Digital tokens on the SAFE network

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214.34 KRW
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"Safe Coin is a digital token that is automatically generated by the SAFE network and resides on the SAFE network MaidSafeCoin is a proxy token released during MaidSafe's crowded sale and is replaced with Safecoin on a 1: 1 basis when Safecoin is released. "

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#SAFEtheInternet (17 May 2019)

“Oversight” by Nathaniel Dahan ( to a new series where we explore some of the most important stories this week from across the fields of privacy, cybersecurity, surveillance and general internet goings-ons. Don’t agree? Let us know what your picks would be on the ‘What’s up today’ thread in the forum or @ us on Twitter.Ready? Let’s go!One:Smart cities are portrayed as the future for millions. Yet there is a conversation that isn’t yet taking place openly around the fact that technology that tracks and monitors societies are likely to prove incredibly intrusive and destructive to democracy. That’s not to discount the fact that some elements of this future world will be incredibly valuable. Take the project to monitor air pollution that’s being carried out by Copenhagen Solutions Lab in collaboration with Google.So what could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot — and one story this week explored one downside in particular. A database, hosted by Chinese tech giant Alibaba, that held information relating to two housing communities in Beijing was accessed by researcher John Wetherington using a simple web browser. The data he found was pretty much as scary as you’d expect: it showed where people went and for how long, together with a mass of facial recognition data. Slightly stranger perhaps was the fact that the database also held ‘attractive’ scores for each individual.Two:The Chinese style of state-sponsored surveillance is highly concerning to many (including us). It’s the sort of surveillance that will never respect national boundaries: the reach of technology that enables the monitoring of everyday life is now increasingly making headway in many countries. Chip Rolley, senior director of literary programs at PEN America and director of PEN World Voices Festival, wrote a piece for the Guardian exploring this very concern. Those familiar with the early days of the internet will relate to this statement, when he says:“While we once hoped the internet would deliver us freedom of expression, the ability to communicate freely across borders and even be a channel for dissenting views, we now see the very opposite is occurring.”Three:If you’re feeling smug about living many miles from the Chinese government, then it’s perhaps worth taking a look closer to home. In London, facial recognition CCTV (similar to that used in China) is now being trialled. So what happens if a passer-by doesn’t want to participate and covers his face? Well, in this case, such a desire for privacy appeared very suspicious to the police, who promptly stopped him, demanded he uncover his face for a photograph — and then followed it up with a £90 fine for disorderly conduct. The Cover and Intelligence lead at the Met has some very interesting things to say.Four:Ok let’s move to a good news story. We applaud the city of San Francisco, which has banned the use of facial recognition CCTV, becoming the first US city to do so. The concerns around the use of such surveillance techniques are too vast to cover in detail here. But we’ll just mention in passing the risks that the technology promotes discrimination against minorities, false positives and a basic disregard for privacy that has a chilling effect on normal everyday behaviours that erodes the human rights of individuals within societies. Here’s hoping other cities in the UK (such as London and Glasgow for example) and further afield follow suit.Five:And one for a laugh. Google CEO Sundar Pichai penned an opinion piece for the New York Times titled “Privacy should not be a luxury”. Bit of a change in tone from the days when the previous CEO Eric Scmidt was famously heard to predict (at the Techonomy Conference in 2010) that “true transparency and no anonymity” was the way forward for the Internet. Hmmm….Want more? Head over to Twitter where we cover a much broader range of topics and stories plus updates on the SAFE Network every week.#SAFEtheInternet (17 May 2019) was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 05. 17

Founding Fundamentals | part 2

If you missed Part 1 of the Founding Fundamentals Series, you can find that here.Fundamental #11: Scrub all Client IP addresses from Hop 1 of the overlay network (i.e on SAFE).Once a User has started to communicate directly with anyone else after connecting to the first SAFE Network node, the User’s IP address is scrubbed and untraceable. For clarity, the phrase ‘Hop 1’ here means the data transfer directly after that connection to the first SAFE Network node (not the hop that may take place from your computer to your home WiFi router, for example).Fundamental #12: The SAFE Network will only accept more Vaults when it needs them.The Network will balance supply and demand without relying on external controls (such as a committee choosing who can take part and when). Like any species or group of organisms, unbounded growth leads to its demise. The SAFE Network could be attacked by a bad actor adding millions of nodes: perhaps it closes them down suddenly or maybe it attempts to use malicious nodes in order to bring the Network to a halt. To help prevent this, the Network will only allow new nodes to join when it needs the extra resource. This slows down attackers, diluting their influence with the good actors who are also trying to join.Fundamental #13: The Network autonomously increases farming rewards when it needs more resources (i.e. Vaults) and decreases rewards when resources are plentiful.This is crucial functionality for a system that is autonomous and manages itself without the intervention of any third parties. If the Network simply accepted every Vault immediately, it would likely be targeted by a botnet attack or an attacker trying to set up an overwhelming number of malicious nodes in the early days of the Network.This is why the incentivisation mechanics are crucial: with Safecoin, the Network must be able to balance the supply of Vaults. This avoids a Network with a large number of nodes with very little data (which would then push the farming, i.e. reward, rates down).Fundamental #14: The #SAFENetwork ranks nodes over time and increase trust in higher ranked nodes.One of the ways in which the Network defends itself from attack is by choosing to permit only the most trustworthy nodes within each of the Close Groups to vote on the Network decisions. This is known as Node Ageing, when only the most trustworthy nodes with a history of following the rules and requirements of the Network are allowed to vote, which means malicious behaviour is prevented dynamically = no third parties required.Fundamental #15: The SAFE Network will never use servers.The SAFE Network will never rely on servers because they represent a weakness that would undermine the entire Network. Servers represent the opportunity for someone — or a group of people — to control everyone else on the Network.Fundamental #16: The Network will digitally sign all transactions to make sure that the transactions have been authorised in accordance with the rules of the Network.A Network that requires all transactions to have been signed digitally is one that can ensure that all transactions have been carried out according to the rules of the Network.Fundamental #17: All messages sent directly between Clients will be free on the Network. If those messages need to travel across the SAFE Network more indirectly, the Network will charge.Direct Client-to-Client messages (remember: Client just means the software that lets the User access SAFE) will be free but those that involve other parts of the Network and the Clearnet will incur a cost to enable the Network to cover the costs of that travel.Fundamental #18: The SAFE Network will never use time as a network tool (although nodes may use local durations).If SAFE used the concept of time, it would mean that Network nodes would have to connect to centralised third party servers or services in order to synchronise times — and you already know third parties don’t exist on the SAFE Network. Instead the Network is event-driven: it responds to the actions of users.This is very similar to nature where systems will respond to the events and actions that take place. An example of this on SAFE is within our consensus algorithm #PARSEC which is also not driven by time.Fundamental #19: The SAFE Network will only ever allow encrypted traffic and encrypted services.Put simply, everything, including web traffic is encrypted by default. Everything. This is non-negotiable for a Network that demands privacy for every one of its users. You can of course choose to make information public — but this has to be your choice alone. So this means you can be safe in the knowledge your data will always be secure.Fundamental #20: The Network will allow real-time upgrades in a secure manner. The Network will refuse to implement any upgrades that might break it.The Network be able to upgrade its software without disruption. It must be able to validate each suggested improvement by checking the new proposed software against the current software and accept the change only if can see that it brings improved performance. Why is this so important? Because a network is a living organism and in order to work efficiently, iterative changes have to be possible.So there we go. All 20 Fundamentals. Each decision, thought, idea and piece of code is tied to at least one Fundamental. They govern everything we do. And these principles will stay with us as we continue to build and grow the SAFE Network.You can also listen to the man himself, David Irvine, founder and CEO of Maidsafe, discuss these at length on the SAFE CrossRoads podcast hereFounding Fundamentals | part 2 was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 05. 15

Founding Fundamentals | part 1

All the way through the design and build of the SAFE Network, we’ve been guided by a core set of principles which act as the foundations of a new decentralised, autonomous internet. Here, we’ll explore them all in a little detail.We’ve got 20 fundamentals…so let’s start from the beginning.Fundamental #1: The SAFE Network will enable you to create an account and login anonymously and without intervention.So what does this mean? This means that creating a new account and logging into the Network will never require a third party. By removing this requirement, you decrease the chance of being hacked by others attacking those third parties. We truly believe that on the Network, hacking and the theft of your data should never be words that are associated with our online lives.Fundamental #2: The SAFE Network will enable you to securely and with no controlling intermediaries share information and messages.In other words, there will never be any third parties on the SAFE Network who can read or store any information that a User sends — unless that User explicitly gives his or her consent. That’s vastly different to today’s world where your data is all stored by technology companies in huge data centres, who then use that data to lock you into their platforms so that they can track your every movement in order to sell that data to advertisers. Removing those data stores removes that particular security risk.Fundamental #3: The SAFE Network allows the transfer of Safecoin to any other user free of transaction costs.This means each User of the Network can use any of their identities as a wallet address in order to be able to send and receive Safecoin. And there should be no transaction costs attributed to the simple exchange of value. Take a step back and think about it: money is simply a mathematical construct that enables the transfer of value between two individuals. Data is far more important than money and considerably more valuable. So why should transactions on the Network cost money?Fundamental #4: The Network enables users to anonymously create and share data worldwide.The Network will always ensure that the User has the ability to send transaction messages and posts with a temporary and single-use ID’s that are not linked to any known identity on the Network. This avoids the problem we see today where your personal freedom and anonymity is removed the instant that you can be identified online.All of your behaviour is being tracked by third parties which leads to you being pestered by advertising to sell you stuff you may or may not need...But more seriously, it’s crucial that the SAFE Network gives everyone the right to interact within digital worlds without revealing any personal information at all. Reveal what you choose to those that you wish. It’s a default position that’s fairer for all.Fundamental #5: The SAFE Network will let anyone browse content anonymously and free of charge.It’s essential that the new decentralised web is built without barriers to entry. One of the most important foundations for a global, collaborative platform is that anyone can access public content for free at any time without having to create an account. In today’s world, you need to prove that you are authorised before you can access data: for example, if you want to set up an iTunes account, you first have to verify your identity before you’re able to use the service, plus you have to agree to their terms of service…(all 20,000 words of it). Not so on the SAFE Network. Here, everyone can browse public data without restrictions. That means public information is accessible to all, not hidden behind barriers and wordy T&Cs. Instead, it’s free to retrieve all data and information stored on the Network.Fundamental #6: The SAFE Network allows you to associate multiple identities to your account.How is this useful? Perhaps you want to donate to charity anonymously. No problem, you can use one identity. Perhaps you want to whistleblow on your employer which could lead to severe consequences. No problem, you can use another identity. Need to use one identity only once? No problem. You can easily throw away each identity after a single use, without the fear of it being traced back to you. This is especially pertinent in regimes where censorship is rife and the cost of speaking up could be your life.Fundamental #7: The SAFE Network lets you send or receive Safecoin using any of your identities.This concept is tied into #6: true anonymity requires the ability to transact without trace using the identity that you have chosen to use.Fundamental #8: The SAFE Network must store data in perpetuity.This is a key fundamental: it will be impossible to delete any published data from the Network after it has been uploaded. Why? Because it means that it will then be impossible to rewrite history.That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to update data (for example, with new website content). You’ll simply do this via ‘append-only’ changes, i.e. there will always be a permanent public trail of versions that show the changes that have been made. So in exactly the same way as the Internet Archive today stores versions of websites even if they were published with mistakes, all public/published data on the Network will be immutable and available on the Network in perpetuity.Fundamental #9: The SAFE Network will never require passwords to be on the Network or on the machines used by the Clients to access the Network.Let’s start by quickly defining Clients. When you’re reading about the Network, you can think of ‘Clients’ as simply meaning the software that somebody uses to access the SAFE Network.With that context, this Fundamental is all about self-authentication: the ability to sign into a decentralised autonomous network without a password leaving your computer at any point. Since it never sees your password, it can’t be hacked on the Network.This is a significant step forward: instead of a futile attempt to minimise the risk of passwords getting stolen by a bad actor in their journey from machine to Network, that risk is simply removed by cutting that step out in its entirety.Fundamental #10: The SAFE Network will allow any user on any machine to access the Network and it will leave no trace of that user on that machine.This means a User isn’t restricted to accessing the Network by using a specific device. Once logged out, there will be no evidence (other than say the fact that the Browser software has been downloaded) that shows what that User has done on the SAFE Network.Ultimately, any user should be able to pick up anyone’s internet-connected device and use his or her credentials to access the SAFE Network regardless of location around the world.That’s it for the first half of our run-through of the SAFE Network Fundamentals. You’ll find Fundamentals 11–20 in Part 2 of this article.Founding Fundamentals | part 1 was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 05. 15

SAFE Network April Monthly ...

Once again we are rounding up the best bits of this month. The sun has graced the Ayr office as we close off this month and in the spirit of a Spring clean we are trialling a new format for this post as well as this lovely new graphic so let us know what you think.Trading PlacesAs of 18th April you can now trade MaidSafeCoin (MAID) on Bitker Exchange. This Singapore based exchange will offer MAID/BTC, MAID/ETH and MAID/USDT hosting pairs. We continue to work hard to provide a large spread of options for the community and as always we value your feedback as we move forward with these exchanges.Buzzin’ for the next SAFE BuzzAre you up to date with the latest in our videos? This month Ceilidh was joined by SAFE Client Libs Team Lead Nikita as well as Developer Lionel from the Chennai office. Both walk us through their working days, some of their upcoming projects and developments — spoiler alert: there is no such thing as a typical day in the SAFE Network.Quick Update on QUIC-p2pFollowing an extensive period of research, testing and discussion the back end team have been working this month to stabilise the quic-p2p library. We’re working on improving the API and want to increase the test coverage to confirm it works as expected in different conditions and scenarios, including the malicious behaviour of clients. Also, the bootstrapping functionality remained so we are completing that as well. Keep abreast of these developments in the weekly SAFE Network Dev Updates.Authenticator AdditionsThe SAFE Authenticator CLI has been recently updated. By making SAFE account credentials readable there is no longer a need for users to type them each time the CLI is executed. This should also allow the safe_auth CLI to be easily integrated with other tools or applications.Attack of the Three Letter AcronymThe SAFE Client Libs team has started to work on implementing the XOR URL’s RFC. This will make it possible to use SAFE URL’s in RDF resources and link data stored on the Network together. Check out the RFC for full details!Daunted by DApps?While you are perusing our YouTube channel you may also see that we have uploaded some new development tutorials. The Chennai team have created these super helpful videos to walk you through the Xamarin, Node.js, .Net and Android tutorials. Get stuck in and kick start your journey creating DApps for the SAFE Network.Interview with IrvineCEO David Irvine has been speaking with FutureScot about all things SAFE Network ahead of his talk at the FutureScot annual conference in May.New Resources for NewbiesIn order to make SAFE even more accessible for people without much development experience, the team have updated the guides to contributing pages. We hope that these new sections and even more links will help all budding developers learn and in time be able to make significant input!Road to FlemingThe Routing team strikes again! There have been two additions to the Road to Fleming Forum series. The team discussed their research and approach to both Network Restarts and Network Upgrades. If you haven’t already read the full series on the SAFE Network forum, go check it out and as always, we’d love to hear your feedback.PARSEC Speed AheadExcitingly the core of the PARSEC work for SAFE Fleming is now complete! After some great work by the team, malice detection has been enabled and performance improvements have also been implemented. The Routing team have reformed into a single team and have begun work on node ageing this month.Timing out the Time OutAs well as node ageing some of the Routing team have also been concentrating on improving message relay, especially around removing the ack-timeout model. We know this sounds complicated but it basically means that the message relay system will be more effective and asynchronous.Time for a cuppa and a good readWe were lucky to have the second version of the SAFE primer released by some very talented community members this month. Not only has the text had an update and now includes PARSEC but it has also had a colour face lift to now match the vibrant branding of It is a fantastic resource and we are very thankful for the community for the hard work they continue to put into creating and maintaining it. If you are new to the SAFE Network or are looking to brush up your knowledge on a specific topic, it’s a great place to start!Ceilidh has also published a beginner’s guide to self-encryption this month which gives an overview of the unique encryption mechanism in the SAFE Network.You may have noticed that we have started a regular tweetstorm looking at key stories from across the privacy, security and technology industry. We hope that you are finding this useful. Keep an eye out for the next ones every Wednesday!Special MentionWe end this month’s round-up with a special shout out to community developer Edward @oetyng who has taken the time to provide really valuable feedback on the Routing naming conventions. The technical teams are always open to feedback and suggestions so please don’t be shy.SAFE Network April Monthly Round up was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 05. 02

Sidelining Sybil Attacks

Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on UnsplashOne of the key problems with decentralised system is their vulnerability to attacks. There is no central authority to regulate truth nor deny entry to potential bad actors.Although there are many malicious behaviours that could harm the Network, Sybil attacks may be one of the most pressing so we wanted to address it and help the community understand not only what it is, but also why the team have spent so much time creating defences.So What are Sybil Attacks?Seems odd to name a form of malicious networking behaviour with a woman’s name, but there is method in the madness as it is named after the famous 1970’s book: Sybil and subsequent film following the story of a young woman with a multiple personality disorder. This type of network attack is based on a single attacker creating multiple identities with which to flood the network in order to use these numbers to gain a disproportionately large amount of control and power.If it helps to think of it in the context of the current Internet, think of a reviews site. A bad actor sets up multiple accounts to write fake accounts for a product luring others to buy a poor quality product. In the SAFE Network this bad actor may be seeking disproportionate influence within a Section to control the consensus mechanism or attempting to double-spend Safecoin.Stop Sybil in her TracksOK so Sybil attacks sound like they could cause a lot of problems for a peer-to-peer network. So what is the best way to mitigate them? That’s the million dollar question and each decentralised system has its own solution. Many rely on consensus mechanisms such as the blockchain, which might use the Proof of Work mechanism to reduce the ability of bad actors to take control.The main reason behind Sybil Resilience is to make it disproportionately expensive to conduct attacks in order to reduce the incentive and dilute influence throughout the system.SAFE Network vs SybilThere are three main ways in which the SAFE Network is designed to combat Sybil attacks. Firstly the Network will only accept new nodes when they are needed rather than blindly adding anyone who fancies it. This means a malicious actor cannot create 1 million nodes and simultaneously add them to the Network in order to take control.Second, any node that joins the Network is subject to Balanced Relocation. This means that the node is not allowed to pick its own location but is instead allocated one by other nodes. This means that a bad actor cannot cluster their malicious nodes in one area to gain influence in that Section.Thirdly, the SAFE Network also has a mechanism called Node Ageing which is similar to a reputation system. The level of influence that a node has is directly correlated to the amount of work and positive behaviours that it has performed. A malicious node would have to spend excessively large amounts of time and resources to gain the power to influence any network event — and that power would be revoked as soon as negative behaviour was detected. Thus making it too disproportionately expensive to attempt an attack.The SAFE Network has security at its core and every design decision has been made to ensure that protection of users’ data and their privacy is paramount. This was only a very brief overview of Sybil resilience. If you would like to know more head to our Forum.Sidelining Sybil Attacks was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 05. 02

QUIC, Quinn & Crust: an update

Photo by Robin Pierre on UnsplashQuinn. quic-p2p. You may have seen these two words pop up in our weekly dev updates for the past couple of weeks, so we thought it was about time we explained to you, in some more detail, what is going on.We’ll start off with a super quick glossary.QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) is a specification. QUIC is the solution to a number of transport and application layer problems. Whilst it’s very similar to TCP and TLS, it’s implemented on top of UDP.Quinn is the crate we’re adopting QUIC from.QUIC: A Brief HistorySo where did QUIC come from? While we may not agree with their surveillance capitalistic practices, QUIC originated at Google — but stay with us. It was an experimental network protocol designed by Jim Roskind who worked at Google at the time. They deployed it across Chrome, YouTube and Search as well as other services to allow them to observe the protocol in action. However, the version that Google developed is very different to how it looks today. From the wire format of the packets, to the handshake and the mapping of HTTP, QUIC grew organically thanks to open collaboration and a shared goal by many developers of making the Internet faster and more secure.How the SAFE Network Uses QUICOriginally, MaidSafe did not intend to build a network library. We developed Crust, an open-source library that enabled computers to connect to each other on a peer-to-peer network, because nothing existed with the features we needed. Never content to stand still, we looked at other libraries (such as uTP) but found that they all lacked our vision of a fully-secured networking library.We then identified that we could achieve the same objectives by using open source code based on the QUIC specifications. The Quinn crate is an open-source implementation of QUIC that has been developed in Rust (the programming language of choice for the backend of the SAFE Network). We made the decision to replace Crust with QUIC. We’ve named our library quic-p2p because we wanted the name to be self-explanatory (we’re using the QUIC protocol to code our p2p library). Plus it’s pretty catchy, don’t you think?So why have we moved from Crust to quic-p2p?Crust was built upon TCP and provided the basis for all additional protocol engineering. QUIC is different. It’s a fully-formed, single protocol so there is no requirement for any additional protocol engineering. Secondly, its ready…almost. It’s been adopted by the ITEF and whilst that standard may evolve over time, any future changes won’t affect the functionality that it already has today that we’ll be relying on. Plus our ambition is to get to full launch as speedily as possible which means we’re more than happy to utilise existing solutions; this is open development and open source at it’s best. QUIC is also fast, can setup connections cheaper than TCP and can accept hole punched (UDP) sockets. And last but not least, QUIC already has functionality that we were building into Crust. So why wouldn’t we grab the opportunity to build on work that solves our problems?So is Quin better for the SAFE Network than Crust?In a word — yes. There are three main advantages;Encryption: QUIC sits upon UDP protocol and it’s encrypted by default. Crust would previously have dealt with this by encrypting before sending anything through TCP (because TCP isn’t encrypted itself). However in the new world, QUIC has encryption with built-in TLS certificates — so encryption is free.Multi-streaming: Another issue with TCP is head-of-the-queue blocking. In other words, whatever arrives first in the queue gets delivered first. An application treats a stream of bytes sent via a TCP connection essentially as FIFO. For example, if you send 1GB of data and then 1KB data, they’ll be received sequentially, biggest first. So this means subsequent smaller data can be left sitting in the pipes, held up until that first packet is received. QUIC does things differently. On the same pipe, you can open a stream and send different data down different channels simultaneously, so there’s no head-of-the-queue blocking. In Crust, we emulated this by using our chunking algorithm and priority queues. By adopting Quinn, we no longer need these things.ITEF Approval: While QUIC is a living standard (in the sense that it is not finalised), it was adopted by the IETF in 2016. The standardisation of this provides added credibility for SAFE newcomers. While Crust was built on TCP (which of course is an IETF standard), the additions we built on top weren’t specifically addressed by the IETF. are many other benefits (such as prevention of IP spoofing, stateless retries etc.) that QUIC brings with it. Being a modern protocol, the specification has considered the shortfalls of the existing mechanisms studied over decades and addressed those issues in QUIC. And even better, we’re one of the first to actively use this protocol.So there we have it. While Crust was the right solution for us to pursue until now, we’re hungry enough to understand that if better solutions exist that let us get the Network ready for you faster, without any compromises, we should take that opportunity and grab it with both hands. The move towards fully encrypted, secured private communications built on the efforts of a global community gives us solid foundations to build the SAFE Network.QUIC, Quinn & Crust: an update was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 05. 01

The New Age of (Self) Encry...

Photo by Matt Antonioli on UnsplashData breaches happen daily around the globe and third parties either have no legal duty, or worse, just don’t care about making sure your data is securely encrypted. Here at MaidSafe, our core values are privacy and security and as a result, these principles are central in how we design and build the SAFE Network. And self-encryption is no different.First things first, what is self-encryption?It is a version of convergent encryption with an additional obfuscation step….what?!Let’s take a few steps back. If we remove the prefix ’self’ for the moment, you have encryption — a way of concealing information using a mathematical approach to obfuscate, so that only those intended to see the files can gain access. Sounds good right?This is already a common practice by cloud-based solutions such as Dropbox. They encrypt all data in transit using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) between Dropbox apps and its servers. Once it reaches Dropbox servers, it is then encrypted with 256-bit AES, which is an industry recognised standard and (almost) impossible to crack without the encryption key.So you might be thinking, “surely these solutions already encrypt my data so why do I need anything else?”. However they don’t provide client-side encryption which means you, the client, encrypts the file before it leaves your computer (although with Dropbox you can add your own encryption) they, the third party, manage the encryption keys along with your data. There are a couple of issues with this. First, the way data is stored on some cloud solutions means that your files are decrypted as soon as you log in. Why is this a problem, surely this makes the user experience more seamless as you don’t need to take any extra steps? The problem arises if someone has access to your password. They can access your files — the encryption is now pointless and doesn’t offer you any protection.However, a second more sinister issue is Man in the Cloud attacks. Here, a hacker doesn’t need your passwords. They simply access your computer, steal the synchronization tokens which are provided by the company to identify you as a user, and then place them on different computers. Because these cloud solutions cannot identify if the token is being used on another machine, this will go unseen. Therefore the hacker will then not only have access to the documents but also control your entire drive. Yikes!!And last but not least, anyone who grants a third party responsibility for managing the safety and security of your data is troublesome, and we don’t need to tell you why.So we earlier mentioned that Self-encryption is a version of convergent encryption, which is also known as a content hash keying which creates identical ciphertext from an identical plaintext file. It contains some applications in cloud computing to eliminate all duplicate files from storage services, without a provider needing to have access to encryption keys.Self-encryption is something new because it has no keys. A file is encrypted using its own contents as keys for encryption. After encryption, a Data Map is generated and this Data Map is used for decryption. And why is this so important? Because crucially, it ensures that all of your private data stored on the Network is unrecognisable and only those with the correct credentials and the relevant Data Map can fetch the chunks, decrypt them and put them together. And even if an encryption algorithm is compromised, a hacker won’t be able to decipher the data. Cool huh?!Let’s Take An ExampleRight so how does this work? Things are always easier with an example, so let’s say Bob has a Word doc he’d like to store on the Network. The Network takes this file and divides this up into a minimum of three chunks; Chunk 1, Chunk 2, Chunk 3. From this, the system creates a Data Map. A Data Map lays out the pre and post encryption details and the location of each chunk to enable Bob to retrieve his files whenever he likes. And, the Data Map can be run through the self-encryption process too.So once each chunk has been hashed and documented on the Data Map it goes through the encryption process. To do this, the Network encrypts using the algorithm AES 256 encryption protocol and hashes each chunk. And this is where the additional obfuscation step comes in. So the hash of C1 is encrypted with the hash of C2, C2 is encrypted using the hash of C3 and C3 is encrypted using the hash of C1. To further obfuscate the data, every chunk is passed through an XOR function using the hashes of other chunks. So C1 would be XOR’ed with the hash of C2, and C3. And the hash of C2 would be encrypted with the XOR of C3 and C1 and…you’ve probably worked out how C3 would be encrypted. The output is then documented on the Data Map, which also can be run through the Self-encryption process. this happens on Bob’s computer so that his data is already encrypted before it hits the Network and only Bob with his Data Map can access and decrypt his file. And this happened instantaneously, with no disruption to how Bob would normally store a file.If Bob had bigger files (for example a file full of photography), this would automatically split into chunks and distributed autonomously across the decentralised network. This means larger data files are not stored in one central place, adding another level of security.So there we have it. Self — encryption, the way the SAFE Network will solve issues with existing encryption solutions, based on trusted cryptography and a way for you to truly take control of your data.If you are new to SAFE and are interested in understanding more about what we’re doing to make the world a better place, join us on the Forum.The New Age of (Self) Encryption was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 04. 09

SAFE Network March Round Up

2019 is flying past and as we enter the Scottish spring we look back at some of the key achievements of March. There has been some really exciting progress with PARSEC as well as a variety of update releases from the front end team. Each and every team has been working on some developments this month so lets get into the details.If we start off with a look at some of the technical progress that has been made this month, first up has to be the submission of the updated PARSEC whitepaper to the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing. This latest Whitepaper highlights the improved algorithm which is now fully asynchronous. We are excited to have made this move from highly to fully asynchronous ABFT consensus and look forward to sharing it with you all as soon as the peer review is complete.Yet again the front end team have been busy and have now released the latest versions of both the SAFE Browser (v0.12.0) and SAFE App nodejs API (v0.11.0). As well as technical updates the SAFE App includes improved documentation which we hope will help developers better understand how the package is structured and be able to get more involved in the project.Following intensive research, the front end team have also started exploring the idea of having a SAFE Authenticator CLI as we understand that GUI is not suitable for all situations and developers. The new CLI will interact directly with SAFE Client Libs with Rust and we are looking forward to hearing how your feedback.And if that wasn’t enough there has also been a release of the SAFE messages mobile app as an updated PoC. You can download the v0.1.1 APK from GitHub which will showcase how to use the MaidSafe.SafeApp NuGet to build a simple email application for mobile devices and hopefully inspire you to create a SAFE DApp of your very own.Now let’s turn our attention to the Crust team. This month there has been extensive work to code almost the entirety of Crust using QUIC from the quinn Rust crate and test this implementation to see what it brings us. The biggest benefit of this move would be the industry standard TLS which would simplify many of the processes currently needed in Crust. QUIC is basically what Crust was intended to be. Of course, we have our own parts, such as random ports, restarts, bootstrap cache, etc. but fundamentally the underlying protocol is close to perfect for us. In addition, it means SAFE engineers no longer need to be network protocol designers and that itself is a huge boost for us. The hope here is that with QUIC we can align with new Internet standards and simply use the protocol that now meets our requirements of security and accessibility. Very exciting to work with this protocol and see just how the rest of the Internet is seeing things as we did so long ago. In essence, this test, if successful, means we can focus on SAFE and less so on any network protocols.We have also been treated to two more posts in the Road to Fleming Forum series from the Routing team. First up was an explanation of Sybil Resistance looking at how the SAFE Network plans to deal with Sybil attacks. The second looks in more detail and tests some of our design ideas in a series of simulations. There has been some great discussion on all of this forum series so far and we continue to welcome your thoughts and comments as we move towards SAFE Fleming.March was also home to the latest Meet up in Brighton. Attendees were treated to an introduction to the SAFE Network by Dug followed by an exclusive look into the new fully asynchronous PARSEC algorithm with Bart. Thanks to everyone who joined us, if you missed it don’t worry there is one already in the diary for May or check the forum to see if there is one coming up closer to you or if you fancy hosting one yourself.Calling all developers! What do you think of the DevHub additions? The DApps page has had an update and now features some of the amazing DApps created by our talented community. If you are looking to get started developing for the SAFE Network, the DevHub is a great starting point and remember there is always someone friendly and willing to help on the forum if you get lost!Speaking of our wonderful community, we hosted a two part interview on our Medium publication with community developer Edward this month to discuss him, his motivations and most recent SAFE Network contributions. We love to see the wider community developing so if there is anything your working on and would like to share, get in touch!As the MaidSafe team continues to grow we thought we would start a short video series to introduce some of them to you. To give you an idea of not only what they do, but how it impacts the development of the SAFE Network everyday. We started off the Designer Jim speaking all things UI and UX and also met Testing and Release Manager Stephen who heads up the QA team. We have a few more faces lined up but who are you most interested in hearing from?It is with some sadness that we are saying goodbye to 2 of the team this month. Douglas and Povilas are moving onto new adventures and although they will be missed we wish them all the best and no doubt we will continue to see them on the forum. We are therefore looking for an expert Network Engineer to join our fast-paced team, if you think your skills and ideals match the SAFE Network please email for more information. Network March Round Up was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 04. 04

Sand Dunes & Digital Mires ...

An Interview With Community DApp Developer / part 2Missed part 1? Read here.Photo by Ryan Stone on UnsplashGreat thank you for that overview. Who do you imagine using your app?Everyone. Your grandma can keep her list of roses that she has in her garden, her will etc. Journalists can keep their investigations on state corruption on it. Companies can keep their data on it. You can have your receipts, unpublished memoirs and your code or inventions on it.. etc.I think we’re ready to get stuck into this now. You’ve talked about the users, but what other type of users are you envisioning or aiming at supporting?SAFE.AppendOnlyDb is basically a simple event store, but it is based on AppendableData, which I implemented over MutableData, according to how it seems to become designed eventually.SAFE.DataStore is more of an experimental document database, with rudimentary indexing and searching capabilities. They will be continually improved as to enable easier and more capable usage in applications. They could even become end user products like data management applications.I have ideas for various applications that could use them, but there’s still plenty that can be done with SAFE.NetworkDrive to keep me occupied with that :)That’s actually a large part of what motivated the development of the data storage solutions; I saw it as the first building block in making end user applications.I have also put an auth client into its own component, which I think can be used by any application, and rather easily. It encapsulates both browser flow auth as well as direct auth with credentials. All of these (AppendOnlyDb / AuthClient / DataStore) can be found as (pre-release) NuGet packages, so they can be experimented with in applications today.How about files with a long history of changes? Is there any type of checkpoint every so often so reconstructing a long history is not needed to get the latest version? (I think you call this ‘snapshotting’)?That’s right, snapshotting. So given the implementation of AppendableData that I have, each AD is an endless sequence of values, split into segments of 1000, (where the first is metadata and the rest is data). Each such segment is based on an MD, which has its distinct location in the network. It makes sense to base the snapshotting on that number (but a smaller or bigger number would work just fine) and what it means is that you would never need to fetch more than one segment, and always have all the data of the AppendableData — no matter how long the history is.Event sourcing is a way of storing data, that captures every incremental change, instead of the current state of things. So since each entry in a segment is an incremental change, you can take all entries from the beginning, and apply them through the function that builds your current state — then you store that current state as a snapshot. Next time you want current state, you don’t need to go all the way to the beginning, you just go to the latest snapshot, and then you apply all new events after it, to it.Let’s take an example:Say you have 999 events in the very first segment in your AD. These are withdrawals and deposits into your account. Adding one more element will make it overflow. At that point a snapshot is made, and passed to the next segment to be stored in its metadata (a pointer to the snapshot rather). The function that builds current state performs addition for deposit and subtraction for withdrawal. You calculate the result of all of them and get a balance of 345 euros. So, your snapshot is that: “Balance: 345 euros”.Then you do another 123 deposits and withdrawals. Next time you want to get your balance, you don’t fetch all 999 + 123 events, but only the snapshot and the 123 new deposits and withdrawals, and you can calculate your current balance. And next time you reach the end of a segment, you do a new snapshot.It works the same with the SAFE.NetworkDrive, but the current state is what the file system hierarchy currently looks like; what folders and subfolders are there, what files, and what are the current pointers to the file content. Every change is like: folder added, folder renamed, file content set, file deleted, etc. etc. This also means that the drive can be restored to every state it ever was in, by just replaying up to that event.Does this become difficult to accomplish given the event-source nature of how files are stored? If so, what are your thoughts around adopting RDF somehow to support portability of data across apps (this is already briefly brought up on the forum thread)? For example, storing files which I can then publish as a website/webapp, or being able to read the stored files with any other SAFE app which manages files.It is a distinct way of handling data, and right out of the box you cannot process event-sourced data with applications that expect a current state model.The way this is handled, is by introducing projections. Let’s say that SAFE.NetworkDrive would have an opt in RDF Projections module. If you enabled that, it would mean that you diverted some CPU, memory, bandwidth and spent some PUTs, to produce a projection of the events, into the RDF format. The RDF data model would be eventually consistent.The file system that is built in memory is basically also a projection of the event stream, so there is already a projections module implemented. Events-to-RDF would just be another one.Apart from supporting it in other platforms like Linux and OSX as I guess must be in your roadmap, what other ideas do you have for the future of the project that can share to inspire others?Yes, Linux and OSX are on the roadmap, and should be fairly prioritised now that there is an alpha for Windows.There is something else brewing actually, an extension to this project, which I think will be quite popular — it’s an end-user thing, not a technical detail. I’ll focus on multiple platforms before announcing it though :)Great thanks Edward!Head over to the forum to join the conversation, and as always, any questions, comments or have a project you’re working on you’d like to share with the team, drop us a line!Sand Dunes & Digital Mires cont. was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 03. 27

Sand Dunes & Digital Mires

An Interview With Community DApp Developer Edward / part 1Photo by Leon Kobus on UnsplashEdward, one the community members in the SAFE forum, announced the alpha release of SAFE.NetworkDrive on Windows a few weeks back.So we took the opportunity to get to know him a little better, why he loves SAFE and to carry out a deeper dive into his project.Enjoy!Hi Edward, thanks for your time. Can you start off by telling us a little about yourself?I’ve been developing systems for CMS, accounting, credit rating, finance and things like that for a few years. But I was always most interested in automation and interfacing with mechanics. As for specific technologies and practices, it’s been all-out C#, a lot of Azure, and very much Event Sourcing, CQRS and DDD, as well as microservices and DevOps. I was at my previous workplace for 4 years developing a system from the ground up. Now I’m going to take some time off before jumping on a new project. I gave all my life to that project, so now I’m going to breathe some air, see my family, spend time with my 1 year old son — and develop for SAFENetwork!I started studying at Uni relatively late. Before that I lived a couple of years with a quite bohemian life: I travelled, met a lot of people and tried to understand myself and others. I lived out of a backpack and was striving to grow socially and as a person. I didn’t care much for anything else — technology, work, career, studies. I hung out with arty people, musicians and cared most of all about living in the here and now. I probably wanted to compensate for my early teens because I didn’t do much IRL socializing then, mostly playing online multiplayer games, and before that reading books and wandering in nature.Then at some point I just had enough of the outgoing life. I longed to refine my skills, utilise my talents for learning and solving problems, and start building something for the longer term. I spent the following 10 or so years with my nose in books, staring into screens, learning, working, building. I’ve always been like that: I immerse myself so fully and totally into what I do. As long as it’s something I have a motivation to do, I’ll eventually be very good at it. Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also become more of a master at maintaining my motivation, seeing where it should come from to stay strong and true.So how did you discover SAFE — and why choose to spend your time here instead of on another project?My first contact with crypto was as a student. With free electricity in my student apartment I was planning to set up a mining rig. It was after the first boom, and it was not obvious that the investment would pay back, so I dropped the idea (it would of course have paid off :D).I then got involved when Ethereum showed up. I was just intrigued by autonomous things, like vehicles or organisations etc. Then, while absorbing all of that, MaidSafe flickered on the screen one day — and after having checked it out, I was convinced by a couple of things. Not only was the technology presented in a much more accessible way than Vitalik’s talks (which I thought would mean a much higher chance of broad adoption). But it also became more apparent as I delved deeper, that the tech was vastly superior as a long term solution. I’ve looked at other things briefly since, but nothing else yet comes close to the ambitions and qualities combined, as far as I have seen.The concept of SAFENetwork, everything it does, and will do, is something I dearly want to see in this world. As a developer, I can also see that the technological foundation is massive and I can see that there is so much skill there, so much hard work going in and constant progress being made.One very important aspect is the technological side of it. Another is the culture of the company and the community. It’s very open and friendly. The SAFENetwork has a very diverse community and it wouldn’t have formed if it wasn’t for what MaidSafe the company itself is. They’ve gathered together people with honesty and integrity and I, for one, appreciate that deeply. It’s just an amazing thing to see it combined with such skill and quality of the technology.Thanks for the kind words — it’s down to having such great support from you the community. We got in touch for a chat because we’re impressed with the work you’ve been doing. Do you want to tell us a little about what it is and why?It’s a virtual drive. A windows application that shows up as a drive in Windows Explorer, just like any external or internal drive you attach — but with the data stored to the SAFENetwork.So, you can move any file to and from that drive, create your folders and so on, all the normal stuff. You can install and run software from it too. I ran SAFEBrowser v.0.11.1 from it!You can manage your drives and even remove all traces of them from the local computer.Once you have connected, you can even work offline without noticing it, and everything gets synched to network when you are connected again.I chose this specific project because I was looking for something to use my database engines for — something that would be useful for everyone. Another member of the community (@happybeing) had been developing a virtual drive as well, but in javascript. I got inspired to solve the problems I saw presented, and saw how I could do that with the database engines I was working on and got very excited to try it out. I am not very productive in javascript, so it was natural to do it in C#.But it also tied in very well with what I need and desire myself: basically I just want my data to exist securely, wherever I am, for me only and virtually ‘for ever’And even though not everyone considers that top priority, they still have the problem with keeping their digital life secured and sustainably organised, whether they know it or not. Everything digital rests on sand dunes and mires, but we’re so used to it being fragile, volatile and chaotic that we see it as normal, not realising how much energy we waste with all of that.We’ll soon be in a time where the digital world is something as solid and concrete as the ground you walk upon, while remaining as private as your own thoughts. Every part of that path that you walked, will still be there, 20 or 40 years later (or more..). No more lost files or data. No more Libraries of Alexandria. And naturally, you want all that to be simple and intuitive.Want to keep reading? Follow the link for part 2…Sand Dunes & Digital Mires was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 03. 27

“The evolution of decentral...

An interview with Devolution creator Glen SimisterPhoto by Joshua Rawson-Harris on UnsplashOne of our community members, Glen, showcased a video a few weeks back where he developed of a non-profit social media platform called Devolution. Here we talk to him about what motivated him, why he chose SAFE as well as glimpse into his future plans.Thanks for agreeing to speak with me! First off, let’s introduce you properly. Can you tell us a little about yourself?To cut a very long story short, I have lived a large part of my life out of a suitcase, moving from place to place, doing various different jobs. I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a traveller, more like an idiot abroad. In terms of my skills, I’m what you might call a “jack of all trades but a master of none”. I started off in life doing mostly industrial work. I later went to university where I studied Music Technology. Several years later, I setup a ZenCart shop selling synthesizer presets and later became a freelance web designer. I moved out to India, in an attempt to cut costs, and continued to drift between the UK and different parts of the world ever since. I’ve spent a lot of time in Thailand — where I worked for a Finnish web design company. In my last role I was sub-contracted to a Hong-Kong-based Bitcoin exchange, where I was mostly required to refactor SASS code, and fix the occasional Javascript bug. I currently work for my brother’s company writing articles about security auditing.Great, sounds like you’ve had a interesting journey so far! Right, down to business; what is Devolution and how does it work?DEVOLUTION is a non-profit, open-source, social media platform designed to build communities and give them more political autonomy. It enables communities to vote for officials and finance public services. Revenue comes from voting, adverts and an unofficial Land Value Tax (LVT). The demonstration video that I uploaded included a casino (lottery, bingo, slot machine, etc.). However, as it currently stands, I have decided to omit this feature as I wasn’t able to find a suitable way to verify the age of the participants. Of course, gambling is considered by many as unethical, and in some ways it is. However, one of the main goals of this application is to promote the idea of raising tax revenue through incentives, as opposed to coercion, hence why I thought it was appropriate.All revenue is redistributed in the form of Social Credits, which are used to finance services and/or top-up Health and Education Credits. The application has sections for healthcare, education, business, and even has an affordable housing section. Using the application community members can collectively buy land and install modular housing units (built using aluminium profile technology), as well as toilets, shower blocks, and anything else they need to live comfortably and be relatively self-sufficient. Community members will then register a section of land and pay an unofficial Land Value Tax (LVT) back into the application, which is distributed to all community members in the form of Social Credits. The application has a motto, and it’s one that everybody knows: “Give a man a fish, he feeds himself for a day, give a man the means to catch a fish, he feeds himself for a lifetime”. I won’t go into any politics right now, but if it were possible to summarise my political views in one sentence, it would be something along those lines. do you imagine would use Devolution, and how will they start to use it?Theoretically speaking, anyone can use it, and I’m sure that most people would, if the option was presented to them in the right way. I would like to briefly talk about a technology called SOLID (Social Linked Data). SOLID is a project that is being developed by Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web). SOLID enables users to have more control over how their data is accessed and stored. Using SOLID, users can setup a profile, which is associated with unique identifier called a WebID. This profile (referred to as a “pod”) is where their data (posts, photos, friends, etc.) is stored. They can use their WebID to login to various applications, and grant or revoke permissions to their data, as and when they choose. Social Linked Data has many benefits and use cases — especially when used in conjunction with the SAFE network, which provides decentralized storage — amongst other things. Devolution will take advantage of both technologies to deliver a social media platform that is as decentralized as possible. This is relevant because even-though Devolution is focused on building physical communities, SOLID will, by default, connect these communities together, regardless of where they are located. Coincidentally, Devolution is built on what I refer to as “the SOLID foundation”. It is a term that I coined before I was aware of Tim’s project, and stands for (S)ound money, (L)and Value Tax, (D)irect democracy.NOTE: The following information may be subject to change.Initially, all users will access the application via single URL, which will look something like this: safe:// When they register, they will be asked to enter their country and post/zip code. The application is divided into three sections; International, National and Local. Each of these sections will have different features enabled. However, for the sake of simplicity, I will only explain how the local section works, and I will need to omit certain details.The local section of application will be customized according to the users post/zip code. The local voting section of the international application will only allow you to elect an IT administrator. When you elect a local IT administrator (or a local IT services company), they will need to clone the application, which will allow the administrator to enable certain features that are only available on the local version. The local version of the application will have its own customized URL, along with it’s own container for the data. This will not only give communities more control over the application, but will also provide greater security. Naturally, you don’t want to trust an administrator that you don’t know, or can’t unelect. The elected administrator will be able customize the application, install updates, authorize plug-ins, and so on. As mentioned previously, all parts of the application that make use of Social Linked Data, will be international by default.Anybody can login to the application, however, in order to vote or receive Social Credits, users will need a minimum “social rating” — a score that is assigned to them based on the number of likes/dislikes associated with their interactions. On the local application, users will also need a minimum number of connections (friends), which serves as an additional verification procedure. In the demonstration video, I spoke about a “voting weight”, which was based on a number of other factors, such as credits obtained via the education section — but I will omit the voting weight for now.How do you plan to bridge the gap between what happens online and offline, and how will you verify that the money was used correctly?Once we have built the first physical community, we will have a consistent revenue going into the application, which we can use to build more communities. It may start off slow, but it could escalate quickly. With regards to ensuring that the money is used correctly; as mentioned previously, every user on the platform will have a social rating, which will serve as a form of trust network. Secondly, I expect registered charities will get involved, as there would be a good reason for them to do so. Actually, given the wide-range of charities that already exist, it would be good to see them take centre stage. We may need to nudge them a bit. Using Devolution there is a way to ask for this. Below the status update input box, there is a select box which allows people to select categories for their post. One of the categories is called “Ideas”, although I will give it a better name — perhaps the old name, GiveMeCredit. Anyway, if you post something in this category, users can vote on which ideas are good and bad, and the most popular ideas can receive Social Credits. So, I could post an idea about setting up a treatment centre, and if that idea is popular, a relevant local charity could step in and apply as a candidate, and if they don’t, we could give them a nudge, or do it ourselves. It also worth noting that people on alcohol or drug rehab programs will likely receive housing benefits, and in some cases this money will go to a private landlord. Hopefully, the community can accept social security payments for the LVT. So instead of our tax money going to a private landlord, it goes back into Devolution, and then back to the treatment centre, and so on. Anyway, this is just one example of how Devolution can deliver tangible, predictable and transparent results.Brilliant, here has clearly been a lot of thought gone into this as well as all the work you’ve put in . You’ve talked about how the app works, it would be good to know what inspired you to build Devolution?After initially dismissing Bitcoin as a gimmick, which many unfamiliar with the technology often do, I decided to look a bit deeper into it, and started to realize how disruptive the technology was (in a good way of course!). I then looked into Ethereum, and various other platforms (including Safe Network), and that was where my enthusiasm started to grow. I was posting my ideas on Facebook and various forums about what I thought could be done with the technology. I also posted some ideas about a browser extension called “GiveMeCredit” on the MaidSafe forum approximately 4 years ago (2015). To be honest though, I never actually intended to code anything, instead I just wanted to contribute to the community by throwing down some ideas and perhaps offering to help with some of the design work. Time passed and I started playing around with some designs, then starting adding a bit of code, and things progressed from there.Naturally, given that Devolution is essentially a political system, there were political reasons why I decided to push forward with this project. However, there’s not really much point in talking about my political views as most of them either are, or will be, included in the design of the application. However, one of my goals was to create a system that catered for everyone, as much as possible at least. Additionally, I wanted something that would complement our existing system, yet at the same time have the scope/potential to become an alternative system, if necessary.It’s great that you’ve been part of the community so long, is this why did you choose to build on the SAFE Network?After my initial post on the forum, I exchanged words with happybeing (as you do) and kept an eye on the progress of the network ever since. I would often check the updates, although I still don’t understand the technical stuff about routing/CRUST. I had already done some basic research into some of the key features such as self-encryption, self-authentication, farming, data de-duplication, and of course, SafeCoin.The promise of scalability was a major factor that retained my interest in the SAFE Network. I’m one of those people who will obsess about whether or not something is scalable/sustainable.When thinking about whether or not to invest in Bitcoin, I was haunted by the idea of a constantly expanding ledger and a room full of mining rigs burning up electricity. Of course, we now have more eco-friendly non-blockchain cryptocurrencies like Hashgraph which — like PARSEC (Maidsafe’s own consensus algorithm) — uses the gossip protocol and is capable of tolerating asynchronous byzantine faults. I wouldn’t know where to start comparing ABTF consensus algorithms, however, as far as I know, PARSEC does it better, and it’s open source! I’ve already mentioned about SOLID, which was another factor that swayed my decision to build on the SAFE Network. Finally, it helps that the SAFE Network has a welcoming community of loyal enthusiasts, and it’s not unusual to see the core developers interacting with us laymen.We’re lucky to have such a enthusiastic community. And you say you’re a layman but you impressed us all with your demo. How long have you been working on this?As mentioned, it started off as a browser extension, which I posted about in 2015. Eventually, due to a number of logical inconsistencies in the design, I decided to scrap the idea. Approximately one year later, I started messing around with what is now Devolution. I first posted some screenshots of the prototype (without the back-end) on the MaidSafe forum in July, 2018. At the time it was called OSDemocracy, although I didn’t like the name much. Most of the initial work was done in Nepal (April 2018). I took a month off work to do a meditation retreat. I couldn’t find an affordable retreat centre that allowed me to stay for one month so I rented a room on a hilltop in a relatively remote location. It didn’t pan out too well as I ended up drinking the local liquor (Raksi), and it went down hill from there — as in I moved off the hilltop and decided to use the free time to develop this application. With regards to the video demonstration that I posted on the forum, I had only downloaded the SAFE Browser approximately two weeks before presenting it, and so even-though It may have looked polished, my knowledge of developing apps with the SAFE API was relatively limited.And how did you find working with the SAFE API?After jimmyhacksthings posted a video on the forum about “Developing Dapps for SAFE”, I thought I’d have a go at creating a simple CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) application. It was surprisingly straight forward. After that I decided to re-build the back-end of my application (or what there was of it) using the SAFE API. Again, it was relatively painless. And this is coming from someone whose palms sweat when asked to type “npm install”. Yes, I have commandlineophobia. Is that why web developers love the command line so much? To scare off web designers? Hmmm. Joking aside, having the API available in the browser made life a lot easier. Don’t get me wrong, I have experienced various anomalies when working with the SAFE Browser, such as needing to restart the browser when it hangs, but these issues will no doubt be resolved before the Network goes live. I would like to see a lot more tutorials about developing SAFE apps — particularly with regards to SOLID integration, as I believe this will be a very powerful feature, and will entice a lot of new developers into the scene. I would also like to suggest that any demos and tutorials are written in JQuery/Javascript. I looked at the code for the demo applications but they were written in either React or Vue, which I found difficult to read. Whilst I’m sure that there are many advantages of using a framework, every web developer can read Vanilla JS, and they can easily port the examples to whatever framework they want. I don’t think it’s as easy the other way around.What are your future plans, how do you see Devolution evolving?It’s a very ambitious project and it will take a long time to complete if I am to do this alone.I will continue to do what I can but I would like to find some experienced developers to help me push forward, while I focus on planning and design. If that means crowdfunding the project or raising money through other means, then that’s what I’ll do. I doubt I’ll experience problems finding developers, as I still have a lot of contacts overseas. Of course, my progress will also depend on the progress of SAFE Network, as well as the documentation.I would like add one final note. I am constantly refining the idea. I may add new features, I may remove some. Simplicity is important to me, as new features can always be added at a later date if required.“The evolution of decentralised governance” was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 02. 13

Why Open Source Software Ru...

Photo by Alex Holyoake on UnsplashLast weekend, many of the team headed across to Brussels to attend FOSDEM, the annual get-together of the free software and open source community. The open source approach to development lies deep within the DNA of MaidSafe. It’s a crucial part of both how and why we do things the way that we do. But what does that mean in practice?What is Open Source Software?At the most basic level, software is just a collection of ones and zeros. And a software program is little more than a language that instructs computing devices to perform specific tasks. For most people in the world, life online is experienced only via what appears on the screen in front of them, whether that’s mobile, tablet or laptop. But of course, the real magic lies in the ones and zeros.Throughout the history of software development, many companies have worked hard to protect themselves from their competition. Many modern businesses rely on their software for their profits. And the traditional way for business to defend itself is to protect via secrecy. So in the early days for many, it was all about building software, protecting the source code and relying on intellectual property to defend that ‘secret sauce’.All well and good. Or is it? Software engineering is built on very different foundations to the more traditional business models of the past. For a start, the marginal cost of producing another set of digital ones and zeros is….zero. As soon as an idea is cloaked in digital clothing, it’s part of The Great Copying Machine that is the internet.In other words: the weapons of restrictive competition that worked so well in the past don’t translate online.The Dawning RealisationOf course, that certainly didn’t stop companies from going down that route regardless. If you’re of a certain age, it’s easy to remember Microsoft’s constant battle against the Windows OS pirates. But it’s become increasingly clear that this wasn’t the only option — and a number of different approaches have developed during the past few years to challenge that belief.The starting point is common sense. Imagine two groups of developers: one has 100 members, the other 100,000 developers. Now let’s have a bet: which group is likely to be the fastest at catching and fixing any bugs in the software? It’s pretty clear: the wider the pool of talent, the more chances you have to pick up on things going wrong.But that’s not all. That group itself is likely to also include a greater number of highly focused problem-solvers (i.e. developers). Now tell them that there’s a problem somewhere. Or maybe that they can’t do something.If you ever worked with developers (or are one), you know what’s coming. Not dissimilar to Cunningham’s Law, you’ve just stumbled across the easiest way to incentivise people to find a solution. So, as our focus online has evolved over the years from simple banter on bulletin boards to actively relying on software to carry out many of the most crucial functions in daily life (think financial transactions, identity theft, security of digital and physical assets), we see the mounting cost of critical failure. So it doesn’t take long to see the appeal of having an exponentially larger pool of talent to work with when it comes to making your software resilient.The Process of CreationSo open source is good for bug-catching. But what about new ideas?In general, innovation comes down to one of two options.Number One: Build a skunkworks-type model. Close the doors and hide everything from sight until The Big Reveal! Explode from nowhere with your perfectly crafted software that has solves a massive problem for a corner of the world, make a ton of money and retire to the Bahamas. Congratulations!The reality to this approach is quite different. After spending months or years building the foundational parts of your software, re-inventing the wheel in many cases, you burn through piles of cash and release your product — only to realise that the world never really cared in the first place. Or, if it does, someone else might already have come up with a better solutionSo What’s The Answer?Number Two: rely on software that others have built and tested. Improve it where possible — and give those improvements back to the wider community to do with as it wants.It may be counterintuitive — but in a huge number of cases, this alternative is far more compelling. And it’s not new. The idea of closed versus open ecosystems online is a battle that was won decisively back in the late 1990’s when AOL/Compuserve’s attempts to provide services via the Walled Garden approach were steamrollered by the open and permissionless nature of the World Wide Web.And not only do we all collectively benefit from software when ideas and quality control can come from anywhere around the world. When it comes to security-critical code, the greater the number of reviewers the better. Why would you not want to test the resiliency of your code in the face of the strongest possible attack? Because as soon as you go ‘live’ into the wild of the internet, you can guarantee that attack will come. We also now have systems in place that ensure that critical, foundational software programmes can be ‘locked open’.The World of Open Source LicensingWhilst building the SAFE Network at MaidSafe, we’ve always been crystal-clear: you can’t build a permissionless, decentralised peer-to-peer autonomous next generation network unless it is open source. Whilst the roll-out of the Network will see a number of different stages, there are two key ones to focus on here: the release of the SAFE Network, built on the SAFE Fundamentals and the Decentralised Applications (commonly known as DApps) that will run on the Network.The SAFE Network ensures that the foundational core software for the Network is locked open. We do this by licensing the core libraries under a GPL v3 licence. That ensures that whatever anyone develops based on that licence must also be provided by them open source. This prevents someone coming in, forking the code and setting up a SAFE Network with the same code but with restrictive rights — for example, Google deciding to run a closed source version of the Network.However, when it comes to Crust (the way computers connect to each other) and the SAFE API’s (the way that software developers can interact with the Network), you’ll find that these are licensed either MIT or BSD licences. These are known as permissive licences because they are free and have minimal requirements about how they can be redistributed. These simply require attribution but enable individuals to use the software to build their own, proprietary projects on top of.Taking this licensing approach in the SAFE Network prevents anyone from taking the core code and using it for personal gain in a way that would exclude others. But it also gives the flexibility to others who want to build ventures on top of the Network once it’s live.The open source foundations of the SAFE Network are vitally important to its continued success. It enables us to keep the core platform open to everyone whilst providing flexibility to application developers. We’re convinced that being community-led will help the Network to prosper and as a result, we’ll continue to protect its open source principles forever.The FutureBack in 1675, Sir Isaac Newton spoke of seeing further by ‘standing on the shoulders of Giants’. At its core, the open and permissionless nature of our work is not simply a nice-to-have. It’s an essential component. Because by breaking down the barriers between projects, you’re in a world that encourages you not only to work with others — but also it ensures that every effort can be used somewhere, by someone. The unfinished attempts of any project can be picked up and completed by another.It doesn’t make sense to work at solving mankind’s current digital problems if they’re built on weak foundations. That’s exactly what centralised data stores with their security weaknesses and broken privacy represent. We need to build the best technology possible. And that’s why we’re committed to open source development and keeping those gates open. Because this is work that’s far too important for us to do on our own. It’s a job that needs all of us to do our part.Why Open Source Software Runs In The SAFE Network DNA was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 02. 06

January SAFE Network Summary

upsplash.comWe returned from our festive break raring to go and it shows with the amount of progress and work currently ongoing in the Network. This month has been filled with releases, updates and a lot of research across teams.The Front-End team have been on fire this month with three releases. A new Java API, an updated C# API and an update to the SAFE Browser. The release of the Java API means that developers, like you, can now create native Android apps for the SAFE Network. This release not only contains this new API but also an example app and tutorials to help developers understand and begin utilising this new release. Development superstar Lionel has not only been working with the rest of the Java team to create the latest APIs, but has also become the face of the Java release as he created a step-by-step guide to the release, tutorials and example app but also featuring on the SAFE Crossroads podcast. But it was not only Java developers who were treated this month. The C# API also featured a new update and the release of a new example app and tutorials (for Windows and mobile). This update enhances your ability to develop .Net decentralised apps on desktop and cross-mobile platforms using Xamarin. Following the successful release of the SAFE browser v0.11.0 at the tail end of last year we have just launched an update to v0.11.1 to fixes some bugs and provide incremental updates. As always we are thankful to our community who diligently test each new iteration and help us make the SAFE Network as user-friendly and community-driven as possible. Please download this new version of the Browser from GitHub and let us know what you think.Delving into the backend we can also see some key updates. The Crust team improved both reliability and security of connections by introducing what is called the ‘external reachability test’. This means that honest nodes will not let other nodes join unless they are externally reachable — in other words, able to connect to each other. A node will now undergo a mandatory check to ensure that it is externally reachable, as well as switching from simple TCP to an encrypted Crust request/response system. Ultimately, this is another mechanism by which the SAFE Network security front and centre.The Routing team have been squirrelling away at the PARSEC and Fleming work and there will be a lot more detail on that in the very near future. Most recently the teams have been dedicating time to the design of network restarts and how nodes reconnect following a restart in a number of different scenarios. The Fleming team has begun the release of a series of forum post outlining the research, design and plans for their upcoming work towards SAFE-Fleming. These will be released regularly on the SAFE Forum with the first looking at the Road to Fleming already available. These should give you an insight into the work the team is undertaking as well as the opportunity to provide feedback, comment and suggestions.In terms of team appearances this month, Dug was on the popular and CrytpoBeadles YouTube show and Ernest Hancock’s ‘Declare Your Independence Show’. Founder David however, wasn’t going to let Dug take all the limelight with a feature on the IRL Podcast which we expect to be published in February so keep an eye out for that one. We finished off this month with a live interactive developer session with Front-End double act Josh and Gabriel. Following an overview of the SAFE Browser, its recent updates and run through of the coolest features including the ability to toggle between mock and non-mock versions of the Network and the ability to access any data type through XOR-URLs. They also took questions from the community to help people who are currently building DApps on the SAFE Network. Some new faces have also graced the MaidSafe team and we are featuring them on the Medium publication this month with the introduction of the newest members of the Chennai team. Joining technical teams across the business these new starters, including three interns will no doubt be on the forum and you will hear much more from them soon.Here’s to an exciting 2019! SAFE Network Summary was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 02. 01

Chennai Welcomes More MaidS...

Join us in welcoming even more new starters, all based in the Chennai office. Each joins the MaidSafe team from a variety of backgrounds but is driven by the same purpose — to build the SAFE Network and give users back control of their data.Vigneshwara, Java DeveloperOne of my earliest memories of computers goes back to more than 15 years ago when I was in primary school. I knew I liked it the moment I knew I could play games on them.I started using the Internet through the good old Internet Explorer just to see if I could play more games online.For the seven year old me, there wasn’t much of a distinction between the Internet and Google. They both seemed the same to me. Until I was in my early teens when I understood for the first time what the Internet actually was. Only then did I discover the world of Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, etc.The Internet made my generation very different compared to previous ones. Friends were always a couple of clicks away and I preferred to stay home connected to the Internet as I grew older.As a kid, I would always envy those who had the latest software like Windows OS and would bug my dad to upgrade with futile results. But then, when I was in 9th grade did I come across something called Linux. I was amazed because they were just giving an OS away for free when people paid thousands of rupees for broken OS like Vista! However, I was not able to experiment and explore the digital world until I could afford to have a personal PC when I joined University.During my schooling, I was fortunate enough to pick Computer Science as an elective and it introduced me to the world of programming. I was able to program with just basic knowledge and I wasn’t required to take exams where I just had to barf stuff from textbooks (although this wasn’t the case with most of the other subjects courtesy of the Indian Education System).In University and for some time before that, I became increasingly aware of the problems plaguing the Internet and its users. It didn’t take me a lot of time to figure that the most important tool of the 21st Century, the Internet, was a product of the previous century. It was broken and couldn’t keep up with necessities of today.Today’s Internet has evolved so much that even its inventors couldn’t have fathomed what it is today. With millions more joining the digital world, this is not just a matter of improving on a luxury. We havea dire need to reconfigure the Internet, fundamentally alter the way it works and take away control from organizations who seek to control the Internet for their private gain.And what a better way to fix the broken Internet than to work for an organization like MaidSafe. Ever since I heard of it (fhanks to the HBO Silicon Valley series), I’m convinced that a new distributed decentralized internet is the way forward.And I truly consider it an honour and gift to be part of the Web 3.0 movement.Yogeshwar, Client Libs teamHi, it is an immense pleasure for me to be a part of one of the most ambitious projects of the Internet era. To say a few things about myself, I would consider myself to be an aspiring Data Scientist. I was introduced to this field during my freshman year. I soon discovered a profound passion towards this domain as it had suited my natural individualities of playfulness and exploring. After all, Data Science is all about fiddling around and finding hidden patterns inside data.At first, I started coding projects on my own and started participating in events around my academic studies. Soon enough, I found myself being useful to the industry. I started doing internships; firstly at the Institute of Technology Management & Research-HTC, Chennai. I led to a team of four at that timebuilding a Voice-Bot for Workflow Automation on Vehicle Loans.My second industry experience was at Nokia Solutions and Networks, Chennai. Yes! The Man, The Myth, The Legend kinda company we all were once a customer of. I was again in charge of leading the team to work on various projects for the organization — including Object Detection using Neural Nets, Environment Recognition and Danger Alarm Systems using Computer Vision.After successfully developing these projects, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Chennai, was my next stop whereI was Research Intern for six months, during which I had the chance to work on Fractal Analytics.And then came the enlightenment — MaidSafe.After a series of hackathons and interviews, I was delighted to be picked to join as a Front-end Developer. MaidSafe is the place where I came to really learn about the dark secrets and the cold wars that happen behind the scenes over the internet for control. I love being a rebel with a cause — and it’s a crucial cause:providing Privacy, Security and Freedom for everyone. So I just couldn’t control the excitement to begin development for the project that I believe will save the Internet. Cheers!:grin:Mohamed, UX/UI DesignerI was born and raised in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu, India. I’m currently in my final semester of College pursuing Computer Science degree from Anna University, Chennai, India. Right from my childhood, I have always liked perfection in everything. I like to look at the world from a different perspective and always wonder how nature seems flawless. Being an only child, drawing always helped me pass the time apart from studies. I started drawing many things in my own unique style which laid the foundation of my creative career. I love listening to classical music and play thepiano. Classical music has helped me to think deeply and differently.“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” — Steve JobsI’m really inspired by Steve Jobs. The way he saw things differently and his love of perfection has influenced me greatly. I started designing as a hobby in my college days. In my sophomore year, I made some friends in the senior year who were very good at coding. But amongst them was this one senior who was completely unique with his designing skills. That had a great impact on me and tempted me into giving design a try. Learning some of the basics from YouTube, I started designing simple illustrations within days. I learned many things about design before entering my Junior year.My friends started attempting “Coding Challenges” which inspired me to start “The Daily UI Challenge”. I designed illustrations, UI Screens, some small animations everyday and posted on social media to get some feedback. I received a lot of criticism initially but within months I got some real appreciation. I got many projects from my friends, relatives and even from my college. With this as my initiation, I started learning User Experience design and how important they are to any design.So, this led me to take up the interview for the position of designer at MaidSafe when they came recruiting to our college. When I landed the job I was thrilled because the ideas and goals of MaidSafe are unique and represent a way forward for the Internet. It seems like the fulfillment of a childhood dream. I have only been part of the team for a little while but even this short duration has taught me so much. I greatly look forward to more amazing things as part of this team.Chennai Welcomes More MaidSafers was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 01. 28

The Next Generation of Maid...

As we kick off 2019, we’ve been joined by a number of new staff and, as is the tradition around these parts, we’d like them to introduce themselves to the community. Today, we’re starting off with a few ‘hellos’ by three top-notch interns who’ve joined various teams and are all based in the Chennai office.Ruthra joins the UX/UI team to work alongside Shankar and Jim, Manuav joins the JavaScript team and Muralidharan joins Ashwin, Ravinder and Lionel in the C# team.MuralidharanHello everyone, Muralidharan here, writing my first ever blog — I’m really excited to be at Maidsafe! I hail from Tirunelveli which is a part of rural India located at the foothills of the Western Ghats, famous for its Halwa (popular Indian dessert) and waterfalls. It is popularly known as the Spa of South India. I have always been an inherently inquisitive person to know everything that I come across. During my school days, my dad would say “I know you possess great potential within you, then why aren’t you making use of it?”. His words have always motivated me to push myself to reach new heights. Since my childhood, I have been fascinated by two things; Neuroscience and Computer Science. And I’m glad I took the decision to pursue Computer Science as my college days have been instrumental in shaping my life. Very early on in college, I came to the realization that, I never achieved anything great by just going by the book. Ever since that epiphany, I have pushed myself to do more than just study and be a bookworm. I took every opportunity that came my way. This helped transform me from just being a bookworm to an all-rounder who is now a developer. I am a field hockey player and have represented my college in competitions which I consider one of my notable achievements. Being an NCC cadet provided me with numerous life experiences and adventure. One reason that has kept my love for learning Computer Science intact is the burning desire to be able to know what occurs when you type and press enter, you can pretty much tell what happens from the address bar all the way down to electrons. AND YOU LOVE IT. You feel like you own the whole stack and you understand computers like your friend from a mechanical background who understands internal combustion engines. Just like the curiosity that leads you to open the hood of a car and play around. I started exploring with the compiler when I got my 1st ever computer. When you learn something new, you want to open it up and see what makes it tick. You want to see how it relates to what you already know. You know you will be successful because you can have a FEEL for the whole system from the computer science perspective. When the opportunity to join Maidsafe came, I was really thrilled because of the fact that I get to be a part of something new and original. I feel inspired by the knowledge and expertise of team members who are from different parts of the world but working in unison to provide privacy, freedom, and security to everyone in today’s data-populated internet world. I believe that this community will provide me with a whole new experience helping me grow both professionally and personally. I am passionate about technology and looking forward to contributing to the SAFE Network project, in the coming days. Cheers!ManavHi everyone! I’m Manav Chhabria and I am the newest member of the JavaScript team here at MaidSafe. I study Computer Science Engineering at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering and pretty much spend the rest of my time gaming and writing code, with the occasional break to catch up on my favourite shows or a movie. I’m also a huge foodie and I like to cook, but I’d any day rather just binge on awesome food and kick back in front of my TV and watch a United match. I did go through a phase where I believed I was an awesome stand-up comedian but a few open mics cured me of my disillusionment. Thankfully, development saved me. I’ve always been intrigued by cryptography, networks, and Web development. My passion for figuring out the building blocks of our current network structure led me to do a network-based internship for a local firm in 2017 which was also where I became fascinated by how the team analyzed the needs of clients. When I got an opportunity to do one more internship, the most logical option was to intern with another Chennai-based company, this time a web development company called Smartapp. It was an amazing learning experience, but what I value most from my time there was that I learned how to structure code to better design end products. I’ve always enjoyed new tech and it constantly amazes me as to how it makes everyday life more convenient and productive. By my third year of college, I had absolutely no doubt that I had made the right choice to follow my passion for computer science. Yet I was looking out and seeking to learn more about new languages, frameworks and the Open Source Community which I feel strongly about because it makes source code accessible to anyone anywhere, which is how I believe how all projects should be.I knew instantly that I wanted to contribute in some way to Open source projects. At the time I was not sure which project to contribute to and I felt my skills were not suitable for most open source projects I came across. And I continued to look for a role that would not only inspire me but would also keep me on my toes and help me make a difference in a way I value. That is when I came across Maidsafe.The concept of a decentralized Internet is something that appeals to me especially and intrigues me. MaidSafe have always promised to give privacy, freedom, and security back to the people and I know how important this is in today’s world. And here was a company that was working towards making this a reality. Being a part of something new that inspires me has always motivated me to do my best. And here I was suddenly presented with the opportunity to work for my dream company. I’m very excited to be at Maidsafe as I share the same values as the company believes in providing Privacy, Security & Freedom.RuthraI am excited to be part of Maidsafe working with the UI/UX team, am looking forward to working with you all and fascinated to be a part of building the SAFE Network.I’m a student in my last semester of Computer Science Engineering and I’m really excited to start working even before completing my degree. During my school days I was interested in programming in C++ as it is the base for everything. This led me on to study Computer Science Engineering. In my college days I started developing my skills in programming, as well as in web development, developed few applications like Leave Management System(s?), Inventory Management system(s?) and attended workshops and presented a paper in Anna University.I also have some experience in developing websites in WordPress. By the end of third year, I undertook my first industrial experience with an internship at Zoho. Like many final year students, I had a thirst to get placed in a good company, and to fulfil that wish Maidsafe came to our college for campus recruitment, and I was offered an internship. And now am here.The Next Generation of MaidSafe Team Members was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 01. 18

How We Support Native Andro...

Photo by Edho Pratama on UnsplashLast week we announced support for SAFE development on the Android platform with the release of a new Java API, updated mobile SAFE Authenticator and an Android App tutorial. You’ll find more detailed information on the forum post here.Today we’re releasing a video run-through by one of the team, Lionel Faber, to give you a better feel for what you can do. Lionel was also interviewed on the most recent edition of the SAFE Crossroads Podcast. video shows how to build native Android applications for the SAFE Network using Java. You can do this by working locally initially on a ‘mock network’ in order to develop and test your new app. Once you’re happy, then it’s straightforward to migrate this to the live Alpha-2 Network.Self-authentication is a crucial part of the SAFE Network. It’s the way individuals connect to the Network without requiring the permission of any third party. This is where the updated mobile SAFE Authenticator comes in — because if you’re building a SAFE app (or decentralised application) you’re going to need a way for the user to authorise your DApp in the first place.There are two types of data on the SAFE Network — Immutable Data (where the data’s hash is used as its storage address) and Mutable Data (where data can be either public or private and also modified by an owner — which gives a user the ability to choose which DApps can access which data). In other words, the individual remains as always in control of his or her data. By running the tutorial, you’ll be able to see basic Mutable Data operations being carried out.The release also uses product flavours to switch between mock and non-mock versions of the Application. In addition it has been built to enable the DApp’s own container to be used (meaning that the DApp remembers where to find the encrypted, stored information about the data (Name, type-tag etc) each time it’s launched).It’s a big step forwards. This gives mobile Android Developers the tools to build the next generation of decentralised applications on the SAFE Network. That should appeal to anyone who’s focused on ensuring privacy, security and freedom for a global network of users. It’s an opportunity to build mobile applications whilst avoiding the pain of server setup and leaving behind the usual worries about securing users’ sensitive personal data yourself. And, once the Network’s currency is released, SAFE apps will provide a built-in revenue stream for developers, paid to them by the Network based on the popularity of their application.So if the thought of building decentralised applications on the world’s first autonomous, permissionless and censorship-resistant network is something you want to learn more about, hopefully you’ve got the detail to get started. But if you do have any questions, please jump into the Forum thread and the Community will be keen to give you a hand!How We Support Native Android Development on SAFE was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 01. 16

Building The SAFE Network i...

Photo by Stephen Leonardi on UnsplashAs we stand at the start of 2019, savouring the memories of another Hogmanay, we view the new year stretching out in front of us — and we can’t wait to get stuck into things!We’ve already pushed out our first significant release of the year providing support for developers to build native Android SAFE apps. But before diving headfirst into all of the hugely exciting things that 2019 promises, it’s a great time to reflect on what the last year delivered for the SAFE Network. As the MaidSafe team continues to grow and the releases continue to stack up on GitHub, it’s easy to lose track of just how much progress has been made, both by MaidSafe and the wider community.So if you’re new to the SAFE Network, first off — welcome! Hopefully this will give you a place to start from when taking a deeper look into the progress that has been made.The SAFE Network FundamentalsWe worked this year on distilling a number of essential truths about the SAFE Network into a list of twenty one Fundamentals. You can read these on the website but if you’re looking for a little more context about why each of these has consistently guided the design of the Network for the last twelve years or so, it’s worth checking out the post on the Forum that explains the context.PARSECUp there with the biggest news of the year was the release of the Protocol for Asynchronous Reliable Secure and Efficient Consensus (PARSEC). In May 2018, MaidSafe announced the release of PARSEC, a new completely decentralised, open source, highly asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus mechanism. In other words, it’s the method by which a global network can come to agreement on what happened, and when, without requiring any centralised authority.Much of the rest of the year for the Routing team has been focused on integrating this into the SAFE Network and we’re hoping that many other projects take up the tech and use it for their own purposes. You can read more about it in the White Paper, the release of the code, a number of podcasts, technical and not-so-technical videos, a TechCrunch article and many other places!CrustThere was plenty of excitement amongst the community when we released a couple of tests to see how our peer-to-peer networking library Crust (Connections in Rust) would fare in the wild. Between both the first Crust test and the second, we saw some fantastic results. So after involvement from 37 countries and over 20,000 attempted connections, with connections into and out of China also very strong (88% success rate overall), we’re happy to say that people are able to connect to each other directly! We also found some interesting evidence of issues out there that support our fundamental stance that all data on the new decentralised Internet needs to be encrypted.SAFE and SolidGreat progress was made in 2018 between Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s SOLID project and the SAFE Network. By building the framework to ensure that data is saved on the SAFE Network in a way that is compatible with Solid’s semantic web approach, we’re able to ensure that our shared visions of total user control of data and excision of the third party aggregators who currently control and use our data in ways that we don’t intend are able to fit snugly together.We released a Proof of Concept to highlight this in July 2018 called Patter. A Twitter-esque proof-of-concept, you can check out the details here (Josh’s blog post and this podcast). What’s more, the new SAFE Browser has support for RDF data structures!VideosWe released a range of video content this year — from explaining the difference between the SAFE Network and blockchain-based storage, to a couple of videos funded by the Community Engagement Programme (talking about the currency of the SAFE Network and the Proof Of Resource mechanism).CommunityThe Community really took strides forward this year with regular meetups in London, Chicago and Brighton. Community member @fergish continued to forge ahead with his SAFE Crossroads Podcast. And it was fantastic to see the SAFE Network Primer being produced in January by the community, giving newcomers a straightforward document to take a look through when they first explore the project.The team were also out and about talking at a variety of conferences events, including FOSDEM, MozFest, RustFest Paris, RustFest Rome and RustRush amongst others. And we held the first ever SAFE DevCon in April 2018. It was an amazing day with the entire MaidSafe team in attendance and a huge number of well-known community members meeting each other face-to-face for the first time ever. You can watch the videos from the day here — and news of SAFE DevCon 2019 will follow soon…New WebsitesThere are now three key websites: we released (for newcomers, privacy advocates, journalists), SAFE DevHub (for developers and more technical types) and then we’ve reduced the prominence of to reflect the primacy of the Network and community over MaidSafe as an organisation. That brings it more in line with the ethos of the project, whereby the Community run the forum and a number of the social channels such as Telegram and Reddit.Publicity and News StoriesIt was an exciting year for news stories. First, we were able to talk about the fact that David, Viv and Nick had been acting as advisors to HBO’s hugely popular ‘Silicon Valley’ show. And Hollywood continued to sniff around the Network with the appearance of the SAFE Network in unexpected places — not least ‘Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet’.All of this came on top of the fact that the world is increasingly looking into the decentralisation of the Internet to solve some existing problems. In a year of trials and tribulations for Facebook, Google and others, MaidSafe and the SAFE Network were profiled in a piece in The Guardian newspaper whilst we also sponsored the Decentralized Web Summit in San Francisco (somewhat ironically…) in 2018. We also introduced more ways than ever to follow the project — including the new Email Mailing List and watching MAID via various coin apps (Blockfolio, BitUniverse, Delta Direct, CoinGecko).MaidSafe Team GrowthThe MaidSafe team has continued to grow over the past twelve months, not least with the opening of a new office in Chennai, India. We’ve had 12 new starts around the world in the past year, a growth of 26% in the total headcount. Most have introduced themselves here in case you’d like to get to know the team a little better (you’ll find them on the safenetwork Medium publication).Community AppsWe saw some strong growth in app development from the community during 2018 — from the JAMS! music project, to SAFE Drive, Project Decorum, SAFE-CMS, SAFE-Search and SAFE CLI Boilerplate amongst many others. Particularly given the Android release this year, we’re looking forward to seeing this area really grow in the future.So: What’s Next?2018 saw huge steps forward for the SAFE Browser (including the most recent v0.11.0 release), Web Hosting Manager, the rebooting of the RFC process (such as suggestions for XOR URL’s on the Network) and far too many other areas to mention.And 2019 is shaping up to provide even more excitement.We’re moving on towards the release of SAFE Fleming: that means PARSEC fully integrated into the Routing layer, with Dynamic Membership, malice detection, our sharding solution (Disjoint Sections) and Secure Message Relay all working as we enable everything to run decentralised routing nodes from home. Work will continue on embedding RDF support within SAFE whilst we start to really focus on bringing UX principles into a more foundational level within the software — together with a whole raft of other new and exciting improvements!In the meantime, we’ll continue to be out there, spreading the word and working to collaborate with anyone who’s interested and shares our vision of a fully-decentralised Internet with security, privacy and freedom for all.So whether you’ve been involved in running tests, submitting code, finding bugs, chatting on the forum, running meetups, giving talks, sharing the progress of the SAFE Network across social media, we’d just like to say thanks for all your support in 2018.Roll on 2019!Building The SAFE Network in 2018 was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 01. 10

The SAFE Network Goes Mobile!

Today, we’ve got some good news to kick off 2019. We’re pleased to announce that we’re releasing support for building on the SAFE Network for Android mobile developers!Photo by Greg Rakozy on UnsplashSummaryWant to develop mobile DApp’s (Decentralised Applications) for a truly decentralised internet that will ensure that every user has complete control and security over his or her data? Now you can.What are we releasing?Self-authentication is a fundamental part of the SAFE Network. It means that anyone can join the Network at any time. But, just as importantly, it also means that no-one can be prevented from joining. Creating an account, authenticating yourself and authorising applications so that they can only use your data when you allow them to do so — this is all dealt with by the Network autonomously. There are no third parties involved.Until today, users on the current Alpha 2 version of the SAFE Network were required to use the SAFE Browser to access the Network using their desktop. This is because access came courtesy of the SAFE Authenticator (which is currently part of the SAFE Browser).But from today, users can also access the Network using Android (7.0 Nougat, API 24). Initially, we’re putting out a proof-of-concept that can be found on GitHub. But in the very near future, you’ll be able to download the Android Authenticator App from the Google Play Store for your mobile.And just as exciting is the news that we’re also releasing a new Java API. Why exciting? Because for the first time ever, developers can build Android applications natively on the SAFE Network. Or to put it simply, a developer isn’t just restricted to thinking, “I’d love to create a decentralised [insert app of choice] on the SAFE Network”. Because from today, she actually has the tools to start.Of course, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Work continues to steam ahead towards the full release of the SAFE Network. The next major roll-out (the SAFE Fleming Release) is just around the corner. But from today, we’ve opened up the doors to mobile developers to start experimenting, investigating and preparing the groundwork to be ready for launch. By opening up another world of possibilities for the developers out there who share our views about the type of Internet that civilisation needs in order to grow into the future.Check out the DetailsNeed more details? The best place to head is to the SAFE Network DevHub where you’ll find all of the documentation you need, including the Java API documentation. And if you feel that it’s time to get involved? Give us a shout either here or on the Safe Network Forum and either the SAFE Community or the MaidSafe team will be more than happy to lend a hand.The SAFE Network Goes Mobile! was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


19. 01. 09

Keeping 2018 SAFE and Solid

Keeping 2018 SAFE and SOLIDPhoto by Sai Kiran Anagani on UnsplashYou may have noticed a recurring theme across the SAFE ecosystem and beyond this year. The conversation around the ownership of data is picking up pace. Perhaps you were at (or watched) SAFE DevCon 2018. Or perhaps you’ve stumbled across a podcast discussing words such as RDF and Socially Linked Data.The word ‘Solid’ is appearing more frequently in conversations — but why? And what does it mean for the SAFE Network?SAFE of course is about three things:-Security: no-one can access your data without your permission.Privacy: data is only shared with those you choose (if and when you want to share it)Freedom: of association, contribution, collaboration (amongst many other rights).SOLID (short for ‘Social Linked Data’), on the other hand, is a project that was started by Sir Tim Berners-Lee that defines a set of standards for the representation of data which ensures that ownership remains with you as an individual.As you can see, when it comes to the vision, there are more than a few similarities between the 5-year old Solid and 12-year old SAFE projects.Over the Summer the team were out in San Francisco at the Decentralized Web Summit 2018 and gave an overview of the work that had been carried out to date in combining the principles of SAFE with the conventions of Solid before such internet luminaries as Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Brewster Kahle. And it’s now worth taking stock of the progress that we’ve made to date.SOLID is driven by the desire to ensure that everyone gets back control of their own personal data from centralised platforms. So a SOLID web application simply becomes a way of displaying data from many different sources that you choose — without you losing ownership of your data. In other words, SOLID wants you to choose exactly where to store the data that you produce and then use URL’s (Uniform Resource Locators) to access that data moving forwards in a way that gives you control.The concept is brilliant. But this brave new world envisaged by the Solid community doesn’t yet tackle one of the crucial problems out there — how to secure the data itself (regardless of where you have chosen to store it).And that is exactly where SAFE comes in.Because by using the SAFE Network to store your data, it now lives on a server-less, trustless autonomous network. No trust is necessary as the encryption key for a user’s data never leaves the user’s computer and no identifiable information is shared with any other peers. So by building these types of concepts into SAFE, developing applications becomes much easier — because all concepts of authentication, authorisation and data security are already taken care of by the Network itself.In other words, it’s a future that delivers on the goals of both projects. But how will it work?We started by focusing on two key objectives: data on SAFE had to be portable (so users could switch applications at will) and for that data to be self-descriptive (to enable users to define how their data could be searchable on the Network in ways that would bring them the greatest benefit).For this reason, we adopted the RDF (Resource Description Framework) standard used by Solid. Having a standard way to store data on SAFE is crucial for scaling the project. And it also enabled us to build some utilities that would help developers in the future.For example, WebID’s were introduced. These are simply a way of having an identity on the Network that you can share with other people using a URL. The data that is produced is stored on SAFE in the RDF format. You can see this in the WebID Profile Manager that we built (where you create your own profile with a human-readable URL) and also in the WebID Switcher (which enables users to choose any of his or her WebID’s to access any particular application on the Network). And if you want to try that out today you can — just take a look at Patter, our proof-of-concept Twitter-style clone.What’s more, by publishing WebID’s on the SAFE Network, it solves the well-known problem faced by anyone who’s ever suffered as a result of malicious actors exploiting the current weaknesses of the current DNS system. For example, all it takes today is for an ISP or DNS server to be attacked for you to be redirected to a malicious server. What’s more, no-one has full ownership of their domain name on the Clearnet — you simply have a registered right to use it which can be removed at any instant. Relying on SAFE removes this vulnerability.So how is this relevant today?This week we released an update to the SAFE Browser. Get involved and download the new (v.0.11) release today. It contains plenty of functionality to ensure that the symbiosis between the two projects gets closer. There will be far more to come but at this stage, we’re just glad to see more people are getting excited by the thought of improving the future that we all want to live in.If you are new to the SAFE project, you’ll be able to get an invite to take part by signing up and spending around an hour reading the Forum []. And if you feel that this is a world that you want to be part of, please come join us. Take control of your data — and secure it with the SAFE Network.Keeping 2018 SAFE and Solid was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


18. 12. 19

New team mate at MaidSafe, ...

Hello! everyone this is Vinitha Vasanthkumar and I have joined the Chennai MaidSafe office as an Assistant Manager. I am from Chennai, India and have spent most part of my childhood in the middle east, Oman. I speak English and 4 native Indian language Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Tulu and have elementary level proficiency in French and Arabic. Being exposed to diverse cultures and communities early on makes me an inclusive and adaptive person. I trust that people and places bring out the best in me. So, I began working on the art of driving team collaboration and facilitation. What keeps me going is bringing positive transformations to people and organizations that I connect with. An emphatic spirit that believes in the power of humanizing business to solve problems better. On a personal note- I am naturally inclined towards spirituality and have been practicing yoga and meditation for over a year now. I hold 5+ years of professional experience, 4 in Business Analysis-Digital Transformation and 1 in Agile Project Management. Taking you through my journey, right from the graduation days until now:I did my under graduation in BSC. Information Systems Management from SRM University, Chennai. The course helped lay a foundation in concepts of system engineering and management that culminated in my 1st job with cognizant as a Programmer Trainee. I worked on support and enhancements for an HR Payroll App that dealt with the payment processing for Cognizant. I dabbled with coding using C# and.ASP Dot net technologies, interacted with business owners and project stakeholders as a part of requirements discussion and project status update meetings. It all came to me then that I had a natural flair in understanding the need of the business, to come up with solutions through collaboration with a wide array of people. To further direct my career, I did my MBA in affiliation with Bharathiar University — specializing in marketing and Information Systems Management. As luck may have it, I landed a job with a start-up called Enterprise Touch in Chennai as a Business analyst for mobility and web app projects for government organizations in Qatar. The fast-paced environment of a start-up is such that before I could even realize, I was handling requirements for multiple accounts — ensuring that the design, development, testing activities were aligned with the requirements also facilitated UAT activities with the customer. I have designed processes and documentation practices based on project and customer requirements. Gained exposure and understanding of technologies/platforms like Kony, OutSystem, and ORACLE APPS. My work involved being constantly engaged with clients to forge better relationships, manage expectations, which resulted in clients signing us on for more projects. Mid of last year, when the organization had to respond to the order of the day with adaptive planning methodologies. The head of delivery decided to set up an Agile practice and I was identified as one of the agile champions endowed with the responsibility to drive adoption of scrum within project teams and clients. I took up a CSM Workshop and certification with scrum alliance to support this initiative. Simultaneously, worked on a mobility project for a telecom company as a project manager/scrum master. I performed the functions of planning and executing within a time-box and budget, managing resources, highlighting project risks and dependencies to a customer, facilitating project meetings and managing releases.Most recently associated with L&T Infotech managing the BA & project coordination activities for the OTIS Mobility account before MaidSafe happened. I stumbled upon MaidSafe through an HR Consultant who asked me to try out for an opening with the Chennai office. Over the next few days, I started reading up about MaidSafe. The sheer novelty of an autonomous, distributed and democratic internet with the highest levels of security, protection of privacy struck a chord with me. I see immense potential for learning with this venture.In the coming days, I aspire to contribute to MaidSafe with adaptive project management, championing continuous improvement through process initiatives, driving collaboration between teams & communities. I am delighted and thankful for this opportunity.New team mate at MaidSafe, Chennai: Vinitha was originally published in safenetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


18. 11. 16

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