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Blockchain and Networking

On 2018-01-08 10:19 PM, John Levine wrote:
> In article <0c45eee2-ffcb-2066-1456-eb2d38075007 at alter3d.ca>,
> Peter Kristolaitis  <alter3d at alter3d.ca> wrote:
>> We can build all of the above in other ways today, of course.  But
>> there's certainly something to be said for a vendor-supported solution
>> that is inherent in the platform and requires no additional
>> infrastructure. ...
> No additional infrastructure?  Blockchains need multiple devices that
> are online and have enough storage to keep a full copy of the chain.
There is absolutely no reason that the networking equipment itself can't 
both operate the blockchain and keep a full copy.  It's a pretty good 
bet that your own routers will probably be online;  if not, you have 
bigger problems.

The storage requirements aren't particularly onerous.  The entire 
Bitcoin blockchain is around 150GB, with several orders of magnitude 
more transactions (read: config changes) than you're likely to see even 
on a very large network.  SSDs are small enough and reliable enough now 
that the physical space requirements are quite small.

> They make sense in an environment with multiple sophisticated parties
> that sort of but not entirely trust each other, but there aren't as
> many of those as you might think.
You (presumably) trust your own routers.  There is absolutely no reason 
that your own little network can't run your own private blockchain.   In 
fact, for my use case of configuration management, you wouldn't WANT to 
use a single global public blockchain.

- Peter