What Is a Light Node?
Node Network Essentials
A node refers to any device or entity connected to the blockchain network, such as servers, computers, wallets (online or offline), and even mobile phones.
These nodes continuously update each other with the latest information added to the blockchain.
They play a crucial role in the infrastructure of the blockchain by validating the ledger and ensuring the transparency, validity, security, and accessibility of the data and transactions on the network.
Nodes are generally classified into two main types:
- Light nodes are lightweight, downloaded wallets that connect to full nodes to validate further the information stored on the blockchain.
- Full nodes maintain a complete blockchain history, including all transactions, timestamps, and created blocks; light nodes only hold partial blockchain histories.
The primary purpose of light nodes is to hold a block header, which provides essential information for verifying the integrity of previous transactions.
A block header is a summarized overview of a specific block and contains information related to the previous block it is connected to.
While light nodes serve a similar purpose to full nodes, their limited storage requirements make them more accessible for devices with limited resources or bandwidth.
They provide a balance between security, decentralization, and efficiency.