/ no·de /
a point in the network where data passes through.
Blockchain Nodes are computer systems connected to the blockchain network. They function as points of communication by either sending, receiving, relaying, or storing a message.
Although burdened with a glorious purpose, nodes are as important as Loki for Avengers to complete the stark features of a blockchain: Nodes, Blocks, and Validators.
Function of Nodes
Nodes function as a point of communication by receiving, accepting, or relaying information. The information could be data about a transaction or an encrypted message. These servers also behave as storage vaults as they record and save the information at their end.
Also, a node that spreads invalid data will be immediately isolated from the blockchain.
In addition to being communication points and storing sites, they are responsible for validating transactions.
Moreover, nodes get bestowed with the power to decide the consensus rules and behave accordingly. Nodes pass on certain blocks to Miners only if they believe the blocks and transactions are legit.
Types of Nodes
There are two major types of nodes and six sub-types of Nodes based on functions. Although most nodes perform the same task, the roles and responsibilities vary marginally.
The main two types of nodes are Light Nodes and Fully Validating Nodes.
Light Nodes deal with storing the block header. This makes it easy to quickly analyze the legitimacy of the block data.
But, while being shouldered with a light role, one must realize these nodes do not involve in the validation of blocks or transactions.
In contrast, Fully Validating Nodes, or Full Nodes, in short, communicate with each other through a random connection within the network.
A Full Node shoulders the responsibility of not just validating blocks and storing information but playing a role in the growth of the blockchain too.
Fully Validating Nodes are of 6 types:
- Pruned Nodes: To prune is to cut out the waste. And a Prune Node functions by deleting the data of the oldest block and making space for the new.
- Archival Nodes: These nodes run the blockchain and verify transactions are valid. They also keep a copy of the entire blockchain’s history.
- Mining Nodes: Also famously known as Miner Nodes, these nodes are operated by Miners under the Proof-of-Work consensus.
- Staking Nodes: Nodes that perform the validation of blocks under the Proof-of-Stake consensus are Staking Nodes.
- Authoritative Nodes: The only nodes with authority to allow nodes to join the network as a node. But they also remember to validate blocks, store information, and relay messages.
- Masternodes: The only nodes that cannot add blocks to the network! Masternodes function as input nodes. They input the data on the blocks and send it to other miners/stakers for validation.
Importance of Nodes
What are nodes in the grand scheme of things anyway? People operating systems? Is that all?
Sure, when you put it like that nothing matters, neither you nor me. But in blockchain technology, one doesn’t simply validate data and store information in the decentral web without being a fully validating node!
What’s more, nodes are essential to maintain the consensus of the blockchain apart from relaying or storing messages. It’s essentially a part of the blockchain infrastructure, i.e. one cannot build or operate the blockchain without Nodes.
Blockchain nodes examine the block data and ensure the transaction that took place shows on both ledgers. Nodes determine the consensus rules, not miners.
Moreover, they validate data, relay messages as a point of contact, and add the block.
In addition to all these, they also store the entire blockchain database.
Finally, many types of Blockchain Nodes operate the blockchain, each with a slightly different function compared to the other.
Here’s a quickie: Are people who run nodes called Nodal Officers? No? Okay! Well, don’t miss out on our latest blogs, and let us know what you like to read!