P2P Handbook

Inspired By . This handbook is an introduction to the primitives of peer-to-peer systems

Status: Living Document

This is a work in progress & It is incomplete.

What is P2P

Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a specific type of relational dynamic, which refers to the way in which nodes in a network interact and relate to each other. In a P2P system, the nodes are assumed to be equally capable and autonomous and are able to cooperate freely with each other in order to achieve a common goal or task.
P2P systems are based on the principle of equipotency, which means that all nodes in the network are considered to be equally capable and able to contribute to the system. This is in contrast to traditional systems, which often have a centralized authority or hierarchy that controls the flow of resources and information.
P2P systems are organized through the free cooperation of equals, which means that nodes in the network are able to collaborate and work together voluntarily in order to achieve a common good. This collaborative approach allows P2P systems to be more efficient and effective, as each node is able to contribute its own resources and expertise to the system.
P2P systems have forms of decision-making and autonomy that are widely distributed throughout the network. This means that power and responsibility are not concentrated in a single central authority, but are instead shared among all nodes in the system. This decentralized structure makes P2P systems more resilient, scalable, and flexible, as they do not rely on a single point of control or a single point of failure.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or workloads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the network. They are said to form a peer-to-peer network of nodes
Peers make a portion of their resources, such as processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth, directly available to other network participants, without the need for central coordination by servers or stable hosts
Peers are both suppliers and consumers of resources, in contrast to the traditional client–server model in which the consumption and supply of resources is divided


The P2p concept was popularized byThe concept of peer-to-peer (P2P) systems has a long and complex history, with roots in a variety of fields, including computer science, networking, and distributed systems. P2P systems are decentralized networks that allow nodes to communicate and share resources directly with each other, rather than relying on a central server or authority.
One of the earliest examples of P2P systems can be traced back to the 1970s, with the development of the ARPANET, the precursor to the modern internet. The ARPANET was a decentralized network that allowed nodes to communicate directly with each other, rather than relying on a central server to mediate communication. This early form of P2P networking laid the foundation for many of the technologies and principles that are used in modern P2P systems.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, P2P systems gained significant attention with the rise of file-sharing networks, such as Napster, Kazaa, and BitTorrent. These networks allowed users to share files directly with each other, rather than downloading them from a central server. This decentralized approach to file sharing revolutionized the way that people accessed and shared digital content and sparked a debate about the legal and ethical implications of P2P systems.
In the past few decades, P2P systems have continued to evolve and have found a wide range of applications, including content distribution, distributed computing, and blockchain technology. Today, P2P systems are an important part of the computing landscape and are expected to play an increasingly important role in the future of computing.