August 20, 2021
Edited October 17, 2021
What is Kademlia?
Kademlia is a distributed hash table for decentralized peer-to-peer computer networks.
What is "peer-to-peer"?
Typical networks are based on the client-server model, in which clients make requests to a service from a centralized server.
Now, a peer-to-peer network contains nodes, or peers, who can share information with one another without the need for a centralized server.
What's so special about Kademlia nodes?
Let's go over some properties of a node. First, they are assigned a 160-bit opaque ID. By opaqueness, we mean that the ID contains information about the node instead of hodgepodge of numbers, letters, and symbols.
A node also contains an address. This address is helps other nodes connect to it in the network and it find other nodes with its third component: a routing table.
A routing table is the data structure which keeps information about the other nodes to contact. In short:
The ID tells us who this node is, the address tells us where this node is, and the routing table tells us how to contact others.
A familiar friend: binary trees