The Bitcoin thin client operates independently, without enabling third-party applications. It integrates into mobile devices and syncs with the entire chain.
The infrastructure that strengthens Bitcoin is moving down to a path that makes it easier for anyone to operate, an approach through which developer Alexis Sellier decided to walk. This developer has brought to light the project he is working on, a lightweight Bitcoin node with a broad capacity to run on mobile devices with the same security and privacy that full nodes offer.
The full nodes of Bitcoin play the role of financial security systems. Systems that work on validating the first of the cryptocurrencies’ blockchain transactions and protecting users from deceiving from third parties that could claim they have received money when it is not so.
These full nodes take up a lot of computing space, and their size keeps increasing as the registry of their blockchain weighs more than 300 gigabytes, after having a significant growth of almost 25% during 2020.
Since these nodes are the most “reliable” way to use Bitcoin, developers have long tried to make it easier to use. This mission led Sellier to work on a project that offers the ease of running on any platform, be it mobile or desktop, without putting at-risk user privacy or security.
The Bitcoin Trading Technology Group (Bitcoin Optech) newsletter published this week reports on the launch of Nakamoto, the thin client developed by Sellier for easy integration with mobile applications. Rust is the language that runs for these nodes, but it has an external function interface that makes it easy to link with programs that work with other programming languages such as Python or Java.
The project is still under development, so it still has a long way to go before users can start using it with the idea of setting their flag of financial self-sovereignty. But, it appears to be the first sample of a new generation of light nodes. It is available in its first version with only basic functionalities, as Sellier points out in its technical description.
What Are a Lightweight and Private Bitcoin Node?
The lightweight nodes can reduce the size of the Bitcoin chain’s transaction history to just 2 gigabytes. They operate under the Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) procedure that does not require as much computer storage space as a full node.
However, SPV nodes do not preserve user privacy and are more susceptible to attack than full nodes. This preservation is precisely where the Nakamoto project reflects itself as an initiative that can make a difference with other options nowadays. Their proposal points to the BIP157 protocol, which solves many of the obstacles that today’s thin clients present.
What makes a Bitcoin node lightweight is that such nodes minimize the amount of bandwidth, storage space, and computation to operate. To achieve this, they only download a fraction of the Bitcoin blockchain and work without checking all the blocks’ validity in the longest chain.
By: Jenson Nuñez