Blockchain is a method to store data online, using data blocks with time stamps. Several data blocks are gathered together to form a blockchain, which is usually managed by an interconnected computer cluster, usually called a blockchain node. One of the main features that makes blockchain technology a revolutionary innovation is its decentralization, which means that it is a public, unlicensed network without central authority. It relies on an interconnected server network, which is another description of blockchain nodes. Blockchain nodes are responsible for storing, saving and disseminating blockchain data. They constantly share data to ensure that every node on the network is up to date.
What are blockchain nodes?
Blockchain nodes are network stakeholders and/or their devices, which are assigned to keep copies of distributed ledgers and serve as communication points for performing various basic network functions. Nodes basically communicate with each other within the network and transmit information about transactions and new blocks.
The main purpose of blockchain nodes is to verify the validity of each batch of subsequent network transactions (called blocks). It is an important part of the blockchain infrastructure and helps maintain the security and integrity of the network. Each node is distinguished from other nodes by a unique identifier.
In addition, nodes are classified according to their different roles in the blockchain ecosystem. Although there are at least two types of nodes on the blockchain network, some (validators) are mainly responsible for confirming the transaction records of the blockchain, while other nodes (excavators) need to maintain the transaction records when adding new blocks to the network. The different roles that nodes play in the blockchain network are defined by the requirements of related networks. For example, some nodes are dedicated to storing transaction records, while others cannot retain any records.
Why are blockchain nodes important in a decentralized network?
Blockchain technologies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are examples of decentralized architectures and systems. Node is the core of both operations. Different nodes in the blockchain are assigned to different roles. But we can say that the node serves three general purposes.
1. Maintaining the blockchain
Since blockchains are decentralized ledgers, there is no central server to store their databases. However, as more blocks are added to the chain, each blockchain network continues to grow.
Blockchain not only needs decentralized storage space to store all data, but also should be scalable. This requirement is realized by using blockchain nodes.
All decentralized networks, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, store their blockchain data on thousands of nodes around the world. Each node keeps its own copy of the blockchain and keeps synchronized when generating new blocks.
2. Verification transaction
Running a decentralized network means there is no centralized power to check and approve trade orders. On the contrary, the task of nodes (randomly selected) is to approve transaction orders on the blockchain.
Some nodes participate in the consistency algorithm to verify the validity of transactions, while other nodes are responsible for storing transaction records. The complete process includes the node receiving the transaction order, checking its authenticity, approving or rejecting it, and then recording it in the ledger.
3. Getting information
All decentralized networks are transparent, allowing all users to access all information without barriers. To this end, users must interact with nodes indirectly or directly to access any information on the blockchain. However, unlike centralized platforms, users do not need permission to access this information.
When you use a third-party blockchain browser (such as Ethernet scanning) to browse the transaction information on the Ethereum blockchain, you are communicating with the blockchain node to access data.
Block Explorer is simply an interface that connects you to a node and allows you to read data from it. Some nodes store this data, while others provide access to it.
How can nodes help protect the blockchain?
Nodes are very important for protecting the blockchain. They do this by keeping records in sync with the latest transactions. Due to the large number of nodes, it is almost impossible for hackers to change the records of a node without being found. This data is still secure because hackers cannot erase data replicated across thousands of different nodes.
In addition, some inherent problems in the centralized system, such as hacker attacks, power outages and system crashes, do not pose a threat to the blockchain network, mainly because the data is duplicate and distributed on multiple nodes. If a node fails, the availability of other nodes can ensure that the network continues to operate normally, and users can access the required resources at any time.
Type of blockchain node
There are many blockchain nodes, which are grouped according to the functions they perform. No matter how different they are, all nodes in the network are committed to maintaining the integrity of the network. The following are the blockchain nodes you should know:
1. Complete node: The complete node is the server of the distributed network. In essence, they store a complete blockchain. They retain the transaction history of the blockchain and synchronize, store, copy, and distribute data when verifying new data blocks. Complete nodes are further divided into two types: pruning and archiving.
The deleted nodes do not fully qualify as complete nodes because they do not perform all the functions of a complete node. Specifically, the deleted nodes only maintain most of the blockchain, and use it to perform their verification process like any other complete node.
On the other hand, the archive node inherits the same functions as the complete node, and builds an archive of historical status.
2. Light nodes: their task is to store data and provide only the information needed to facilitate daily work or speed up transactions. They do not validate these blocks; Instead, they store the header of the block.
3. Mining nodes: These nodes are the main force of any blockchain infrastructure. They confirm transactions by including them in blocks. In the early days of the blockchain, each encrypted miner operates a mining node. Today, many miners work together in the mine pool. These pools leverage teamwork by concentrating the efforts of several miners on a single mining node. This gives them a better chance to get mining rewards.
4. Locking nodes: These nodes mainly verify transactions in the blockchain network and are responsible for maintaining consistency algorithms. In PoS, the betting nodes are used to bet or invest their money and validate the transaction. After successfully verifying the transaction, they will receive cryptocurrency rewards in return.
5. Super nodes: super nodes connect complete nodes and help spread information in the network to ensure that everyone has accurate data. They deal with out of chain functions. They provide authentication, authorization, gateway services, and support. They also contribute to voting activities, compliance with blockchain laws and implementation of agreements.
Speaking of this, I believe you have a certain understanding of why blockchain nodes are important in the decentralized network and how nodes protect blockchain. In general, nodes are an important part of blockchain technology; They keep all participants honest and ensure the integrity of the data. In addition, different types of nodes have different functions; However, they all work together to maintain a decentralized network. Finally, nodes are the backbone of any blockchain infrastructure, ensuring that the technology remains decentralized and secure.