Nodes are electronic devices connected to the network. They validate transactions, broadcast new blocks to other nodes and maintain the ledger. Nodes are vital in maintaining the integrity of the blockchain.

The Backbone of the Blockchain

Blockchain nodes;
  • Process or reject transactions
  • Manage transactions and their validity
  • Store cryptographically linked blocks
  • Spread and preserve the blockchain data
  • Act as a point of communication

Node Types and What They Do

Lightweight Nodes or Light Nodes
Lightweight nodes are nodes that are not fully storing the blockchain. They can process transactions, but they do not store the entire blockchain. Lightweight nodes can be used when the device has limited storage or capacity and connect to full nodes run by companies or yourself.
Full Nodes
Full nodes allow for the validation of transactions and blocks by maintaining a copy of the blockchain in real-time. This means that they have all the information about every transaction and block that has ever happened on the network to verify new transactions and blocks.
Pruned Full Nodes
Pruned full nodes are a subset of full nodes that discard old blocks after new blocks have verified them. This is done to reduce disk space requirements, as it can be expensive to store large amounts of data on a device.
Archival Full Nodes
Archival full nodes store the complete blockchain and all of its data on a node.
Authority Nodes
Authority nodes are full nodes that have a high degree of trust. They maintain the blockchain, which is the history of all transactions that have ever happened on the network. They also validate transactions and enforce network rules.
Miner Nodes
Miner nodes are nodes that connect to the blockchain and help to solve complex mathematical problems.
Master Nodes
Master nodes are full nodes on a blockchain network that add new blocks to the ledger. Master nodes are usually used in networks where there is some kind of PoS mechanism.
Staking Nodes
A Staking Node is an individual who stakes their money to receive rewards when they help validate new transactions and blocks on the blockchain.
Lightning Nodes
Lightning nodes are nodes in Lightning network enabled blockchains like Bitcoin that can process transactions quicker than the base blockchain.

A Quick Recap Before We Talk About NFTs...

In short, a node is any computer using software to download and store a complete blockchain to verify and record new transactions as they occur. The more nodes there are the more records there are, and the more difficult it becomes to cheat the system. Turn over the page to learn about NFTs.