Catching the Blockchain Train

Tue 01 August 2017

What is this and for who?

This is a blog for techies who (almost) missed the blockchain train. Hmm, I also need to write a song "the blockchain train," it just sounds so good!

I'm a bit late to the blockchain/Bitcoin party, and when you made it past the previous line I assume you are too!

No worries, there is still plenty of time to add blockchain technology to your skillset. I am confident that what we see happening now is just the very beginning of a decentralized Internet. So even though we feel we are late, we can still catch the blockchain train. Especially because you and I are pretty smart! Right?

My approach to educating myself is two-fold:

  • First by reading as much as I can about the blockchain, Bitcoin, smart contracts, Ethereum, dapps, ipfs, and all of that.

  • In parallel, I want to apply what I learn by turning this blog into a decentralized app (dapp) as much as possible. I will work in "naive mode" and start building and using technologies I found on my path, and backtrack (you know, refactor) when I see it was the wrong approach.

The code will, of course, be open source and available here: blockchaintrain.

BTW this is not a tutorial; it's just a journal of my activities.

What I'm reading

I'm reading three books in parallel right now (next to the online article here and there):

  1. Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain: a thorough technical introduction into the world of Bitcoin. I got stuck halfway when I read it a couple of years ago. This time I mean to finish it.
  2. Blockchain for dummies: yeah, I know...
  3. Decentralized Applications: Harnessing Bitcoin's Blockchain Technology: not very well received, but I like it so far.

I'll keep you updated on other books or articles I read.

Decentralized blog design part 1

The first version of this blog (you're reading it now) is a statically generated blog with Pelican*, and I uploaded the files to my server with SSH.

So my progress towards a fully decentralized blog is 0/100!

Excellent! That means there is still a lot to discover.

In the next article, I will describe how I made a first step: load the content of the blog from a decentralized file system.

*: if you don't like Python, you can use Hugo (Go) or Jekyll (Ruby) or any one of these. Let me know if you follow along with a different site generator, and I'll add it to this blog.

What can you expect in the next episodes?

  • Using a decentralized file system
  • From static pages to dynamic content (so from files to a dapp)
  • Supporting identity
  • Introduction of colored coins or sidechains or maybe even a mini-ICO
  • Whatever seems like a useful feature to add...

Wanna join me?

If you want to play along and contribute, please leave a note in the comments! Uhm, as soon as I have figured out how to support comments in a decentralized manner. Till then, tweet to me @pors!

Continue reading here, part 2 of the Blockchain train journal: Picking a Decentralized Storage System.