Number Of Reachable BTC Nodes Have Remained Unchanged Since Last Year
- A recent study has found that the number of full Bitcoin (BTC) nodes has remained unchanged since the past year.
- Full nodes, as their name implies, keep a complete record of all transactions ever recorded on a blockchain network.
An analysis shows that the number of reachable Bitcoin nodes has remained unchanged since last year. The Digital Asset Strategist at VanEck, Gabor Gurbacs points out:
There are 9,623 reachable #Bitcoin nodes, 25% in the U.S., 20% in Germany, 6.5% in France, 5.3% in the Netherlands, 3.9% in China, 3.2% in the UK, 2.6% in Russia. The number of reachable nodes are roughly the same since a year ago. Run your own node! Keep Bitcoin decentralized! pic.twitter.com/UKdBSxFdMx
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) June 6, 2019
Reachable vs Unreachable BTC Nodes
A reachable node on the bitcoin blockchain is one that both sends and receives connections from the bitcoin network, while an unreachable node can only make outgoing connections but does not accept incoming connections. Unreachable nodes do not accept incoming connections because they are either behind a firewall like Tor or shielded by a Network Address Translation (NAT) that modifies network address information in the IP header of data packets while they are in transit through a router.
The reachable nodes play an essential role in the bitcoin protocol because only they are able to function as full nodes which keep complete records of all blockchain transactions from genesis. This maintains the integrity of the bitcoin blockchain.
Large Number of Unreachable Nodes Could Lead to 51% Attacks
A falling number of reachable nodes could theoretically lead to increased centralization of the network if fewer and fewer entities control the remaining full nodes. Overtime if unchecked, this could at least on paper lead to 51 percent attacks and the nightmare scenario of double spends which would destroy the credibility of bitcoin.
Crypto enthusiast, Conrad Hayek points out:
“Why does nobody in the BTC community give a f*ck that the entire system is validated by a very very small number of mining pools? Are people genuinely okay with that?”