We all use the Internet, and it would be hard to find a bigger, globally accepted and revolutionary invention that has come along within the last generation. The Internet is so important that many of the world’s largest companies are in fact Internet companies like Google and Facebook that maintain a database of user information that runs into the billions. This honeypot of personal data for every person in the world on a central server somewhere is the safest way to use this intercontinental system in the age of hackers, mass surveillance, and cyber criminals. Maid safe is looking to change all of that and is on the cusp of releasing their MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, for a fully-decentralized Internet protocol which has been exactly ten years in the making.
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At the Free State Project conference in New Hampshire, Monday, Maidsafe was among the first presenters to speak at the annual privacy-seekers gathering. According to MaidSafe’s Paige Peterson’s presentation, the release of their primary Internet product should arrive by next month, after completion of final testing.
“We are very close to delivering the MVP and depending on which core developer you speak to, this can be measured in either days or weeks,” according to the company’s most recent blog post. “What will the MVP look like and what will you be able to do with it?. The MVP will enable users to install the software and connect to the network from their computer, store and retrieve files, browse sites hosted on the SAFE Network and message other users. Subsequent development sprints will see the addition of other extremely important features, such as Safecoin.
Nick Lambert, COO of Maidsafe, filled me in on what this revolutionary decentralized Internet model looks like, from the inside-out, and how it works.
Nick, what was the genesis of this idea for MaidSafe? What got you started on this path many years ago? It seems you are almost a decade ahead of everyone else when it comes to this problem. At least, you knew there was a problem with “The Internet”. How?
“The idea for MaidSafe came from our founder David Irvine. Many of the problems within network infrastructure were caused by the servers themselves. This led him to start to think about removing servers from the management of data, and the formation of MaidSafe in February of 2006, incorporating the development of a new, server-less network design.”
“The altcoin known as Safecoin (Safe is an acronym for Safe Access for Everyone) will be required to use services (such as storage space, VOIP calls, social networks where the user controls their own data…etc…) on the network.”
So to be clear, what your company proposes is an all-new an “Internet 2.0 – Encrypted Edition”, if you will, correct?
“What MaidSafe will be doing with the SAFE (Secure Access For Everyone) Project is designed to effectively reimplement all web services. The SAFE network uses the existing Internet infrastructure (cables and routers) but removes servers and data centers onto a new decentralized network. This is comprised of the spare computing resources of all its users. This is a network for the people, by the people.”
“This new network will facilitate all the services that exist on the current Internet and facilitate products like decentralized storage products (like Dropbox). Also decentralized exchanges where peers can trade currencies directly with each other. VOIP (Skype) that enable encrypted voice, video, email, and text messaging services.”
How is the system secure? Can’t a government or third party just shut you or the system down?
“All our code is open-sourced, so if any person, group or company doesn’t like what we are doing with the network they can fork it and do it better. The decentralized nature of the network means that after it is launched it cannot be turned off, and if anything were to happen to MaidSafe the company, the network would live on.”
“MaidSafe has also set up some developer pods. This is with a view to ensuring that the knowledge of the underlying code base (and the ability to maintain the network) exists [without] the company, removing MaidSafe as a central point of weakness.”