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btw apparently maidsafe also patented some things.  Not a fan of
patents really (bit of an understatement - IMO they should be banned).
Maidsafe took some flak for it and tried to claim they were defensive
patents.  I think the misunderstanding is that when startups fail,
patents get sold to the highest bidder.  Ie the entrepreneur who
thinks its a useful thing to do creates 30 years of headache for an
ecosystem from his 2 year time-horizon thinking.  We've even seen it
before in ecash specifically with the digicash patents that were sold
at bankruptcy to infospace and so there was a period where no one
could use basic blind sigs and various work arounds were tried
(blinding agnostic server, Wagner's blind MAC/ZKP/Lucre,
server-privacy/systemix/ricardian server).  That sucked.

I am not sure about Maidsafe.  But there are a lot of scams in
alt-coin space.  Its very easy to take investors money and then fail
to deliver.  The investors are non-qualified investors, so the
legality is also questionable.  But even on an ethical basis, the
investors are not having legal or professional review of the
prospectus, and the "investment contract" is typically ridiculous such
that a professional would ROFL about the proposal.  You own nothing.
Its a pattern repeated a few times in alt-coin space.

The other fallacy in my view is that this is somehow plausible that a
service (aka app-coin) with value could defend a floating valued
alt-coin.  Lets say maidsafe as an example - so far I guess its
vaporware, or under research & development vs zooko's LAFS for example
which has been running and incrementally improving for years.  But
lets say they manage to develop something useful with usable
functionality and reliability etc which is no small task, lets say
they get workably close to matching LAFS functionality after spending
the $10m or whatever they raised.  Now why would people use it over
LAFS which is free?

If maidsafe offered better functionality than LAFS (seems doubtful but
hypothetically) its FOSS software.  Why would someone not fork it and
remove the maidsafe token.  The resources that provide the service are
after all not provided by maidsafe nor the holders of the maidsafe
coins - so why would users and peers in the network choose to support
the enrichment of maidsafe the company nor the naive people who put
money into the "investment".  You often hear people talking about
these schemes as "donations" and thats probably closer to the truth -
if you think the tech is interesting and you donate some money to it
to see it get built, without expectations of getting your money back,
you're going to get less of an unpleasant surprise when it fails to
materialise or it simply gets forked if it even works.

I can see that Zooko for example might look at this and go huh? WTF?
He implemented LAFS with various modest funding models and has a
working system - and yet some folks with hand wavy ideas that may or
may not be mathematically possible even jump into the tech space paint
an exciting hypothetical system picture and grab $10m+ of
non-qualified investor money with an "investment contract" that says
the investor owns nothing (other than sort of undefined value service
tokens, that are not backed by control or ownership of the resources
that might operate the to-be-implemented service).

If nothing else these token sale contracts are fraught with moral
hazard.  Investment contracts are structured the way they are by
mutual negotiation between investor and startup for reasons of
interest alignment and incentive.  Those structures were arrived at
via 100+ years of experience of what works and what doesnt, and prior
generations investment scams and bubbles.  It seems like a bit of a
rerun of some early last century investment scams that motivated the
regulations we currently have to protect investors from scammers.

(Someone did ask, thats my opinion anyway:)


On 25 March 2015 at 04:14, Steven Schear <[email protected]> wrote:
> MaidSafe (MS) is an inadvertent (apparently due to a lack of historical
> information) attempt to realize the experiment Jim McCoy, Bram Cohen, Zooko
> O'Hearn and I set out to perform with Mojo Nation. They are doing this with
> the advantage of the experience of bitcoin. MN was sort of Freenet + digital
> currency. Unlike the file sharing systems that came before Freenet is
> publication-based. Both file sharing (FS) and publication content
> distribution approaches have their pros and cons.
> FS is simpler but offers little or no plausible deniability about the
> sharing activities. Publication offers much better deniabilty but more
> complex and requires more resource commitments on the part of its users.
> Both suffer from limitations based on popularity. MN tried to find a sweet
> spot by adding a resource-based currency to solve the persistence problem by
> paying user clients to offer storage and communication bandwidth.
> Unfortunately, MN never really got off the ground, due to a lack of funding,
> but it got far enough to encourage Bram to create BitTorrent and Zooko to
> create Tahoe LAFS. I tried to get Bram (and some others through client
> add-ons) to include some sort of digital currency to BT but it never
> happened.
> McCoy patented MN's content distribution systems with resource-based
> currency around 2001/2. Not sure if the patent is still in force, if Jim is
> even aware of MS or if he's even care if MS appears to be using MN's
> approach.
> Steve