Buy or DIY? An Overview of 7 Bitcoin Full Node Products

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Full nodes are an indispensable half of Bitcoin’s system of checks and balances. They additional decentralize the community, they preserve miners sincere, they confirm and register each transaction that takes place on the blockchain, they usually present extra autonomy and privateness to customers.

To be able to run a full Bitcoin node, it’s sufficient to obtain the Bitcoin Core shopper in your pc and look ahead to the preliminary block obtain (IBD) to finish. Nevertheless, some people could discover that course of cumbersome and unnecessarily time consuming. Consequently, firms have developed options that reduce the struggles of downloading and working a full node and put all of it in a field.

Thanks to those enterprising firms, full nodes have change into one of the most well-liked and in-demand Bitcoin-related merchandise, proper up there with wallets. Due to a rising neighborhood understanding across the significance of full nodes and the speedy development of the Lightning Community, new firms akin to Casa, Nodl, Shift Cryptosecurity and even HTC have launched retail merchandise that fulfill the demand for handy sovereignty.

There are no less than seven worthy contenders to your full node product consideration. And it’s additionally value contemplating the way you would possibly construct some of these merchandise your self. 

Why Buy a Bitcoin Full Node Product

Many Bitcoiners on the market won’t be satisfied that it’s value shopping for a product that comes pre-synced with the overwhelming majority of the Bitcoin blockchain. In spite of everything, for a few quarter of the worth, you might purchase an exterior drive and depart your pc to sync the blockchain in a single day. This fashion, your data wouldn’t be registered with any Bitcoin firm and your monetary privateness can be higher preserved, and it’s doubtless safer to obtain and confirm the Bitcoin blockchain your self (versus trusting a probably malevolent third get together).

Nevertheless, full node merchandise supply way more than simply “Bitcoin Core in a field.” The bulk of them run Lightning shoppers, and a few even embody BTCPay Server for service provider options, Samourai Whirlpool for trustless CoinJoins or Electrum Private Server for higher sovereignty. In two circumstances (Shift Cryptosecurity’s BitBoxBase and HTC’s Exodus 1s), a pockets chip is included as a approach of growing the safety of your full node.

These units additionally supply superior and fascinating options that may be accessed from a user-friendly dashboard. For example, Casa offers a multisig service which entrusts the corporate with a key for inheritance functions, whereas Shift Cryptosecurity integrates the BitBoxBase in its ecosystem of security-related merchandise (the BitBox02 pockets and the BitBoxApp).

Final however not least, some firms supply superior buyer help and can ensure that your expertise with the node is seamless. You don’t must test for those who’re downloading the appropriate shopper, you don’t should test the PGP or GPG signatures of builders and also you don’t have to contemplate compatibility points. It’s all being taken care of, however it’s a must to belief that the corporate is sincere. 

If You Do Run a Bitcoin Full Node Product, Be Cautious

Earlier than presenting the options of the best-known and hottest full node merchandise, it’s necessary to current a disclaimer: Should you select to belief in an organization’s privateness coverage and honesty, please keep in mind its public file and the consumer suggestions. Although the market is bourgeoning with aggressive full node merchandise that add extra options and drive costs down, malevolent actors would possibly emerge to steal your bitcoin. 

If the node comes pre-synced, it’s higher to not belief a 3rd get together’s honesty and resync the blockchain from scratch (or else it’s attainable to come across backdoor assaults and all kinds of undesirable background actions that may result in theft). The additional purposes will also be compromised, even when the intentions of the producer are good — the assault floor grows with each new app.

Not vesting your belief in a 3rd get together isn’t simply an ideological part for the Bitcoin neighborhood, however a cautious habits that’s meant to protect privateness and fund safety. It might be smart to go for the comparatively cheap RaspiBlitz DIY challenge or MyNodeBTC moderately than one of the merchandise described beneath. You’ll have to manually test signatures, obtain every file your self and ensure that all the things is in tune, however the advantages of sovereignty and bought data outweigh the inconvenience and probably tough studying curve. 

The 7 Bitcoin Full Node Product Contenders

For the scope of this overview, seven of the most well-liked bitcoin full node merchandise have been chosen. Nonetheless, their point out on this article will not be an endorsement or a approach of vouching for his or her reliability or safety. Monetary sovereignty should be embraced with nice accountability and cautiousness and on this early stage of the promote it’s tough to inform which product is “finest.” To their credit score, all nodes introduced on this article run audited, open-source software program. Nevertheless, no challenge is as time-tested as Bitcoin Core and even reputed Lightning shoppers akin to Lightning Labs’ lnd and Blockstream’s c-lightning could also be buggy. Further purposes also needs to be used with precaution. 

Casa Node 2

The Casa node is by far the most well-liked product in the marketplace. The primary model of the gadget has obtained good evaluations and endorsements from bitcoiners, and the Node 2 will start transport in early 2020. This up to date model comes with twice as a lot entry reminiscence and SSD storage — each of which is able to enormously enhance the effectivity of the node. Beneath the identical dashboard, it should run Bitcoin Core, lnd and BTCPay Server.

Nodl One

Conversely, Nodl at all times appears to one-up Casa with extra energy and additional options. When the Casa 2 opted for a quad-core processor, the Nodl went for the hexa-core model. And when BTCPay Server grew to become the brand new norm, Nodl added ElectrumX and Samourai Whirlpool. The corporate additionally gives a costlier Nodl Dojo which helps with the decentralization of the Samourai CoinJoin operations by working the mixes on-device. Nevertheless, for the aim of this comparability, solely the One mannequin might be thought of.

Lightning in a Field

Lightning in a Field additionally makes an attempt to overthrow Casa with a extra highly effective processor (the Intel Celeron J4105, which is used on laptops), a extra frequent PC platform whose RAM might be upgraded and the flexibility to run Home windows. If something, the gadget appears extra general-purpose and gives a extra DIY vibe. Nevertheless, it’s offered on the similar worth because the Casa Node 2 and is probably not the extra well-liked selection in spite of its higher processing energy.

Lux Node

The Lux Node is principally an Intel NUC5CPYH mini pc that comes with Bitcoin Core, lnd, BTCPay Server and Experience the Lightning pre-installed. To its benefit, it runs on the extra secure (no less than in comparison with Home windows) Ubuntu working system and gives eight GB of RAM (twice as a lot as every other product featured on this overview). Nevertheless, the corporate is moderately new and tougher to belief — proceed with warning and make contact with a consultant earlier than making a purchase order.

BitBoxBase

Specs-wise, Shift Cryptosecurity’s BitBoxBase is similar to the Nodl One: similar processor, similar quantity of RAM (four GB) and a devoted eMMC drive for booting the software program. Nevertheless, the Swiss-made node is exclusive as a result of it runs Blockstream’s c-lightning (for causes defined on this interview) and in addition has an built-in BitBox02 pockets for higher safety. Its comparative draw back is that it doesn’t run BTCPay Server and doesn’t include different pre-installed Lightning apps (which can be a consequence of each Shift Cryptosecurity’s deal with safety and the selection of a much less well-liked Lightning shopper).

myNode One+ 

The myNode One+ comes with a well-known structure, which it’s also possible to discover within the BitBoxBase and Nodl One. On the plus facet, it gives tons of pre-installed purposes that may be managed from a pleasant dashboard (Electrum Server, Experience the Lightning, a block explorer, Zap, Blue Pockets and lots of others), is $100 cheaper than the Casa Node 2 and grants documentation to assist anybody begin a DIY challenge. On the draw back, the gadget is endowed with a slower HDD and the corporate is moderately new to the market (so it’s worthwhile to grant a higher quantity of blind belief than within the case of Casa, for example).

HTC Exodus 1s

Final however not least, the HTC Exodus 1s is the one cellular answer that natively runs a Bitcoin full node and can even use Lightning wallets like Nayuta’s. By the Zion app, customers are capable of obtain your complete Bitcoin blockchain on an SD card (bought individually) and use fundamental pockets features. Although its specs are comparable on paper with the remaining of the nodes, software program limitations imply that it synchronizes extra slowly than each different product on this overview. 

Throughout a private experiment, it took 15 days to sync the blockchain from scratch and I’ve found that the Zion software solely makes use of 100 MB of RAM (out of four GB) for the sync. This considerably slowed down the method and proved that the telephone is designed as a multipurpose gadget with the total node characteristic as an additional — moderately than a devoted gadget for monetary sovereignty. Nonetheless, given the portability issue, it could possibly’t be crushed for the worth.

Buy vs. DIY

After presenting seven of the most well-liked Bitcoin full node merchandise, it’s time to ask an important query on behalf of potential customers: How way more does it value to purchase the product immediately from the corporate than it might to construct it myself? 

Casa Node 2

The Casa Node 2 might be ordered for $399, however the firm has opted for a subscription mannequin. Correspondingly, you get a brand new gadget upon sign-up and free renewals at any time when they happen, however you don’t essentially obtain a brand new node yearly. You pay for the proprietary software program improvement (which has been open-sourced for higher transparency and safety audits), the client help and the additional options which embody the multisig program. Correspondingly, it’s not essentially the most privacy-friendly answer and there’s a lot of knowledge that Casa can get for those who select to share your monetary data.

The excellent news is Raspberry Pi four and a 1 TB SSD might be purchased for $155, and the enclosure and cables shouldn’t value greater than $45. Subsequently, you probably have the endurance and disposition to study and experiment, you may construct your individual Casa node for $200 ($199 cheaper than shopping for it from the corporate, not together with transport prices). The DIY challenge doesn’t grant you entry to the identical help and custodial multisig service, however helps you retain your monetary privateness.

Nodl One

The Nodl One has a retail worth of $499 and, in contrast to Casa, it is a one-time buy and also you received’t should pay for an annual service price. Its processing energy is superior, and the inclusion of the Samourai Whirlpool makes it a worthy contender for individuals who are extra privacy- and fungibility-cautious. Nonetheless, you may theoretically construct your individual by buying an RK3399 board for $149 and an SSD for $100. Similar to within the case of the Casa Node 2, the DIY answer is half as costly and comes with the profit of not having to register in a buyer database for Bitcoin-related merchandise.

Lightning in a Field

Lightning in a Field is principally a commercialized DIY challenge, as the corporate’s web site additionally options helpful guides that can assist you construct your individual Lightning node. Its audience consists of individuals who need highly effective for his or her nodes and don’t wish to hassle with software program experimentation. Apparently, the price of components to construct a Lightning in a Field is $302 — which signifies that you pay the corporate solely $92 for the trouble of putting in all the things for you. Nevertheless, it’s at all times higher to resync from scratch when you get the gadget: The additional energy will make the method smoother, and also you received’t should belief within the benevolence of the corporate.

Lux Node

Equally, Lux Node makes use of a well-liked mini PC platform to ship a fast sync and quick entry to purposes akin to BTCPay Server and Experience The Lightning. Nevertheless, the corporate’s enterprise mannequin is questionable: an Intel NUC5CPYH and a 1 TB SSD value $399 on Amazon, and that’s precisely the worth of a Lux Node. Perhaps the oldsters behind the challenge will be capable of decrease prices via economies of scale, however the revenue continues to be insignificant to maintain an organization working. Although the machine is essentially the most highly effective of any on this overview, it’s in all probability a good suggestion to do a little analysis earlier than shopping for a product for which the revenue is minimal. In spite of everything, you may construct your individual Lux for a similar worth.

BitBoxBase

Regardless of all specs being revealed on the Shift Cryptosecurity web site, the BitBoxBase is essentially the most tough gadget to construct your self for one easy purpose: It features a pockets whose specs are just like the BitBox02. The node can also be the one product on this article whose launch date and worth aren’t accessible as of the time of writing. However, given the price of components ($79.99 for the ROCK-Professional64 board, $100 for the 1 TB SSD and $100 for the BitBox02), it’s in all probability protected to estimate a retail worth of $350 to $400.

myNode One

There’s a clear purpose why myNode One is essentially the most inexpensive product on this article: The price of its components is just $94.95. The corporate additionally gives premium help for individuals who buy the pre-built and pre-synced product, however the beneficiant quantity of DIY documentation makes it tempting to easily experiment. The good, all-encompassing dashboard can also be open-sourced on GitHub, so all of the advantages of the retail product might be verified, modified and put in on new . 

HTC Exodus 1s

The price of buying an HTC Exodus 1s and a 400 GB SD card is $340, which nonetheless makes the gadget cheaper than a Casa, Lightning in a Field or Lux Node gadget. And whereas constructing your individual smartphone is way more costly than shopping for one, you may nonetheless get any Android telephone (which, in some circumstances, could be the one that you just personal) and run Lawrence Nahum’s ABCore shopper. 

Then again, it’s value contemplating the unbeatable additional advantage of the HTC telephone: the built-in pockets. One other gadget could also be pricey and will not ship the identical outcomes (for example, the BitBox02 prices one other $100 and works with Android smartphones however is an additional peripheral to hold and join). Whereas the Zion ecosystem is moderately fundamental and might be changed by any time-tested Bitcoin cellular pockets, the benefits of the HTC Exodus 1s make it distinctive and briefly unbeatable. You’ll be able to run a full node in your new Android telephone, however you received’t get the identical safety that the built-in pockets grants.

Conclusion

Products that supply full Bitcoin nodes in a field will proceed to be well-liked retail objects within the area, however they need to be evaluated and bought with warning. There are no less than seven worthy contenders for those who’re out there for such a product and the one you’ll need will rely in your particular wants. Use the article above and the chart beneath to assist perceive the variations between these seven contenders and do not forget that working a full node is one of crucial issues a Bitcoiner can do.

Casa Node 2 Nodl One Lightning in a Field Lux Node BitBoxBase myNode One+ HTC Exodus 1s
Processor Broadcom BCM2711, Quad Core Cortex-A72, 1.5 GHz Rockchip RK3399, Hexa Core, 1.51 GHz Intel Celeron J4105, Quad Core, 1.5 GHz Intel Celeron N3050, Twin Core, 2.16 GHz Rockchip RK3399. Hexa Core, 1.51 GHz Rockchip RK3328. Quad Core, 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, Octa Core, 1.four GHz
RAM four GB four GB four GB eight GB four GB four GB 4GB
Storage 1 TB SSD 16 GB eMMC for Boot, 1 TB SSD 1 TB SSD 1 TB SSD 16 GB eMMC for Boot, PCIe M.2 SSD (Dimension TBA) 16 GB SD Card, 1 TB HDD 64 GB Inside, SD Card
Lightning Shopper LND LND LND LND c-lightning LND N/A
Tor Assist Sure Sure Can Be Put in Sure Sure Sure Sure
Further Options BTCPay Server BTCPay Server, ElectrumX, Whirlpool BTCPay Server, Experience The Lightning BTCPay Server, Experience The Lightning BitBox Safe Module Electrum Server, Experience the Lightning, Block Explorer The Zion Vault App for BTC Administration
Distinctive Options SatsApp Pleasant With Samourai CoinJoins, Boots on eMMC BTCPay Server Comes Pre-Put in and Configured, RAM Can Be Upgraded to eight GB, Runs Widows 10 BTCPay Server Comes Pre-Put in and Configured, Runs on Ubuntu  OLED Display screen With Capacitive Buttons, Runs c-lightning Devoted UI/UX Built-in Hardware Pockets, Telephone Options
Bonuses Hardware Pockets, Machine Renewal, KeyMaster Multisig Further Swag for Early Orders Tons of Specification Choices and DIY Guides N/A TBA Premium Assist HTC Stickers
Availability This autumn 2019 This autumn 2019 Out Now Out Now TBA (Most likely Q1 2020) Out Now Out Now
Price of Elements for DIY Venture $55 for Raspberry Pi four, $100 for 1 TB SSD $149 for RK3399 Board, $100 for 1TB SSD $152 for Gigabyte BRIX S,$100 for 1 TB SSD, $50 for RAM $299 for Intel NUC5CPYH, $100 for 1 TB SSD $79.99 for ROCKPro64 Board, $100 for SSD $44.95 for Rock64 Board. $50 USD for 1TB HDD N/A
Value $399 Per Yr $499  $399.99  $399  TBA $299  $240 



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