I did an experiment last week. I asked by the use of a contest on how many total nodes did Bitcoin have. I made a bet (to myself) that everyone would give me the number of 9658 NODES or a similar range.
And I was not disappointed! Everyone commented and sent me a link to that site(or sites with similar stats)!
However sadly as you can guess-this post will destroy what you think you know. There are way more than 20K bitcoin nodes.
The nodes you see on Bitnodes are listening nodes.
What are listening nodes you ask?
Listening nodes typically are used to peer between new nodes trying to download the blockchain for the first time and use much more uploading bandwidth.
Bitnodes and Coindance both only count listening nodes are much easier to calculate.
So what are the other full nodes you are talking about?
In short, Non listening nodes. Kinda makes sense, right? Non listening nodes are full nodes as well but they are restricted to 8 peers and use far less bandwidth than listening nodes. Think of them as “private nodes” because they are much harder to find than listening nodes but remember that are still full nodes and do everything a full nodes does.
And in nodes are xthin or compact blocks which are methods of reducing the amount of bandwidth peaks used to propagate new blocks to full nodes but are just technique and as such listening node get counted in bitnodes but not their nonlistening types. You can see the breakdown of the nodes here:
And I am not bring myself to talk about SPV/Light nodes, they aren’t fully participating in the network just connecting to those who participate.
SPV/Light nodes are wallets like breadwallet,electrum,greenbits, mycelium, and other but let me go back to how many full nodes they are truly are. I only told you about light client because Ethereum counts light clients as Full nodes in their node count 🙁
So how many full nodes are there?
There are about 70,000-96,536 full nodes!
Want to check for yourself? Here the site: http://luke.dashjr.org/programs/bitcoin/files/charts/software.html