Running a Bitcoin Full Node 101: Choosing Your Hardware

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Cryptocurrency enthusiasts looking to run a Bitcoin full node have many different options at their disposal. The first important choice is deciding which hardware to use. Some of the choices below may seem strange, but they can work out quite well in the long run.

Using An Old Laptop or PC

The most common option to set up a Bitcoin full node is using an old computer. As long as it meets the minimum requirements, and has ample storage capacity, this is a solid option. Enthusiasts have to keep in mind that the node should be connected to the network on a regular basis. 

One upside is how running a Bitcoin full node can be done on any operating system. Setting it up on Windows is very straightforward, but dedicated guides for both Linux and MacOS are out there as well. 

If one is using a laptop, make sure to keep it hooked up to the charger whenever possible. This software is running in the background, and can put a strain on the processor, draining a lot of electricity.

Dedicated Blockchain Phones

Over the past few years, multiple smartphone manufacturers have jumped on the blockchain hype train. This allowed them to introduce models of phones designed for blockchain and crypto enthusiasts. HTC is the one company that stands out, as its Exodus 1s blockchain smartphone is more than capable of running a Bitcoin full node. That is, assuming one has a large SD card to store the data on. 

An older model developed by the same manufacturer, the Exodus 1, should have – or soon receive – similar functionality as well. Theoretically, this is a relatively cheap option for those in the market for a blockchain smartphone. However, its hardware is nothing innovative, and it isn’t necessarily designed to be an “everyday use” device either. That said, there is still some fun to be had with these HTC units. 

The Raspberry Pi Bitcoin Full Node

Setting up a relatively cheap Bitcoin full node is not overly difficult. Nor is the hardware inaccessible. Obtaining a Raspberry Pi, preferably the third generation or more recent, is a good place to start. These powerful microcomputers pack the necessary “oomph” to run a Bitcoin node without any issues. 

Similar to using a smartphone, the only real bottleneck is having ample storage. Natively, the RPi supports SD cards, which should offer sufficient data storage. Community members have also explored the option of using a proper hard drive hooked up through the USB port. Both options are viable, depending on how much tinkering one wants to do.

In an upcoming article, we will go over some unique ways to run a Bitcoin full node on the Raspberry Pi. 

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