Are there any types of distributed databases which allows untrusted peers, like Blockchain? If it exist, can I look its whitepapers and/or implementations?

  • $\begingroup$ I believe Bit-torrent does, though it's been a while since I've looked at the details of the protocol. It also depends on your definition of "untrusted". $\endgroup$
    – gardenhead
    Oct 27, 2016 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ What precisely do you mean by "allows untrusted peers"? What security properties do you want to be guaranteed in the presence of untrusted peers? $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Oct 27, 2016 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ @D.W. It means that the databases are secured by all attacks whom participated peers. $\endgroup$
    – signal
    Nov 2, 2016 at 11:15
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    $\begingroup$ "all attacks" is not helpful, because it's not clear what would count as an attack. To build a secure system, the first thing you must do is figure out what security properties you want the system to have. Next, you have to figure out what threat model you're working with (what class of attackers you want to resist). There are always attacks that you do not / cannot stop (e.g., denial-of-service attacks) so asking for security against "all attacks" is not meaningful or achievable. I suggest you think about my two questions carefully, and then edit the question with the responses. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Nov 2, 2016 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


Distributed Hash Tables (DHT) are key value stores that work in a P2P manner, which is basically a database. There are implementations that don't rely on trust between peers. Obviously this can only be achieved by strong replication and consensus on the current value to a given key. So you face similar problems as with a blockchain.

The Wikipedia Article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_hash_table will give you a good overview. Chord and Tapestry are probably the most famous DHT concepts.

If you want to look at applications instead The DHT approach is mostly used in peer-to-peer file hosting and file sharing.

There might also be other distributed databases or database-like concepts out there. This is just one I know.


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