According to the data collected from Bitnode, the total number of reachable Bitcoin nodes on the Blockchain fell by approximately 18.98% in 2018. A drop from 11,845 to 9,597 in the said period brought the figure to 18.98% drop. In that same period of time, the total number of unreachable Bitcoin nodes also fell by at least 33%, dropping from 98,000 to 65,500. For us to understand why this data is significance, it is essential to show the functions of both the reachable and unreachable nodes on the Bitcoin Blockchain.
Understanding the Reachable and Unreachable Bitcoin NodesA reachable Bitcoin node on the Blockchain is a node that sends and receives connections via the Bitcoin network. On the other hand, an unreachable node can simply make outgoing connections but doesn’t have the capacity to accept incoming connections. The reason why unreachable nodes cannot accept incoming connections is that they are behind a firewall such as Tor or they are shielded by a NAT (Network Address Translation) which modifies network address data in the IP header for data packets while in transit via a router. Bitcoin (BTC) Price Today – BTC / USD
Let’s take a look at this in theory, a high number of unreachable exist on a Blockchain may be good news because it makes the network one that is more secure by boosting the total number of obstacles that obstruct a hacker, with a bonus of increased or better resistance to deanonymization compared to its reachable counterparts. However, in practice, the reachable Bitcoin nodes play a significant role in the Bitcoin protocol. The reason for this is because they are only able to function as complete nodes which keep full records of all transactions done on the Blockchain from the start. This, in turn, maintains higher integrity on the Bitcoin Blockchain.