It is said that addr message: Provide information on known nodes of the network. Non-advertised nodes should be forgotten after typically 3 hours.

I did not totally understood what does it mean forgetting a node? A node has a list of peers, and it is checking every 3 hours if these peer are active? Does it work like this? How does this forgetting mechanism work?

  • Where did you read this? Jun 12, 2017 at 22:03
  • I read it here: en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Protocol_documentation#addr Jun 13, 2017 at 7:29
  • Ignore that wiki, it was inaccurate when most of it was written years ago, and has been unmaintained since, mostly. I suggest using the bitcoin.org developer documentation instead. Jun 13, 2017 at 7:42
  • OK. So does it mean that there is no neighbour forgetting if it does not respond in 3 hours or something like that? The answer to my question is still missing. Jun 13, 2017 at 8:34
  • I'll write a full answer too when I have time; this is just a short comment to let you know the premise makes little sense. Jun 13, 2017 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


There is no need for a node to "forget" a node. This is not something that is required nor necessary. What Bitcoin Core does in response to a getaddr message (so it sends an addr message) is that it checks its list of nodes. It filters through that list for the things that it recently had a connection to and that it didn't have multiple failed connections to before. There is no checking that a node is actually live and it doesn't do it on a set timer either.

  • But isn't there a number limit for the connections? Doesn't a node try to find another connection if one of its connection has failed? Jun 18, 2017 at 13:14
  • Yes, so? That doesn't prevent a node from remembering that it recently connected to someone or that it recently tried to connect to a node and failed. And that only pertains to outgoing connections. If an incoming connection drops, Core doesn't care. It will only try to fill all of the 8 outbound connection slots.
    – Ava Chow
    Jun 18, 2017 at 16:00
  • So the limit for outbound connections is 8, right? Jun 19, 2017 at 9:50

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