One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the MaidSafe community’s ridiculous proclamations of Safecoin’s superiority over bitcoin which can be roughly classified in two groups:
- Safecoin is better for the environment because it does away with the wasteful Proof of Work
- Safecoin is untraceable, trustless and anonymous
I wrote about the former on several occasions so in this post I’ll focus on the latter.
Bitcoin has had semi-decent anonymity and untraceability for a while, but it hasn’t been convenient.
Enter TumbleBit. TumbleBit takes care of most weaknesses that existing bitcoin mixing / tumbling schemes have and at the same time delivers 95% (figuratively speaking) of anonymity and untraceability features we need. All that goodness comes without centralization by an unproven (or worse) entity such as MaidSafe (the company).
I won’t pretend I can offer unique insights on TumbleBit, but I will suggest that you read the Understanding TumbleBit blog post series to better understand why this breakthrough removes the last reason to consider Safecoin as a possible alternative to bitcoin.
TumbleBit is currently neither mature nor stable, but it can work today and is probably just 3-4 months before it becomes available to bitcoin users and usable directly from popular bitcoin wallets.
Safecoin is at least two quarters away and it’s supposed to live on an unusable, isolated platform (the SAFE Network) that can’t connect with the Internet. If you want a private but useless coin you can buy ZEC today (or better tomorrow, because you’re likely to get a better deal).
In other news
Storj released their latest whitepaper (https://storj.io/storj.pdf).
- Merkle proofs of storage resource
- Micropayment channels (with per-audit cost as low as $0.000001)
- Variety of storage contracts with specific capacity and bandwidth parameters
In the section that deals with possible attacks there’s no known solution to some of them, so we’ll have see if they can deliver.
But if you compare Storj with the SAFE Network you should probably agree it’s more likely to make it to v1.0: unlike MaidSafe, they don’t have to reinvent the wheel and because of the wonderful Formula 1 wheels that Bitcoin acquired in 2016 (SegWit and TumbleBit) now it’s more difficult to screw up. (The same applies to Kim Dotcom’s project and other bitcoin-centric projects.)
Comparatively, MaidSafe has a ton of problems to solve. For example, because there’s no transaction fee, they need to find a way to prevent malicious users from endlessly sending Safecoin tokens among their own wallet addresses to bring the network down.
In my estimate MaidSafe is at least two-three quarters (if not more) behind Storj. Ironically and tellingly (search the MaidSafe community forum to find more about this) when Storj, OpenBazaar and other projects asked MaidSafe to use a more permissive Open Source license such as the MIT License, MaidSafe declined.
Storj is making slow but consistent progress, OB1 recently got another investment from actual private investors, while MaidSafe is stumbling from one disaster to another.