The Lightning Network will make Bitcoin extremely resilient by adding full nodes

Bitcoin stronger because of more full nodes

full nodes

Full nodes make Bitcoin resilient

The Bitcoin network is just ten years old and thelightning hardware amount of users is growing fast. Because of this growth the network is becoming more resilient: It will be further and further distributed over the globe with every added user. To destroy the network it would require to destroy the software on the computer of every single user. However, it is mostly the full nodes that count. The full nodes are the pillars of the network and thus the amount of full nodes decide how resilient the network is. 

 

 

 

The importance of full nodes
There is no financial incentive to run a full node
A Lightning node requires a Bitcoin node
Lightning will financially reward node operators
A Lightning node will be available for everyone
Hardware for the Lightning Network

The importance of full nodes

full nodes resilient

Full nodes make the Bitcoin network more resilient

More full nodes is not only making the network more resilient because there are more nodes to destroy or compromise in order to harm the network. It also strengthen the network against attacks from miners and thus creates an extra layer of decentralisation. In the case of the UASF and the Segwit 2X issue as wel the users countered the miners in their takeover attempt by voting with their full nodes. 

When the the majority of the full nodes reject a certain upgrade the new coin will only be accepted in a small part of the ecosystem and thus lose value compare to the coins created with the legacy software. This creates a situation that the miners who pushed for the upgrade will lose money when they keep mining the new coin and will be rewarded when they go back to the old software. 

Miners will move back to the old chain and the old chain will gain more hashing power even when a majority of the miners was backing the upgrade in the first instance. Miners are smart and know in advance that they will lose money when they mine a less valuable chain, thus miners shift to the chain with the majority of full nodes even before the upgrade happens. We have seen this play out during the Segwit upgrade and the cancellation of S2X as well.

There is no financial incentive to run a full node

financial incentive to run a full node

There is no financial incentive to run a full node

It requires some resources like bandwidth and electricity to run a full Bitcoin node, while it is not financially rewarded. A full node gives the owner monetary sovereignty because he can verify all the transactions without the need to trust a 3rd party. But for many users this is not worth the effort or cost. The Core devs are doing everything they can to make a full node as cheap and easy to run as possible, but some expenses will always remain.

A Lightning Node requires a Bitcoin full node

The Lightning Network is build on top of Bitcoin. A Lightning channel is a Bitcoin transaction that is not yet broadcast to the blockchain and can be updated between the two participants of the channel. Therefore, a Bitcoin full node is needed for a Lightning node to fully function. A lightning node is a Bitcoin full node combined with the additional Lightning software. 

Lightning will financially reward node operators

lightning financially reward node operators

Lightning financially reward node operators

When you run a Lightning node you can route external payments and charge a small fee. Although the fees are tiny, you can make some money when the volume through your node is relevant. This creates a financial incentive to run a Lightning node and thus will add Bitcoin full nodes to the network. People who expect to be well connected because of their business or just because they plan to open strategic channels to earn optimal fees are now forced to run a full node.

Lightning adoption is going exponential and every serious business involved will be financially best off by running their own node and collect fees on top of their core business. This will probably translate in an exponential growth of full nodes and make the entre Bitcoin network more resilient  

A Lightning node will be available for everyone

This month the first Lightning hardware nodes came out. Casa came with the Casa Lightning Node and on the Lightning Hackday the RaspiBlitz was presented. The RaspiBlitz is a Lightning node on a Raspberry Pi, you can make one yourself or order a pre-installed device. It is expected that many more Lightning hardware nodes will hit the market in the years to come.

A Lightning hardware node makes it very easy and convenient for non technical people to run their own Lightning node. When these devices become cheaper and widely available through mass production they will flood the market and distribute huge amounts of additional full nodes throughout the globe. This will greatly strengthen the Bitcoin network as a secondary effect and make it more resilient than ever!

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