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Ripple’s David Schwartz worked on distributed computing before the Internet

Anirudh VK

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Ripple's David Schwartz worked on distributed computing before the Internet
Source: Unsplash

From being one of the original architects of the XRP Ledger to contributing to the creation of the InterLedger Protocol with Stefan Tomas, David Schwartz, Ripple’s Chief Cryptographer’s offerings to the cryptocurrency-world are numerous. Reports have recently surfaced that show the cryptographer’s contributions to computing and computer systems even before they were in the mainstream.

The year was 1988, with just around 15% of US households utilizing personal computers. It was the age of the Apple II, the Commodore 64 and the Atari ST. David Schwartz, then running his own company known as David Schwartz Enterprises Inc., filed a patent to the United States Patent Office for a computer system.

The computer system in question was a ‘multi-level distributed computer system’ for ‘distributed processing’. It was also mentioned that the system is meant to be used with a ‘plurality’ of personal computers.

Figure 1 from the patent | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Figure 1 from the patent | Source: The United States Patent and Trademark Office

The system is designed to allow an assigned task that shall be divided into a plurality of portions, which are then processed in a distributed fashion. Unprocessed parts of the task are distributed to available computers on higher levels until all the tasks have been distributed.

This seems to be the first mention of distributed computing in the technology world, and the potentials for the invention were recognized by Schwartz in the original document. The patent states:

“The multilevel computer system is particularly well suited for use in an office, corporation or the like wherein a hierarchy of personnel exists. Each user would be provided with a personal computer which would be coupled to one of the levels of the system.”

Figure 6 from the patent | Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office

Figure 6 from the patent | Source: The United States Patent and Trademark Office

The invention is also aimed at providing a computer system where the portions of the task are transferred between computers, with a continuous active interconnection between the computers being necessary and an objective of the patent.

User Throwaway995485 on Reddit said:

“I didn’t invest in XRP. I invested in David Schwartz’s big brain. So far it has made me a shitload of money.”



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Anirudh VK is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has a passion for writing and interest towards the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He does not own any cryptocurrencies currently.

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