We live in a world where we entrust our data to huge corporations who cannot be trusted to keep it safe. Take, for instance, the Facebook and Equifax debacles where data for millions of users suffered a massive breach of privacy. On the other side, governments have been accused of conducting mass surveillance on citizens.
Events like these prove that your data is not safe in the hands of centralized systems. Data that you use to sign up for online services such as email, Know Your Customer (KYC), social media sites, etc. is not safe. Even information that you leave on such sites is not safe.
Enter SAFE Network. This is a project that seeks to change how we interact with the internet by the use of high-level encryption, distributed technology, and an incentivizing system to protect users.
This article is an in-depth guide into the SAFE network project and its associated tokens, MaidSafeCoin, and Safecoin.
What is MaidSafeCoin?
MaidSafeCoin (MAID for “Massive Array of Internet Disks) is a token for the Safecoin network, a decentralized and privacy-focused network. Safecoin will be the currency for the SAFE network. The SAFE (Secure Access For Everyone) network is made of a contribution of users’ extra computing space and power as well as bandwidth. The idea behind SAFE is to provide decentralized storage for users all over the world.
The SAFE network promises 20 things to users once it’s launched. It calls them “the fundamental principles.” Among others, it promises the following things: a serverless network, digital signing of all transactions, anonymized data, permanent data storage, and creation of multiple identities.
The SAFE network itself is not blockchain-based, which allows it to scale faster than the traditional blockchain.
What is the Safe Network?
The SAFE Network is a way for people to access apps that put their data security above all else. Through the SAFE software, you can message, email, participate in social networks, store data, and video calls in a safe and secure manner.
SAFE employs advanced peer-to-peer technology that combines the spare computing power and data connection of network users, creating a large, global network. Users are incentivized to share their computing resources by being rewarded with the network’s built-in token known as Safecoin.
The SAFE network has been a work in progress since 2016. It is a project of MAIDSafe, a technology company based in Ayr, Scotland. The SAFE team is led by founder David Irvine, with a team that’s distributed across the globe.
Why should I Use theSAFE Network?
Existing applications and programs cannot be trusted to protect your data, from selling your data to advertisers to controlling your data. On SAFE, your data remains completely under your control, as the network utilizes distributed resources, eliminating a single point of failure that would render your data vulnerable to hackers and other malicious parties. And by contributing your idle computing resources, you get compensated with cryptocurrency.
How Does Safe Network Work?
Below, we’ll take a look at the functionalities of the SAFE Network.
#1. Encrypted Data
When you upload your data on the SAFE network, it’s broken into chunks, hashed with a 256-bit hash algorithm, and encrypted. It is then randomly distributed across the network. The network also makes copies of the data so that even if a device storing it goes offline or down, you can still access it.
Also, the SAFE network intuitively creates more copies of data that is in high demand. This means popular websites will have more copies of their data created, making them faster, as opposed to the current system where more copies would slow them down.
The SAFE Network is made of interconnected computers known as Vaults. A Vault is a software that connects/plugs a device to the Network. Collectively, Vaults oversee all the data on the network by managing encrypted user data distributed across the network. A farmer (more on that below) does not have the capacity to decrypt data that their Vault receives. This ensures the ultimate safety of user data on the SAFE network.
Farmers on the network start their Vault level at 1, and their responsibility is to safeguard data in a random group as they move from group to group, their Vault level increases – a process known as node aging. Farmers are also subjected to a test known as ‘Proof of Resource.’
The test involves the network storing random pieces of data on your computer. If you look after them properly, you’re regarded as a valuable and trusted resource to be network, and your level is increased. If you don’t, your level is reduced. As nodes/vaults increase in age, so does the network gain more trust in them and consequently become ripe candidates for being assigned decision-making power in the network.
What is Farming?
Users who provide their excess computing resources to the network (running a vault) are rewarded with Safecoin. The resources could be any of the following: storage, CPU, data connection, and time that allows the encrypted data to be stored and retrieved from their devices.
Safecoin is given as an incentive for users to provide their resources to the network. These resources are storage space, CPU, bandwidth, and online time that enable the encrypted chunks of network data to be stored and retrieved from their computer.
This process of operating a Vault and getting paid with Safecoin is called ‘Farming.’
The process of providing resources and receiving Safecoin in return is called ‘Farming.’ Each chunk of encrypted data is kept in a Farmer’s Vault, a data storage and management software on the device that not even they can read or access.
What is Proof of Resource?
Proof of Resource is the process by which the network determines a Vault’s ability to reliably store data and retrieve it as and when necessary. This ability is measured by the CPU speed, data connectivity, storage space, and time online.
The proof of resource mechanism uses a model similar to a zero-knowledge proof. This means the network does not need to know the content of the data, but only if the data is being stored appropriately.
What is Safecoin?
Safecoin is a token that’s automatically generated by the SAFE network. Unlike crypto networks that need miners, the SAFE network automatically confirms transactions. The token is transferred using the digital signature of its last owner. This process is ‘network atomic’ – meaning the network updates all copies to reflect the new transaction.
What is the MaidSafe token?
MaidSafeCoin is a proxy token that presides on the Omni network on the Bitcoin blockchain. It was sold in a pre-sale to raise funds for the SAFE network project. The token will be swapped for Safecoin on a 1:1 basis when Safecoin is launched.
As of Jun 03, 2020, MaidSafeCoin is trading at $0.137611, while ranking at #89. It has a market cap of $62, 276, 246, and a 24-hour volume of $145, 272. Its circulating and total supply is 452, 552, 412. MAID’s all-time high was $1.20 (Jan 02, 2018), while it’s all-time low was $0.004059 (Mar 08, 2015).
Where to buy MAID
In the early days, your options for acquiring MAID tokens were slim. Fortunately, the coin has now been listed on several popular exchanges, including Coinswitch, Changelly, HitBTC, Poloniex, and Bittrex. You will need to first buy a proxy coin such as Bitcoin or Ethereum and then exchange it for MAID.
Safecoin currently offers a client wallet for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, as well as a web wallet, paper wallet, and Android wallet. You can also use Omnicore, an offline wallet.
The SAFE network is yet to take full form, but once it does, it will be a total game-changer in the online storage, internet use, and personal data management space. People will no longer have their data stored and controlled by corporate machines and centralized government systems. Nor will they communicate in the fear that unauthorized third parties are watching their correspondences. SAFE will essentially hand back the power of the internet to the people.