Wondering how to run a Bitcoin node? Well, running the Bitcoin node is quite easy. It just requires you to prepare for the complete setup with all the essential hardware and software and follow certain steps properly.
Before knowing the process of running a Bitcoin node, it is important to understand what is a Bitcoin node. For starters, it refers to the program that validates blocks and transactions.
The Bitcoin node enforces the consensus rules of the network and verifies new transactions as well as blocks. Running the self-owned Bitcoin nodes can help in preventing fraudulent activities and ensuring the optimum privacy of the users.
Minimum Requirements to Run a Full Bitcoin Node
Running a full Bitcoin node has certain minimum requirements. Using less powerful hardware may lead to a number of issues. So, make sure to have the right hardware and other essentials. Here are some of the important requirements to run a full Bitcoin node:
- Laptop or desktop with the latest version of Linux, Windows, or macOS.
- 2GB RAM.
- 200GB disk space.
- A reliable broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 50 kbps.
Here are some of the potential issues that you may come across while running the full Bitcoin node:
Certain internet plans may charge you extra when you exceed the upload bandwidth limit. Your internet connection may even be terminated without any prior warning due to overuse. In order to avoid all such problems, make sure to choose an internet connection with no limits on downloading and uploading.
The use of Bitcoin may be restricted in certain areas. While some countries and regions accept it, others disallow the cryptocurrency.
There are chances that the users of Bitcoin Core may experience an attack from different people. It not only disrupts your device but may also impact various elements of your device.
Most people install anti-virus programs to prevent viruses and other malicious stuff, like malware and spyware, from entering and infecting their systems. However, many such programs make it difficult for the Bitcoin Core to run effectively and is a common issue with systems running Windows.
Ways to Run a Full Bitcoin Node
There are a number of ways in which you can run your own full Bitcoin node. Let’s take a look at the 3 most popular ways:
The first method to run a full Bitcoin node is through your local machine. In order to run the node on a local machine, there are certain requirements that you need to fulfill.
One of the core requirements is that you must have 2GB memory or RAM and 350GB disk space. Make sure to have the latest version of macOS, Linux, or Windows. You also need to have a stable internet connection of a minimum of 50 Kbps.
An internet connection that does not have any download or upload limit is preferable. Once all the requirements are met, you need to download the Bitcoin Core software for running the Bitcoin node. Downloading your first instance and syncing it may take up a number of days. However, the subsequent instances will take place in much less time.
The second way to run the full Bitcoin node is through the cloud platform. For this, you need to have an account on Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services. The creation of a virtual machine instance is also essential to speed up your connection and sync it to the cloud.
Make sure to follow the firewall rules to avoid any security breach of your virtual machine instance. Next, you will have to download Bitcoin Core. The software will also help in configuring the port settings of your local computer as required for operating on the cloud platform.
The third way of running a Bitcoin node is by using the option of “node-in-a-box.” This method provides you with pre-configured Bitcoin nodes that can easily be hooked to your computer. It has an interface that will enable you to view data and manage devices efficiently.
The option basically works by outsourcing the task of downloading as well as storing blockchain to an external mobile device. Using this method can help you save a lot on power.
Step-by-Step Guide to Run Bitcoin Full Node
Step 1: Hardware
One of the most popular ways to run a full Bitcoin node is through the use of Raspberry Pi 3+. When you are using Raspberry Pi for the very first time, you would require purchasing the complete starter pack. Along with that, you would also require other hardware such as a hard drive, HDMI Cable, monitor, mouse, and keyboard.
Step 2: Choose an Operating System
Bitcoin supports several operating systems. So, you can select any of the latest versions of macOS, Windows, or Linux to run the full node. Make sure that the OS you choose meets the minimum requirement of a full node.
Step 3: Set Up the OS/Hardware
The next step is to install the operating system that you have selected in the previous step. Make sure to follow the appropriate procedure for a successful installation.
Step 4: Install Bitcoin Core
Next, install the Bitcoin Core software on your operating system. Go to Bitcoin Core and ensure that you are connected to the server in a secured manner. On the download page, select the appropriate file, click on download. Bitcoin Core will not start downloading and installing.
Step 5: Configure Router
Make sure to configure the router to enable port 8333 on the UDP/TCP protocol. This will help in accepting all the incoming connections.
Step 6: Verify
The final step is to verify that your full Bitcoin node is capable of being accessed. There are many handy tools available that will enable you to do the verification. Also, check whether the Bitcoin client is able to accept incoming connections from other nodes or not.
Now that you know how to run a full Bitcoin node, it is also important to note that it comes with certain risks. To avoid security breaches, make sure to avail community assistance while setting up a node to handle the privacy-sensitive and high-value tasks.
Securing your Bitcoin wallet is also important. With a full Bitcoin node, you can ensure the safety of your investments and accurate and valid Bitcoin transactions. Moreover, monitoring the blockchain’s health becomes relatively easy.