Hello and welcome!
You're listening to The Crossroads of Project SAFE podcast. Project SAFE is the community-
backed drive to launch the first grass-roots internet with Secure Access For Everyone—the
And that IS what “SAFE” stands for, by the way: (all capitals-S.A.F.E.) Secure Access For
Everyone, with Privacy, Security and Freedom baked into the design.
This is the first podcast dedicated exclusively to the news, technology, applications, ideas and
people in and around the SAFE Network.
I’m your host, John Ferguson, the self-dubbed Simpleton of Project SAFE.
And I am, without a doubt, a simpleton when we get anywhere close to the bare metal of the
technologies underlying the SAFE Network, or the existing internet or my own computer for that
matter. (Maybe I get my toaster.) But that's okay, you know, we just cannot ALL be geeks, and
most of us aren’t. Sometimes it really TAKES a simpleton to step back and ask the right
questions. That's the biggest part of what I'm trying to do here.
In future podcasts I’m planning news, interviews, and whatever else seems appropriate. We’re
making it up as we go along.
But for this first episode it’s just me. And it's largely for the newcomer. I’m going to try and lay
out an overview, in as simple terms as possible, of what the SAFE Network is and some of the
great reasons to be excited about it. Later episodes will undoubtedly dig a lot deeper.
Before overview,, define terms. You may have heard the term Maidsafe. Maidsafe is an acronym
for Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access For Everyone. Great name, as you'll see.
Applies to company, technology which is the basis for the SAFE network, and Fdn.
SAFE network is the objective. We'll cover.
Project SAFE, maidsafe expanded.
So let's dig in.
I figure the best place to start is to read from one of the SAFE Network system documents to
give the really broad strokes of the SAFE Network: Appropriately, enough it's titles “What it is”
(and I quote)
The SAFE Network is a secure and fully decentralized data management service. The network is
made up from the unused computer resources provided by the individual network users.
Each user of the SAFE Network provides a small part of their computer resources: meaning
hard-drive storage, CPU processing power, and communication bandwidth. This local resource is
called a Vault. Each Vault is cryptographically secure and connects to other Vaults throughout the
The user’s data is encrypted and broken up into chunks. These chunks are then distributed
around other Vaults in the network. At no point do any of the other Vaults know anything about
the data they have been asked to store, other than anonymous network address information.
The result of the encryption and network-wide distribution of information is a highly secure and
private data management and communication experience for all users.
The SAFE Network also supports applications and programs that can be accessed by network
users. These applications may be free to use or paid for by using safecoins.
Safecoin is the currency of the SAFE Network and is the oil of the SAFE Network engine. This
digital token can only exist on the SAFE Network and incentivises desirable behaviour. Users
can earn safecoins by providing resources to the network. Similarly, application developers can
earn safecoin by creating applications. Safecoins can be traded for any type of network service,
or converted to other crypto currencies or traditional fiat currencies, after decentralized
As the SAFE Network grows, it is anticipated that the value of the limited safecoins will grow.
Safecoins are only generated by the network based on how much it is used, ensuring no over
supply. Initially safecoin will be the only currency on the network and this utility will help to
further drive its value.
So folks, the best way I can think of to summarize all that is to say that Project SAFE is building
what will be the very first truly grassroots internet, the SAFE Network,, made up of the spare
computer resources of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions, and even eventually billions
of users all around the world. It's the Maidsafe technology that enables this. It's a tremendous
vision, isn't it, and I can tell you that it is very close to becoming reality.
Now, because the network is completely decentralized--meaning there is no central control--
anyone can establish access to the network without having to ask permission from Google or
Microsoft or anybody else. Through a newly developed process called Self-Authentication,
anyone can set up a relationship to the network to communicate and store data, or to contribute
some of their unused computer resource and earn safecoin.
Some of the types of applications that'll be used on the network include the following:
Messaging (encrypted by default)
Voice over Internet Protocol
Document or contract signing
Basically, we're talking about a network capable of accomplishing anything the current internet
allows and more, but without having to carry the cost of huge server farms controlled by
unaccountable companies and governments. I mean, these server farms are really huge, and use
up massive amounts of electricity. Well, actually, there ARE a couple things the SAFE network
will be lousy at compared to the current internet: (1) It's really going to be lousy at mass
surveillance. Unfortunately, the very design of the network makes this sort of thing virtually
impossible. (2) Again, the very design makes hacking over the network a real problem. And (3)
the network basically can't be host to cyber warfare. Such wars will just have to go elsewhere.
Oh, well. Maybe we can live with those deficiencies, eh?
And that’s just the start of where this road can take us. Very, very exciting. Remember that this
network has been designed from the ground up to make Privacy, Security and Freedom native to
its function. That's the whole purpose that the network was designed.
So, if I’ve whetted anyone’s appetite to look further, that's fabulous. In a minute I'll give you
some links and some suggestions. But I have one more important thing to share.
Now, this directly affects programmers, developers and entrepreneurs but, really, it's important to
Traditionally, platforms such as Apple and Microsoft, and the like, have a closed Application
Programming Interface (known as an API). This means that if you want to develop an application
to run on their network or interface with their system, you have to pay for a license to use the
API, and often have to give up a large percentage of any income generated through it.
On the SAFE Network the API is open for anyone to use to develop and implement applications
at no cost. This greatly cuts down on the overhead of developing and getting paid for innovation.
The next “killer app”, so to speak, that changes how the world does business or social
networking, or whatever, could be developed and fully implemented by an individual or team for
very little overhead. Now, aside from any way they chose to make money through the app, the
network itself will pay the developer in safecoin to the degree that the app is used by end users.
This allows anyone with imagination, skill and a good idea to launch a career with only time and
talent invested. And that’s not just good for developers. That means that competition to make
great applications that all end users will benefit from will be open to all comers, which is great
for the rest of us.
So, the questions, the questions, I can hear 'em now:
How can I start using the network?
Why isn't it available yet?
When can I start developing MY idea for taking advantage of this new paradigm shift?
Well, as of mid April, 2015, when this podcast is being recorded, the development team is
working flat out to prepare for the third and last Test Network. Unfortunately, my guesses are
useless. Soon for sure, but that's a slippery term. Anyone familiar with software development
knows that exact timetables of progress are very difficult to get right, and almost always take
longer than anyone hoped. We’re all waiting on the edge of our seats for TestNet 3, because
that’s when anyone who wants to can install the vault software and start getting familiar with the
network running on a large scale, testing apps that are already ready, and experimenting with
new ones. This is also when TestSafecoin will be getting its debut. You’ll actually be able to start
farming testsafecoin in this TestNet and developers will be able to start using the API to test their
applications. When Test Net 3 is done, everything will be shut down and final preparations will
be made to launch the network for real. From then on, we'll be able to store data permanently,
communicate privately, earn real safecoin in exchange for resources you contribute to the
network and lots, lots, more.
How long will all this take till the network is finally up and functioning in the wild? I'll leave
such guessing to others, but I can say with some certainty that it's approaching pretty fast. Stay
tuned her and at the links I'm about to share.
If you want to dig further, here are some ideas about where to look:
First, go to Maidsafe.net. That’s m-a-i-d-s-a-f-e dot net. That's the home site of Maidsafe, the
Maidsafe.net is a great site and you can probably find your own way, but I'm going to make some
Near the top of the home page on maidsafe.net is an embeded youtube video that gives a great
overview. It’s a really great place to start.
Next I recommend reading the material at the “overview” tab. Short but very useful.
Under the “press” tab are quite a few articles and interviews. The one I recommend the most is
the interview of Maidsafe’s founder and the architect of the SAFE Network, David Irvine, on
Sovryn Tech with Brian Sovryn. Also the interviews of David Irvine by Ernest Hancock of
Freedoms Phoenix are great.
Of course, at any time you’re ready to sink your teeth into the details, jump right into the
SystemDocs under the “documents" tab. The System Docs give a very thorough, but also
approachable, treatment of all aspects of this very intricate technology. It’s not necessary to be a
geek to get an awful lot out of them. Also there are 9 entries under the “Papers and Publications”
section, for the more technical reader, but even some of those are very approachable, like the one
And finally, you will find a vibrant and active forum, originated and run by community member
at forum.safenetwork.io. This has been a home for the community to share news and opinions,
and hash out issues regarding all aspects of what Project SAFE is doing and trying to do, and all
manner of related topics. If this podcast seeks to be a crossroads for the SAFE Network, the
community forum is the hub. The community as a whole is welcoming to all newcomers (be
they respectful) and will go out of their way to answer your questions or connect you what you
need. So, again, that's maidsafe.net and forum.safenetwork.io.
So there you go.
The plan for future podcasts is largely to have interviews, but we'll see how things develop. I'm
not fixed in stone.
If you have any question or comments, things you’d like to have discussed, interviews you’d like
to hear, news you want shared, things you'd like to see me do, or things that you REALLY wish
I'd stop, anything at all, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The idea is to inform, connect and expand the community of Project SAFE, because Secure
Access For Everyone, with Privacy, Security and Freedom, is something that makes a whole lot
of sense just now.
All episodes will be available at www.safecrossroads.net
This is the Simpleton of SAFE, signing off. Hope to see you again soon, right here at the