The mining testing activity on the Conflux Network has been started. A frequently asked question in the community is: What are the differences of the “Nodes” on Conflux Network? This article helps you to understand the differences:
Boot Node is the first connected node when starting, and it will get the information of other nodes to connect them. Currently, Boot Nodes are mainly provided by the Conflux Foundation. The community may also provide Boot Nodes.
Archive Nodes store all the historical data of the Conflux Network, so the data size is large. While mining, it takes longer time for an Archive Node to synchronize data and require larger storage space.
Conflux allows anyone to operate an Archive Node, but a large storage space is required. With Conflux’s current network parameters of 2 blocks per second, a block-size of 600 KB and a Conflux network running at its full capacity, the throughput is 1.2 MB per second, around 100 GB per day. This means that historical transactions can reach 30 TB per year. In the completely decentralized Conflux Network, it is entirely possible for the Conflux Foundation and the community to make joint efforts to maintain several Archive Nodes in the future.
Storing 30TB is common practice with enterprise and industrial-grade applications. The investment for three 10TB hard drives is only about 700 to 1,000 USD. Since the purpose of Conflux is to ensure decentralization on a high-level, lowering the costs of consensus participation is necessary. In order to decrease the threshold for the consensus participation, Conflux Network set the minimum full node requirement equivalent to a common 2019 home office desktop computer during development. Therefore, the recommended node for mining only is a Full Node.
Unlike Archive Nodes, Full Nodes only need to store block headers instead of the transaction information of blocks before the Checkpoint. For blocks after the Checkpoint, the storage method of a Full Node is the same as an Archive Node. While mining, the time a Full Node takes to synchronize data is shorter than an Archive Node, and the necessary storage space is smaller.
Light Nodes store only the header of all blocks. They do not participate in mining, but they can verify the data of the Conflux Network.
Trust Node is a new concept on the Conflux Network. One node can be the Trust Node of another node. Any node can become the Trust Node of other nodes if it actively connects them and maintains a stable connection over 72 hours with them.
For example, if Node A connects Node B actively and maintains a long-term stable connection (over 72 hours), Node A will become the Trust Node of Node B. And Node B will broadcast the IP of Node A to make it connected with more nodes, which improves the security of the entire network.
Community members can join in all the above-discussed nodes. The storage requirement of the nodes: Archive Node > Full Node > Light Node.
In the Conflux Oceanus Mining Testing process, in order to encourage more nodes to become Trust Nodes, Trust Nodes will get extra rewards for mining. But in the coming Conflux Mainnet Phase III - Tethys, a totally decentralized network, the mining rewards for all nodes will be based on workload without any extra node rewards.