Blockchain as a Distributed System

We saw how Decentralization can change the way transactions are carried out in the last article. Now, let’s look at distributed systems and how they help secure a network.

Most of the cloud-based networks that exist today are distributed in nature. Gone are the days when data is stored in an on-prem server and accessed from that system only. The data now are being accessed by people from the nearest server to them through a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

As Webopedia.com defines it, “A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver pages and other web content to a user, based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and the content delivery server.”

While the main aim of a CDN is to make web pages easier and faster to access, there is also an inherent advantage of security in these types of distributed networks. Data stored in these systems are made persistent by keeping multiple copies of the same data in different locations and hence it is less prone to hacking.

For instance, let’s say a hacker wants to hack the system and tamper some data in a distributed system, it is practically impossible to hack into all the CDN servers and tamper all copies of the data.

As soon as there is a threat in one of the copies of the server, the other servers which act as backups will restore the tampered data with their own copy and hence the system restores to its original state.

This type of network eliminates the disadvantage of Single Point of Failure in a centralized system. However, Single Point of Authority is another issue that exists in a centralized network, where the central authority decides which part of the network needs to be active or inactive. This was solved by decentralization as seen in the last article on ‘What is Blockchain?

So a distributed network that is also decentralized in nature provides a high level of security and blockchain also follows the same principles of distribution and decentralization.

However, if there is no central party, how do the nodes in the network agree upon a set of data that too in the same sequence? What are the other components that make blockchains so special? Let’s discuss those in the next article.

Shri Raghu Raaman Thiyagharajan

Written by

I’m a Blockchain Trainer, Developer, and an Architect. I am a self-taught developer and spend my days working in many different areas of Blockchain and Web Dev.

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