Vault Account vs User Account -- an overview of user experience

The differentiation between the node/vault and the user account is something which we sometimes lose track of in discussions, and I realized it would be good to establish how these two things interrelate, and how each comes into existence. So I’m going to lay out my best understanding of how it will be, and some other incidental details, and hope anyone who actually knows better will affirm or correct.

In order to join the network as a user, one has to have access to a device running software native to the SAFE network. So setting up a full relationship (farmer and user) with the network would first consist of installing the software on your own computer (or other device) and setting up a node which becomes a functioning part of the network. The owner/operator of the node/vault would have a node ID and Password strictly for access to set and adjust certain settings related to the node, such as assigning storage parameters, assigning a user account to be credited with safecoin proceeds, etc. By default, the node would retain to itself any safecoin, until assigned to some other account by the node owner/operator.

One would then log off while leaving the node running on its own.

At this point it would be possible for anyone to use the device running that node and establish a relationship with the network by logging in with a user ID, password and PIN. Creating an account and logging into an account are identical actions. It’s just that if you have created an account before, entering the same info will put you in an environment which contains previous account data.

Having created an account, there will be a unique ID number associated with the account. As the owner of a node, one would take that number, log in to the node and enter the User ID number, so that any safecoin generated by that node would be sent to that User Account. This could be repeated on any other nodes one controlled so that all farming proceeds would go to the one User Account (or wherever else one chose to have it assigned).

A new User Account comes with an initial amount of available storage, which cap has not been determined as yet. Due to possible attacks designed to overload the network with junk storage, I imagine that the initial cap will be fairly minimal, perhaps 1Gb to 10Gb, though I’ve repeatedly hear David Irvine discuss the cap as “up to the network average”. To be able to store more on the network above that cap, one will need to pay the network to raise that cap. The price of this added storage will be set by a network algorithm designed (in conjunction with other factors such as the rate at which farming awards are given) to help keep a good balance between available and used storage. This price is denominated in safecoin without knowledge or concern by the network as to what the value of safecoin is in relation to any other currency or commodity. When this cap is raised for this account, it is raised permanently. It is not an ongoing payment.

The safecoin paid to the network is taken out of circulation and “put back in the ground”, so to speak, to be recycled as fresh farming award in the future.

What we have, then, is nodes which are tied to specific devices, owned by specific individuals or groups. The network is not concerned with and has no data on who owns the node. As long as it functions correctly, it will be awarded safecoin. To the degree that the node functions well and as predicted by the network, it will have an improved rating and will have an improved opportunity to receive safecoin. If a group wishes to share the proceeds of that node, it is up to them to work out the arrangements by which such proceeds are divided. This is of no knowledge or concern of the network as a whole.

When anyone wishes to access the SAFE network they will have to use a device running a SAFE node (unless there is some other provision I don’t know about). But they can log on to their account and have access to whatever they have associated with it.

1 Like

Well done!

Later on a drawing by the documentation folks would be be nice as well.

Really? Wow… Is it Christmas yet?
I’d make that 5KB, enough for people to store their browser bookmarks, the first of which would be pre-set and point to a place where they can buy Safecoins :wink:
Any amount of free storage that’s worth exploiting (say, over 10KB?) will be exploited, it’s guaranteed to happen and who doesn’t believe can make me a bet.
And it won’t be exploited in the sense of “attacks”. I don’t need to attack a bank to exploit it, I just need to take its money… Freeloaders will instantly sell (or use and not pay) this SAFEnet space for free by aggregating the capacity of many free accounts.

I guess you could have a token device that’s meaningless as source of earnings and not related to your main user account - something where you’d transfer Safecoins that you want to spend.

I started reading TFM this week so I’ve noticed this thing about payments - that they seem to be permanent.
I can see where that makes sense, but also where it doesn’t.

Elsewhere on this forum I asked about things like “pay to delete” (and I’m still interested in this, even though data can and are be stored permanently), then there are other questions that I may ask in another topic.

To stay on topic I’ll instead ask questions related to this topic:

  1. Can multiple vaults concurrently log on to the network with the same ID/password?
  2. If 1) is possible, can a vault be attached to any of the vaults that share the same ID/password?
  3. Can ID/password be changed? (Also related to 1) and 2), if one doesn’t want to remain part of a “group” of vaults that use the same credentials.

I can’t speak with the authority of a core developer, but I’m quite certain that such would not be doable for a couple reasons I can envision but have a hard time putting into words… The main one I can express is that a number of vaults trying to masquerade as one would behave in ways that the network would reject and ignore. The network is composed of nodes which manifest several different personalities, depending upon the task being handled. Each parameters of behavior of each personality are very straightforward and simple. Together with other nodes, however, the behavior is rather complex, even though based upon simple components.

Introducing something as you propose without being exposed as a renegade would be, I believe, impossible.

= = = = =

I’m just assuming about the aspect of logging on as the owner of the node. It’d have to be something like that I think, but don’t know how it will be designed.

I think there’s confusion here about what logging on is. No-one actually logs on. Vaults participate on the network and if they earn Safecoin, that gets sent to an address that is (hopefully) owned by someone - just a value put in a configuration file on the system running the vault.

Users create an account by downloading some software that connects them to the network. But they don’t log onto the network. They log into their data. The software doesn’t know who they are. It can be downloaded anywhere, and all it does is what the user tells it to do. So I could walk up to your computer, start that software - it connects to the network (no logging in: its your PC, your software) - and I type my username, password and pin. This creates an address which allows that software to ask the network for my account data. (You could ask for the same data, but you won’t be able to decrypt it without my username, password and pin.). Having retrieved my account data from the network and decrypted it, I can access my data stored on the network (files, wallet, address books, etc.)

Notice there’s no vault involved. Vaults don’t have accounts. We set them up, they farm, they send us Safecoin :-).

That’s my understanding.

I agree, as far as a user account goes. That will be machine independent.

Probably Vault Account is not a good term for what I’m talking about.

My point is that when you install SAFE node software on your computer there is at least the personalized action of assigning an address for safecoin to be sent to. If you don’t have a computer that already has a node operating, you can’t open a user account in the first place. It’s a chicken and egg problem. Therefore, I assume two things about the node software. (1) It must be able to operate on an initial boot-up without an external address to send safecoin to.It would have to hold on to any safecoin generated till it knows where to send it. (2) There must be some security barrier (password) to access that level of the node in order to assign that account number once he’s got it, or to change it if he wants to have the proceeds sent to a different account later. This would also be needed to keep the node secure from having someone else reassign the recipient address without the owner’s consent.

I guess that could come down to physical security on the hardware. At least access to the node software needs to be password protected before you could change the user account value. But I was envisioning it as a sort of separate vault account on your computer, because it really acts like a separate identity.