Github on the blockchain

In my opinion, Microsoft’s $8B acquisition of Github was a steal. Github is a company with a lot of potential and they did an amazing job creating this value from a market (namely; source code hosting & management) that was once dominated by Sourceforge, GForge, Google Code; back then, nobody could imagine half a billion dollar value created with even all three combined.

The only way I can rationalize the founders’ decision to sell (if not for personal reasons) is that they felt threatened by the opportunities rising in the crypto world;

Enter GitChain…

At its core, git itself is very Bitcoin-like, in the sense both are some sort of ledgers. Both essentially do the same thing; they log commits:

  • either in the form of financial transactions with Bitcoin,
  • or in the form of code updates with git, and they attach a certain hash to it.

So I see no reason for both to converge in terms of architecture.

For this to happen, we’d need a specialized blockchain for git. You can’t do it on Ethereum because Ethereum ledger is already larger than Bitcoin’s (despite the late-start and smaller market cap), so it would be super-inefficient for this task. One has to come up with an architecture that blends Ethereum’s with something like IPFS, while making sure incentivization is not an after-thought, but it’s a first-class citizen of the equation; After all, you need to reward the “miners” — in other words, the people/companies that host the source code for you, so they keep doing what they’re doing.

Obviously, this idea has a lot of technical challenges; so it would require a team of crypto hackers. But in my view, it is doable, and it’s a big opportunity that can displace Github.

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