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What is a full node of bitcoin? Chinese community thinks differently

A couple days ago, Roger Ver, aka “Bitcoin Jesus”, tweeted that only nodes that serve mining purpose are genuine full nodes. The conclusion sparks arguments debating the true meaning or value of full nodes in China.

Roger Ver‏ @rogerkver

Only a node that is mining is a true full node. The rest are just slowing down the propagation of blocks between the real full nodes.

Roger’s claim is somehow in line with the definition of “Full node” on Bitcoin Wiki:

Full nodes download every block and transaction and check them against Bitcoin’s core consensus rules. Here are examples of consensus rules, though there are many more:

Blocks may only create a certain number of bitcoins. (Currently 12.5 BTC per block.)
Transactions must have correct signatures for the bitcoins being spent.
Transactions/blocks must be in the correct data format.
Within a single block chain, a transaction output cannot be double-spent.
However, a common bitcoiner believes that more nodes means more decentralization and therefore keeping a QT wallet online is a contribution to decentralize the network.

Despite the fact that China being the #1  hosting country for hashrate, the number of full node deployed in China is not proportional.


Bitcoin full node distribution (source:

The tweet also stirs up uneasiness among Chinese community as such words might boost centralization of bitcoin network.

Kevin Pan, employee of Bitmain, is obviously shocked and his weibo reads:

Bitcoin is not another Wechat pay or Alipay. It’s a system designed to protect private property against tyranny. The meaning of a common full node lies in its organic role in the distributed system. If full node is just for mining, it would be meaningless.

Zhai Wenjie, from, holds a more open attitude:

“It’s OK. We would like to hear different voice no matter how big the company is. Bitcoin was invented to get everyone involved. The big block may take up lots of storage space. But decentralization of nodes is the key to defy control of power. In the future, light-weight wallet will prevail. “

Kevin didn’t agree with Zhai’s opinion:

To regulate or not is up to the government. What Bitcoin needs to achieve is to survive under regulation, and in a good way.

He also adds:

“Bitoin is not what it’s meant to be if only mining full node exist in the network. The authority could shut down the data center where mining nodes are hosted instantly. “

The words were soon spread and posted on 8btc forum. In a post titled:Roger Ver , the spiritual leader of BU, was possessed, the OP came to the following conclusion:

Exchanges, wallet providers and merchants should just shut down their full node and leave the BUCoin to run full node on mining pool. They can just pack 0 transactions in a block to save energy, no need to require “full node” to relay transaction.


In the end, Kevin gives a warning:

“So far lots of people haven’t grasped the true meaning of blockchain and cherish the hope that central bank will create a counterpart? It’s not rational. The regulation imposed on Bitcoin indicates that the authority finally understand the idea behind bitcoin. Suspension of withdrawal is just the beginning. Building hopes upon the mercy and fantasy from the authority is impractical. “


  • BitcoinAllBot
    7 days ago BitcoinAllBot

    Here is the link to the original comment thread. Or you can comment here to start a discussion. Author: 8btccom

  • r1q2
    7 days ago r1q2

    They need to educate themselves more on Bitcoin. Full node is a mining node. A full wallet is a node that does all the verification for itself.

    A node that does not mine, and does not have a wallet, and no economic activity for its owner, is a relay-only node. What does a relay-only node do for the network?

  • Technologov
    7 days ago Technologov

    Relay only node can serve light wallets via PSV and businesses via payment processing.

  • gimpycpu
    7 days ago gimpycpu

    The more node there is the most censorship resistant is the network. Full nodes are for securing the network as well as relaying.

  • tomtomtom7
    6 days ago tomtomtom7

    You don’t need a lot of nodes for efficient relaying or serving SPV.

  • tomtomtom7
    6 days ago tomtomtom7

    No. The more miners there are the more censorship resistant the network is.

    A mining majority can censor anything they want even if there are a billion non-mining full nodes

  • PilgramDouglas
    6 days ago PilgramDouglas

    What does a relay-only node do for the network?

    It yells to other nodes that it has data that the other nodes might not have, but probably do? /s

  • steb2k
    6 days ago steb2k

    Is the spv portion of this answer quantifiable? I’ve never seen that data… Eg – how many nodes needed per 10k wallets? How much resource does an spv client take up?

  • tl121
    6 days ago tl121

    An SPV client takes up no resources when it’s off line. It takes up resources when its user is using it to check a balance or send a transaction. There are different types of SPV clients and these will use different resources depending on how they are implemented, e.g. how often they poll a full node for status information.

    One full node could support many SPV clients, and the traffic load it sees is divided by the number of full nodes, since each SPV client only needs to use one full node. With efficient indexing supporting an SPV node will be very efficient, it seems unlikely that there will ever be a problem. The cost of doing SPV servicing is thousands of times less than the cost of following the blockchain, because each service node sees only its client, not the entire network traffic.

  • tl121
    6 days ago tl121

    What do you mean by “censorship resistant”? What do you mean by “securing the network”?

    What are the types of threats that having more relay nodes might prevent? What are the risks of having these extra nodes, specifically could they represent an increased attack surface?

  • tomtomtom7
    6 days ago tomtomtom7

    That is an excellent question. Although intuition tells me a full node can easily serve a 100 SPVs without breaking a sweat, there is some per SPV computational overhead that I don’t have any actual numbers for.


    We have to account for the lack of incentives here. We must assume that a full node serves no more than what can be done with negligible overhead.

  • brintal
    6 days ago brintal

    I think it relays.

  • gimpycpu
    5 days ago gimpycpu

    I messed up, I wanted to say redundancy.

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