Why are nodes important for blockchains to survive?
As veins are important for blood reaching to various parts of the human body, the same way nodes are responsible for any blockchain network to operate and add new blocks.
Before we know why nodes are important for blockchain, let us first understand what a node is.
What is a node?
A node is an electronic device connected to the network and possessing an IP address. Generally, nodes are the communication endpoints of a blockchain. That means that any user or application that wants to interact with the Blockchain does so through nodes. Without a node, no blockchain system can work. Therefore, nodes are an essential point of redistribution communication.
Every blockchain relies on its nodes for the necessary computing power required to carry out its operations.
These operations and their complexity can vary and each node is assigned the responsibility of taking care of one of these operations.
Types of nodes
Nodes are broadly classified as validators, full and archive nodes.
Validators nodes participate in the validation of blocks and their transactions.
The full node has a complete list of all the transactions that have been carried out on that blockchain, whereas a light node only has a partial list of those transactions.
Light nodes keep their data accurate by keeping a connection to one of the full nodes, while full nodes are run by enthusiasts or cryptocurrency stakeholders in order to support the blockchain.
What is a validator?
A validator is someone who is responsible for verifying transactions on a blockchain. Once transactions are verified, they are added to the distributed ledger. In proof of work (PoW) systems, validators, also known as miners, solve complex computational math problems in order to win the right to verify transactions and receive rewards for the “work.”
In proof of stake (PoS) systems, validators are given rewards as long as they stake the network’s token and correctly participate in the network. This mechanism helps secure the network by imposing the need to lock up value in the network in order to participate in the consensus decisions.
What is a full node?
A full node is a program that fully validates transactions and blocks. Almost all full nodes also help the network by accepting transactions and blocks from other full nodes, validating those transactions and blocks, and then relaying them to further full nodes.
What is an archive node?
An Archive node is a full node running with a special option known as archive mode. Archive nodes have all the historical data of the blockchain since the genesis block. If you have a need for data from blocks before the last 128 blocks, you’ll want to access an archive node.
Due to all the above reasons, nodes are very important for any blockchain network's operation, as they keep every participant honest and ensure data reliability.
To incentivize users on running validators, blockchains usually reward them for their successful block productions. Users voluntarily set up their own full nodes to keep a copy and eventually query it for data.
Nodes Kleverly secure the blockchain network!
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