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Building a Blockchain in Swift (Intro)

Blockchain, Swift, Vapor1 min read

A simple proof-of-work blockchain inspired by Bitcoin and built in Swift.

This year was my debut year in blockchain and I'm coming here to share my excitement with you.

One of the coolest things (in my opinion) about the blockchain is that it works in a distributed way and it is decentralized.

Wait, wat? I explain.

The first ever released Blockchain… Bitcoin?

The big majority of us know the term "blockchain" because of Bitcoin. But that isn't its first appearance in the world. David Chaum, a cryptographer, proposed a blockchain-like protocol in his 1982 dissertation "Computer Systems Established, Maintained, and Trusted by Mutually Suspicious Groups". 

Furthermore, a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta. They wanted to implement a system wherein document timestamps could not be tampered with.

Truth be told, the way Satoshi adopted it to design the first peer-to-peer cash system is revolutionary. The ledger, which in a centralised architecture is usually controlled by a single authority, is maintained by a network of nodes instead, open to everyone and owned by nobody. Here's a video from BBC UK with a good explanation of how it works.

From its release in 2007, it scaled from financial transactions to all sorts of agreements. We are replacing all kinds of men-in-the-middle with automated software hosted by the community. This is a huge step forward!

Finances aside, in its essence a blockchain is a simple system and can easily be simulated. I did a proof-of-concept using Swift that I’ll be sharing in the next chapters. So if that’s something you’re interested in, stay tuned!

Follow for Part 1.

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