The Autonomi Network is formed of interconnected machines running node software. This software connects the devices to each other using existing protocols like TCP and UDP, manages data and routes it around the Network. It allows users to offer computer resources, like hard drive space, to the Network, and earn Network Tokens in return. This process of providing a service in return for a reward is analogous to Bitcoin mining, but is designed to be work on everyday consumer hardware.

The node software is a small executable file that connects the user’s machine to the Network, turns it into a routing node and also allocates some disk space for storage. It manages the storage of data chunks on the user’s computer and in that way provides storage capacity to the Network. It also routes and caches data chunks (these are encrypted) over the Network via fully encrypted connections to other nodes.

Each node maintains a list of its ‘close group’, other nodes with IDs (XOR addresses) close to its own. Data stored at a node will also be replicated to members of its close group for redundancy.

Nodes fulfil several functions. They route and store chunks of data; they cryptographically check messages; they cluster into temporary close groups, and thus manage a certain portion of the Network; and they store replicas of data chunks for redundancy.

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