What are Bitcoin nodes?

A Node

In a distributed network, the simplest way to define a node would be to say it is a point of intersection or connection with the network. This loose definition helps us better understand the different ways a Bitcoin Node functions within the Bitcoin Network.

A Full Bitcoin Node

A full Bitcoin node validates the Bitcoin blockchain. The validation process is done by downloading a copy of the Bitcoin ledger. When you first open up a Full Node client like Bitcoin Core, most people have a firewall on and thus their connection is limited and only look to connect with Super Nodes. The reason for this is because your Full Node isn’t publicly connectable yet.

A Super Bitcoin Node

A super node functions as a highly connected redistribution point as well as a relay station. Therefore this would be an appropriate term to describe a publicly connectable Full Bitcoin Node. Confusing, right? In other words, Super Nodes means that many not-public nodes can connect to them to obtain relayed transactional data and blockchain history.

A Miner’s Node

Miners utilise mining programs separate from Bitcoin Core to mine Bitcoin blocks. Some miners choose to solo mine and therefore use their own Full Node to maintain a full copy of the blockchain. Others choose to pool mine and work together to solve blocks. In the case of pool mining, the admin of the pool maintains a Full Node while pool miners contribute with their hash power.