Six Reasons You Should Run Bitcoin Node – Bitcoin Magazine – Bitcoin News, Articles and Expert Insights

let me quickly explain that a bitcoin node is any computer running a piece of software (bitcoin core) that has some important jobs:

Your bitcoin node needs to maintain a copy of the entire bitcoin block chain. it has to connect with other nodes, forming a communication network, which propagates transactions (transactions are kept in a “mempool”, that is, the queue of transactions waiting to be included in the next block and, therefore, added to the blockchain). it needs to verify that all additions to the blockchain are valid and reject those that are not. it will provide details about the blockchain, such as balances, to other types of software that request it, such as wallets. and will provide a copy of the blockchain to any new node that wants to join. the new node then independently verifies that each transaction in the copy it receives is valid. it doesn’t actually “trust” the connected node.

Reading: Running a bitcoin node

To run a node, you download the bitcoin core software and then let it copy the block chain from other nodes, and your node verifies each block for itself. then you leave it on and new blocks are received approximately every 10 minutes (the blocks contain transactions taken from the mempool). your node will check if the block is valid and if so, add it to your copy of the blockchain.

A dubious block is rejected, not because everyone else rejects it, and not because everyone copies their neighbor, but because the block is not valid according to the rules contained in the core bitcoin software and everyone else who they run the same software. it will also reject that dubious block.

Your bitcoin wallet does not hold a copy of the blockchain and is usually separate from the bitcoin core (although the bitcoin core does have a wallet function). your wallet only has your keys. you have to ask a bitcoin node, “hey mr. node, this address of mine, do you have any bitcoin?” technically that’s not quite accurate, but that’s enough for now.

running your own node means you don’t ask other people what your copy of the bitcoin core is doing. it is your own copy of the bitcoin core and you don’t need to trust other people. your wallet can request your copy of the bitcoin blockchain (making the digital connection between your wallet and the node is the critical and technically challenging part, not just running the node; an article for another day).

So, with the preamble finished, let me explain why it’s important to run your own node:

motif 1


When your wallet tells you your bitcoin balance, it asks a random public bitcoin node what balance each of your addresses holds. then it gives you the results and you see your total bitcoin in that wallet. even empty addresses that you haven’t used are queried. surveillance companies run some of these nodes. “what the hell?” yes, it’s true.

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you are telling a random entity, possibly a surveillance company, your ip address (which can be used to identify you), and that you have a bitcoin wallet, and all your current and future addresses that you will use within that wallet, and all the balances of all those addresses, now and later. Providing this information to surveillance companies is dangerous for many reasons. for example, this data can be leaked intentionally (to the government upon request) or unintentionally (to hackers). Governments can target Bitcoiners with heavy wealth taxes or confiscation, as the US government once did with gold with Order 6102 in 1933, and hackers can target you to extort or trick you out of your money. bitcoin.

reason 2

you can confirm for yourself without confidence that you are receiving real bitcoins.

For example, when you sell something, a technically sophisticated buyer could potentially manipulate which node your wallet connects to. they could send him fake bitcoins, and his wallet would think he received real bitcoins because the malicious node lied to his wallet. Granted, this is highly unlikely, but the fact that you can prevent it by running a node makes developing this type of attack neither interesting nor fruitful. what really happens with this attack? the scammer somehow manages to get their bitcoin wallet to read the wrong blockchain from a malicious node. he moves so-called bitcoins on that blockchain, not the real one, and your wallet thinks you’ve been paid.

If you get scammed in this way, you can accept this counterfeit as final payment and can send goods in exchange for the fake bitcoin. One day when you connect to a genuine bitcoin node, your wallet will show that you never actually received bitcoin. your balance will be lower than you thought it should be, because the fake transfer never existed on the real bitcoin block chain.

You can avoid this by connecting your wallet to a node you trust, but even better is to connect to your own node. “do not trust, verify”, is the mantra of the bitcoiner.

Not doing this is like accepting gold as payment and asking a random person to use their xrf parser to check if the gold they received is real. you don’t know if that random person is on the buyer’s side or if she is honest.

you might ask, “lack of trust? wait, am i not trusting bitcoin core when i download it? how do i know that’s not fake? yes and no. are there ways to verify that the software you downloaded it’s genuine, but that’s not for this article.

then you might ask, “am I not trusting the developers that the genuine copy is behaving as expected?” actually yes, unless you write the software yourself, read the code yourself, or pay someone to read the code, but then you’re trusting them. There has to be some level of trust, but the idea is to keep it to a minimum. (I’m just saying I could get in trouble with the bitcoin mob, shhh!) most people (me included) can’t and don’t want to read the code, so there is some element of trust. trust is that hundreds, maybe thousands, of developers’ eyes are checking the code for bugs and issues before it’s released. It’s not easy to make changes to the bitcoin core, and this is a feature, not a bug. Using the gold xrf analyzer analogy, you probably won’t build one from scratch to check if your gold is real or not, and that’s fine.

reason 3

defends bitcoin rules from unwanted changes, such as scarcity or block size.

If a group of “powerful” people got together, as they did in 2017, and decided to try to change the rules of how bitcoin works (for example, by increasing the block size), you can choose not to upgrade your node to the new system and keep your current node. if you are more than a minority, there will be a group of people running the unchanged bitcoin core and a group of people running the modified version – a fork. this is how bitcoin cash was born. the new version was unanimously rejected, but those who lost the war continued to run their nodes and mine bitcoin cash as well. those who owned bitcoin also owned bitcoin cash. for a given address, there was a balance on the bitcoin block chain, a balance on the bitcoin cash block chain.

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If you weren’t running your own node at the time, you had no say in this war. his wallet could have been connected to a bitcoin cash node and someone could have paid him in bitcoin cash instead of bitcoin. then you could have given up your assets in exchange for coins that did not comply with the monetary policy you preferred.

reason 4

If you run a node and leave it on 24 hours a day, it helps the network.

the more nodes that are running, the faster transactions can be propagated for everyone and the more difficult it is to close bitcoin. to kill bitcoin, every copy of the block chain must be destroyed.

motive 5

be an “uncle jim”.

In the future, it may be too hard for everyone to run their own node, but we don’t want people to trust random nodes. I imagine there will be a technical person in each social “circle of trust” (“uncle jim”) for people to connect their wallets. this small trade-off is much better than connecting to random public bitcoin nodes.

If you learn to run your own node, then you also become a kind of human node, because one day you might help someone else run and use their own node.

reason 6

freshness factor and street cred.

running your own node is great and gives you a great appreciation of the power of bitcoin. you’ll probably end up buying more.


Hopefully, it’s now clear why you should run a node. there are several ways. if you want individual help, check here. For the computer illiterate, help is available at

this is a guest post by arman the parman. The opinions expressed are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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