A Ripple Manager Created a Decentralized Computer In the 1980s Even Before Bitcoin was Developed.
A top manager at Ripple had already conceptualized a similar idea to the Bitcoin blockchain over three decades ago. The multilevel distributed pc system was the brainchild of Ripple’s current CTO David Schwartz and it featured similar architecture to what Nakamoto would later create with Bitcoin.
Schwartz filed the patent for his decentralized computer system back on the 25th of August 1998. The computer was specially designed to become more powerful when accomplishing specific tasks by applying the combined processing strength of several machines. The patent aimed to allow computers to solve intensive functions by distributing that computing responsibility across a range of networked devices.
According to the documentation of Schwartz’s patent, the distributed computer was defined as a computer network that worked independently of each other, but still in collaboration across devices.
The flexibility of the system was enhanced by adding more machines to the network, like personal computers when performing easy tasks, and a high-tech central system for more complex and more extended tasks. The notion was to reduce the load placed on a single computer and still improve computing efficiency.
How The Idea Came About
According to the Hard Fork interview with Schwartz that first broke the story, the idea of this distributed machine came when he required a tremendous amount of computing power when dealing with issues related to graphics rendering. He added that the further improvements in the CPU market to make powerful processors meant that there was no reason for distributing such intensive tasks anymore.
The patent was finally granted to Schwartz after three years, but he had already moved on and shelved that idea. Nevertheless, the Ripple manager did run a couple of experiments on a distributed computer and noted the benefits of dynamically allocating workload amongst several systems.
Challenges for the Distributed Computer
Despite the great idea behind David Schwartz distributed computer, it still had plenty of challenges. A notable obstacle right from the start was the process of establishing connections between various systems. Even though that problem does not exist today, it was a lot harder to achieve the same task in the early 1980s. Also, subdividing the tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces for different computer systems was quite challenging.
David Schwartz believes that most of the experiments that he operated on his distributed system over three decades ago has an enormous impact on his responsibilities and work today. He says that most of the things he tackled when designing his system keep on coming up across his new tasks today.
It could also be because he still works in the similar general subject area that involves cryptography and decentralized computing.