14 What Are Nodes Doing

14 What Are Nodes Doing

The Huffaath of the Network

We discussed in the previous post what miners do, what their job is, and we explained that miners have only one job. Find the hash for the block and then they get paid if they do. However, those who keep record of the whole blockchain are the nodes. When your mobile Bitcoin wallet tells you how much Bitcoin they have, they go to the network of nodes and ask them “How many bitcoins are on these addresses?”, and if you want to ask your ‘own node’ because you dont want to trust a third party, that is possible. Just download the blockchain yourself, and then your wallet will be able to ask your own node about transactions. I labelled them as ‘huffaath’ to draw the parallel to Muslims as to what nodes do. They keep a record of the whole blockchain, just like a haafith of the Qur’aan keeps record of the whole Qur’aan in their heads. If you wanted to download a copy of the blockchain for yourself, you would ask the existing ‘Memorisers’ of the network for each block, you would download it all, one by one. You would then verify it yourself mathematically checking every block with its hash and once you have downloaded everything, you would then become a full node yourself. Then if someone else wants to know details about the blockchain, they could ask you, and if someone wanted to download the network themselves they could download it from you. Nodes are different to miners because the nodes preserve a copy of all the transactions, but miners only look for the hash for each block. Nodes don’t get paid to preserve the network, but minders do. The size of the entire blockchain so far is approximately 380GB. This includes every transaction since 2009 until today, 2021

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