Maidsafe is the company behind project SAFE. Project SAFE (Secure Access For Everyone) aims to replace the current centralised and controlled Internet infrastructure into a fully decentralised and trustless network. Throughout development the projects vision has been Privacy, Security and Freedom for all the world's population. It is believed that these goals can be instrumental in providing an Internet that is more inclusive and controlled by no individuals or companies.
The SAFE project started in 2006 and is an Open Source piece of software that enables a decentralized Internet platform, called the SAFE Network. MaidSafe autonomously handles static and dynamic data including communications. Data stored on the network is either encrypted and/or cryptographically signed by SAFE connected applications (clients). In either case, the network itself cannot decrypt any of the data. The SAFE network also distributes all data without the need for centralized servers. The idea was originally conceived by David Irvine who leads a small team building the base layer services. The system source code is open source and hosted on GitHub.
Safecoin is the currency of the SAFE network and a mechanism to incentivise and reward end users and developers as well as provide access to network services. Safecoin can only reside within the SAFE network (safecoin can be copied as it is data, but off-network copies are of no value as a coin) and will be stored in a users wallet and used in exchange for network services; such as increased storage space and access to network applications. There is no set distribution time for safecoins. Unlike many currencies, the distribution of safecoin is backed by information and the amount of coins generated by the SAFE network is directly related to the amount of resource provided to it.
The network can confirm and exchange coin ownership via a digitally signed authority from the coins last owner. This operation is ‘network atomic’, meaning that the network will make sure all copies update to show the transaction. This is a different approach to the ‘blockchain’ mechanism employed by bitcoin.
The SAFE network allows many millions of transactions per second and the larger the network the more transactions per second can be executed. Safecoin also only retains the previous and current owner. It does this to make sure the current owner has signed authority from the last owner to take ownership. This allows coins to be transferred between people very efficiently. Safecoins use a proof of resource algorithm to create coins and this is a system that is waste free, so the proof is that a node or application is providing immediate value to society. This can be considered proof of validated resource provision.
Until the network is live, users can purchase and trade MaidSafeCoin which is a standard blockchain based cryptocurrency available on many exchanges. This is a proxy coin which will be able to be exchanged one-for-one with SafeCoin when the network goes live.