Data is the currency, literally!

Photo by Freddie Collins on Unsplash

In the last post, I discussed “the impossible network”, an autonomous network designed to protect the worlds people and their data. Before moving on to use cases for such a network, I thought it required a little more clarification.

Many people have said that sounds like project … [insert many blockchain products that store data]. However I think this could not be further from the case. SAFE is an autonomous network for a start. I do not think any other project that manages private and public data claims this (private means it must provide some method of self authentication), but would love to hear of any that did. Never mind one with an inbuilt incentive mechanism.

The currency on such a network would obviously be data, but I do not mean that in some abstract sense, I am literally stating the currency in such a network is a data type. Not a separate network or an add on component, but a data type like any other on the network. From a crypto currency perspective the network is the ledger, but in the case of SAFE that ledger is private and most certainly not an add-on, it’s an implicit function,

Another misunderstanding is related to projects that store some data identifier (e.g. hash) in a blockchain, but store the data “somewhere”. That “somewhere” could be some persons computer that they control, or some company servers etc. This is the very thing we are supposed to be removing, Those pesky corruptible intermediaries. To us in MaidSafe this is a huge red flag and almost as bad as just not storing the data at all. If the data can be corrupted, or peoples access denied etc. then it’s simply not physically secured, there is no debate here. If you store the data, then you have the identifier, so there is a dichotomy with those networks that is hard to reason.

SAFE stores data identifiers (in data chains) and also stores and protects the data itself, this is what farmers get paid to do. That is how we commercialise the world’s unused disk space automatically for ordinary people across the globe and provide the cheapest possible secure storage (and computation eventually) for everyone on the planet.

So if you are to remember one thing about SAFE, it is the network, not any humans, which protects our data, this includes controlling all costs, rewards, storage, access, communications and currency.

Now I will get on with use cases, I hope this makes the impossible network a bit more clear. It sounds huge, but it’s actually much bigger than that ;-)


Originally published at metaquestions.me on August 15, 2017.

Also published on David Irvine’s Medium blog.