Bitcoin and Lighting Nodes — The Backbone of Bitcoin’s Future

What is a node?

Essentially, a node is a computer connected to other computers that follows rules and shares information. They are essential for keeping the Bitcoin network running. They act as a sort of guardian that constantly monitors the Bitcoin blockchain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from illegitimate ones. Their most basic purpose is to prevent attempts to double spend bitcoins that have already been spent.

  • Follow rules
  • Share information
  • Keep a copy of confirmed transactions (these confirmed transactions are held together in a file called the blockchain)

Why should I get a node?

First off, setting up and running a Bitcoin node is actually relatively simple. Running a node will allow you to interact with the bitcoin network more privately and securely. In addition, it enables a user to prove ownership of their bitcoin without relying on third parties. While running a node helps strengthen the Bitcoin network, it is most beneficial to you for it allows you to preserve your privacy, bolster your own security, as well as prove that no one is manipulating the network.

Okay, but tell me more. Why is it important to run a node?

In short, you can:
1. Protect your Bitcoin investment
2. Preserve your privacy
3. Make the Bitcoin network more robust

What’s the difference between at Full Node and a Lightweight Node?

Good question! Node and full node are often used interchangeably, but that’s a mistake only a newb would make (and, like us, you’re trying to graduate from newb). A full node confirms transactions by downloading all transactions, while lightweight nodes only download key data. Lightweight nodes depend on full nodes to function and require less download/storage capacity because they don’t store the entire block chain.

Is it hard to set up?

Not really! There are certain requirements that need to be met, and while you can run a node on weak hardware, it’ll likely cause you more trouble than necessary.

Do I need to have a node to use bitcoin?

Technically no! A huge part of bitcoin is being able to send, receive, and store money without relying on anyone else. By not running your own node, you miss out on the opportunity to ensure that you and only you own the bitcoin. If you value privacy above all else, then it’s in your best interest to learn the ropes. However, if you don’t mind trusting another to handle your transactions and prefer a simpler process that doesn’t require setting up and maintaining a computer, you can opt for a bitcoin wallet or a “block explorer”.



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