Have you ever wondered how the internet actually works? What does a web address signify? Today's internet utilizes HTTP architecture to connect users to websites, recognizable as the http:// heading on every web address. HTTP is a request-response protocol in which a web browser (think Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer) submits a request to the server hosting the website related to the web address submitted. The server then responds with the necessary data to fulfill the request and display the site. HTTP utilizes intermediary network elements to improve response times and fulfill requests during periods of high network volume. Depending on a user's geographic location relative to the hosting server, this request-response connection may be direct, or may involve many servers routing information along the chain.
This client-server approach utilized by the HTTP protocol results in slow downloads, the potential for lost or interrupted connections, and censorship by governments and other network administrators. Computer science entrepreneurs have taken note of these inefficiencies and developed the SAFE network, a decentralized overlay of the Internet based on cryptographically secure consensus among groups of peers. The result is a completely distributed system of authentication and secure storage of data, without any servers, that accomplishes what hitherto had been done only by blockchain technology: secure, global, peer-to-peer consensus.
The SAFE network replaces the idea of a single connection chain between requester and server with a web of simultaneous connections between SAFEnet users. This is accomplished by allowing requesters to also act as network servers. Any SAFEnet user can designate extra storage space to the SAFE network and store encrypted caches of network data on their hard drive. This encrypted data is parsed between multiple locations and can't be accessed directly by individual users. A complex algorithm allocates this web data to the optimal locations and redundantly stores copies across the global network. Since multiple copies of all data exist across the SAFE network, there is zero possibility of downtime or lost/interrupted connections. In addition, accessing sites via a web of simultaneous connections vastly improves download times. The SAFE network is completely free from censorship, empowering users to freely share and access information regardless of citizenship.
Beyond vastly improving user experience, the Internet reimagined via the SAFE network will decentralize the web hosting industry. Every-day users will be able to turn extra hardware space into additional income. If a user volunteers storage space to the SAFE network (acting as a server) they are compensated with a small of amount of the network's native crypto-currency (SAFEcoin) every time a request is fulfilled utilizing data stored on their hard drive. In the same fashion, users who host data on the SAFE network pay a fee in SAFEcoin each time their site is accessed.
The SAFE network is currently under-going extensive community testing. Updates can be found on the SAFE network forum (https://forum.safenetwork.io). A limited quantity of the network's native crypto-currency, SAFEcoin, was offered via a pre-sale to fund network development and is trading on crypto-currency exchanges under the ticker MAID.
Tyler Logsdon is a CPA and Registered Securities Representative located in Newport Beach, California. He is actively employed in the blockchain industry.
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