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Does P2P Digital Cash Need P2P Infrastructure?

October 7, 2018

Cryptocurrency users bought into a world based on a single original concept: a peer-to-peer (P2P) electronic cash system. The key selling point of the technology is its ability to enable P2P transactions, where I can send a transaction directly to you without having to go through a service first, or ask permission. Somewhere along the way, however, an idea became popularized that a P2P system should run on a P2P infrastructure, namely that every user should be able to run their own full node and verify their own transactions. While this idea draws on the humble beginnings in the early days of Bitcoin when the wallet was a full node and a miner, it oddly enough became popularized after this three-in-one setup was long gone as the standard. Now many of Bitcoin’s current community support this idea, while other coins such as Dash go for a robust, professionalized, and decentralized infrastructure that differs by not requiring users to actually run the network themselves. Is there really a benefit in a P2P infrastructure?

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