Node Networks: How They Work and Why They Matter | Dex-Trade Academy

Node Networks: How They Work and Why They Matter | Dex-Trade Academy

1. Introduction

2. Bitcoin Nodes

3. Full Nodes

4. Listening Nodes (Supernodes)

5. Miner Nodes

6. Lightweight or SPV Clients

7. Client vs. Mining Nodes

8. Conclusion



As the world continues to embrace blockchain technology, understanding the various nodes and their functions is essential. Nodes are an integral part of any blockchain network as they act as communication points that may perform different functions. In this article, we will focus on Bitcoin nodes, which are designed as distributed systems that make it possible for Bitcoin to be used as a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency. In this article, we will define and discuss the various types of Bitcoin nodes, which include full nodes, supernodes, miner nodes, and SPV clients.


Bitcoin Nodes

Bitcoin nodes refer to the network of computer nodes that make it possible for Bitcoin to function as a P2P digital currency. Blockchain nodes are responsible for acting as a communication points that may perform different functions. Any computer or device that connects to the Bitcoin interface may be considered a node in the sense that they communicate somehow with each other. These nodes are also able to transmit information about transactions and blocks within the distributed network of computers by using the Bitcoin peer-to-peer protocol. However, each computer node is defined according to its particular functions, so there are different types of Bitcoin nodes.


Full Nodes

Full nodes are the ones that provide security and support to Bitcoin, and they are indispensable to the network. These nodes engage in the process of verifying transactions and blocks against the system's consensus rules, making them fully validating nodes. They are also able to relay new transactions and blocks to the blockchain. Usually, a full node downloads a copy of the Bitcoin blockchain with every block and transaction, but this is not a requirement to be considered a full node (a reduced copy of the blockchain may be used instead).

To run a full node, the minimum requirements include a desktop or laptop with a recent version of Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, 200GB of free disk space, 2GB of memory (RAM), and a high-speed internet connection with upload speeds of at least 50 kB/s. An unmetered connection or a connection with high upload limits is preferred, and the full node should run at least 6 hours a day, or continuously (24/7).


Listening Nodes (Supernodes)

Listening nodes or supernodes are publicly visible full nodes that communicate and provide information to any other node that establishes a connection with them. A reliable supernode typically runs 24/7 and has several established connections, transmitting the blockchain history and transaction data to multiple nodes around the world. Hence, a supernode is basically a redistribution point that may act both as a data source and as a communication bridge.


Miner Nodes

Miner nodes are specialized nodes that are responsible for mining Bitcoins. Mining programs (software) are executed in parallel to try and mine Bitcoin blocks. A miner may choose to work alone (solo miner) or in groups (pool miner). While solo miners' full nodes make use of their own copy of the blockchain, pool miners work together, with only the administrator of the pool required to run a full node, which can be referred to as a pool miner's full node.


Lightweight or SPV Clients

Lightweight or Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) clients make use of the Bitcoin network but do not act as full nodes. Hence, they do not contribute to the network's security because they do not keep a copy of the blockchain or participate in verifying and validating transactions. SPV clients rely on the information provided by other full nodes (supernodes). They work as communication endpoints and are used by many cryptocurrency wallets.


Client vs. Mining Nodes

It is important to note that running a full node is not the same as running a full mining node network and constructing a new block. The miner then competes with other miners to solve a cryptographic puzzle, and the first miner to solve the puzzle is rewarded with new Bitcoins as well as any transaction fees included in the block. Therefore, mining nodes are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the blockchain by adding new blocks to it and ensuring that transactions are processed correctly.

In contrast, client nodes are not involved in the mining process but still play a critical role in the functioning of the Bitcoin network. Client nodes act as communication endpoint that sends and receives transactions to and from other nodes. By doing so, client nodes help to propagate new transactions and blocks throughout the network, ensuring that they are processed in a timely manner.



In conclusion, nodes are the backbone of the Bitcoin network, enabling it to function as a decentralized and censorship-resistant digital currency. There are different types of Bitcoin nodes, each with its own specific functions and requirements. Full nodes are essential to the security of the network, while supernodes act as redistribution points for information. Miner nodes are responsible for adding new blocks to the blockchain, and lightweight clients provide a way for users to access the network without having to run a full node. By understanding the different types of Bitcoin nodes, users can better appreciate the complexity and resilience of the Bitcoin network.