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.