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I have trouble finding the difference between a full node and a miner. It looks like these two names are used interchangeably which I think is not entirely correct. Miners do process blocks and full nodes verify if transactions which has been packed in the block by miners are all valid. Some can run a full node without running the mining software.

I know a lot of people who think that miners and full nodes are one and the same.

Thank you for your help.

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A full node is a complete copy of the blockchain and is able to verify all transactions since the beginning. This requires about 140GB of drive space (currently).

A pruning node is one that has verified all prior transactions; however, it has deleted all blocks below a certain space requirement, but still has a copy of the UXTO set. It's almost useless to the community, but takes less resources on the computer (can be under 1GB of drive space).

A miner on the other hand creates blocks in the blockchain which the nodes keep. Basically, the miner works on transactions by coming up with the best combination (hash) to store that information. Miners spend about 10 minutes working on a problem, but nodes keep that result forever after in the database and verify it with others. Miners don't need to know about prior blocks (except for the prior one) with very few exceptions.

So, a miner is completely different than a full node. It's not comparing the same like things. Full vs Light is comparing two like things - fruit (apple and orange). Miner vs FullNode is comparing two totally different things (apple and fence).

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    "the miner works on transactions by coming up with the best combination (hash) to store that information." - this is not really how mining works, it is not like compression – MeshCollider Nov 18 '17 at 20:32
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    Some nits: Full nodes don't necessarily have a complete copy of the blockchain. As Pruned nodes, archival nodes are a subset of full nodes. See What is the meaning of the term “full-node”? for a comprehensive description. Pruned nodes are not useless to the network, they serve transactions and new blocks, however since they don't advertise NODE_NETWORK, peers will not request older blocks from them: What do pruning nodes contribute to the network?. BIP159 proposes NODE_NETWORK_LIMITED. – Murch Nov 19 '17 at 21:42
  • @Michail Wilson you use the term "Light node" in your answer but never defined it...? – Howiecamp Apr 25 '18 at 23:42
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Ok after reading the comments I still didn't find a valid answer to the initial question. A (full) node contains the whole block chain. With this knowledge this node can check if new transactions actually are OK. Although not strictly necessary, a miner is a full node(so with complete knowledge of the block chain) which additionally creates new blocks compared to just nodes than only validate information. This hazel has been long time in my head and no sourse was available to clarify than until i read the comment of carsten_ger in the following link: https://www.reddit.com/r/BitcoinBeginners/comments/2rpmyl/what_is_the_difference_between_running_a_node_and/ Hope that helps.

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The difference between full-node and pool-/mining-node is the same as between bald and hairy man. Bald has zero hairs. Full-node has zero hashrate.

For me - there is no difference. Both bald and hairy are humans.

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    Doesn't it make a huge difference in who controls the network? In other words, miners can not do anything with at least 50 % of full nodes agreeing on a block from the miner, but full nodes can accept blocks from each and every miner? I think that is a huge difference, even if anybody is a "computer". – Joe Sep 7 '17 at 4:34
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    Whoops, I believe I accidentally downvoted @amacilin's comment. That was not intentional. – arubi Nov 18 '17 at 21:20

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