• April 01, 2018
  • Robert Downey

Meet the Bitcoin Cash Hyper Mini-Sprint Car

Swarm is a distributed storage platform and content distribution service; a native base layer service of the ethereum Web3 stack. The objective is a peer-to-peer storage and serving solution that has zero downtime, is DDOS-resistant, fault-tolerant and censorship-resistant as well as self-sustaining due to a built-in incentive system. The incentive layer uses peer-to-peer accounting for bandwidth, deposit-based storage incentives and allows trading resources for payment. Swarm is designed to deeply integrate with the devp2p multiprotocol network layer of Ethereum as well as with the Ethereum blockchain for domain name resolution.

Swarm’s main offering as a distributed chunkstore is that you can upload content to it. The nodes constituting the Swarm all dedicate resources (diskspace, memory, bandwidth and CPU) to store and serve chunks. But what determines who is keeping a chunk? Swarm nodes have an address (the hash of the address of their bzz-account) in the same keyspace as the chunks themselves. Lets call this address space the overlay network. If we upload a chunk to the Swarm, the protocol determines that it will eventually end up being stored at nodes that are closest to the chunk’s address (according to a well-defined distance measure on the overlay address space). The process by which chunks get to their address is called syncing and is part of the protocol. Nodes that later want to retrieve the content can find it again by forwarding a query to nodes that are close the the content’s address. Indeed, when a node needs a chunk, it simply posts a request to the Swarm with the address of the content, and the Swarm will forward the requests until the data is found (or the request times out). In this regard, Swarm is similar to a traditional distributed hash table (DHT) but with two important (and under-researched) features.

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How does Swarm work?

These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middleman or counterpart risk.

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