FinTech Horizons

Ben Koconis is Editor and co-founder at Fintech Horizons Media. He is a veteran financial journalist and an avid runner, having recently completed his eighth marathon. .

MaidSafe, a Scotland-based company working towards a safer, decentralized Internet, is pushing forward towards Alpha 3, following the company’s release of PARSEC, its Protocol for Asynchronous, Reliable, Secure and Efficient Consensus, MaidSafe’s Dug Campbell told Fintech Horizons.

The company’s decentralized network, known as SAFE network, has been under development for 12 years and is now in Alpha 2, a development stage where users can download its browser, create an account, and use apps and games, Campbell said. 

MaidSafe is working towards a free network that would provide an alternative to today’s Internet, because of its greater security and privacy, and because the network allows users to control how personal information is used, he said.

The company is now in the process of “coding up” Alpha 3, he explained. 

The push towards the next phase of its SAFE network, comes amidst the company’s release on May 24 of PARSEC - a protocol which "solves a well-known problem in decentralised, distributed computer networks," according to the company. Campbell said PARSEC is generating buzz because of its importance to projects in the decentralized space. According to MaidSafe, PARSEC solves how “individual computers (nodes) in a system reliably communicate truths (in other words, events that have taken place on the network) to each other where a proportion of the nodes are malicious (Byzantine) and looking to disrupt the system.” 

When asked about commercial opportunities, Campbell said MaidSafe could offer its development and technology expertise to larger corporations interested in creating secure networks in-house. Still its focus remains on building SAFE network, he said. 

In March, MaidSafe announced a partnership with California based Identillect, a licensing agreement that lets Indentillect distribute an enterprise version of MadeSafe’s decentralized network to clients seeking added security, according to MaidSafe.

Campbell said he could not say when SAFE network would be completed, but noted that the firm, which nearly doubled the size of its staff over the past 6 months, is well capitalized for the immediate future. When asked if the company would raise additional capital or could be an acquisition target, Campbell opined that while he could not speak definitively for the firm’s board of directors, another capital raise was unlikely, and an acquisition of the company was probably not an option.

MaidSafe's market cap is $157,738,953, according to CoinMarketCap. In April 2014, MaidSafe completed a crowdfunding and has since raised additional capital through BnkToTheFuture, said Campbell.

Campbell has been active in Scotland's cryptocurrency community since 2012 and met MaidSafe's founder David Irvine at a 2014 meetup, he said. While spending the bulk of his time immersed in technology, Campbell still enjoys an occasional run through Scotland’s hills, he said.