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Definition: distributed processing

The first term used to describe the distribution of multiple computers throughout an organization in contrast to a centralized system. Distributed processing was coined in the 1970s when minicomputers replaced terminals connected to a central mainframe.

The terms distributed processing, "distributed computing" and "decentralized processing" are used synonymously. See distributed computing and client/server.

Blockchain Processing
In the 2020s, the distributed processing term was resurrected to refer to the "distributed ledger" architecture of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. See blockchain.

Less or More Fault Tolerant
Technically, a distributed processing network is more interconnected than a decentralized network and thus more resilient to single-node failure.