MaidSafe has recruited over 500 developers for its up-and-coming network launch, according to a press release released Friday. MaidSafe expects to start testing the network soon–a process that will last a few months.
Project SAFE (Secure Access for Everyone) has been called the “Bitcoin for data” or the “Bitcoin for the Internet.” The announcement of MaidSafe’s rapid development, after last month’s crowdsale, could be viewed as another baby step towards a decentralized Internet.
[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]he developers span “many backgrounds, nationalities and interests” and have started crafting a variety of decentralized applications that include: altcoin wallets, a music storage platform, and an exchange tailored for both fiat and cryptocurrencies.
As the project progresses, the MaidSafe team anticipates many other applications to come. Interested developers are encouraged to join the network.
What is MaidSafe?
“Logic” directs the MaidSafe team, but David Irvine is its founder. He conceived of the project in 2006 to countervail the inefficient structure of the Internet. Like Bitcoin, it tackles a reliance on third-party services with a decentralized protocol. The latest news release describes the network:
MaidSafe has created a blockchain-like technology incorporating a network token called safecoins, which holds the promise of decentralizing nearly every aspect of the Internet, including all Web services.
Data is distributed across the nodes of the network. Self-authentication allows users to keep full control of their data. Its network’s “farmers” roughly equivalent to Bitcoin’s “miners.” Safecoins, a crypto-currency, is embedded to offer an incentive for network upkeep. The upshot of these features is, “Users will be able to store, share, chat and publish 100 percent under their own control and knowledge.”
Project SAFE has been in the works for more than eight years. Interestingly, the idea predates Bitcoins release, demonstrating decentralization’s pervasive appeal.
Here is a brief video overview of the project:
The Safecoin Crowdsale
In a successful crowd sale last month, MaidSafe sold $6 million of MaidSafeCoins in 5 hours. They had not anticipated the torrent of investors. Irvine said, “We assumed the sale would take the entire 30 days. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect this much demand in the first few hours.”
Users who purchased MaidSafeCoins will be able to redeem safecoins after the network launch in a few months.
Other Internet Projects
Other Internet projects like BitCloud and OpenLibernet have sprouted up post-Bitcoin. They hope to throw a wrench into the centralized data status-quo. CryptoCoins News contributor Kyle Torpey is the marketing director of Bitcloud, a venture that approaches decentralization of data with a distributed database, offering a platform for decentralized applications like digital content platforms, exchange applications, and social networks–which could be the next generation of YouTubes, Facebooks, and Dropboxes. OpenLibernet is a mesh network that cites Bitcoin as an inspiration.
MaidSafe, and these other projects, claim their uniquely decentralized structures will enable enhanced security, privacy, and freedom for users. They actually poses possible solutions to many hotly debated Internet issues. The National Security Agency would have a much more difficult time snooping on its citizens and harvesting bulk data if Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were ousted by decentralized alternatives. The MaidSafe press release reads, “In essence, nobody knows where any data is located, thereby providing completely private and unilateral access by individuals.” In sliding control of data away from ISPs, decentralization could potentially render the net neutrality issue less of an issue. The peer-to-peer arrangement also complicates hacking and DDoS attacks, thus enhancing the security of its users. We need only reconsider the structure of the Internet.