This chronicle of Safex history spans a period of just over 5 years. From its very inception, the Safex project has been a 100% open-source community project, whereby the collective owners of the Safe Exchange Coin formed a “Decentralised Board of Trade” (taken from the original Safe Exchange Whitepaper, November 2015).
Originally conceived as a Marketplace Dapp for the Safe Network community and intended to utilize the MaidSafe cryptocurrency protocol, the Safe Exchange Coin (originally given the ticker SEC, but later changed to SAFEX) project was launched in 2015 by Daniel Dabek. In the core of both names was the idea of conducting safe and reliable crypto transactions.
The beginning of Safex history: Crowdsale
Safex history started with the original crowdsale of the Safe Exchange Coin (an Omni layer token utilizing the Bitcoin blockchain) only looked to raise US$30k, and was initiated for the purpose of raising money to fund development and expansion of the Safe Exchange platform. There were no long-term funding goals covered by the crowdsale. - Source
99% of the total supply of 2,147,483,647 coins were sold in the crowdsale (dutch auction), which ran from December 2015 until January 2016 and was oversubscribed, raising approximately US$50k in BTC and MAID. (Approximately 70 BTC and 1.4m MAID were raised, specifics to be found here.)
Daniel Dabek gave insight on the Safex Forum regarding his reason for the issuance of 99% of the coins (23 November 2015):
”...the founding team will share in just 1% of Safe Exchange Coin and the entire of 99% is to be distributed during this sale period to the betterment of the distribution and insurance against outright centralization.” - Source
Original coin distribution: link
As Founder and Chief Architect of the project, Dabek retained only a 1% of the total Safe Exchange Coin supply which amounts to approximately 21.5 million coins, initially valued at roughly US$500 in total.
Early Work, Delays and a New Direction
Work commenced immediately, and various components on the platform were developed, including a marketplace interface and a token voting module. The first progress update on the Safex forum gave some insight into the progress being made: Dev Update March 19, 2016.
For those interested, a thorough explanation of the completed voting application was given here.
The first official development update, in April 2016, gave further information on the progress that had already been made, what was planned, and the dependency of the Safex project on the SAFE Network, by the MaidSafe project.
In addition to coding by Daniel himself, by June 2016 there were two other developers employed to develop code (Dimitri & Max).
However, the launch of the platform was dependent on the MaidSafe project. During 2016, it became apparent that there were serious development delays with Maidsafe’s SAFE network protocol, and the original idea of a simple marketplace Dapp looked increasingly unlikely to eventuate.
Not wanting to also abandon the community who had supported the Safe Exchange network philosophy, Dabek then looked for a way to ensure coin holders were not left holding a bag of worthless coins.
In October 2016, a vote was held where Safe Exchange Coin holders voted “Yes” to a New Network Software Proposal, which was put forward as a way to reduce third-party risk through the development of “backend software” to be produced by the Safe Exchange developers. Essentially, the Safex community voted to proceed with building its own blockchain to fulfil the goals of Safex.
As the crowdsale only raised sufficient funds for the short-term goal of building out the Safe Exchange platform, to maintain the network part into the long-term would be a bit more complicated. Since the project only raised ~$50k, it was necessary to figure out funding for the future. The end result being that Dabek and the community chose to use personal money, friends money, and donations from the community… A true grass-roots community project (no additional tokens were sold to finance further development).
Progress was slow at the beginning, to set up vehicles to deploy funding and recruit developers to build the blockchain: far more than just a simple app on a third party smart contract platform.
By mid-2017, Dabek announced that he had developed know-how for a “backend software” into a decentralised e-commerce platform with privacy baked in: a 2-coin blockchain ecosystem, where the Safex Mainnet would honor those original Safe Exchange Coins and allow them to migrate to the new Safex Token (SFT) and the mineable currency of the proof-of-work blockchain, Safex Cash (SFX).
In August 2017, the new Safex logo was launched.
The Safex Blockchain
Dabek then spent the later months of 2017 and early 2018 doing early prototyping, research and hiring developers, via his privately funded company, Balkaneum, where he set up offices in Belgrade, Serbia.
At one point during 2017, the idea of the marketplace currency being called Chille Coin was floated, and the term Chille blockchain was briefly used by the community. However, by the time the Safex bluepaper was released in January 2018, the term was abandoned.
Monero's version of the cryptonote codebase was deemed the most suitable for hardforking into a privacy coin with on-chain marketplace protocols, and by April 2018, development work was well underway. By July 2018, testing of the Safex blockchain had commenced, with community involvement.
Mainnet Launch & Migration Process
After 2 months of testnet, the Safex mainnet launched in September 2018, a migration procedure was subsequently developed, and a migration wallet for the original coins was released, which allowed coin holders to register a new blockchain address against their old address, and then perform a burn of their old coins, in exchange for which they received new SFT 1:1 for old SAFEX coins, and also received an airdrop of SFX, at an approximate rate of 0.0023 x their SFT. - The Announcement
The migration window opened in early November 2018 and closed on 30 November 2019, with a final 48-hour grace period provided, to allow any last-minute corrections for people who may have made errors during the process. This resulted in the official end of the migration period being December 2nd, 2019. - Migration Window Closed
Development of the Marketplace protocol
From its initial hardfork of the Monero codebase by the dev team through to July 2019, several development hurdles led to delays. These issues causing the delays were eventually overcome, and work progressed on the marketplace protocol to a point where the initial testnet of the advanced marketplace functionality was launched on 7 July 2019.
From July 2019 to June 2020, the testnet underwent multiple iterations, as additional components of the marketplace protocol were added and subsequently tested.
In June 2020, after almost a year of testnet iterations, the development team were satisfied that the testing group had thoroughly tested all components of the protocol and the safexcore was stable and handling all marketplace functions successfully.
With a stable, fully-functional marketplace blockchain established, the stagenet phase was launched in June 2020. A user-friendly GUI wallet with built-in marketplace access was released in July 2020, to allow for wider community testing of the marketplace protocols and higher load testing of the codebase.
Additional functionality was added to the GUI wallet from July 2020 through January 2021, and the associated API was also developed in parallel.
Dec 23rd, 2020: Safex Marketplace goes LIVE
On December 23rd, 2020 the Safex Blockchain crossed block number 605,700 and the marketplace application took hold as hardfork 7 became the leading version across the network.
The ability to create/edit merchant accounts, list/edit products for sale, buy products, give feedback on purchases, and stake tokens for a share of the 5% selling fee was activated at the core protocol level.
The first item sold on the marketplace was a porcelain teacup, listed by Daniel Dabek, and sold for 1000 SFX.
In January 2020, Safex Foundation was established as a Domestic Non-Profit Corporation (Wyoming, File # 2020-000897721). Daniel Dabek personally seeded the company with starting capital and established a Board of Directors.
Vision: Connecting the world through cryptocurrency and blockchain technological innovations that improve our ability to communicate, conduct commerce, manage energy to increase human quality of life.
Mission Statement: Introduce practical examples of the fundamental concepts of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. Educating the public and institutions about mining, blockchain consensus, wallet management, cryptocurrency commerce, community inclusion and outreach.
The fundamental purpose of the Foundation is the ongoing support and future development and expansion of the Safex marketplace.
The Foundation currently supports:
- The Safex Discussion Forum
- A 0% fee mining pool
- A series of articles on mining SFX, including the provision of a custom plug’n’play Ubuntu mining operating system, SFXOS.
- Price peg facilities for the marketplace, initially a USD-SFX peg, but may expand to include other currency pegs, as deemed necessary.
The Foundation will also be providing:
- A Safex account faucet, where vendors who wish to sell products on the marketplace can obtain a free safex account without the need to buy or hold any Safex Tokens (SFT).
- A list of development proposals. In continuance of that original grass-roots community project philosophy, community members or others who wish to see certain new features implemented, will be able to donate directly to a specific proposal to help accelerate its development. (As a Non-Profit Corporation, such donations to Safex Foundation may be tax deductible, depending on individual circumstances.)
On 20 July 2020, Safex Foundation announced it had received 501c3 tax exemption status.
This was the short explanation of Safex history, we mentioned all the key events, and linked the sources. Read more about the vision of Safex Marketplace.