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We are hearing a lot, that slow confirmation times are a symptom of there not being enough full nodes and we are encouraged to set up a full node for ourselves.

I have done this and I have targeted my own lightwallet at it. I'm a hodlr so there are very few transaction that are created on my node and consequently very few new confirmations.

So is my node actually helping the network? It feels like it is just an extra relay that makes the network bigger but without adding any utility.

At the same time we are not encouraged to make our nodes public. Why is this?

  • Can you point to a source that does not encourage people to make their nodes public (while limiting the API commands that can be used externally?) – mihi Dec 4 '17 at 22:16
  • Its the general advice on Slack. Can you point to a source where devs are asking for more public nodes? I have asked direct to Dom on slack and he chose not to answer. – Spamalot Dec 5 '17 at 21:14
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Actually this doesn't help to increase the TPS. This just creates a more secure network.

The most people are not struggling with the performance of the tangle itself. The tangle itself is fast enough. Could be faster, but is not that bad as many people experience. The issue is more that the most people only connect to a few full-nodes. e.g. the iotasupport or bitfinex one. And these nodes have a huge issue with handling all these light-nodes. We don't know how many they get, but in case of bitfinex, it must be hundreds of thousands. I guess they also using this full-nodes to send the withdraws. So, the login and attachment of a address takes a lot of time on these nodes. Also getting new transactions can be a huge act for them. They have to be in sync the whole time.

Another issue, which I currently experience, is the upgrade process and neighbor-sync. The upgrade is a huge pain. Not exactly for me. I use a cron-job for it. It restarts the node after an upgrade and everything is fine. But my neighbors... Some of them are still not on 1.4.1.4... so I removed them. One is on the test network and breaks my transactions... So I'm 100 milestones behind the tangle, because of this shit. I hope Nelson will be finished soon! :)

  • regarding the node-overload: why is their no proper load-balancer which redirects incoming request randomly to all nodes available??? there should be sufficient nodes nowadays since the community setup a lot of them. – GJEEE Jan 5 '18 at 16:42
  • in addition to your answer, a extra node (without any transactions of its own) of course always helps to propagate the transactions through the tangle (by relaying incoming tx from a neighbor to his other neighbors). – GJEEE Jan 5 '18 at 17:12
  • @GJEEE That's something you don't want to have. We speak here about a decentralized system like the Internet. It works in some parts similar. The full-node is more or less like the ISP for the Internet. It gives you access to the tangle network. – Citrullin Jan 6 '18 at 2:07
  • @GJEEE Of course the provider of the full-node can have load-balancer and many full-nodes. No issue at all. :) Like your ISP does. But that's what you have to implement. It's not part of the network or full-node itself. That's what the provider of the full-nodes have to solve. – Citrullin Jan 6 '18 at 2:08
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more nodes make the network more stable and independent.

Don't know who sad that the nodes shouldn't made public but it could be because of the DDoS-Attacks from the past days. A community member is working on a solution for automatic peer discovery and a security layer against DDoS.

  • More stable, how? Does the relay only node help confirmation rates? If so how? – Spamalot Dec 5 '17 at 21:15
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    Nodes shouldn't be public because that allows an attacker to distribute transactions into many parts of the mesh-net at once, which leverages IOTA's network bound PoW. – cmpn Dec 6 '17 at 17:47
  • At the moment there are not enough nodes to have a secure network. That's also the reason for the coordinator. Without the coordinator there will be no milestones anymore. Currently these milestones are from the coordinator, which handles the tangle network. So, currently the network is centralized. In the future the coordinator will be removed. But this can only happens, if the network is huge enough. – Citrullin Dec 21 '17 at 11:44
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More nodes increase the security of the network. To increase confirmation time, transaction volume needs to increase because the sender of the transactions will be doing the needed PoW for pending transactions. More nodes increase security by approving transactions. A transaction is accepted with a higher level of confidence, the more approvals it recieves. In order for an attacker to have his malicious transaction accepted by the network, he would have to have his nodes connected into the tangle in such a way that his approvals are seen by a large percentage of nodes. If it were possible to discover and connect to all network nodes, it would be easy to sybil the network in this way. But nodes do not just accept transactions from anyone. Nodes only accept transactions from two-way neighbours. Nodes are also encouraged to keep their address's private. The greater the number of nodes, the more difficult the tangle becomes to penetrate with malicious nodes that are connected in a way that they can affect the approval of transactions. A large enough tangle will make the network secure enough that the coordinator will not need to be relied on for security.

If you want to help increase the confirmation time of the network, send 0 value transactions; thereby doing PoW for two other transactions on each send.

  • Yep, zero transactions on the own full-node is a really good idea. – Citrullin Dec 21 '17 at 11:41

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