Full Node Vs Light Client: Main Differences Between Them

You’re new to crypto and are trying to find the best way for you to start. It may be intimidating to download the whole blockchain, as it includes every Bitcoin transaction. It can be tedious and slow, not to mention that it takes up lots of memory. You have options. This article will help you understand the difference between a node full and a client light!

Light node and full node: Differences explained

A node is any computer that connects to the blockchain network, for instance, any computer connected to the Bitcoin network can be regarded as a Bitcoin node. A full node is a node that fully enforces all of the rules of the blockchain, while a light client (also known as lightweight node) is referencing a trusted full node’s copy of the blockchain. This means that you can transact on the blockchain without downloading an entire copy of the blockchain. It’s important to note that this is no small file because the entire history of blockchain must be downloaded. For example, the Bitcoin blockchain is now a 27 GB file since it must be synced between the network’s 6000 plus nodes.

A full node may not be an option for everyone, as many don’t possess the memory and processing power to run one. (This is why full nodes are best left up to developers, service providers, and miners). You’ll probably use lighter clients instead, as they can verify transactions with a simplified payment verification method (SPV), allowing a node the ability to check if a particular transaction is included in a given block without downloading the entire blockchain. Mobile wallets almost always use light clients because most mobile phones do not have the memory required to run full nodes. You should also be aware that light clients can be downloaded for computer systems.

The light client allows the user to communicate with the blockchain of bitcoin and make transactions and confirm them without having to commit disk space. There are also some advantages to running a complete node. Full nodes are known for their trustlessness. They will refuse any transaction or block that does not follow the consensus rules. This is true even if all other nodes on the network believe that this block/transaction is valid. Nodes that are fully functional help to process and validate transactions.

It is for this reason that those interested in Mining are most likely to use a full-node. The full nodes are also important for the functioning of the network. And the more nodes there are, the less trustable and centralised the system is.

Beginners should get used to a lighter client, as it will make their lives easier. As you gain experience, you may want to switch over to a “full node”. The full nodes form the core of the blockchain. These nodes are responsible for routing transactions, providing wallets, and mining. They can independently verify all transactions. The light clients are more accessible and easier to use.

It is also important to note that there exists a relationship between light clients and full nodes. If this did not exist, light clients wouldn’t be able to connect to the crypto-network. They may then choose to switch to a central service.

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