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How big is the Bitcoin network in terms of total number of computers (peers, clients) that are connected together? Are there any network statistics or historical size data available?

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My current real-time estimate using https://github.com/ayeowch/bitnodes is 8000 to 10000 nodes that are reachable at any one time with churn rate of 300 to 500 nodes every 5 minutes. The churn could be due to several factors, e.g.

  • Node went offline
  • Node reached max. allowed connections
  • Time of day, e.g. more nodes are online during US working hours
  • Network errors
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  • Thanks for your answer. I checked at getaddr.bitnodes.io and today's measurement was about 158,000 nodes. I thought these are the unique nodes the script was able to connect to in a given time period. Is this true? Does the high "churn rate" play a big role here? How many of the network nodes are connected in long term? Is it the 8-10k? – Kozuch Dec 26 '13 at 21:25
  • Also, I found this list (warning - a 64 MB .txt file) - luke.dashjr.org/programs/bitcoin/files/charts/seeds.txt - it lists 400k+ IPs with probabilities of the node being seen in various time intervals (from 2 hours till 30 days). – Kozuch Dec 26 '13 at 21:39
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    The public data on getaddr.bitnodes.io is based on the first generation crawler (bitnodes.py) from the same GitHub repo. It shows nodes that ever came online in the last 30 days. – bitnodes Dec 27 '13 at 6:04
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    The seeds.txt with 400k IPs is being updated continuously (appended) using github.com/sipa/bitcoin-seeder. – bitnodes Dec 27 '13 at 6:08
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There is no definitive answer because the network changes as nodes connect and disconnect. Blockchain.info maintains some statistics that might help you. Try going here to get a list of nodes that have connected recently. This still won't tell you the total number of nodes in the network, but it gives you an idea. They also maintain a list of nodes that have been contacted over the past 48 hours.

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