Setup a Bitcoin Full Node

The Definitive Guide

While many people are concerned with mining Bitcoin, few are running Bitcoin fullnodes. A Bitcoin fullnode is an instance of bitcoind running with the entire bitcoin blockchain. For the health and speed of the network, it is ideal for Bitcoin Fullnodes to be geographically dispersed. If you are running a mining farm, it is also good to have a local Bitcoin Fullnode to decrease latency of transactions.

The final reason it is great to run a bitcoin fullnode is because you BELIEVE IN BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN and CRYPTOCURRENCY. It is the RIGHT thing to do.

The Bitcoin Fullnode is the BIBLE of BITCOIN that is continuously written :)

This guide is meant to be best CURRENT practice in a few scenarios

Software Implementations

Hardware that can be used as fullnode

  • Raspberry Pi
  • Mini-computers (like Bitnodes or Bitseed)
  • Physical Computer / Standard PC
  • Virtual Server (AWS, linode, etc)

Biggest Issues

  • Currently as of 2018-06-22, Bitcoin Fullnode requires at least 250G hard drive.
  • Processor with enough power to handle both network throughput and transactions.
  • Power draw from the computer. Smaller mini computer like bitseed only 10W.
  • No really scaled manufacturer producing Bitcoin fullnodes.

From Beginner to Expert

EASY: Bitseed

Bitseed is an active project and company selling bitcoin nodes as a hardware product.

Buy a Bitseed

Install a Bitseed on a computer

EASY: Bitnodes

  • As of 2018-06-22, the main core software project for bitnode is DISCONTINUED
  • We do not recommend buying hardware or installing onto random hardware as this project seems stalled.

Install your own Bitnode on Linux

curl https://bitnodes.earn.com/install-full-node.sh | sh

MEDIUM: Setup Bitcoind on your computer

Make sure you have a dedicated 250G+ drive, preferably SSD, dedicated to bitcoin.

Example: Mac Mini

  • Current: Mac Mini i5 4G RAM + 512G Hardisk, RMB 2600 / $450 USD

MEDIUM

  • Buy cheap mini-computer
  • Make sure has 250-500G hard drive
  • Install debian
  • Install bitcoind
  • Plug in ethernet network (make sure network uses DHCP)
  • BOOM! WORKS!

MEDIUM: Setup fullnode docker image in Amazon ECS

HARD: Setup fullnode in Raspberry Pi / PC

We recommend against the raspberry pi bitcoin fullnode, as we have tried many times. The raspberry pi is underpowered and without enough ram. The other issue, is throughput on the drive.