All right. This is something that I came up with about half a year ago, and since then it got delayed over and over again.
Now, with multiple people here talking about possibly implementing a Blockchain or a censorship resistant protocol, I’ve decided that it is better to present the unfinished paper of the Distributed Hash Tree to the world now, than it is to possibly never publish it.
For people wanting to read everything, here is the white paper I have written. I do not think that the paper is entirely done, but it might be better to get feedback now.
The Distributed Hash Tree - White Paper v0.6.2
A Distributed Hash Tree(DH3) is a distributed network that allows in-band content discovery. It is built upon the concept of the Distributed Hash Table, which has seen a lot of usage lately.
In some ways it is similar to a Blockchain, with as major advantages that not the whole state needs to be copied to all parties in the network, and that it is not necessary to spin up a new cryptocurrency to keep it running. The major drawback is that the resulting consensus is tree-shaped, where siblings are unordered.
This makes it highly useful for things like distributed bulletin-board systems, distributed voting systems or distributed content discovery systems.
What is next?
I have created a proof-of-concept implementation in Ruby/Rails a few months back. This implementation was made to while simultaneously figuring out how all moving parts would work together, and therefore it is very ad-hoc. It will also break under anything but the tiniest loads.
I believe that Elixir is a very good candidate language to write a DH3 implementation in.
I will be creating a DH3-implementation over the next few months, but I would be very happy if you’d like to join me. After all, more eyes percieve more and I am certain that there are smarter people than me amongst you.
This is the first time I’ve publicized this idea, so any feedback, questions, ideas etc. is more than welcome.