What is MaidSafe and the SAFE Network

I first heard about MaidSafe and the SAFE Network in September 2015 when I and a colleague of mine at Eneco Holding were discussing Blockchain technology and several applications – most notably Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the SAFE Network. After our talk, I looked online for some explanatory videos and became extremely excited about the great opportunities that the SAFE Network was offering.

What is the SAFE Network? The SAFE (Secure Access For Everyone) Network is a network that was developed by a Scottish company called MaidSafe. The SAFE Network is basically a technology of decentralized data storage, effectively removing single point of server failures as it is made up of the unused hard drive space, processing power and data connection of its users. It offers a level of security and privacy not currently available on the existing Internet. It is entirely open source, which means that no one owns it. Whenever a file is uploaded on the network, it will be shredded into pieces, encrypted and distributed throughout the whole network – this makes your files safe and highly immune against hackers. The pieces are then only accessible for the owner. There will also be held several copies of the file on other machines. This means that when the user closes his computer, he would still have access to it.

The SAFE Network wiki gives a great example of its workings:

“A User uploads a 10 MB file. The file is split into 10 chunks (1 MB each) and made into 4 copies. This means there are 40 chunks spread out to 40 Vaults. When the User requests that file, they call on 40 Vaults. But only the fastest of each (4 Vaults per 1 MB chunk) are used to complete the retrieval. The speed at which the User can retrieve their completed file is limited by the fastest copy of the slowest 1 MB chunk arriving at their location.

Instead of a whole 10 MB file being called from only 4 Vaults… you call 40 (1 MB) chunks from 40 Vaults. This makes a BIG difference in retrieval speed.”

These two videos give good insight on what the SAFE Network is, and what it potentially means for its consumers’ privacy, security and internet freedom.

For a more detailed introduction into MaidSafe and how it compares to Bitcoin, I would like to urge you to read the SAFE Network forum.

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