Non-blockchain decentralized systems

As you know, blockchain is not the only decentralized system in the world. There are many other systems with varying degrees of decentralization, and I think by studying them we as decentralized system designers can gain a lot of valuable insights.

Here are some examples of non-blockchain decentralized systems:

  • Popular: email, bittorrent, X.509…
  • Esoteric: Secure Scuttlebutt, Urbit, Upspin…

I’m thinking about starting a virtual study group that focuses on these systems. Would anyone here be interested in joining?

EDIT: Join this telegram group if you are interested in joining:

I’m really interested in all decentralized systems, but I’m already focused on Ethereum. :see_no_evil:

Any ideas what the agenda and the goal(s) would be? Thanks! :slight_smile:

I’m focused on Ethereum/blockchain as well, but think studying other systems will benefit my work in the blockchain space.

I’m open to ideas, but I’ve seen this format work where people meet (online) weekly or bi-weekly. Prior to each meeting, a system is selected to be the topic, so everyone studies it on their own. Then at the meeting, a designated person gives a short presentation about the system, and after that it’s all just free-form discussion from there.

The goal would simply be to gain better understanding of all kinds of decentralized systems, and hopefully learn something from them that we can use in our blockchain projects.


Fair enough. :slight_smile:

Sounds nice. Our team will be exploring decentralized storage/file sharing protocols/systems in the near future (we’ll probably be implementing something similar to ensure data redundancy/availability in our project), so we would be specially interested in that.

I’ll keep an eye on this thread. :slight_smile:

I’m interested in bittorrent ,please let me take a part if any group has been built !

One emerging decentralized system is WebRTC for data sharing between browsers. One could argue it’s not fully decentralized as it requires a handshake server but it’s mostly Browser nodes which communicate among themselves without any central intervention

Good to know. I’m very interested in decentralized storage systems myself as well.

Sure thing! There are actually many interesting ideas behind bittorrent and also some extensions that’ve been proposed over the years that are worth studying.

Yup, I don’t think decentralization is a binary property. I’d be down to study in WebRTC in detail.

Looks like we’ve got some interest here. Can you guys join the telegram group so we can coordinate there?

Can’t say I have any experience or even education in relevant fields, but I’d be very interested in at least following along with what comes out of this & contribute any way I can.