Bitcoin
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BTC · 5w

We need Bitcoin full nodes. Economic ones.

We need Bitcoin full nodes. Economic ones.

Why is it important to run your own Bitcoin full node to have a say regarding Bitcoin consensus and verify your own transactions?

Bitcoin is about financial sovereignty. It’s about holding a scarce bearer asset that cannot be counterfeited, seized or frozen. It’ s about being part of a peer-to-peer network that does not employ middlemen to facilitate financial transactions. It is free speech money.

As a bearer asset that you truly own, private keys need to be in your possession, managed by a modern Bitcoin wallet application. It’s hard to store digital secrets securely on potentially malware-riddled computers, so hardware wallets are a good way to keep your private keys out of the hands of hackers.

But who guarantees that my bitcoin are really there?

A hardware wallet stores your private keys, but not your actual bitcoin. The wallet usually comes with a software companion app that allows you to manage your funds. But this software wallet is not downloading and verifying blocks from the Bitcoin network, so how can it know what your Bitcoin balance is?

Can it guarantee that your hard-earned bitcoin are really there? That an incoming transaction really confirmed on the blockchain?

The answer is that by default you are putting all your trust in a single party: your wallet provider. Lightweight software wallets are mostly nice interfaces to some Bitcoin application backend. Whoever runs this backend controls what you see in your wallet. Your provider tells you how much bitcoin you own. Your provider broadcasts all of your transactions and suggests what fees you have to pay. Your provider runs your access gateway to Bitcoin, assures you that this one big incoming transaction really happened and decides whether it is valid or not. Your provider enforces consensus rules for you and all other customers.

A pretty good vantage point

Your access gateway to the Bitcoin network pote...

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