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:https://bitnodes.21.co/)
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 BW.com, 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. “