The P2P meaning describes it as a distributed network of computers where each of them acts as a node capable of decentralized interaction such as sharing resources and workload.
Understanding the term
The P2P definition clarifies that there is no central server available in this particular distributed network of computer systems. A huge amount of data and tasks can be shared through a P2P network as the participating nodes can easily arrange themselves to allow any process. The absence of a central server makes a P2P network fast, cheap, and secure to facilitate and manage communication for two or more participants, also known as peers.
The basis of cryptocurrencies and blockchain relies on the concept of P2P. The Bitcoin whitepaper, written by its anonymous creator, called it a “Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Electronic Cash System”. It refers to the nature of Bitcoin that does not rely on a middleman but benefits and allows equal involvement of all participants.
In a P2P network, true decentralization is observed without the existence of a third party that governs the sharing of data and tasks. Bitcoin signifies the true meaning of the peer-to-peer system. But every P2P system does not have to be blockchain-based.