I'm currently doing a research project about Bitcoin and I've particularily been investigating the seed nodes and I have two questions about them :

  • How are they chosen ? Well, they have to be nodes with high disponibility (bandwith maybe?) but is there any other criterion ?
  • Why are some of the nodes located in the network of big companies ? Isn't it a bit contradictory to Bitcoin's spirit to have the ip address of some major financial companies hardcoded in its client ?

Thanks for your answers :)


  • Specifically, you are asking why were the IP addresses that are served by the hosts in the DNSSeed list chosen over other IP addresses: en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Satoshi_Client_Node_Discovery. – Stephen Gornick Apr 16 '13 at 22:14
  • 2
    I wasn't talking about the one from the DNSSeed list, but about the hardcoded one. Such as : 0xe473042e, 0xb177f2ad, 0xd63f3fb2... (net.cpp) – Ayla Apr 17 '13 at 8:40

According to the Bitcoin wiki https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Satoshi_Client_Node_Discovery

  1. Nodes discover their own external address by various methods.
  2. Nodes discover their own external address by various methods.
  3. Nodes makes DNS request to receive IP addresses.
  4. Nodes can use addresses hard coded into the software.
  5. Nodes exchange addresses with other nodes.
  6. Nodes store addresses in a database and read that database on startup.
  7. Nodes can be provided addresses as command line arguments
  8. Nodes read addresses from a user provided text file on startup

Because this is peer-to-peer technology the client is usually connected to more than one node at a time. The reference client validates every bit of information it receives. If a financial company was to go rouge and send false or incomplete data the software would realise the data is invalid and rely on the other connected nodes to operate.

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