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What Is a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Service?
A (P2P) service is a decentralized platform whereby two individuals interact directly with each other, without intermediation by a third party. Instead, the buyer and the seller transact directly with each other via the P2P service. The P2P platform may provide services such as search, screening, rating, payment processing, or escrow.
A peer-to-peer. Service is a platform that directly connects parties to a transaction without the third-party intermediary.
Peer-to-peer services leverage technology to overcome the transaction costs of trust, enforcement, and information asymmetries that have traditionally addressed by using trust third parties.
Peer-to-peer platforms offer services such as payment processing, information about buyers and sellers, and quality assurance to their users.
Understanding Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Services
The modern peer-to-peer concept was popularized by file-sharing systems, such as the music-sharing application Napster, which appeared in 1999. The peer-to-peer movement allowed millions of internet users to directly connect, form groups, and collaborate with each other to function as user-created search engines, virtual supercomputers, and file systems. This model of network arrangement differs from the client-server model, where communication is usually to and from a central server.
Today P2P services have moved beyond purely internet services, though they are mostly thought of as at least internet-based. Peer-to-peer services involve activities that range from simple buying and selling to those that are considered part of the sharing economy. Some peer-to-peer services don’t even involve a paid transaction by the users at all, but they bring together individuals to work on joint projects, share information, or communicate without direct intermediation. These kinds of P2P services may be operated as free nonprofit services or generate revenue by advertising to users or by selling user’s data.