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Definition: blockchain protocol

The procedure that governs how computers (nodes) in a blockchain network interact with each other. The blockchain protocol is also known as the "consensus protocol" because 51% of active nodes must agree that the next block of transactions is the rightful block.

Blockchain nodes communicate via the Internet, and they interact with crypto wallets, crypto exchanges, decentralized apps (dApps), and equally as important, with each other. They interact via a software interface that follows the rules and formats defined by the blockchain algorithm (see consensus mechanism). In practice, the terms protocol and algorithm are used synonymously. See 51% consensus, protocol, blockchain and crypto glossary.