A peer-to-peer network is regarded as a cluster of devices associated together to form a network, often referred to as a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. The concept of P2P is not new either, given that its use for the first time actually dates back to the 1990s when it was used for the first time for file-sharing purposes.
When it comes to the use of P2P networks, Blockchain technology has been a front-runner. Blockchain happens to be a peer-to-peer network in which peers can make communication, and transactions can be carried out with no requirement for any centralized authority.
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What is the Role of P2P in the Blockchain Network?
At the core of Bitcoin, Peer peer network has been there for all times. The term “Peer-to-Peer” was used by its inventor Satoshi Nakamoto himself in his paper. In that paper, this crypto was described as a P2P Electronic Cash System.
Blockchain is a key concept introduced by Bitcoin, where the P2P network manages Blockchain – a distributed ledger. A clear association exists between Blockchain technology and the P2P architecture.
This is how cryptocurrencies actually work. The blockchain ledger can be made available in an instant almost everywhere across the world.
There is no need for any centralized server to conduct the operation, which makes Blockchain technology and P2P architecture so wonderful and similar. Anybody can take part in the BTC network and assist in the verification and validation of blocks; just like an open P2P network in which anybody can join and take part.
Blockchains are impacted by the P2P network in many ways; given the way how nodes take part in the network activities. The same role is not observed in all the nodes. Nodes exist with various roles.
For instance, full nodes are there for verifying transactions with the help of the consensus algorithm set up by the network. These can assist in ensuring the security of the network. The full nodes can also ensure an updated and complete copy of the ledger in Blockchain.
How is P2P architecture Advantageous in Blockchains?
The use of the P2P architecture in Blockchains has plenty of advantages. For instance, when compared to client-server, this is a more secured architecture. For example, it is not possible to suffer from Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks given that there are many nodes distributed across the network and there is no central point of failure.
Data immutability is another of the important advantages, where data that is written once cannot be changed. The larger that network is, less the chances of it being changed. In order to change the data, most of the nodes have to be regulated by a single entity for executing a 51% attack.
With the help of P2P architecture, Blockchains can run independently with no central authority censorship. Banks, in comparison, need full control over your data. These can also limit you from conducting a transaction, in case they wish to.
What are the Disadvantages of P2P networks in Blockchain?
There are limitations to the involvement of P2P in Blockchain. The need for computing power is among the biggest disadvantages. No central server is there, and every node works as both server and client. This technique has helped in acquiring better efficiency and security. But there are still some drawbacks, like lack of scalability and no widespread adoption.
The community across the world is always making attempts to solve the issue, with the aid of more complex solutions. One of these is the Lightning network – which runs atop the network and helps with verifying transactions.
Hard fork events are another limitation that might have to be discussed, Although Blockchains are secure, there is not 100% security.
It indicates that Blockchains can be hacked and even modified by somebody. In case of a hard fork event, the data can be copied and changed as per needs – which can help create a new parallel network chain.
Peer-to-Peer structure will always be a part of it. It is the source of power behind Blockchain; one of the best and most surprising technologies out there. These can be used in many ways. It is used mostly in Blockchain solutions and cryptocurrencies. Along with Blockchain, Peer-to-Peer technology offers more freedom, decentralization, immutability, and security.