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Full nodes (nodes) are a key part of the Bitcoin ecosystem (BTC). They not only verify transactions, but also support network decentralization and provideuser privacy. Full nodes are extremely important for bitcoin, and in this article we will consider what solutions are available today.
What is a full node:
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A full node is any computer connected to the blockchain network 24/7 and fully synchronized with it. Full nodes store all blockchain data, starting with the genesis block.
Full nodes serve the network for free, downloadand validate each block with transactions, guided exclusively by the consensus algorithm and are completely independent. Full nodes reject consensus blocks or individual transactions.
Traditionally the easiest and most intuitive solutionIt remains to deploy the original Bitcoin Core node, the most popular client of the first cryptocurrency network. This process involves downloading and installing the appropriate software, setting up the necessary options, as well as the subsequent synchronization of blockchain data.
However, depending on the equipment, thisthe process can sometimes take up to a day or more - obviously not the most convenient option when you want to join the bitcoin network as soon as possible as the owner of a full node. Also, the use of Bitcoin Core involves at least a certain minimum required level of technical competence of the user.
It is logical that in a rich in innovationcompanies have appeared in the crypto community offering alternative ways to launch a full node. The recently launched version of Tesla, of course, is interesting, but in this case we will not consider it - together we will focus on the most popular hardware solutions.
Disclaimer: when choosing a productconduct his own study, including reviews about the manufacturer. If the supplier promises to pre-synchronize the blockchain in the package, this point also needs to be carefully examined - no one can give guarantees that the third party will not be an attacker.
Sometimes there may be other situations whereThe manufacturer’s intentions are well-intentioned, but third-party applications can steal critical data - in our case, these are private keys from bitcoin wallets.
Don’t trust - verify!
Product from California company Casaoffers several subscription plans, which include support for hardware wallets, BTCPay Server processing service, private key management solutions and other applications. The reward for supporting the Bitcoin network using the Casa hardware node and contribution to its decentralization can be received weekly.
Representatives of the company claim that Casa Node- This is the most popular product on the market today in the segment of physical devices. In early 2020, Casa Node 2 is expected to begin shipping, an updated version of the product with dual indicators of memory and SSD space, as well as support for Bitcoin Core and the lnd client for the Lightning Network.
Starting price Casa Node - $ 399.
Nodl can be considered a direct competitor to Casa, within terms of prices, the company goes a bit further by offering a number of premium options. One of them is Nodl Dojo, a device focused on increased user privacy for $ 849.
Developers offer coin mixing support and Samourai Wallet integration. A cheaper version of the device starts at $ 499. These include:
- RAM: 4GB dual-channel LPDDR4
- Storage: 16 GB eMMC (boot) + 1 TB SSD
- Preset: Bitcoin Core, BTCPay Server, ElectrumX, Dojo Server, Whirlpool CLI
An important difference from Casa is the lack of subscriptions, that is, the client pays once for the purchased device.
Lightning in a box
Lightning In A Box is another player in the market, onthis time from New York, offering an alternative to both Casa and Nodl. Among the advantages are a more powerful processor (Intel Celeron J4105, used also on laptops) and wider support for operating systems, including Windows.
- Raspberry Pi Model 4B 2GB
- 32GB SD Card & 1TB Hard Drive & 3.5 ″ LCD
An additional bonus is the ability to customize to the user's needs. Native support for Lightning Network and BTCPay Server.
Starting price - from $ 315 per device.
A relatively young company from miami alsodecided to argue with the "heavyweights" by proposing their own version of the hardware node. At the same time, having all the same pre-installed Bitcoin Core, BTCPay Server and lnd protocol for the Lightning Network, Lux Node runs on Ubuntu and offers 8 GB of RAM - twice as much as all of the above devices.
Also among the default options are Lightrend Network-oriented clients of Ride the Lightning and Thor from Bitrefill.
The young age of the company makes you be more careful when buying. Starting price - from $ 399.
Alabama-based myNodeproposed its own version of a pre-synchronized hardware node, which included built-in support for Tor and VPN, a block browser and, of course, Lighting Network with QR codes.
All this fun works with a starting price of $ 219 on the Electrum server.
Berlin-based startup Fulmo introduced a DIY (do-it-yourself) hardware kit on the Raspberry Pi4 + SSD, which includes a full Bitcoin node and Lightning Network with its own operating system.
For $ 185, you can get a fully synchronized Bitcoin blockchain + a full node for the Lightning Network with the possibility of receiving rewards for processing payments.
This is certainly a very short overview of the availableon the market for complete node offerings for the Bitcoin network and related Lightning Network solutions. There are other offers not included in this list. Nevertheless, all of them should still be treated with caution, remembering the experimental nature of the technology, and not spend more than you can afford.
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