The Economics of Safecoin: What is the best way to fund content on the SAFE network?

There are some old topics on this, and as far as I can tell the position on ‘The Economics of SAFE Coin’ is still broadly similar to the blog post below, but I haven’t seen much chat lately, and to my mind it seems a really important part of the wider appeal and development of the SAFE network. Apologies if any of what I’m saying is based on misconceptions, or if it seems insultingly obvious - I’m fairly new here.

As we know, one of the major problems with the legacy internet is its reliance on advertising revenue, which is unsatisfactory to both users, who pay with their personal privacy and exposure to low quality clickbait nonsense, and content creators, who are unable to be paid honestly for their work, partly due to the ‘free’ culture of the internet, and partly because of the inconvenience and/or insecurity of many payment systems. I am thinking of any services that can be delivered digitally, such as knowledge, art, music, video - the things that many people spend most of their time on the internet consuming. Journalism as a dying industry is perhaps a particularly good example.

On the other side of the issue, one of the problems with Bitcoin is that for a variety of reasons it has not yet managed to break out to having much utility for people in the wider world, although I am sure this will only be a matter of time.

However, as far as i understand, it should be easy for the SAFE network to address the first problem, and in doing so leapfrog bitcoin in the utility stakes, and take a large step towards helping the network achieve mass adoption.

This part of the economy seems to me potentially huge, but I haven’t seen much talk of it on the forum, and in the blog it is more in passing that Nick Lambert mentions ‘paying for access to third party apps.’

I imagine a plug-in that developers can use in their Safenet sites, which then communicates with Authenticator, would be one way to implement this. If from the client side it was part of the SAFE network package it would engender a lot of trust in it to the extent that people are happy to use it with one click, whereas on the internet one of the problems for this type of one click convenience is that people are used to being very wary of pop-ups, and of authorising payments to third parties. To avoid being too click-happy one could put payment caps on one’s own Authenticator! Perhaps even to avoid too much clickbait the minimum payment for access time to a site could be a day, rather than just micro payments for access to one page at a time.

Having a revenue app like this available early in the project would be useful in attracting big websites onto the SAFE network, and thus making the network more attractive for clients as well. It is hard for a website to have any dignity when they are constantly begging you to turn off your ad blocker!

Apologies if this has all been gone through before, or if someone is already working on it (I’m sure market forces will bring it into being eventually anyway,) but I think it’s also an issue that raises some interesting questions about things like copyright, whether culture should be professional (and therefore to at least some extent centralised,) and what people’s attitudes are as to whether this sort of payment structure would price some clients out of the Safenet. Personally I would be happy to have a convenient, flexible and secure way of paying for a more civilised and better quality internet, but i’m also aware that not everyone has that privilege.

I guess the point is that in order for the Safenet to really rival the internet in the quality and variety of its content, it surely has to find a way of plugging the funding gap caused by being less attractive to advertisers, and this is the most obvious one to me, so I thought I’d start a discussion about it…


If I read you correctly you are talking about micropayments to pay for APPs or reading some pages that have it.

It might interest you to know that SAFE intends to have a PtD (Pay the [APP] Developer) built into the system.

This is where the developer of an APP, which can be a web page APP, is paid for providing the APP to the user. So there is actually no need for many APPs/pages to be paid by the user since the network itself will pay the developer itself. Its a payment separate to farming rewards but will be approx 1/10 that of farming rewards. It works along the lines where the chunks/data being read for the APP will also generate a reward. While small amount for each access, it’ll add up if the APP is popular.

So this will satisfy quite a number of developers and for the rest they can have a paid system, perhaps along the lines you suggest.

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Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I don’t disagree that the death of journalism may be a good thing - this is the type of thing I was curious to hear people’s opinion on. I’m not quite at the point where I fully agree either though, especially for other digital content!

I suppose the potential of Safecoin for micropayments as you describe, and how that could be very useful for a lot of people, is what I was getting at - It seems a huge potential that hasn’t been made explicit very often.

I’d got the impression it would be relatively easy to port internet sites over to the SAFE network, and that it would therefore be easier to have the whole mechanism within the Safenet, but useful to be corrected on that.

Thanks, yeah, I think you’re reading me correctly!

I was aware of the PtD intention, and I like it. However by sheer amounts I suspect it wouldn’t even come close to enabling the sort of content that is on the internet.

As you say, a paid system could work for the rest. One of the reasons I wanted to start this discussion was that I feel like the PtD system is often mentioned, but in terms of amounts will probably be less significant than it is given credit for.

From a marketing and discussion point of view it would be nice to see it highlighted more often (assuming it is true) how easy it could be to create a micro-payment system, as this in itself could go a long way towards creating a healthier culture.

This has had a reasonable amount of discussions previously, both the PtD and PtP. Also things like tipping, micropayments, and other forms of paying developers has been discussed at length

I guess with beta being perceived as being a long time off (and it could be too) that this discussion is perhaps too early and good ideas are likely to be buried by the time we get to beta with test safecoin.

The sites on the web which ask directly for payments to use the site, would simply transfer over to safe and have their pay-to-use model transfer to safe site if the PtD is not enough.

Mind you a site of the size as facebook would still make millions of times what any farmer could dream of with PtD since its 10% of farming. All those billions of data objects accessed each day.


(my opinion)
Sites needing significant payment for use would simply do the same on SAFE as the web. Micropayments/tipping could be used for sites that require lesser amounts but PtD is not enough. Again the micropayments/tipping would simply be at the APP layer I’d imagine. Any automated micropayment/tipping at the SAFE code code level is open to abuse and underhanded trickery to get people to pay without knowing.


Haha, yes, I guess I’m too late for discussions shaping the fundamental nature of the SAFE network (which is fine, it all sounds very great,) and too early for shaping the culture of apps on the network in practice. I almost feel like the forum and talk generally about the project is slightly in this in-between space just now.
As you say, the functionality I’m talking about is currently available on the internet, but it’s the increased ease, transparency and trustworthiness I’m excited about on the SAFE network - I think it could make a real difference, and be the key link between the currency and the other functions of the network.
I do get disproportionately excited by these simple things though, so maybe I should just learn to write code and build something!

Not in the area of the coin since it has not been introduced yet. The economics has yet to be finalised (started). While the project has some goals in this area they want to achieve like cheap storage, preference home farmers in rewards, free to read data, change the way people are paid (eg PtD and maybe PtP), keep costs low, pay once data storage (incl persistent data)

There is still a significant amount to be defined and input will be needed from the community and some have started. As I said above, personally I feel its a tad too early to try and flesh out things since test safecoin is still a wee bit off and the discussions will be lost by the time we need them.

I’d have to agree with that, but there is still discussions around the current stage of development too. Just the slowness of replies at this time is indicative of people feeling we are in-between stages. Most are waiting for alpha 3 & 4.

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