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Author Topic: incentive for nodes to propagate transactions  (Read 488 times)
jabetizo
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December 26, 2012, 05:32:46 PM
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What is the incentive for an individual node to relay others' transactions? It "costs" them bandwidth, so why do they do it?
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December 26, 2012, 06:24:31 PM
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What is the incentive for an individual node to relay others' transactions? It "costs" them bandwidth, so why do they do it?

The incentive is to help the community and network be healthier. Also it doesn't cost them any bandwidth it takes so little bandwidth to send out a transaction to another client.

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December 26, 2012, 06:28:38 PM
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i would say most anyone has "unlimited" internet. I know some people have satellite internet or some type of mobile internet which has a monthly cap but those are select situations. For the most part it doesnt "cost" anything.

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December 26, 2012, 08:39:32 PM
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i would say most anyone has "unlimited" internet. I know some people have satellite internet or some type of mobile internet which has a monthly cap but those are select situations. For the most part it doesnt "cost" anything.
My father-in-law still uses a dial-up connection.  He is limited in monthly bytes sent/received as well.
So, while "most anyone" might be an accurate term, there are still plenty of people who are limited in their internet usage.  I suppose the answer can be "They shouldn't use bitcoin.", but it is bad information to claim that the relay of transactions doesn't cost anybody anything.

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December 27, 2012, 01:41:17 PM
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i would say most anyone has "unlimited" internet. I know some people have satellite internet or some type of mobile internet which has a monthly cap but those are select situations. For the most part it doesnt "cost" anything.
My father-in-law still uses a dial-up connection.  He is limited in monthly bytes sent/received as well.
So, while "most anyone" might be an accurate term, there are still plenty of people who are limited in their internet usage.  I suppose the answer can be "They shouldn't use bitcoin.", but it is bad information to claim that the relay of transactions doesn't cost anybody anything.

Fair enough.

It will not cost you anything if you have an unlimited internet connection (as I alreeady stated) or if you have a capped connection and do not go over your cap. Otherwise it will cost you to be a node for bitcoin.

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December 27, 2012, 02:54:04 PM
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. . . It will not cost you anything if you have an unlimited internet connection (as I alreeady stated) or if you have a capped connection and do not go over your cap. Otherwise it will cost you to be a node for bitcoin.
Note that while your internet use might not cost you anything extra under those circumstances, you do have to leave your computer running and have to leave Bitcoin-Qt running to be a full node.  You also have to store the entire blockchain on your hard-drive.

There are lightweight client options such as MultiBit, Electrum, and blockchain.info.  These all allow you to use bitcoin with reduced system requirements, but if you use them then you provide less resources to the bitcoin network.

If there were a financial incentive for running a full node (like there is for mining), then more people would be more willing to run full nodes instead of lightweight clients.  Given the existing incentives it seems likely that over time the network will move towards a situation where eventually it will be mostly mining pool operators, web hosted wallet operators, and merchant payment processors that maintain the blockchain and relay transactions.  This centralization and lack of diversity in the network may allow transactions to relay faster (since they will have less nodes they need to relay through), but will provide consolidated targets for those who desire to interfere with the bitcoin network.

Certainly some individuals will continue to run full nodes out of their own desire to participate, but as bitcoin catches on more and more, the numbuer of transactions and the size of the blockchain will eventually reach the point where maintaining a full node will begin to add more noticeable costs, such as the need for additional or larger hard drives.

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