BitTorrent founder working on new “storage” cryptocurrency

In a recent interview (available here), BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen talked about his new project – a Proof of Capacity-based cryptocurrency that will (to an extent) be a SAFEnet competitor.

For now not much is known about the new currency except that it will use a Proof of Capacity approach combined with timestamping, which is different from the SAFE network which uses a similar but different scheme (which I call Proof of Ridiculousness) but has no concept of time.

Cohen said nothing about the privacy features so maybe that’s not going to be one of top objectives of his project. Whether that’s good or bad (for him and the project) remains to be seen, but at the moment I wouldn’t consider it a shortcoming because in reality (and especially in the current altcoin craze) it’s more important to have a ton of users (and speculators) sooner than James Bond privacy later. Despite all the talk about how users want privacy, most of them don’t care (example: a completely non-anonymous and largely illegal BitTorrent has more users than all cryptocurrencies combined).

Cohen said in coming months he is going to devote himself full-time to work on this cryptocurrency. With a bit of effort you can find (I can’t seem to find it right now) a PDF copy of his recent presentation and a recording of him delivering it. If I remember correctly the architecture is not complete yet – it seemed he was happy with about 80% of it so some of it may be subject to changes and improvements.

Considering his (and MaidSafe’s) track record I wouldn’t be surprised if his testnet became available before MaidSafe’s (which is still in alpha!).

You really have to see it to believe it: here’s a screenshot of their current roadmap page (accessed May 1, 2017). Test 15 from Alpha 1 failed miserably and they still need to do a bunch of tests in Alpha 2, then Alpha 3 (circled in red), then move through Beta – if they don’t run out of funding or get sued before that – before there’s something to use. (If you’re curious about their previous plans those can be found at Coming soon: Safecoin & Jesus). Oh, and did you notice there is no schedule whatsoever?

SAFE Network Roadmap (April 2017)
SAFE Network Roadmap (April 2017)

So how likely is it that SafeNet will come out before Cohen’s cryptocurrency? Very unlikely, I would say. Not only because they’re slow, but because Safecoin (the currency) is extremely unlikely to work.

Incredibly, despite all the delays, irregularities, betrayed promises and general incompetence, MAID is now worth well over $100 million. I really wish there was a cheap and safe way to place long term bets against this disaster of a project.

I’ll update the page with other notable projects in this space once Bram creates a Web site for his new project.