A new crowdfunding project is combining the collaborative coding of GitHub with the distributed cloud storage of Bitcoin to create Gitchain, a “decentralized Git cloud that never goes down.”
Canadian developer Yurii Rashkovskii came up with the idea of applying the decentralized storage of the Bitcoin blockchain to Git hosting, and he started a Kickstarter project to fund it. The project is mere dollars short of its US$10,000 goal with 24 days to go.
(Related: Efforts to put Bitcoin in MIT)
Gitchain is an application that acts as a local proxy for a network of decentralized, peer-to-peer Git repositories. Rashkovskii believes that while Git is an open-source distributed version-control system, its lack of distributed dependencies can result in code loss when a Web-based hosting service like GitHub goes down. By storing Git metadata across the DHT (distributed hash table) popularized by Bitcoin and BitTorrent, he aims to store data on every node of the Gitchain network to ensure Git code redundancy and availability.
Gitchain is not a cryptocurrency vault. At the moment, Rashkovskii says Gitchain does not even support monetary transactions, though he does plan to add the capability in time as an incentive for people to host blocks in the blockchain and store data in the Gitchain network. The Bitcoin-inspired application instead applies the decentralized cloud principles to encrypted storage of objects, references and repositories.
The Bitcoin blockchain’s cryptographically verifiable format would also allow developers to maintain the security of their code, proving it hasn’t been tampered with.
Rashkovskii spent the past year as CTO of Bitcoin startup Bex.io, and was inspired to create Gitchain when, while on vacation, his GitHub repository went down. He’s currently writing a paper on the application and coding Gitchain from scratch with a custom blockchain. He hopes to finish coding the first implementation within the next several months.