According to recent reports, the Ethereum network was by far the largest in terms of number of nodes, and its blockchain dominated the industry. However, things have become more complicated. In 2019 alone, the number of knots in the Ethereum network fell by about 3000, of which nearly 1500 after the recent hard fork. As the number of knots in the Ethereum network fell, the number of knots in Bitcoin increased steadily. Bitcoin vs Ethereum – how has it changed and what is the current state of node distribution in both networks?

What are nodes in blockchain network?

A node in a blockchain is a link in a network. Any computer or device connected to the network interface can only be called a node if it is active and communicates with others. We distinguish between “full nodes” and “listening nodes”. (Listening Nodes), mining.

For Bitcoin, full nodes support the Bitcoin network. Their task is to ensure its security, validate transactions according to the principles of consensus that apply in the network (proof-of-work). Additionally, full nodes are also responsible for transferring new transactions and blocks to the network.

What does it take to become a full node of a Bitcoin network?

  • A desktop or laptop computer with the latest version of Windows, Mac OS X or Linux,
  • 200 GB of free disk space,
  • 2 GB of memory (RAM),
  • An Internet connection with an upload speed of at least 50 kB/s,
  • Unsymmetric network connection or connection with high upload limit. Full nodes can reach or exceed a load on the upload side of up to 200 GB per month and a consumption on the download side of 20 GB per month. Approximately 200 GB of data will be downloaded when the node first starts up.
  • A full node should operate at least 6 hours a day. It is even better if it works around the clock – 24/7.
  • Why does Ethereum lose nodes?
  • At the time of publication of this text in the Bitcoin network, 9417 nodes are in operation and 7580 nodes in Ethereum.

The number of nodes in the Ethereum network has been decreasing rapidly throughout the year. However, the biggest drop was recorded in December. In the weakest period of the year, Ethereum had reached 6,500 knots, although a recovery followed shortly afterwards, which recently restored the state of the nodes to around 7,000.

Condition of nodes in the Ethereum network from etherscan

The sharp decline in the number of ETH knots has been accompanied for a long time by speculation that this may be associated with a waning interest in the project. However, we must keep in mind that in the course of the Ethereum network update, a number of nodes had to be cut off in order to make it possible.

Hard Forks in Ethereum

The decrease in the number of nodes in the Ethereum network became most evident a few weeks ago, when the project went through hard fork. Among other things, several improvements were made to the efficiency and effectiveness of the “network fuel”, which is gas. Meanwhile, every node that has not updated properly has been cut off from the network. This cost Ethereum about 1500 knots.

What will happen next? In the near future we expect another hard fork related to the problem of network difficulties. As a result of the update, the project will probably lose another wave of nodes that will not be updated. And that in less than two weeks.

Bitcoin vs Ethereum

Bitcoin gives the nodes the opportunity to choose whether they want to upgrade. If the nature of the upgrade does not give the nodes a choice, blockchain simply does not implement it.

According to reports, Bitcoin had about 5000 knots before 2017. The Bull run from December 2017 changed that for good. Since then, new knots have been flowing into Bitcoin’s blockchain.

In turn, Ethereum had in 2017. 25,000 knots and now, two years later, it has about 7,500.

Bitcoin managed to overtake Ethereum in 2019, when it had about 10,266 knots, while at best time of the year Ethereum had ‘only’ 10,078 knots.

What do you think of the distribution distribution distribution and node count variation in the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks? We invite you to discuss it.