What are the Different Types of Nodes that you get in the Cryptocurrency World?

Cryptocurrencies use a distributed ledger: the status of all transactions is kept in multiple locations called nodes. These nodes are a group of thousands geographically diverse computers holding the currency’s records or ledger (hence the term distributed ledger). If any one node is corrupted or loses power it can reactify/restore itself from the others nodes in the network. All sorts of blockchains use this set up. Read our ‘Chainlink Explained‘ article for another example from the world of “Oracles”.

There is a hierarchy to nodes. There are super nodes, full nodes, light nodes and finally miner’s nodes.

Full nodes are vital for the security of the blockchain. However, running a full node and secuiring the blockchain is unrewarded so most of the validation is done by miners. 

Node TypeLedger copyValidationCreate blockSynchronisation
Super FullYesNoYes
LightHeaders onlyYesNoNo

Super Nodes

Super nodes hold a copy of the entire blockchain ledger, and are able to validate transactions back to the inception of the cryptocurrency, to the very first block. This first block is called the genesis block. Super nodes are the orchestrating nodes in a blockchain network, normally working 24 hours a day ensuring the entire block chain is fully synchronised. 

These Super Nodes are transparent and open to the public through the Internet, through which they accept incoming connections from other nodes to enable synchronisation.

As a result of this they normally consist of more powerful computers.

Super nodes ensure that all the nodes belonging to a coin are kept synchronised to make sure that the entire distributed ledger is kept up to date and error free.

Full Nodes

Full nodes are similar to super nodes except that they can only handle a limited number of incoming connections.

Light Node

A light node only works on a portion of the blockchain. They only hold an index called a header which contains a summary of the block, the date it was mined and it’s unique identifier called a nonce.

Light nodes, synchronise their data from a parent node normally a Super Node.

Miner’s node

A miner’s node, is a super node used by miners to create new blocks. They differ from other nodes that validate & keep the blockchain synchronised.