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Is a blockchain the sum of nodes + the sum of miners/validators?

Hiya, I am actually attempting to wrap my head round what we imply once we say “an operation is completed by the blockchain” vs “an operation is completed by the nodes”.
Mainly, the weather composing a blockchain are the nodes that confirm transactions and miners/validators that create new blocks. Solely these 2 are wanted to type a blockchain proper?

7 thoughts on “Is a blockchain the sum of nodes + the sum of miners/validators?”

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  2. **Validation** and enforcing the consensus rules is done by full nodes, most of which are not miners.

    **Confirmations** or ordering transactions within blocks is done by miners. Most miners do not directly validate and instead use the full node of the pool they contribute towards.

    A blockchain can exist by itself without any miners hashing as a decentralized database of all past history . This of course would be an example of a stagnant blockchain that has no new blocks added until miners start creating them. Any transactions sent **onchain** would just sit as unconfirmed , but validated in the mempool of all full nodes until miners created a block that included transactions. On other layers like liquid or lightning transactions could continue to be confirmed however even if no new blocks were created.

  3. The blockchain is a public registry, where information is stored in blocks that are added one after the other over time.

    We are at block 764,453 and in the next 10 minutes one more block will be added with the transactions of the last 10 minutes (simplified). That is the blockchain.

    The miners and the nodes are responsible, respectively, the former for writing the blocks and the latter for verifying that the information is correct.

    Each node has its own copy of the blockchain that it has validated itself. If all nodes have equal copies, there is consensus and that is the main chain.

  4. The Bitcoin blockchain (or “timechain” as Satoshi used to call it) works more or less like a notebook where you take note of activities you performed at a specific time. Every time you finish writing a page, you let your parents and your siblings proofread it. If all the entries are correct, the page stays in the notebook and you get a reward. If there is even just one mistake (wrong date/time, duplicated entries) they throw that page away and you have to write it again. They also keep an exact copy of every page of the notebook, 1 copy for your parents and 1 copy for your siblings.

    For example:

    * Went to the park @ 6:10 PM on November 23, 2022
    * Met with best friend @ 6:20 PM on November 23, 2022
    * Ate ice cream @ 6:30 PM on November 23, 2022
    * ………

    Replace those activities on your notebook with Bitcoin transactions and keep that aside for a second.

    You might have busy days where you put in 10-15 activities on a single page and less busy days where you just relax and put just 4 activities.

    Replace those pages with the blocks of the Bitcoin blockchain. It’s like writing a new page every 10 minutes on average and every new page has to be “chained” to the last one to preserve chronological integrity.

    Now, imagine this notebook you have is kind of special. Let’s say you want to add, remove or just slightly modify an entry in one of the previous pages. You can’t. You would break the chronological integrity and your parents and your siblings won’t allow it. The only way to modify an entry from one of the previous pages is if you write everything once again from the very first page in less than 10 minutes and, while doing so, you have to replace the exact copies that your parents and your siblings have with copies of the new notebook you wrote from scratch.

    The special notebook is the Bitcoin blockchain.

    You are the the miner who is trying to create new valid blocks to get rewarded.

    Your parents and your siblings are the validator nodes that prevent you from cheating.

  5. > an operation is done by the blockchain

    The blockchain is just a data structure, like a file. It doesn’t do operations, this is probably a badly written or misinformed piece.

    > an operation is done by the nodes

    Nodes are computers and computers do things. This adds up. They usually end up creating or receiving data which they can validate, filter, transform and transport over networks.

    > Basically, the elements composing a blockchain are the nodes that verify transactions and miners/validators that create new blocks.

    Miners and validators are not the same. I will only speak about Bitcoin which only has miners and nodes.

    Nodes fill the network. Not everyone can be a miner, but if it were the case, then a network of just miners would be ideal. Miners are expensive to operate so this is not the case.

    Nodes, however are really cheap to run and they do two things:

    1. they get your transaction to as many miners (or at least as many other nodes who might pass on the message) as possible.

    2. they receive, validate, and keep a local record of the blockchain.

    Miners are basically nodes too, but they focus more on mining blocks. Their job is to create a new block on top of the blockchain with the reward pointing to their own wallet. On top of that, they receive transactions from the rest of the network, and those transactions offer fees, so any transaction that they can validate and include into a block adds to their reward. They need to validate the transactions, because an invalid transaction will invalidate a whole block and they would have wasted time and energy for nothing.

    Nodes provide a few benefits:

    1. They are cheap, so people all around the world can run one.

    2. They define (collectively) what is valid for the whole network. So being cheap gives everyone a say in what Bitcoin is, making it hard to change at a whim.

    3. They keep a copy of the blockchain around in case of catastrophic failure. This is a very common topic in computer science, called redundancy. It is always good to have redundant copies of data.

    I hope somewhere in here, I have answered your question.

  6. The blockchain is a passive tool, a way of storing transaction history
    Miners are not validators. Nodes validate the work done by miners, including checking the validity of every transaction in every block

    > what we mean when we say “an operation is done by the blockchain”

    That does not have a meaning

    The Bitcoin node network maintains the blockchain. The miners provide a delay which supports the node network, enables the nodes to remain synchronized, even though every node is independent

  7. Nodes are the participants of a blockchain network.

    Validators are the ones who verify transactions.

    Nodes are a critical element of a blockchain’s infrastructure. Without them, a blockchain’s data would be inaccessible. If there are no miners/validators, there will be no need for new blocks to add data. Moreover, a blockchain will be nearly impossible to handle without miners.

    At the same time, private blockchains can work without miners.

    Ultimately, the purpose of the blockchain matters the most.


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