Keeping Safecoin Decentralised

Vigilant readers of this blog will have noticed that MaidSafe is very focussed on decentralisation :). So much so in fact that we don’t use a blockchain for consensus and we are setting up remote developer pods to compete with us to maintain the underlying network code. It would therefore be unfortunate if safecoin farming became centralised, putting a large proportion of safecoin in the hands of just a few large groups. While other projects have attempted to tackle this issue technically, MaidSafe has taken a different approach and focussed on economics.

The following high level overview is taken from a section of the safecoin paper that we published a few weeks back. The reason for regurgitating it here is because not everyone likes to read papers and this is an area that many within the community have shown a particular interest in. While this information does not get us much closer to predicting how many safecoin you will earn for providing X resource, it does convey the over arching intention of the design.

As figure 1 demonstrates, the safecoin earning algorithm is based on a Sigmoid curve, in that all vaults earn, slowly at first and the rate increases as the farmer stores up to the network average. The earning rate also takes into account the rank of the vault, a process whereby the network scores the usefulness of each node from 0 (being the worst) to 1 (the best). The safecoin farming rate is ultimately the result of the network rate, a balance of the demand and supply on the network, multiplied by the vault rank.

safecoin farming speed

The network rate will start to level at 20% above average, thus discouraging massive vaults which would bring centralisation to the network’s farming process. Safecoin is allocated to them by the network and is paid to the successful node as data is retrieved from it (GETS), as opposed to when it is stored (PUTS).

The network automatically increases farming rewards as space is required and reduces them as space becomes abundant. Data is evenly distributed on the network and therefore farmers looking to maximise their earnings may do so by running several average performance nodes rather than one high specification node.