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nostar
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June 17, 2019, 05:50:40 PM
 #1

Why do some folks recommend one does not use node as a wallet?
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June 17, 2019, 05:56:29 PM
 #2

I can think of 3 reasons.

They don't understand it.
They don't want to tie up their hard disk with the blockchain
They don't want to synchronise the chain every day.

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June 17, 2019, 05:56:41 PM
Merited by nostar (1)
 #3

Why do some folks recommend one does not use node as a wallet?
The only reason I can see for someone to not have their own node is if they don't want to have the whole blockchain downloaded in their device. A node uses a lot of bandwidth and take several GBs of space in your hard drive (for the blockchain which needs to be "updated every day").

Other than that, I can only see advantages.

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June 17, 2019, 05:56:49 PM
 #4

1. Run full nodes isn't cheap, you need to download or/and store at least 200GB. It's expensive & time-wasting for people in few country.
2. Full nodes client with wallet functionality usually not as user friendly as SPV/web wallet
3. You're connected to many nodes and open ports which add security vulnerability

nostar
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June 17, 2019, 06:02:35 PM
Merited by dbshck (2)
 #5

Why do some folks recommend one does not use node as a wallet?
The only reason I can see for someone to not have their own node is if they don't want to have the whole blockchain downloaded in their device. A node uses a lot of bandwidth and take several GBs of space in your hard drive (for the blockchain which needs to be "updated every day").

Other than that, I can only see advantages.

That actually brought up a 2nd question for me: pruning. I have the same wallet.dat file currently synced between two computers, two different OSes and one of them has a lot less disk space so I'm planning on pruning it right now. I'm thinking of just pruning to 20% of my current disk space as that would allow enough room for my other stuff. As far as I can tell from the research I've done I just need at least 550 MB for pruning. Correct?
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June 17, 2019, 06:09:42 PM
Merited by dbshck (4)
 #6

That actually brought up a 2nd question for me: pruning. I have the same wallet.dat file currently synced between two computers, two different OSes and one of them has a lot less disk space so I'm planning on pruning it right now. I'm thinking of just pruning to 20% of my current disk space as that would allow enough room for my other stuff. As far as I can tell from the research I've done I just need at least 550 MB for pruning. Correct?
You can specify how much space you want to store in blocks.

E.g: prune=550 would store 550 MB of blocks, prune=5000 would store 5 GB, etc...

Keep in mind that even when pruning, you will still have to download the whole blockchain (however, it will delete the old blocks on the fly, so you don't need the +200 GB space). And that's going to take some bandwidth.

nostar
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June 17, 2019, 06:10:53 PM
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3. You're connected to many nodes and open ports which add security vulnerability

This was the one question I had as well but if I'm running my node through something like a router that doesn't broadcast my private IP address I was told that's fine - no vpn or silly garbage like that needed. Networking was never my personal strong suit, better at hardware and building computers.
nostar
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June 17, 2019, 07:02:26 PM
 #8

That actually brought up a 2nd question for me: pruning. I have the same wallet.dat file currently synced between two computers, two different OSes and one of them has a lot less disk space so I'm planning on pruning it right now. I'm thinking of just pruning to 20% of my current disk space as that would allow enough room for my other stuff. As far as I can tell from the research I've done I just need at least 550 MB for pruning. Correct?
You can specify how much space you want to store in blocks.

E.g: prune=550 would store 550 MB of blocks, prune=5000 would store 5 GB, etc...

Keep in mind that even when pruning, you will still have to download the whole blockchain (however, it will delete the old blocks on the fly, so you don't need the +200 GB space). And that's going to take some bandwidth.

Just completed it. Since the blockchain was already downloaded it only took about 30 seconds to prune it. Good for my laptop node. Thanks for the input and advice! Cheers!
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June 18, 2019, 08:06:57 AM
Merited by dbshck (4)
 #9

3. You're connected to many nodes and open ports which add security vulnerability

This was the one question I had as well but if I'm running my node through something like a router that doesn't broadcast my private IP address I was told that's fine

Everyone you are communicating with on the internet (e.g. websites, microsoft server, games server, basically whatever you do with your PC which has to do with the internet) has your IP (or at least he IP of your ISP if you are sitting behind a NAT).
This has no security implications at all.

In fact, it is necessary. An IP address is absolutely NO private information. It is absolutely mandatory to communicate.


Therefore each node you are connected to, sees your IP.
If you additionally accept incoming connections, they are connecting to your PC (on port 8333).

As long as there is no severe vulnerability in bitcoin core, that's completely fine.

Theoretically, a chance exists that a specifically crafted message can crash core, for example.
Or, which would be the ultimate MCA, a remote code execution with the permissions of the user running core.

The attack surface exists.
The theoretical chance of such a vulnerability also exists. But since core has been here since the beginning of BTC, it gets less and less probable each day.
Core is a properly tested software. Not some student-project.

I, personally, would assess the risk as being low or very low.
If you are using windows, you shouldn't be worried about THAT at all. Windows has way more vulnerabilities which are way more severe than bitcoin core will ever have. And most of them stay unfixed for a long period of time.

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June 18, 2019, 08:25:05 AM
Merited by HCP (2)
 #10

I wanted to add a sidenode to your pruning setting: you do have to realise that when you run a pruned node, a reindex will force you to re-download the complete blockchain again.... So, eventough running a pruned node is fine, it does limit some of the functionality.

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June 18, 2019, 05:24:48 PM
 #11

I wanted to add a sidenode to your pruning setting: you do have to realise that when you run a pruned node, a reindex will force you to re-download the complete blockchain again.... So, eventough running a pruned node is fine, it does limit some of the functionality.

At least you don't need to verify all block & transaction (according to https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5099606.msg49318747#msg49318747).

For normal user, obtain old transaction/block usually isn't needed anyway.

nostar
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June 19, 2019, 01:53:09 AM
 #12

I wanted to add a sidenode to your pruning setting: you do have to realise that when you run a pruned node, a reindex will force you to re-download the complete blockchain again.... So, eventough running a pruned node is fine, it does limit some of the functionality.

At least you don't need to verify all block & transaction (according to https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5099606.msg49318747#msg49318747).

For normal user, obtain old transaction/block usually isn't needed anyway.

I took it a step further. I have a laptop (computer A) running a pruned node (took less than 30 seconds to go from full node to pruned node) and a box (computer B) that doesn't get used for anything except running the node and that's running a full node. I currently, although it may not be great, have them sharing one wallet, plenty encrypted. For now, it's just for fun and learning, only keeping a few sats. Now I just need a for dummies on how and which lightning node to install.
nostar
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June 19, 2019, 02:10:32 AM
 #13

Everyone you are communicating with on the internet (e.g. websites, microsoft server, games server, basically whatever you do with your PC which has to do with the internet) has your IP (or at least he IP of your ISP if you are sitting behind a NAT).
This has no security implications at all.

In fact, it is necessary. An IP address is absolutely NO private information. It is absolutely mandatory to communicate.


Therefore each node you are connected to, sees your IP.
If you additionally accept incoming connections, they are connecting to your PC (on port 8333).

As long as there is no severe vulnerability in bitcoin core, that's completely fine.

Theoretically, a chance exists that a specifically crafted message can crash core, for example.
Or, which would be the ultimate MCA, a remote code execution with the permissions of the user running core.

The attack surface exists.
The theoretical chance of such a vulnerability also exists. But since core has been here since the beginning of BTC, it gets less and less probable each day.
Core is a properly tested software. Not some student-project.

I, personally, would assess the risk as being low or very low.
If you are using windows, you shouldn't be worried about THAT at all. Windows has way more vulnerabilities which are way more severe than bitcoin core will ever have. And most of them stay unfixed for a long period of time.

This is the conversation I had with beautyon a couple years ago when he was first helping me setup a node on my linux box. So much time as passed and I got involved in so much else that I kind of forgot about everything we discussed. NAT. I recall he wasn't 100% on whether or not my router or even modem served as a NAT but for years I was under the assumption that they did?
bob123
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June 19, 2019, 06:28:44 AM
 #14

I recall he wasn't 100% on whether or not my router or even modem served as a NAT but for years I was under the assumption that they did?

Your router serves as a kind of NAT by creating a local network, but that's not what i was referring to. Your public IP is still visible to the internet (same IP from each client in your local network).

Since IPv4 addresses are running out (very close to no more being available soon), ISPs have started to use a single IPv4 address for multiple of their clients.
They set up a NAT 'server' and use multiple ports to distinguish between traffic from/to different clients.

To the visited websites, it seems that all of the clients have the same IP address, which is kind of true, because all traffic is coming from that ISP's server.


However, note that using NAT does NOT have any effect on the security. Neither positive or negative.
Sometimes it gives a false sense of security by 'obscuring' the IP. But you are not more or less secured using NAT.

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June 19, 2019, 02:50:42 PM
 #15

when you are not using full node wallet you are merely trusting someone else to tell you about bitcoins, you might not even have any coins.

Not entirely true, even if you use full node client, you need to trust nodes connected to you giving accurate data, not misleading you to forked/alternative chain or isolate you by don't give any data.

Also, on some SPV wallet, there's option to connect to multiple full nodes at once to reduce required trust.

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