21 Inc, the best-funded company in bitcoin, has pledged to support the network’s declining number of nodes.
In a blog post co-authored yesterday, CEO Balaji Srinivasan said the firm wants to maintain and incentivise the “critical mass” of full nodes, which form the collective ‘backbone’ that stores and relays all bitcoin transactions.
Today, there are 12% fewer full nodes than this time last year. This continued decline means the bitcoin network – which finds strength in its distributed design – is becoming less stable.
The post reads:
“Bitcoin full nodes help preserve the health of the bitcoin network by validating blocks and transactions, and then serving those validated transactions to lightweight clients and other full nodes … As lightweight clients currently make up a significant and growing part of the network, it’s essential that we help them maintain their high level of security – which means maintaining a critical mass of full nodes.”
To do this, 21 has partnered with the BitNodes project, created in 2013 by developer Addy Yeow to assess the health of the network by finding all its reachable nodes.
According to the blog post, Yeow’s index, which crawls the network every five minutes to