MaidSafe CEO David Irvine Talks About Ants, Neurons and Decentralization

David Irvine describes how ants, neurons and nature lead the structure of MaidSafe’s decentralized information platform.

Photo: CoinDesk/Flickr

Photo: CoinDesk/Flickr

MaidSafe, created by David Irvine, offers a decentralized data network on which decentralized applications can be built.

Launched in Scotland 8 years ago, platform held a crowd sale of currency-like tokens called ‘safecoins’ to support its enabling software

And to raise funding in April this year, raising $6 millions in the first five hours. Moreover, MaidSafe announced it has 500 developers joined its project.

Decentralization is often mentioned in the cryptocurrency community. Mr. Irvine describes how ants, neurons guide the system of the decentralized data platform.

Mr. Irvine talks about the feautures of the security-minded network and specifies that it works like an ant colony in order to shield the privacy, security, and safety of its users.

Irvine started the conversation by noting: “If you look at the globe from a distance, from a logical perspective, we’ve actually got a planet full of decentralized systems. They all co-exist at any point in time.”

According to Irvine’s definition, the world is full of unintelligent pieces: “When you take these cells and you put several trillion of them together, all these things with minimal intelligence, they make up a human. The human is a very complex beast.”

He also brought up neurons as an example. A neuron on its own is useless, but when it collaborates with others, they compose “something of remarkable intelligence”.

Irvine said that ant colonies as an example of decentralized orders.

These ants divide into soldiers, foragers, cleaners, and food carriers. Organized as such, they are able to solve fairly complex problems. Ants are constantly assessing the “personas” of the other ants with sensors they have in their antennae. Moreover, they can change their persona if the conditions are changed.

The MaidSafe network is arranged like a giant ant colony. Irvine provided details how each node, connected over a peer-to-peer network, can infer actions based on the message it receives.

“MaidSafe nodes are like an ant colony, but the nodes are allowed to change their persona a million times per second.”

For Irvine, decentralization forms a point of view and also a reason for change after considering all the facts about nature, neurons and ants.

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