Unlike the Internet, the Blockchain consists of millions of individual computers around the world. These computers run sophisticated software which contribute data processing, computing, energy and connectivity to support blockchain applications, securely store data and confirm transactions.
Nodes are owned and operated by private individuals, small and medium sized businesses and others. Node operators are compensated for their contribution to the blockchain. Sophisticated blockchain software confirms each node is in operation and providing the resources to support the network and perform functions.
Blockchain Nodes are software applications that individuals install and operate on their personal computer, mobile device or other Internet enabled devices.
How does it differ from a Centralized Network?
Very large data centers, centrally located, provide the backbone of the Internet. These data centers are owned and operated by large enterprise organizations such as Amazon and Google.
These organizations set the standards for information and data published and consumed on the Internet. Operating these large scale data centers enables them to track user behavior, preferences and personal information, which is used to monetize their data centers.
Publishers lease data storage, computational power, energy and connectivity to publish content and applications on the Internet.