The link I have shared as part of this post really made me stop and think today. It's an estimate of listening and non-listening bitcoin node.
If you consider yourself a Bitcoiner, this should worry you. What you see is a slow decay of a statistic that should be growing year on year. Especially now, when people are moving to self custody, as the shitcoins die, and when people are seeing the true value of Bitcoin as a tool of freedom.
The misconception about running a node is that you are supporting the network. But it's not really about that. Running a node is YOU exerting control. It's YOU saying "these are my rules, THIS is what I want Bitcoin to be". And if many users engage this selfish act, Bitcoin becomes stronger! That's the magic right there.
Look at the blocksize wars, at the big blocker corporate interests signaling for segwit2x, look at the RBF nonsense as people who don't understand the risks and function of Bitcoin try to dictate how the network should work. Node runners are the main line of defense against these actors. YOU can be there in the phalanx, in fact you SHOULD be there, with a spear in hand ready to strike at that which you must fight. A shield locked with those you would share consensus with.
If you do not run a Bitcoin node you are allowing the essence of bitcoin to rot through inaction. For your sake, for the sake of your bitcoin and, critically, for the sake of Bitcoin's soul. Run a node.
You don't need a raspberry pi, you don't need an old computer, you don't need to run Linux or make a sever or any of that shit. What you need is to download bitcoin core from bitcoincore.org for your OS, verify it, and install it. Congratulations. You now operate a node. If you can't spare the disk space? Prune it. Can't dedicate the bandwidth? Don't propagate blocks. Don't want people to know you use bitcoin? Enable tor. The possible configurations are huge and there are tools to help you configure it as well Wallets like sparrow will easily connect to your node too, so you can effortlessly have privacy in your transactions too.
Aren't sure what you are doing? Don't worry, ask for help here, go to the daily thread, go to the r/bitcoin discord. Ask. Ask. Ask. People will help you. And then, one day, pay it forward. I have included some helpful links to get you going. But if you are new to this whole thing and have questions then please ask away.
How to run a pruned node if you cant spare disk space
Remember, there may come another blocksize war, it may happen sooner than you think. Be prepared to make yourself self-sovereign or face the consequences of inaction. To quote Sartre "We're 'thrown' into existence, become aware of ourselves, and have to make choices. Even deciding not to choose is a choice."
(This post is 100% stolen from the r/bitcoin subreddit.): https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/zturtd/think_bitcoin_is_inevitable_think_again/
Tor sucks been thinking about saying fuck it and switching to clear net!
What about i2p? My node does not find any connections on i2p but I will keep running it there
Haven’t tried i2p yet is it fast?
Browsing is way faster than tor and I encounter less captchas.
You just need to run your node for some time at the beginning for discovery reasons.
But I only use I2P to visit one specific eepsite. So don't know how the rest of the network behaves.
Eclipse attacks: now extra eclipsey
If you run both Tor and I2P at the same time, it's harder to do eclipse attacks against you.
Also, addnode= with your friends or other parties you trust, can be useful.
And why not keep running it on tor? You can be on every network. Clearnet, Tor, I2P. I don't see any drawbacks.
And what specifically sucks for you about Tor?
It’s painfully slow. And can’t route as fast as a ln routing node
Latency is issue for LN routing nodes, but not for Bitcoin node (Bitcoin Core), where some seconds more or less for unconfirmed tx or mined block to arrive to your node doesn't matter much if you aren't miner.
This is the problem I complain about very frequently these days. When I say run a node, people think it has something to do with the lightning network....it does not.
I wholeheartedly agree with your article. I too worry about the possibility of another blocksize war. In my own case, though I have learned a lot going down the umbrel/raspberry pie route and I'm getting better with command line stuff, I don't think I have the technical ability to even take a position or pick a side on a war. I would have to hope umbrel was on the right side or that they would make a nice simple yes/no toggle for me! I know that's sad, but I bet a lot of people are in my position.
The node I'm talking about here doesn't include the lightning network. Its just the timechain. When there is a disagreement, the devs who are having the spat, typically release a Bitcoin client you can download and install. That an on-chain node and a lightning node have become synonymous makes this so incredibly difficult to talk about.
Simple "spat" you can take part in right now, I'd love to be connected to more peers who have full rbf enabled.
Like the article says, knowing command line or having a special OS or special hardware isn't really needed. Just a computer with some disk space that's turned on and connected to the internet with a GUI program known as Bitcoin core running.
It does not worry me at all. What matters are users, the number of nodes is just a proxy
what matters are users who can run and know the implications of running their own node.
But seriously: it's an excellent post, thank you.
The misconception is that running a node is technical. The easiest way to run your own node is to just use a wallet that has it built in like Core, Wasabi, or Sparrow.
Main issue is that for mobile devices the blockchain is too big to store locally, but on desktop it is a no-brainer. No need to fuff around with a raspberry pi etc.
Sparrow uses someone else's node by default, but yes if you are running core, you can connect Sparrow to core to use your own node (I don't know anything about Wasabi, but I would guess its the same thing)
Sorry I might of confused wasabi and sparrow! Wasabi can run bitcoin knots local node (is a setting), sparrow just requires you to run bitcoin core at the same time and to also check a setting. So not completely out of the box, bit still a damn sight better than wallet manufacturer’s default software.
The next war will be with these tail emission idiots. 21M cap or GTFO.
What is the difference between a listening and a non-listening bitcoin node?
Found the answer on Reddit:
"Listening node" means that a full node has a specific port open (usually 8333), which allows for inbound connections and allows other peers to download older blocks from it (when that other node is syncing to the network, f.ex).
"Non-listening node" means port 8333 is closed and that node doesn't allow other nodes to download old blocks from it.
Both listening and non-listening nodes are full nodes (as long as they verify everything from scratch).
"'listening' to describe a node which accepts incoming connections. Non-listening is one which isn't portforwarded, doesn't relay stuff to arbitrary peers, just maintains its own peers it gets blocks/txs from. In torrenting terms, a non-listening node is a leecher, while a listening node is a seeder."
I had to ask someone else to explain it and this is what they said lmao