What is the difference between btc node and btc client?

Which one is bitcoin-core and which bitcoind?

1 Answer 1


The Bitcoin system runs on a peer-to-peer network. Each device participating on this network is called a "node" (of the network). This node is actually a device running a Bitcoin client program. Technically speaking node and client coincide. However they are different concepts in my opinion. One refers to the role of being part of the network, while the other refers to having a Bitcoin client program running.

Bitcoin-Core is a client program; namely, the reference implementation. Bitcoind is just the "daemon" of Bitcoin-Core, that is the client core, running in the background, and can be controlled by bitcoin-cli (the command-line interface) via RPC.

  • From this it looks like bitcoin-core consists of bitcoind, bitcoin-qt and bitcoin-cli. But en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Clients shows bitcoin-core and bitcoind as separate clients.
    – croraf
    Nov 23, 2017 at 11:13
  • That website is kind of outdated, so some information might be wrong. In any case, if you look at the Download link, you will see they point to the same program. If you try to download the archive, in fact, you will find there is actually no "bitcoin-core" binary, but only "bitcoind", "bitcoin-cli", and "bitcoin-qt", where the last two actually make use of bitcoind.
    – FedFranz
    Nov 23, 2017 at 11:22
  • bitcoin-qt does not use bitcoind in any way or form. Nov 23, 2017 at 16:04
  • Pieter Wuille is right. My bad. I changed my answer accordingly
    – FedFranz
    Nov 23, 2017 at 16:28

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