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Bitcoin grows stronger with nodecount touching all time high



19 Jul, 2021


As per the latest data released from Bitcoin network tracker, on July 5 the number of reachable nodes clocked in at 13,374. Nodes running the Bitcoin Core software make up 98.77% of the number, with the remaining scattered across less popular implementations like Bitcore and Bitcoin Knots.

Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 was released back in May with a Taproot activation code, and at almost 5,000 nodes, it is currently the most utilized version of the software among entities running reachable nodes. Figures from Bitnodes put the number at 5,125, or 40% of the total network node count.

Bitnodes’ data also shows at almost half of the network node count is running on Tor. Back in January, only about a quarter of all reachable nodes were running on the hidden network Tor. Running a client like Bitcoin Core using Tor provides an additional privacy layer since the IP addresses of connecting nodes are obfuscated.

According to Bitnodes’ data, the network node count has increased by 2,739 nodes in the last year, reinforcing Bitcoin’s decentralization backbone.

Revisiting the Basics: What Is a Bitcoin Node?

A Bitcoin node is a program that validates transactions and blocks. There are different types of nodes ranging from a full node, a light node, and pruned full nodes. There are technical differences between each class, but Bitcoin nodes, no matter the format, assist in enforcing the network’s consensus rules.

Consensus rules are the set of conditions coded into the network. A Bitcoin node enforces these rules by verifying the private address and balance when sending a BTC payment. A full node is connected to a network of other nodes that form the distributed consensus network. A node does not have to trust other nodes for verifying payments. It validates them itself before broadcasting across the network.

Bitcoin nodes’ network quickly disregards a node that tries to propagate incorrect information by banning it for at least 24 hours or even longer, depending on the number of incorrect propagations.

So, what does more nodes means for Bitcoin?

Bitcoin doesn’t just need nodes; it requires lots of fully functioning nodes - that have the bitcoin core client on a machine instance with the complete block chain. The more nodes there are, the more secure the network is. The growth in the network node count also leads to the expansion currently taking place in the Lightning Network ecosystem where capacity has gone up over 70% in less than six months. Earlier in July, public Lightning Network capacity crossed 1,800 Bitcoin (BTC) after adding 100 BTC in less than a week. Data from Lightning Network statistics tracker Bitcoin Visuals puts the number of LN nodes at above 12,800, which is also an all-time high value.

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