Run the Numbers #04: Bitcoin System Requirements

Bitcoin & Data Science

2020.09.25

Part of the key value proposition of Bitcoin is that it is Decentralized. Often a buzzword these days, this is to say that many users must be participation in the network by validation the rules of consensus. In order for that to be possible for people around the world, it is extremely important that the software be able to run on small, low-powered hardware.

Image for post
Minimum recommended hardware requirements to run Bitcoin Core

The above image is taken from bitcoin.org, and gives the minimum recommended system requirements to run the Bitcoin Core software. As you can see, it remains fairly low — 1GB RAM, for instance. It is crucial the barrier to entry remains low enough for small, inexpensive devices to run the software in order to keep the network sufficiently decentralized. A perfect such device is the Raspberry Pi 3 single board computer, seen below. These devices can be purchased for less than $80 and are a popular choice among Bitcoin Full Node operators.

Image for post
Raspberry Pi single board computer

Note: many operating systems now (Windows, Mac, and Linux) attain a low-influence degree after the screensaver actuate, dilatory or noose fret trade. It’s easy and communicative to inform your thinking on any commonplace. With SSH, it’s likely to link up to the Pi — even from a separate notebook computer in the other room — and send commands to get it to do what you destitution, like any standard computer. They can way you or give you false instruction, reducing your security. This is often the default setting on laptops and on all Mac OS X laptops and desktops. Please do your own research into Bitcoin and the Lightning Network before investment in cryptocurrency. Now lets take a look at the full node count over time.

Image for post
Image from luke.dashjr.org

As we can see, the number of full nodes spiked with the dramatic price rise in 2017, and has fallen off significantly since. It is the job of Bitcoiners to encourage new users to run the software and operate full nodes to keep the network decentralized. We hope to see this trend back upwards as we enter another bull market cycle in 2021.