Bitcoin Full Nodes: How Do They Work?
Bitcoin is considered one of the most polarizing financial assets in recent history although it has since garnered a reputation as a reliable trading asset. Cryptocurrency, in general, has been getting noticed in the digital space with financial sectors being more open to trade. Whether you are for the usage of cryptocurrency or against it, there is no doubt that digital trade has continued to inspire countless of altcoins and other digital tokens by revolutionizing blockchain technology.
The key currency to the entire financial technology industry still remains to be Bitcoin. In order to understand what makes Bitcoin so appealing, here are some facts about running a full node for Bitcoin and how these nodes work for everyone involved:
What are nodes?
Before talking about how Bitcoin full nodes work, you have to know what they are. Cryptocurrency runs on blockchain technology which works as a digital ledger to keep notes on the series of transactions the coin has undergone. Nodes are replicas of these ledgers which provides everyone a full copy of the coin’s transaction history without fail.
There are also two kinds of nodes which are:
- Full nodes – which is a detailed list of every transaction that occurs on the blockchain
- Light nodes – which only include a partial list of certain transactions
Each of the nodes play an important role in securing the integrity of an overall blockchain. Running light nodes may speed up the process but lessen the security, while running full nodes could heighten the security yet drain efficiency. Since Bitcoin full nodes are secure, some countries like Russia are said to be looking into Bitcoin as a viable means of trade.
What is the purpose of nodes?
Nodes are necessary to keep the blockchain of a specific Bitcoin as secure as possible. They also work to preserve the entire blockchain history which boosts their reliability. While it only takes one node to keep a blockchain intact, running hundreds and even thousands of nodes can increase their security features which increases the likelihood of more people using it.
These nodes or digital ledgers allow you to rest assured that your transactions are done with more transparency than even foreign exchange trading.
How do you run and set up a full node?
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of expertise for a person to start running a full Bitcoin node. However, the requirements could be taxing so make sure that you have hardware that’s built for this function alone. If you are interested to start, here are some steps you need to remember:
1. Secure your equipment
The equipment is the most important part of running Bitcoin at full node because it will be the access. Put into consideration that this kind of workload would use up a lot of electricity, and would need the best hardware possible. A dedicated hardware and internet line would be ideal for these instances. Requirements include items like:
- A desktop running the recent versions of its OS such as Windows, Linux, or Mac
- At least 200 GB of free disk space with a read/write speed of at least 100 mb/s
- At least 2 GB of RAM
- A stable and dedicated internet connection with at least 400 kb/second
- 6 hours of running time per day to ensure proper transmission of information
- Cooling system to avoid overheating
2. Set your system
After gathering your items, the next step would be is to set up a Initial Block Download or IBD which is a program that will help you set up a new node. To do this, download the Bitcoin core and follow it according to the instructions set for your operating system. Make sure that you check out guides and Youtube instructional videos to comply according to the steps.
3. Configure your network
Provide support to the blockchain network by allowing inbound connections to your settings. To test its connection, run the Bitcoin Core and wait for a few minutes. Visit the Bitnodes page where you will be able to confirm your IP address. Click Check Node if this is correct. After precisely configuring your network, allow your system to run uninterrupted for six hours a day.
Make sure that the network is running through a private and secure line to enable the most efficient exchange.
What are the benefits of running a full Bitcoin node?
People who are more or less interested in how Bitcoin works may find that running nodes can help them understand the cryptocurrency much better than purchasing and trading with it first. For investors who believe that Bitcoin will soar to great heights this year, they can certainly benefit from running a full Bitcoin node in the comforts of their own home like:
1. Being able to provide network support
Running a node helps provide legitimacy to the blockchain network and makes it more trustworthy for people to engage in the investment. People who run nodes help contribute to the network by making sure that all the rules and regulations are followed.
2. Enjoying the freedom to choose
Dealing with certain blockchains by verifying and checking them can help you determine which coins are worth investing in and which are not. While are Bitcoins are virtually the same, running a node allows you the chance to determine which particular investment is more secure which gives you an edge over letting a third party decide which network you should get.
3. Making inexpensive investments
It doesn’t take a lot of cash or skill to run a full Bitcoin node. In fact, the best way to do this would be is to invest in a spare laptop or desktop that contains the latest features of its operating system. Other than that, a stable internet connection is also recommended to handle countless of data running through your system per day.
One way to understand Bitcoin is by running a full node which provide several benefits. While there are no monetary benefits as of today, people who have yet to understand the Bitcoin hype will certainly appreciate how the network takes security measures seriously which could inspire them to start trading.