Decentralized refers to a system or network that operates without a central authority controlling it. In a decentralized system, decision-making and control are distributed among its participants, making it more democratic and resistant to censorship or manipulation.
Decentralization is a key feature of blockchain technology, which is the underlying technology behind many Web3 applications. In a blockchain network, transactions are validated and recorded by a distributed network of nodes, rather than a single central authority.
Decentralization can also refer to the distribution of data storage and processing across a network of nodes, rather than relying on a centralized server. This can improve security, as there is no single point of failure or attack.
Some examples of decentralized applications (dApps) include:
- Ethereum, a decentralized platform for building dApps
- InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a decentralized file storage system
- LBRY, a decentralized content sharing and publishing platform
Compared to centralized systems, decentralized systems offer greater transparency, security, and control to their users. However, they may also be slower and more complex to operate, and may require more technical knowledge to use effectively.