websites will go up and that current web hosts will no longer be able to compete. I don’t think it’ll be a question of IF the old internet will be replaced but when. If it’s drastically cheaper to use SAFE than internet 1.0 anyone with any business sense will switch. Which will mean ISPs won’t have traditional websites to censor and control in the first place.

At the same time I think people using so much safecoin will affect global economies. Fiat, all fiat, will slowly drift out of usage if for no other reason than it would be grossly inflated and have a tendency to hyperinflate. This in turn combined with SAFE’s anonymity means statist culture will die off. Statist countries may or may not try to ban SAFE but given the slowness of beaurocracy and the speed of the advancing tech I doubt they’ll be able to and it would not be a wise move economically speaking to do so anyway.

Short term I think a lot of people will farm and trade safecoin for fiat as the network spreads. Then as more and more people learn about SAFE and adopt it they’ll start trading safecoin directly.

I think the biggest impacts will be on welfare traps or making beaurocrats heads spin when someone on welfare has more money than they “should”. Also the fact all information will be distributed and there will be no censorship. China will know what’s going on in America. America will know what’s going on in Africa and the Middle East. People start talking to one another and discussing issues instead of just speculating. Propaganda will be even less effective than it is now because people will be much more informed and free of the censorship that they are subject to now.

Taxation will simply not function because people will no longer be forced to keep their money in a form that can be stolen and monitored. This means social safety nets will need to become volunteer based and politicians will no longer be able to get their pay cheques from tax payer money.

I think both the majorly rich and the majorly poor will both be interested in SAFE. The rich will invest as a way to evade taxes and maintain their privacy. The poor will invest as a way to generate income and maintain their privacy and security from their governments. And as new apps emerge it’ll be easier to build more efficient businesses that only require one or two people with a limited amount of funds to start. This also brings up the question of evading local laws like business lisences and insurrence. Thus leading to even more wealth generation and the dissolution of even more beaurocracy and common institutions.


Maybe stating the obvious, or I am underestimating things.

Some of my opinions & thoughts are that in the

  • Very Short Term
    It will not be noticed by mainstream. There will be a flurry of interest from those already knowing about SAFE, they will be testing and seeing how it works and what can be done with it. But in this timeframe there are not many apps, there will be undiscovered situations that cause at best hicups and at worse require an urgent update. (Typical for any significant piece of software) Hopefully it runs smoothly without issues :smile:

  • Short Term
    Well that will depend on how the network performed in the very short term. But my opinion is that there will be a few distinct groups joining the SAFE network. Such groups as, but not limited to,
    *People who require or just need privacy/anonymity (eg China, Journalists in (semi)dictatorships which includes AU.
    *People who love playing with new tech
    *People who want to safely store their data (secure, private, cheaply)
    *People who want to earn SAFEcoin from farming
    *People with vision

  • Medium term
    Just like any new system on the internet, physical world, adoption will take time, slowly at first but as people who know people using SAFE increase so will the adoption.
    There will be resistance from the mainstream internet community that built its business models on centralised systems, prices will drop.
    There will be resistance from the sheeple public who will not want to “lose their facebook”,
    But as adoption rates increase and people learn they can use both the old internet and SAFE network at the same time, adoption will escalate

  • And as time goes on the SAFE network will become the standard, home router boxes will have optimisations for SAFE routing, mesh networks will be on the rise. It will take its place amongst other internet protocols, and protocols like SMTP, FTP, & others will be overshadowed by the abilities of SAFE and become like the comms protocols of the past (xmodem X25 etc) only used in special device to device communs or legacy situations.

As far as SAFEcoin is concerned thats crystal ball stuff. One point of interest is that if 100 million people use the SAFE network, that equates to 43 coins each. Its not a question of if but when safe coins will see some form of subdivision.


I think the first adopters will be Bitcoin folks. The biggest rub against bitcoin is that personal computer security is too weak and too infested with malware for the everyday Joe to store bitcoin keys. MaidSAFE solves that problem, and a wallet can be quickly built on SAFE that is safer than anything on the market. The bitcoin crowd knows about MaidSAFE because they have seen our people at their conferences and our Podcasts run on their channels.

SAFE is a good way to store the Bitcoin blockchain.

The intellectual property rebels will probably be next. It is a better bittorrent, and it doesn’t take any software development to save a streaming video file on SAFE.

If the bitcoin folks are successful with their experiments on SAFE - I suspect a lot of entrepreneur projects to trickle in. Mostly just small companies storing their data on SAFE instead of Centralized servers. If they are successful, it will give them significant advantages over their competitors that hire IT Staff to run numerous servers and data center. IT folks like what they know, and they tend to be pretty reluctant to put their neck on the line to propose something off the wall But when the competition is doing it, and is much more efficient and successful, it is only a matter of time before SAFE cracks the mainstream IT market…


My very pragmatic view is the following:

Probably people with average computers and medium bandwidth will not farm so much safecoin in the beginning, enough to store important documents and mp3’s, but not to archive you blue ray disc collection. Exchanging safecoin for e.g. bitcoin in a decentralized way will probably be difficult in the beginning, but on centralized exchanges it should work pretty soon. I think the first use case will be something like bittorrent or more specifically popcorn time, because it should be resistant to prosecution, and bittorrent is very popular on the internet. It does not take any safecoins to watch video on the network, so I think many non-crypto people with average bandwidth could be drawn by this. The question is how people would monetize it, since uploaders have to pay safecoin. Will they do it for altruistic reasons? Inject advertisments to the videos? Or viruses?
The next use case could be storing blockchains on the network, which is tempting because of the promise of eternal availability, and the advantages of deduplication. This would be quite niche, but still a permanent activity that will keep the network busy.
The promise of eternal availability is what also makes the dropbox use case very tempting (you can archive all your live and it will still be available if you are broke) but it will take some months/years for average people to realize this.
While web hosting is also a very nice use case, it will probably take quite a while to take of, because you need people to install a browser plugin or similar, and as long as it doesn’t get bundled with android/windows/macOS, the average Joe will not use it, and the standard web has the network effect on its side…

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Another application that may see a shift to the SAFE network is NNTP, a lot of the binaries newsgroups are used by people downloading material and SAFE could achieve the same result without the need for a news server that one has to connect to. The only drawback is that the uploaders have to pay safecoin to upload. But I am sure that someone will find a way (maybe through an app) that will mitigate this somewhat.

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We’ll see how the algorithm sorts this out, but my guess is that unless one is uploading a lot of data, it won’t be a barrier for most people. Say you spend one safecoin for 100 mb. Most news, etc., will just be a few kb, so people won’t notice and if farming will be left with spare safecoin.

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I think that this opens up a lot more venues for truly voluntary associations. I am excited about what can be built on top of the Safe Network, in terms of high quality but non centralized educational systems that actually allow people to educate themselves without trying to indoctrinate them.

Also I think that the Safe Network, particularly self authetication has the potential to unify so many of the alternative systems we see out there. There are alternative educational systems, alternative economic systems, alternative organizational systems (I would consider politics a subset of this). But they almost all depend on some trusted autheticators, and any autonomy that they give the group vis-a-vis the State, basically always comes at an even higher cost for the individual vis-a-vis the group.

With self authentication and secure storage of mutual data, this can create on ramps.

That to me is the most significant impact.


I feel compelled to point out that average joe’s awareness of maidsafe need not be a factor in regards to the adoption rate, as developers could have maidsafe auto-install and give safecoin to the developer as a dependency for their applications. At worst, people could throw the same old phoney child porn/terrorism “concerns” at applications that use the network, and how well has that worked out with Tor, yet alone Bittorrent if you want to put IP related moralizing in the same boat. As such, I think the majority of the advertising should be directed to start-ups/small developers, to whom maidsafe would be an easy sell.

My focus was on binaries which can be a few hundred KB to 50GB depending on what they are uploading. For simple text news articles, the NNTP is going to win out for years to come, unless someone makes a NNTP App

For binaries, SAFE would see the merger of bittorrent and NNTP binaries, because there would be little to distinguish the difference

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The SAFE Network will become the crackers (ppl who invade your computer to do evil), their favorite place. They will install it on their botnets and make muchos SAFEcoins. Since bitcoin mining doesn’t make you any money any more, SAFEcoin is the next get rich from other ppls computing power scheme. The first day that the SAFE Network is online, there will be a minimum of 100K clients installed by crackers. Within a year 100M Maidsafe client’s will be installed on botnets. Since crackers can hide their activity on the SAFE Network and even their SAFEpress powered websites can’t be brought down. They taunt the NSA with websites like, “Not So Advanced”, No Spies Allowed,

In the first place crackers, will be exchanging SAFEcoins for bitcoin, until they realize. That SAFEcoin is really anonymous, has no tx fee and doesn’t take time (10minutes, now even longer) like bitcoin does. The new buzzword on the street is “The SAFE Network”, Silkroad moves from i2p to the SAFE Network. All Tor, Bittorrent, CJDNS and i2p move over because they see no reason to stay in a place where they can’t make money and have total privacy. .

A scammers make SAFEcoin on Counterparty, Dogeparty, Coinprism and starts selling SAFEcoin to newbies. Who heard about SAFEcoin, but didn’t know that SAFEcoins can only be on the SAFE Network. BTW @nicklambert although this is a stupid joke, there is now really an asset on counterparty called SAFEcoin! Maybe a warning for newbies would be needed, before start buying it.

Finally crackers harness the SAFE Network, to launch a full blown attack on the old internet and put everything in a cryptolock choke hold.

SAFEcoins price soar to €1000 a piece, but nobody wants to exchange it for fiat, that can be confiscated by governments and banks. The SAFE economy becomes the world economy and everybody is happy. Fin

Got to love the scammers, they never miss a trick. I think we will need to continue to let people know that safecoins (meaningful ones anyway) can only exist on SAFE. Thanks for the heads up though.

I agree with others in this thread that adoption of SAFE will be slow and steady at first and once we have some favourable reviews from some opinion leaders and get some high profile projects on board we will reach a tipping point and adoption will accelerate exponentially.