As we have seen, one of the basic principles of the Blockchain involves the use of a Peer-to-peer network communication protocol, in order to achieve the decentralized storage of the information.

To understand the advantages associated with decentralized networks, we will first introduce traditional centralized networks, analyzing their main characteristics, then comparing them with decentralized peer-to-peer networks.

Centralized networks (Client-Server)

In the following image, we show a typical example of a centralized network:

Centralized network

The main feature of these types of networks is the presence of a central node, acting as the server node.

Client nodes can connect only to the central server to get the information they need.

Centralized networks: examples

A typical example of a centralized network is represented by traditional client-server web connections.

The main advantage of a centralized network is represented by the simplicity of implementation, maintenance and updating of this architectural model.

The necessary information is stored and updated in a single central node (the server) which makes it available to clients.

Centralized networks: limitations

The fundamental limitation of centralized networks is represented by the fact that in the event of a malfunction or compromise of the central node (for example due to cyber attacks), the information contained therein is no longer available and accessible by the entire network.

In addition, in centralized networks the server node assumes and retains full control over information.

Due to these limitations, the Blockchain adopts a decentralized network communication protocol to achieve its own functionality.

Decentralized (Peer-to-peer) networks

By definition, in a decentralized network there is no central node that assumes the role of control authority of information sharing.

In contrast, in a peer to peer network protocol, each individual node is able to interchangeably play the roles of client and server.

The decentralized model therefore allows each node of the network to autonomously contribute to the sharing and verification of information.

Decentralized network (peer to peer)

This model therefore makes the presence of a central information control authority superfluous.

Blockchain & Decentralized networks

The characteristics of decentralized networks are essential for realizing the features of the blockchain.

One of the key advantages of the blockchain is in fact the decision-making decentralization on the verification, validation and insertion of transactions within the blockchain.

These decisions are then condensed within the blocks, which constitute the building blocks of the blockchain.