2

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

1 Answer 1

3

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.

related:

3
  • 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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.