In this article, we will explain what types of nodes exist, which ones are used in the bitcoin network, depending on the different roles they are assigned to in the P2P network.
Although the types of nodes in the Bitcoin network are the same, they can assume different roles depending on the functionality they support. All nodes of the Bitcoin network include a routing function to participate in the network and can include other functions, as well as validate and re-transmit or distribute transactions and transaction blocks. And all the nodes also discover and maintain connections with the rest of the nodes (pairs).
The nodes in the Bitcoin network can be grouped into three categories:
– those that only issue transactions as mobile devices or simple portfolio programs (only for the broadcast node);
– those that relay or propagate and transmit transactions (relay node);
– Those that emit, transmit and create new blocks with transactions (mining node).
Of these three categories of nodes, the first requires less computational capacity than the next, and it increases in each category of nodes. The third category, which includes mining, requires the most powerful computer hardware to solve the Proof-Of-Work algorithm used in Bitcoin mining. Mining nodes are the most valuable as they guarantee the security of the Bitcoin network, but they have the problem that they are increasingly difficult to manage due to the high complexity and cost of mining, which is constantly being improved.
Functions of different types of nodes in the Bitcoin network
To explain the functions of the various nodes, we will describe a simple example. Imagine buying coffee using bitcoin. You will most likely do this from a mobile, so the most basic node type will work and the transaction will follow these steps:
1. The initial node (the phone will be the broadcast node, that is, the only issuing node) creates a transaction that transfers its currencies to the bitcoin wallet of the cafe where you buy coffee. This node then immediately sends this transaction to its peers in the Bitcoin network, who will be the nodes transmitting the transactions.
2. The relay node simply propagates this transaction to other nodes, who also transmit it, which allows the transaction to quickly propagate to all nodes. In fact, this is not so easy, since the transmission nodes must be wary of malicious transactions or spam: if the transmitting node forwards any message, the Bitcoin network will quickly collapse with a saturation of unwanted transactions. Therefore, all transmission nodes confirm that the transaction is in the correct format, ensuring that the signatures are valid.
Every transaction must be registered on the blockchain. Thus, the nodes that re-transmit information are directly related to the nodes that are indirectly related to the transmitted nodes. Mining nodes can also apply arbitrary criteria specific to transactions, such as favoring those transactions that pay higher fees. If the commission is too low, some transmission nodes may ignore the transaction. However, the fact that some mining nodes ignore the transaction does not mean that they all do the same. Whenever a transaction finds a mining node that accepts it, the transaction is ultimately recorded on the blockchain. Typically, production nodes collect as many transactions as possible (to maximize payments).
Recall that one of the largest manufacturers of telecommunications equipment Huawei fell a patent application for a blockchain copyright protection system. The relevant information was published the day before on the website of the State Intellectual Property Office of China.
The document notes that the first application was filed on August 15, 2016. It describes a blockchain-based system for verifying intellectual property rights in a P2P network.