What is an autonomous network?

An Autonomous Network is one which has no human gatekeepers. Anyone is able to join and—crucially—no-one can be prevented from taking part.

It is a network that can act both as a global market for computer capacity, but also turn that capacity into usable capability that's native to the Internet itself, not just a pointer to existing cloud services. An Autonomous network is a self-healing, course-correcting system; a huge resource layer that anyone can utilise with no permission required.

Why do we need an autonomous network?

An autonomous network is one that manages all of our data and communications without any human intervention and no intermediaries. It is a network that configures itself. Resources are not added by a centralised IT administrator—reducing the opportunity for malicious or negligent activities. The Network becomes permissionless—participation is open to all who seek it, removing the risks of monopolisation by single entities whose power can grow unchecked.

Many data breaches are caused by human error. But the issue is more fundamental. We are becoming increasingly reliant on systems in which our data is stored by others. As more of our personal data is in the hands of third parties, the risks of failure grow higher by the day. We already see our data being used for purposes that we dislike today. How likely is it that your access will be revoked entirely? That you will no longer control that stream of data about your life? In some countries, that is already a reality.

We can improve physical security. We must ensure that data cannot be deleted, changed, corrupted or accessed without the data owner’s consent. And only by removing humans from the management of our data can physical security be provided. You must have storage locations that are unknown to anyone but the network and one in which the user cannot be identified. Only an autonomous network provides this level of security.

An autonomous network automatically splits and encrypts (using self-encryption) all data before storing this dynamically at locations that it selects. Nodes join anonymously and the Network will constantly move these nodes between groups—again without any human intervention or centralised record. Together each group of nodes takes decisions based on the messages that they receive.

An autonomous network is also able to create additional copies of popular data which means that requests are served more quickly. At the same time, the Network itself can identify duplicate copies of identical data and reduce these to a minimum.

Our design approach is influenced by the humble ant. Ant colonies exhibit complex and highly organised behaviour on a massive scale without reliance on a central authority. Instead, each ant fulfils different duties based on the needs of the colony. In a similar way, nodes on Autonomi perform different functions based on the types of messages that they need.

So why do we need an autonomous network? Because humans make mistakes, centralised storage facilities are prone to failure—and we collectively need to build a platform upon which mankind can collaborate as we move into the future.

Who owns Autonomi

Autonomi is open source. Our vision is to create a resource that can be used by everyone to spread all human knowledge and to facilitate sharing across the planet, regardless of country of residence, culture, or economic background.

Does Autonomi use a blockchain?

No. While it does use a form of decentralized ledger technology, it doesn't use a blockchain. It's designed from the ground up for data at a global scale, and so avoids some of the limitations, scaling issues, and bottlenecks that a blockchain can introduce.

Can I buy Autonomi Tokens?

Autonomi tokens themselves won’t be issued until the Network goes live so they cannot be purchased at the moment. Currently you can buy MaidSafeCoin (EMAID) which will be swapped on a 1-to-1 basis for Autonomi's native token, after the Network is launched. EMAID can be purchased from Bitmart or Uniswap.

What is MaidSafeCoin?

MaidSafeCoin is a proxy token that supports the development of Autonomi and allows pre-purchase of its native currency.

After the Network is launched, MaidSafeCoins can be swapped 1-for-1 with the new, native tokens.

MaidSafeCoin was originally launched on the Omni protocol (MAID) but is now available as an ERC20 token: EMAID. You buy it from Bitmart and on UniSwap V3.

Who are MaidSafe?

Started in 2006 by Scottish engineer David Irvine, MaidSafe are the core developers of Autonomi. It’s a small team comprised of thinkers, inventors, tinkerers, PhDs, engineers and designers.

Although based in Scotland, we work remotely with talents from many different cultures and countries, reflecting the users that we serve. Despite this variety, we all share a single mission: providing security and privacy for everyone. Incidentally, MaidSafe stands for Massive Array of Internet Disks, Secure Access For Everyone.

What is the SAFE Network?

The SAFE Network is the former name for Autonomi. It stands for Secure Access for Everyone.

Why does the Network need a currency?

Having a native currency to the network—a utility token that can be spent on Network services, and transferred between users—and allows for those contributing resources to be automatically rewarded by the Network itself, rather than waiting for handouts, or relying solely on voluntary contributions.

So not only does the currency power Autonomi's incentive mechanisms—acting as the oil of its economy—it offers a platform for a new generation of digital commerce and services. It also offers new avenues for sustainable (and open) development of vital software and services, and an opportunity to rebuild the web on top of something other than advertising and surveillance-based business models.

What are Network Royalties?

Network Royalties are a way to sustainably and meaningfully fund contributions to the Network other than hardware and computer resources. Things such as software development, services, and data which provide value to people that use the Network, benefit wider society, and meet the objectives of the project.

Each time a data payment is made as files are uploaded or edited, 85% of that fee goes to nodes supplying the storage, but the remaining 15% is remitted as Network Royalties.

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