From where does a node download the latest copy of ledger initially? Is this information stored in a 'central server'?

Let's say a node is offline for a while, after coming back how will the node get to know the ledger is up-to-date or not?

2 Answers 2


Good question, This is a quote from article that i have just read, where its described in a pretty simple way:

Now when you first open up a Full Node client like Bitcoin Core, most people are sitting behind a firewall. In this case, your Full Node is limited in the number of connections it can connect to (around 8) and only looks for Super Nodes a.k.a. Listening Nodes. The reason for this is because your Full Node isn’t publicly connectable yet.

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In a distributed network, a Super Node functions as a highly connected redistribution point as well as a relay station. Therefore this would be an appropriate term to describe a publicly connectable Full Bitcoin Node. This means many nodes can connect to it to obtain relayed transactional data and blockchain history.

Original article: https://hackernoon.com/lets-talk-about-bitcoin-nodes-e9502193198c

So basically you get your data from publicly connectable Full Bitcoin Nodes

  • I disagree there's such thing as a 'full bitcoin node'. If it's not full, it's not a node.
    – Osias Jota
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 22:23
  • 1
    @OsiasJota Any system, such as a server, desktop application, or wallet, that participates in the bitcoin network by “speaking” the bitcoin protocol is called a bitcoin node Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 18:06
  • It shouldn't be.
    – Osias Jota
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 18:37
  • But I recognize that's the way the word is used today :(
    – Osias Jota
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 18:48

The very word 'node' means there's no servers and clients, every running software is equivalent. No 'central' anything, Bitcoin was created to be a decentralized system. The initial copy and any future updates can be donwloaded from any other node.

  • When you say 'other node', in group of a million nodes across the globe, how do my node know from which node to download from? How to trust that node? Where to get nodes address from?
    – Faiz Ali
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 13:52
  • Bitcoin node software have a list of IP adresses of other nodes they can communicate. There's no trust required. See this answer: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/3536/…
    – Osias Jota
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 17:25

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