What is a pruned node?

4 min read
If you have ever thought about having a node but have not done it because you think it is a waste of time and money, you should know what a pruned node is.
The minds of the crypto space are not only great developers, cryptographers or mathematicians, they have also proven themselves to be great gardeners. The idea of ​​pruned nodes is an excellent example of this.
In short, a pruned node is a type of node that performs much of the functions of a full node, but does not have a complete copy of the blockchain. Hence, the term “pruned node” or “pruned node”.
The pruned nodes simply maintain a fundamental part of the blockchain, using it to execute the verification processes just as another full node does.
But why were the pruned nodes created? How does a pruned node work? How to create my own pruned node? In this article we will try to solve these and other doubts.


Why were the pruned nodes created?

The nodes are the basis of the security of a blockchain since they host copies of the chain of blocks and help to perform various tasks that are necessary for the network to function.
But they present a problem and that is that the more the blockchain increases, the more the storage size required for the node increases.
This made it very difficult for people to run a node, due to the disk space they had to support to get it up and running.
Imagine that, for example, the Bitcoin blockchain database weighed a few tens of megabytes and currently occupies approximately 300GB (and continues to grow by the minute).
All transactions for a decade hosted on a node that is updated all the time and keeps track of the first to the last transaction executed.
A pruned node is precisely an answer to this problem. These save only a part of the blockchain and that is a way to help more people to have their own node and thus increase the security of the network. Because the more copies of the blockchain there are, the more robust the existence of that blockchain.



This image has nothing to do with a pruned node, but we were delighted to see it when we searched Google Images for “pruned”.

How does a pruned node work?

Faced with this situation, the pruned nodes were created, with which the blockchain can be downloaded to start its verification process and at the end of the download, a smaller part of it is simply stored. A process that certainly does not endanger the verification capacity of the node and that offers us the possibility of having a complete node to carry out our operations in a more secure way.
Now, surely you wonder if this situation can only be seen in Bitcoin. The reality is that all blockchain and even other DAG and DLT based technologies have this same problem. For example, in Ethereum it is also possible to deploy pruned nodes, something especially useful if we consider that its blockchain is growing by leaps and bounds compared to Bitcoin, already touching 5000 GB.

How to create our pruned node?

To create your own pruned node, you don’t need too technical knowledge and the easiest way to do it is using the Bitcoin Core software.
This software has this functionality since version 0.11 and it is our recommended option in addition to Spesmilo’s ElectrumX.
It is important to note that a pruned node has to have at least 2 gigs of storage for the blockchain copy. With this ability, you will be able to act as a verifier of much information without great effort.