Blockchain is a peer-to-peer system
Peer to Peer (P2P)
Peer-to-peer networks are distributed computer networks with no middleman. Users come into direct contact.
In a P2P network, each peer can be referred to as a node, and it is the work of these nodes that keep the system running. In this context, each node (peer) acts as both a client and a server in relation to other nodes. This means that all peers play the same role in receiving and sending digital data.
The structure of a P2P network is therefore borne by its users, who can both provide and use resources. There is no central server or host, which makes P2P systems very different from conventional client-server models, in which the data is distributed unidirectionally (from a central server to its clients).
The decentralized structure of P2P systems makes them very resistant to cyber attacks and also scalable. The more users join it, the more robust and scalable it becomes. Larger P2P networks achieve a high level of security as there is no single point of failure (inherent to the more traditional models).
The peer-to-peer architecture became popular in 1999 with the introduction of file sharing systems, which allowed users to share digital audio files with others without relying on a central server or host. Since then, various P2P networks have emerged. Popular examples with different use cases are BitTorrent (file sharing), Tor (anonymous communication software) and Bitcoin (decentralized economic system).
P2P technology plays an important role in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. When Bitcoin was developed, Satoshi Nakamoto defined it as a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system”. This means that users can send and receive bitcoins all over the world without relying on a central server or middleman. In other words, Bitcoin is a decentralized and distributed form of money that is managed by a large network of computer nodes.
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