Bitcoin mining has become more popular since it gained popularity after the few bull runs it has made in the past few years. With a surge in trading activities and investment, and the proliferation of trading applications HomePage, crypto activities have increased manifold.
In this article, we are going to discuss an important aspect of mining- the purpose of a full node. So without much delay, let us leapfrog the basics and move on to the central points.
Mining is the process through which the miners audit and verify transactional data and approves them so that they can be registered as new block records in the existing blockchain. Mining is also the process through which miners earn new Bitcoin that can be added to circulation.
The task of a miner is to check the transactional data against a contract that serves as a guiding parameter for all the transactions. If the conditions of the contract are met, the transactions get approved.
Each miner has their own mining rig. A mining rig is a high-powered computer system that has a high graphics processing unit. These mining rigs execute complex mathematical equations as proof of work to generate the hash that is required in order to approve crypto transactions.
A node primarily is a computer system that is connected to the Bitcoin network. There are two categories of nodes- a lightweight node, and a full node.
- Full nodes- Any node that downloads the entire blockchain in order to audit and verify all the guidelines and rules of the contract is a full node. One of the most popular software that can be used to execute the nodal function is the Bitcoin Core.
- Lightweight node- Unlike the full nodes, the lightweight nodes do not have to download the totality of the blockchain. These nodes are easy to run and they download only the header data in order to audit and verify the authenticity of a transaction.
What Constitutes a full node?
The function of the full node as mentioned above requires it to download the blockchain in its entirety, and verify all the data against the consensus rule of the blockchain.
What is a consensus rule?
We are all aware that cryptocurrencies gain an edge over traditional currency because they do not need an intermediate body to audit and verify transactions. The verification is guided by computer programs that are not prone to human errors. Consensus rules are the criteria laid down in order to verify transactions and for the creation of new blocks. Some of the consensus rules are:
- The upper limit of 21,000,000 Bitcoin. This means in a lifetime only this much Bitcoin can ever exist.
- The number of bitcoin generated for the creation of each new block changes by a proportion between the upper limit and the total coins in circulation.
- The verification of input and output of every transaction in order to avoid errors such as double-spending, or the creation of new bitcoins due to accounting errors.
The role of the full node is to comply with these rules so that inauthentic transactions can be disapproved. The full nodes are more secure compared to lightweight nodes that can be easily deceived with fake transactions and thus eliminate them from the primary network.
The minimum requirement to run a node
To run a full node a computer system must have
- A computer that runs on the latest version of the operating system of Windows, Linux, or Mac OS.
- The computer system must have a free space of a minimum of 7 gigabytes.
- The disk space of the system must be accessible at reading and writing speed of 100 megabytes per second.
- 2 gigabytes of Random Access Memory
- The system will require a fast broadband connection with high upload and download speed. Upload speed should be more than 50 kb per second.
- A minimum of six hours of running time per day for the node. The more running hours, the better.
You can download node software from the internet in order to be a part of the Bitcoin network.