Back to the Real Business

Following the safecoin crowd-sale, Viv and Fraser host a Google Hangout to discuss getting back to work. David takes some time at the start to talk about the sale, the transcript of which can be found below.


Just going to take a few minutes to go over the last couple of days, which have been crazy.

We started the crowd sale with the intention of it running for 30 days. We actually have a board meeting next week, an AGM and we thought it would be quite nice to have the crowd sale PC sitting. Seeing people becoming involved with MaidSafe and project SAFE and what not. When we switched it on yesterday morning it just went absolutely completely crazy. We thought maybe 3 or 4 hundred people would have heard about us but apparently a lot more than that. It was really good. It did lead us to have to protect the bitcoin investors which I think people didn’t understand at first, they thought we were manipulating rules or changing rules but actually, what we had to was buy the MSAFE tokens ourselves on behalf of everyone who was going to be a bitcoin investor, because a lot of people actually had invested, all of us and I think probably most of the people on the developer list (well, not all, apparently) but most were bitcoin investors and had invested very early, before even Mastercoin people had come in, so we had to really protect that, and we did say it was bitcoin and Mastercoin.

As it turned out the Mastercoin thing, as we know, went completely insane and the bitcoin guys would have been pushed out. We would not have been able to manually put them in any way. The protocol underneath works in such a way that if people just kept sending Mastercoin, then it would just automatically be giving MaidSafeCoin and there is nothing that we could do about it.

So, it was quite strange for me, it was like probably one of the very highs in life… to see so many people being involved in something that you are passionate about… to one of the lows, when you think, ‘Oh good god, most of the people that we have spoken to and have told to invest in bitcoin and have done so are going to get pushed right out of this.’

After about 5 minutes of thinking, (pretty much in the same way a drowning person thinks, ‘how am I going to get my next breath’) we decided that we could actually just purchase ourselves, so we became purchasers of the MaidSafe token. That meant a few things, it meant that we could protect the bitcoin people, it also meant that no matter how long it went, everyone was going to get the 40% bonus. We had figured that enough people had got in with Mastercoin, over 50% of the fund by that time, so that was really good. Making that decision was pretty hard… but it was actually not too bad as it was the most correct, logical, honest decision we could have made. I think it would have been disastrous to block out all the bitcoin investors. After doing that we were able to proceed with the sale, which was great.

That was very good, but we didn’t have time to put out any PR to explain to people what we were doing. Some folk were jumping to the wrong conclusions. We then got flack; people thinking that we had done something wrong here. So that was a little bit of a quandary for us… how were we going to tell people what we were doing, folk trying to post things all over the place to different places.

So we sorted it out and got some press releases out, so now what we are seeing is everyone saying, ‘that’s amazing what we’ve done’, and I think the guys and girls on the mailing list have been just unbelievable. There’s people protecting us better than we protect ourselves.

So that’s great, I think what we, what I’m really delighted about is not the money; yeah the money has to come in, the money has to come in for certain things and hopefully set up these development pods which is really important, make sure that we are ok just now which is really important because we know the code, it’s essential that this thing happens. The more important thing for me is really the amount of people that have come into this sale. It’s unbelievable and people actually putting bitcoin in, either a small amount or a huge amount and they’re emailing privately saying, ‘thanks very much for letting me be involved’. That’s unreal, that’s pretty special. It looks like it’s an absolutely resounding success.

It happened so quickly that there is going to be people that think `oh good god, I never got in and that’s their fault’. No it’s not, that’s just the way it is. We have actually just managed to get an agreement with one of the huge Mastercoin investors and because the deal was so good, some people invested more than I think they were originally going to and ended up, because of the bonus, getting huge amounts of MaidSafe tokens. In one way is good but in another way is bad because I would prefer out of the 429 million tokens there would be 429 million recipients. That would have been ideal, perfect for me. Obviously that’s not possible.

We’ve got an agreement now where we are getting 38 million safecoins. We have been able to agree with these people that have so much of a bonus, they are returning 38 million of safecoins that we can actually give or sell to bitcoin holders. The bitcoin sale will finish at 7400ish, which is great because that gives us just a little bit more liquidity to really get the international development pod started.

I think what we should do, I know Paige on the mailing list has been doing some work in the background, she obviously has her own job to do. She has being doing stuff and there’s people looking for meet ups in San Francisco. We should able to look and see, ‘right what can we now do for this? How can we make this San Francisco thing happen? Let’s do some kind of test.’ We will have to account for every single penny in doing that. As a community we will have to figure out how do we want that thing to look? Let’s get a developer pod in San Francisco or somewhere else. Let’s try it. What do we do? Do we have supporters in there? Do we pay people? How does that work? If we are going to pay people, what should they prove first?

I think, personally I would like to see strong commits to the core code is the very first thing that we do. Whatever we have to do to provide the capability, whether it’s office space or some computers or whatever. Provide something that gets people to get into the core development and actually starts putting the code in place.

Later on obviously that’s taken care of with safecoin; that’s what the 5% for core development is. Initially, I think we will have enough liquidity now to be able to supplement that kind of process at the start. It will be a ‘suck it and see’; we will need try and see, what is the best? I don’t think we should prescribe. What works in San Francisco might not work in India or China or Africa. We have to look at putting development teams in all of these places.

I think that we should just move forward. The way I feel at the moment is I would like to get some momentum there. Sort of rush in and then find our feet. MaidSafe has been quite good at that recently.

We will find our feet pretty quickly and the community I think will help there because we are not really the ones making these decisions any more, it’s all of you guys. That’s a huge relief.

I think that the guy in the mailing list today that has created a forum is amazing, that’s somebody that we didn’t even know, that’s turned out to be an investor. Then there is another guy who said, “Well I am also an investor, I’ll manage and administer it”. That’s brilliant for us and it is really good because we’re saying to people, you know we want to create competitors to MaidSafe. We want MaidSafe to be a part of this system if we are good enough to be a part of it. Maybe in a couple of years we will get pushed out because we are not good enough. This, now, I think is quite good because we are starting to see it happen. This is good for us because, it sounds like a grand story and a great story and something just to get marketing going, but If we can start now and say well thanks very much, here is the support, here is the code, let’s get the test networks up which is what this meeting is really about.

All of that talk is quite good. I think now that we have the capability to at least start doing it. I think that the forum thing is an amazing start.

As much of that as possible, anyone that’s watching this whether now or later thinks this would be good for project safe, don’t ask us, ask the community and go ahead and do it, if it’s what the community wants, it’s what the community will get. Just now, rely on us I think where there is small levels of financial support required or there is certain information because the system is far too complex for us to dump it and we won’t dump it. We will be teaching people how to use it… well, Viv will… and Fraser when he’s wakened!


Back to what I was saying, really, now is the time for the community to take over. I think the mailing list got a bit upset over the last couple of days. Crazy things were happening there. I think the mailing list got hijacked a little bit. It should get back to normal now and we will split it up. Chris Brandt had a really good suggestion; that we start taking the developer part, maybe the core developer part as one part of the mailing list and potentially the builders as another mailing list and another mailing list for users and interested parties. There are some really cracking conversations going on there. We will probably set that up but it’s now time for the community to set things up, with or without our blessing as MaidSafe. You’re pretty much guaranteed our support, but nobody needs our blessing anymore.

Hopefully that is my rant over, so I think we just need to thank everybody. Thank all the folk. We are getting emails just now left, right and centre which are unbelievable.

Yesterday we were getting emails saying ‘What have you done, you’re crazy, you’re scammers, you’re dishonest’ and various thing and that really gets you down, regardless of whether they’re people talking with much knowledge or not.

But today we just got a stream of thank you emails and what not and that’s amazing. I think a lot of that is down to this community, it’s not down to us that’s for sure. It’s quite good to be somebody who makes a little bit of a mistake and everybody else clears you for it. So really we can all say thanks to the community. That’s the first time we have probably been… not really challenged there… but I think there was a mistake and we had to back ourselves up, back each other up. It’s pretty incredible because there was an amazing job done. We ignored most of the things that should be ignored and we tackled the things that should be tackled. It is proven again… and this is something that we’ve noticed throughout the years we have being doing this project… if you are honest and don’t tell lies… I’m an optimist so I’m always looking at… you know… I think we could launch tomorrow and that kind of thing, so that’s a different thing. But if you are honest and you’ve got a vision that you’re aiming towards and just keep doing that then you become super strong. I think the community showed it’s a super strong community. Everything was very honest, it was very direct. The people did well.

So now we really need to get back to business and get the network built, get the apps build, get these remote developer things going, get these forums going and all the rest of it.

The money thing is great, the funding’s great. The amount of supporters is the most important thing. We have thousands of people who must be supporting this project now. So it’s going to be up to us, which is the core community and the developer mailing list at the moment which is going to split up. It’s going to be up to us to get as many folk as possible feeling included.

So, that’s all I’ve really got to say, so thanks very much.