MaidSafe Coin poses as a token for Safecoin which is a decentralized currency for a decentralized network. Safecoin poses as the currency for the SAFE network, a network that is made up of an extra hard disk space, processing power, and data connectivity of it’s users.
It can be thought about as a sharing economy but for basically for digital resources. MaidSafe is the company developing the SAFE network to save the world from the hazards of centralized data storage. For example, a best-case scenario is corporations will use your data to better target you to their advertisers and the worst case is they leak your private data to the public as Equifax Yahoo, Target, and many other companies have already done.
Sitting on the shoulders of giants, the SAFE network combines the features of some history’s famous decentralized networks. Inspired by Freenet, BitTorrent, Napster and Bitcoin, MaidSafe provides the following features;
- Ability to use the network anonymously
- Very scalable cryptocurrency free from transaction fees
- Serverless data
- Censorship resistant communication
- Fully encrypted data storage and file sharing
Maidsafe is somewhat an acronym which stands for Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access For Everyone.
HOW DOES THE SAFE NETWORK WORK
The SAFE network targets on “creating a very secure, data-centric, autonomous, peer to peer network as an alternative to the current server-centric model.” There are basically two users of the network; clients and farmers. The client accesses the various features of the network, such as storing data, browsing and transferring money while the farmers store and look secure your data until it is needed, at which they may end up receiving a reward for their efforts.
The SAFE network is an “encrypted layer that stands on top of the current internet, enabling autonomous data storage and networking by replacing three” of the OSI networking layers.
Moving data onto the SAFE network, for instance, when a file is uploaded in the network, such as a photo, it will be broken into pieces, hashed, and encrypted. The data is also randomly shared across the network. Superfluous copies of the data are also created so that if someone storing your file turns off their computer, you can still access your data. And not to worry, even with pieces of your data on other people’s computers, they still won’t be able to read them.
The network automatically creates more copies of data in high demand, so more popular websites would be given more copies of their data and facilitate speed up, instead of slowing down under the current system.
The hash function is able to detect any piece of data to a 256-bit string of characters (which means it can be represented by 256 0’s or 1’s in binary). The network will perform the XOR operation on the hash value to randomly create a unique distance to any other piece of data. This is not really a physical distance, but more like a mathematical distance between two numbers. XOR is simply converting two hashes into binary and comparing the bits. If the bits match, the output is 0, and if the bits don’t match, the output is 1.
0101 (decimal 5)
XOR 0011 (decimal 3)
= 0110 (decimal 6)
The XOR distance between data and the ability to randomly assign data to a certain location is relevant to the close group consensus, this is the innovation used by MaidSafe in place of a blockchain.
VAULT AND FARMERS
We have explained how data is hashed, encrypted, and distributed across the network. But if Maidsafe is passionately opposed to centralized storage, then, where exactly does the data go? This is where the vaults come to play. The vault software connects you to the SAFE network and stores the distributed pieces of data on your computer. The people who run the vault software are referred to as farmers.
To become a farmer is somewhat simple, you let the SAFE network know you want to join, and you will be sent a Proof of Resource request to see if you have enough bandwidth and CPU power. If you are accepted, then you will be sent a piece of data close to each other in XOR space to store in your vault. Your extra storage space on your hard disk and computing power are used to help run the network.
If someone wants to access a piece of data on the SAFE network, such as a file or data, the farmers will compete in finding relevant pieces of data and deliver them to the client. If you are the first farmer to deliver the goods, you will be rewarded some Safecoin. When you complete your proof of resource, you will also generate the name of a random Safecoin on the network. If that coin is already owned by someone, you simply receive no reward. However, if you generate the name of a coin with no owner, it is yours. And since Safecoins are required to upload data to the SAFE network and use applications, Maidsafe hopes the coins will have value and also incentivize miners to provide their extra resources to the network. The SAFE network also enables for free and quick exchange of the Safecoins as currency.
THE CLOSE GROUP CONSENSUS
Hashing results in 2 to the power of 256 different addresses. These addresses are split into different sections and maintained by different groups of vaults. The most trusted vaults in the group, the Elders, are required for forming a consensus on important decisions such as merging with other groups, splitting up groups or handling Safecoin transactions. Vaults usually share data with nearby vaults in the XOR space so that the network can be rebuilt. For instance, if the computers in one group were all shut down, the vaults close to that group could reconstruct the lost information. In juxtaposition to Bitcoin, where the ledger is broadcasted to all nodes, vaults on the SAFE network have information about the vaults nearby, but less and less information the further away a vault is in XOR space. This is to invariably avoid a vault having a huge influence on the network.
If a malicious user wants to attack data on the SAFE network, they would first have to deal with their vault being assigned to a random space on the network. After which they will have to wait to become an elder while moving from group to group, providing proof of resource along the way. Once the attacker becomes an elder, they would need to make sure they are in a group with other attackers due to the need for consensus. However, with the XOR operation assigning vaults to random groups of data, it once again proves difficult to formulate an attack.
Unlike Bitcoin, which broadcasts a public ledger about the number of Bitcoin each wallet owns, Safecoins are actual files on the network. Each Safecoin file contains information on it’s current owner, but not the entire history of the coin. To change the owner of a file, you will need the consensus from a majority of vaults handling that Safecoin file.
For instance, there is an attempt to send 1 Safecoin to 2 different owners at the same time. Perhaps ¾ of the vaults will receive one instruction and the remaining ¼ receive a different instruction. The vaults would only be able to reach a consensus on one of the proposed transactions.
MAIDSAFECOIN TEAM AND PROGRESS
About 15% of the Safecoins is reserved for the development team, led by founder David Irvine. The team is currently in stage Alpha 2 on their roadmap. You can currently create and publish websites, access a browser and download an encrypted mail tutorial. But, you will have to wait until MaidSafe moves out of the alpha stages before you can start using Safecoins.
Software bundled with the Peruse browser enables connection to Vaults while hiding the IP address of the user. If you want to browse a safe site or download any file that is publicly posted, it will cost you little or nothing. In the future, it is only if you want to store data on the network that it will cost you some Safecoin. The team has not set a date for the SAFE network launch.
There are quite a number of data storage blockchain companies, but none of them have been around as long as MaidSafeCoin. Filecoin became infamous after raising a $257 million ICO. And Siacoin is currently the leader in terms of market cap. MaidSafeCoin is unique in that the SAFE network does not actually use a blockchain. So, once the product is live, the network’s currency, Safecoins, will definitely not exist on the Bitcoin blockchain.
MAIDSAFE SUPPLY AND SUSTAINABILITY
The Safecoin files are 32 bit in size and therefore, there are 2 to the power of 32, that is 4.3 billion, possible coins. If you own MaidSafeCoins, eventually you will be able to send them to an unspendable address and in return be rewarded with Safecoins.
The rate at which Safecoins are rewarded to Farmers is dependent or proportional on the supply and demand of the network. If there are many farmers and large storage available, the network will reward coins at a lower rate. If there is a storage shortage, more coins will be rewarded to incentivize more farming. This design focuses on avoiding huge centralized farms opening up and ultimately taking control of the network. With Bitcoin, spending money on ASICs will increase your hashing power and increase your block rewards, while with the SAFE network, adding more storage to the network would lead to diminishing returns. When people spend Safecoins to upload their data, those Safecoins re-circulate to farmers through Proof-of-Resource rewards.
And in terms of sustainability, Maidsafe plans to preserve all data indefinitely due to decreasing costs of CPUs, storage and bandwidth.
MaidSafeCoin has had one of the untamed trading lives of any altcoin. Although the price stayed relatively flat in USD value throughout 2014, 2015, and 2016, it’s BTC price fluctuated rapidly. The BTC price rolled between 0.00002 BTC and 0.00018 BTC before elevating to an all-time high of 0.000273 in March 2016. There doesn’t appear to have been a catalyst for the extreme price movement. Due to the fact that the market was young and the market cap was small, it may have just been a few large traders purchasing the coin.
The MAID price hit an all-time USD high of about $1.17 at the height of the most recent bear market at the start of January 2018. Since then, the price has gradually dropped and currently sits at about $0.12 (~0.000031 BTC).
As Maidsafe moves along the roadmap and releases new features for the SAFE network, we should hopefully see an overall increase in the value of the MaidSafeCoin. When the Safecoins become operational on the SAFE network, it’s possible you might see an increased demand for the MaidSafeCoin as well.
WHERE TO BUY MAID
The options for buying MAID are somewhat slim. You can find the majority of MaidSafeCoin volume on Poloniex and HitBTC.
WHERE TO STORE MAID
There is currently no actual wallet for storing maid at this time. Leaving MAID, or any coin for that matter, on an exchange is not very recommended. But, you can choose to use the web wallet Omniwallet. It’s also possible to use Omnicore, an offline wallet, but it will require you to download the entire Bitcoin blockchain.
The SAFE network is still in it’s infant stage. But it is very lucid to see the possible benefits if they are successful in their mission. There would without a doubt be a demand for decentralized data storage, personal info management and anonymous browsing. We would no longer have our private data stored on corporate machines or governments spying on all communications. The SAFE network gives the power of the internet back to the people and paying for it not with personal data, but with Safecoin.