I'm curious, how many lightweight nodes are there on the network? Is this easy to tell?

1 Answer 1


It isn't easy to tell for a number of reasons.

  • The network protocols don't explicitly distinguish between full-nodes, SPV wallets or other types of software that communicate with full nodes.
  • Many lightweight wallets only connect to predetermined non-public servers, as Murch pointed out.
  • Just finding approximately all the current nodes in the network is itself difficult
    • Some nodes are only intermittently present. Consider a node that is only connected for 10 minutes a week.
    • The network is a gossip network. It isn't intended that anyone needs a list of all nodes. Therefore finding all nodes isn't explicitly catered for.
    • Many nodes are likely to be relatively passive and may not accept inbound connections.
    • Privacy is an important issue. This probably affects the amount of information leaked by software - even if that information seems innocuous to many.
    • Nodes that use security measures such as Tor may be hard to count accurately - they might each appear as multiple nodes.


  • 3
    Additionally a lot of light clients only connect to predetermined non-public endpoints
    – Murch
    Apr 11, 2023 at 18:13
  • @Murch: Thanks, I've added that point to the answer. Apr 11, 2023 at 19:13
  • 3
    Perhaps that's a semantics issue, but if a (lightweight) wallet connects to a non-public wallet service, I wouldn't refer to that as a P2P node at all. So if the question is about lightweight nodes, they don't matter. Of course, perhaps OP's question is really about lightweight wallets in a more general sense. Apr 11, 2023 at 19:36

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