In the early days of Bitcoin, only two nodes were running the first Satoshi client. Currently, there are estimated 9,000-55,000 Bitcoin nodes at the global level.

Bitcoin initially only had 2 public nodes, but that number could be at least 9,000 at present. However, Luke Dashjr, one of the most prolific developers of Bitcoin Core, considers that that number exceeds 50,000 nodes. The United States, Germany, and France are the countries with the highest number of nodes. Difficulties in calculating the number of nodes running the protocol and the various methodologies to count them have led to this disparity.

Regardless of the number, this jump in the adoption of Bitcoin among miners is considerable. It is necessary to take into account that the text that accompanied the release of the code had a warning from Satoshi Nakamoto.

The creator of the pioneering cryptocurrency noted that he made proof-of-work difficulty ridiculously easy. In other words, a typical PC could initially generate coins in a few hours. Of course, he warned that it would be much more difficult when competition adjusts the difficulty automatically. The bitcoiners who read this warning did not feel discouraged and began to bet on a network that would compete with the economic systems that institutions had established. Bitcoin challenged the mechanisms that Central Banks and States had imposed for the issuance and distribution of money.

Changes in Bitcoin Clients

Twelve years after Satoshi’s first public client, there has been a steady increase in proof-of-work measurement, currently reaching 140,000 EH/s. Hundreds of thousands of computers compete for the reward of Bitcoin, securing the network in the process. Nakamoto said that any attacker would need more power than the “honest” majority to cause damage.

The difference between running a node twelve years ago and today is obvious. At the time, the nodes running the Satoshi client were miners, but those functions separated. It is now possible to run nodes to provide specific services, such as those that wallets using a thin client require to confirm the immediate status of the network. A public Bitcoin client is the software that allows one person, or a set of miners, to run a Bitcoin node. This allows the user to validate transactions on the network and obtain rewards. Besides, each version implements the consensus rules that the community accepts at any given time. The changes that occur in code to improve the network’s efficiency are one example. They include SegWit and Taproot or Stratum V2, both of which help improve performance, privacy, and mining.

Bitcoin’s Beginnings

Satoshi Nakamoto designed the first client to run on Windows, but that changed over time with the adoption of other platforms like Linux. At the time, the reward for mining a block was 50 BTC, which would change every 4 years, through a halving event that would reduce the supply by half.

Just two days after released the first public Bitcoin client, Nakamoto released a second version of the client. It corrected errors in the first and established the continuous development process that the community expects for Bitcoin. At first, few cryptographers accompanied Nakamoto. Among them was Hal Finney, who made numerous programming contributions. Nakamoto released the last client version (identified as version 0.3.19) that he reviewed on December 10th, 2010. Subsequently, several of the people who initially helped the creator of Bitcoin performed the development. The versions that most people have used are those of the Bitcoin Core group, which add more than 60 updates.

By Alexander Salazar


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