Archives November 2019

Light Wallet VS Full Node Wallet

Full Node Wallet vs Light Wallet

Wallets are a popular topic in the cryptocurrency space. It’s where you store your money and it’s where you want to keep your funds stored safely. There are web wallets, paper wallets, hardware wallets, and many other alternatives. One thing you can do as well is to keep your funds stored on your own personal node. When you run a full node or a light client, you get a wallet with it, that only you can access. This might be the safest option out there, but it does require some effort. Today, we’ll look at the difference between running a full node and running a light client. How safe it is and what the best option is for you. 

What is a full node?

First, we discuss a full node. This is also known as a bitcoin node. With a full node, you support the blockchain network by devoting your computing power to the network. To get started with running your own node, you have to download a complete copy of the bitcoin blockchain. Besides that, you need to live up to some conditions to be able to run a full node. The current requirements for running a full bitcoin node are; 

  • At least 300GB disk space (Any node should download the entire Bitcoin Blockchain, it’s currently around 248GB but growing exponentially)
  • 4GB of RAM (The more the better)
  • Bandwidth use of 5GB upload and 500mb download a day (+ A stable connection)
  • The opportunity to run the node for at least 6 hours day (Again; the more the better)

When you live up to these requirements and you figure out how to run your own node, you have the possibility to host your own wallet. You control every single transaction that comes in and every single transaction that goes out. Not a single thing you do is out of your control. This means, your transactions are further in line in comparison to the transactions of other people, whenever you decide to perform a transaction using your own node. This means, all actions are in your own hands, plus you support the blockchain of your liking. 

What is a light client?

A light client is a client that lets you utilize all the possibilities of the blockchain network, but it does not require you to run a full copy of the entire blockchain. Running a node can be costly and might be impossible for some people to do so, but there is an alternative; a light client. A light client connects to the blockchain network by simply accessing the internet and talking to other nodes. This means, it does not require such high computing power or disk space, neither does it require high bandwidth. All you need is an active internet connection and you can get started with your light wallet. 

What’s the best option for me?

This totally depends on what you want. If you have a little extra money to invest and you wish to invest in keeping the blockchain you choose safe and steady, you should run a full node. If you don’t have these possibilities and all you want to do is store your funds safely, then you can use a light client. We want to share some facts and based on that you can make a decision; 

  • A full node requires more disk space, computing power and bandwidth than a light client
  • The safety and security for a full node is way better than with a light client
  • A full node is more difficult to set up than a light client
  • A light client can be nothing more than a mobile application, where a full node requires some technical knowledge and some time to install. 
  • Do you have large portions of your funds that you store or are they small amounts used for daily transactions?
  • Do you love Bitcoin and do you wish to contribute to the network?

Whatever the case might be, you need to consider your safety. It’s extremely important to make sure that you know what you’re doing. When you choose to go beyond the traditional banking system, you should be aware of the risks. You are your own security measure now, so you should be responsible and handle your own money with care. It doesn’t really matter if it’s ten dollars or ten million dollars, you should make sure you are the only one that has access. So, if you make the decision to start using cryptocurrency, always make sure you take good care of your property.

The Advantages And Disadvantages of Web Wallets

The Advantages And Disadvantages of Web Wallets

When you purchase cryptocurrencies, you need to store them somewhere. It depends on where you make the purchase, but in general, you need to give a wallet address to the party that sells you the cryptocurrency. Now, in order to create a wallet address, you need to create an account with a party that you trust. You need to find a wallet that suits you the best and that meets your requirements. In order to do so, you need to be aware of the possibilities. One of the options is a web wallet. Today, we’ll explore what a web wallet is, what its advantages are and what the disadvantages are.

What is a web wallet?

A web wallet is a wallet that you can access using the web, usually your browser. It’s usually referred to as an online wallet. Now, there are hot wallets as well, but these can be different from web wallets. Not every hot wallet is a web wallet, but every web wallet is a hot wallet. These web wallets come in several forms, but the main component is a slick interface that makes it possible for you to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe environment. Besides that, you can safely and quickly transact all your currencies to others. Now, let’s see what some of the advantages and disadvantages are. 

What Are The Advantages of Web Wallets?

All of the advantages for web wallets are;

  • You can do any transaction in a matter of seconds because your wallet is online and you can access it easily
  • With some web wallets, you can exchange your currencies for different currencies within the web wallet
  • If you are an active trader and you want to move funds between exchanges, a web wallet is an ideal situation for you
  • Some web wallets use the TOR network for an extra layer of security and anonymity
  • The main point is the user-friendly approach for web wallets. These come in the form of mobile applications and others, so you can access it in various ways in a really user-friendly way. 

What Are The Disadvantages of Web Wallets?

  • When you own large amounts of money in cryptocurrencies it might not be the best idea to use a web wallet. As a web wallet is online all the time, it can be accessed by external parties all the time as well. Most wallets have good security, but some of them might have some flaws in their security
  • Some of the vulnerabilities and threats that web wallets could be a victim too are Malware, phishing scams, DDoS attacks, and outdated security patches and whatnot, that hackers can exploit to their benefit. 
  • With some wallets, you do not have all the control over your own wallet. This means, that you do not own the private keys yourself, but the wallet company does. This means that you are not the person in charge and the company can walk away with your money if they want to. 

Should You Use a Web Wallet?

That’s something that you need to choose yourself. We do not recommend the use of unsafe web wallets, neither do we recommend unsafe hardware wallets. As with any wallet, you should be aware of the company behind the wallet. What is their incentive for holding your money, how are they making money and can I really trust them? Ask yourself these questions first before you make an account with any wallet. And, one of the most important factors, always make sure you have access to your private keys! Not your keys, not your coins!

How to run a node on Raspberry Pi

How to Run a Node on Raspberry Pi

Have you ever wondered how hard it is to set up a bitcoin node? It’s not that difficult. With this guide, we provide a straightforward approach to setting up a node on a very small and inexpensive device. You can get started within a matter of hours and you will have your own bitcoin node up and running!

What is A Node?

A node is the base of the network that allows the Bitcoin blockchain to run. It’s basically a computer that makes sure certain rules are followed, information from transactions is shared across the network and a copy of confirmed transactions is kept. Trying to register a transaction involving an amount of Bitcoin that a user doesn’t have, is the perfect example of a rule not fulfilled that will stop the node from working. When the rules are all correct, the node proceeds to share the transaction with the rest of the network and keeps a record of it in a ledger known as the blockchain. It’s important to know that each network is autonomous, and every time a user registers a transaction into one node, a copy of it is registered into the rest of the nodes of the network. 

What is a Raspberry Pi?

A Raspberry Pi is a powerful computer in the size of a credit card that can be used in any computer monitor or TV. It is considered to be one of the world’s least expensive and most versatile computers, offering a wide range of applications such as browsing the internet, making spreadsheets or playing high-resolution video footage. It is increasingly becoming popular among developing countries and primary schools around the globe thanks to its simplicity. 

How to Set Up a Bitcoin Node on Your Raspberry Pi

Before running your own Bitcoin Node on your Raspberry Pi, there are a few things you might be interested to know. First of all, it’s important to remember that the purpose of a full node is to be kept running somewhere where it doesn’t require you to take care of it, like your mansard or your basement.

Secondly, a full node should be able to keep more than 8 connections to other nodes at the same time, always under a high-bandwidth connection to the Internet. This is due to the fact that if your node doesn’t take incoming connections, it will be taking many resources from the network and it won’t be giving back the performance it initially aimed to provide. A full node will not provide the network with mining activities, but instead, it will help keep the network honest and robust.

With all this in mind, let’s proceed to setting up your node. You will need to have in your possession a Raspberry Pi with its own case, a MicroSD card with at least 8GB of storage (the more space it has, the longer it will last), a power adapter with a MicroUSB cable to keep the device powered up, and an Ethernet cable to connect to your router. According to different sites, the Raspberry Pi 4B is the best in the market to run a full Bitcoin node, with the 1GB version starting at $35. 

The MicroSD card will act as the hard drive of your small computer, and you need to make sure it is formatted in FAT32, which is the only format Raspberry Pi works on. Most likely your card will come in exFAT format, so you’ll need to use the built-in programs for Windows (Disk Management), macOS (Disk-Utility) and Linux (Disks or GParted). Once the MicroSD has been formatted and introduced to the device, establish a connection to the Internet with your Ethernet cable, plug in the power adapter to the device and you’re good to go. For the initial configuration steps, you may want to use a keyboard and an HDMI-ready monitor to simplify the setup process, but you won’t be needing them after that. 

Next up, we need to install the OS on the device. The easiest way to do it is through their NOOBS install manager, which provides a detailed description of the steps on their website. Once it’s done, you’ll need to update your Raspberry Pi and verify that the full node is working. This can be a little tricky if you’re not familiar with coding, but this site will give you a step-by-step guide with all the lines of code you need to introduce from here on. 

And that’s about it, your Bitcoin Node will be now ready to be kept running and you won’t have to take constant care of it. As simple and effective as that!

Hot vs Cold Wallet: How Do You Store Your Crypto?

Hot vs Cold Wallet: How Do You Store Your Crypto?

It doesn’t really matter whether you are a big time investor that has their whole fortune invested in crypto, or you’re just a college student who is stacking satoshis, storing your crypto is very important. Since this industry doesn’t work with banks to fall back on, you are the one that’s responsible for making sure that everything is set in place. You are the one that’s supposed to facilitate your everyday transactions, your long term investments and anything in between those two. To store your crypto, you need a wallet. Now, these wallets come in many shapes and forms. We’ll display your options and help you out with making a choice. 

What can you do when holding your tokens?

What Can You Do When Holding Your Tokens?

Anyone that has been around for a while has seen the prices of many coins go up and down. A conservative trader might not trust the cryptocurrency industry and will not find it a suitable asset class to invest in, but many of the younger generations saw the fortunes coming their way. In reality, loads of people did profit from this new industry but others have lost quite some money over time. The thing is, if you don’t sell it’s not considered a loss, right? There are a lot of people who have invested big amounts into projects that have turned out to decrease in terms of price. That moment you either sell all your tokens for a big loss or you hold the tokens in the hope that the price will gradually increase over time. In the second option, there are some opportunities to benefit from the fact that you’re holding the tokens. You do not have to simply hold them in a wallet and wait, there are more options.