An SPV node certainly is a compromise of security because the full set of consensus rules are not verified by the node (for example block size or subsidy rules). A pruned node seems like a win-win, except you can't help new nodes bootstrap on to the network.

Are there any other tradeoffs?

1 Answer 1


Full nodes derive their security from enforcing all of the rules of Bitcoin self-sufficiently on any data they receive, and by validating the complete blockchain from the genesis block to the chain tip. This does not require keeping the data after validating it. Pruning nodes have the same security that archival nodes have. Since following Bitcoin's rules is sufficient to converge to the chain-tip, pruning nodes have full consensus capability.

The only difference is that pruning nodes cannot serve the blocks that they have pruned, and if a pruning node requires a -reindex for any reason, it will need to repeat the full Initial Block Download (IBD).

  • "they cannot serve the blocks that they have pruned". Is this a security issue if most nodes are pruning? May 11, 2021 at 18:52
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    No, it would simply mean that the data is harder to get, but since any provided data would still be protected by the hash, it could not be faked either.
    – Murch
    May 12, 2021 at 17:09

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