MaidSafe's SAFE Network - A decentralized project that's slipped under the radar
The goldrush brought about by the tsunami of ICOs in recent months has served to divert interest to fly-by-night projects at the expense of more mature projects with serious intent.
One such is MaidSafe's SAFE Network which has being over a decade in development and which I have been following for the last year or so, having become convinced that the privacy and security problems of the internet can only be solved through a radical technological rethink.
And radical is what the SAFE Network is. Although it is loosely based on peer-to-peer concepts like BitTorrent it extends the basic idea of nodes hosting fragments of a file building in security and anonymity at every turn, and it's autonomous and self-managing. MaidSafe is sitting on a pile of defensive patents for concepts like self encryption and datachains (a way of ensuring the network can rebuild itself following a catastrophic crash). Not being based on a blockchain it is immune to centralization and scalability issues, and when finished it will allow anyone with a decent connection and a laptop or smartphone to earn the network's currency Safecoin. No megascale farming rigs or massive energy burn necessary.
Not wanting to get too technical as to the 'how', SAFE will be:
- DDoS and quantum computing proof
- Impossible to take down (unless there's a worldwide catastrophe / solar event / alien invasion / [apocalypse of your choice])
- Faster for more popular files like current movies
- More private than TOR and harder to block
- Autonomous and self-healing
- Very difficult to hack or attack
- A potential replacement for both cloud storage and the WWW
Already you can build your own 'safe://' website on the current Alpha version and early apps are starting to appear.
Of course its still a work in progress, but so are nearly all decentralised projects including Ethereum, and many ICOs are little more than a badly written white paper. I honestly have no idea about why people are not more aware of SAFE Network. Maybe it's because MaidSafe is located in Scotland not Silicon Valley; maybe it's been in development so long that it gets written off as a pipe dream. Perhaps it's because the token Maidsafecoin has been a steady but unremarkable performer; maybe its because there's no blockchain or perhaps people write it off as being just a storage platform.
Anyway, as you can probably tell from my enthusiasm (I don't work for them by the way!), I think it could be destined for greatness. There are some advantages to being under the radar in a sector filled with hype and silly money, but I don't expect this to be the situation for much longer.