Bitcoin nodes are an important part of the Bitcoin ecosystem, they help validate transaction and keep the network alive. While there is no direct reward for running a Bitcoin node, there are plenty of reasons why you should run your own full node. Not only will you learn more about how the Bitcoin network works, but you can benefit from increased anonymity and faster blockchain querying for a mere $5 a month. This article will show you how to setup a Bitcoin node in under 5 minutes using a cheap digitalocean VPS.
Step 1: Create a droplet
If you do not already have a digitalocean account you can create one here. Proceed to your account and create a new Ubuntu 14.04.5 x32 droplet, choose the cheapest $5 a month option which comes with 512MB and a 20GB SSD disk. Since the Bitcoin blockchain is currently around 104GB in size, since you only have 20GB on the default droplet that isn’t enough space. What you need to do is select the add more volume option and add an extra 100GB for $10 month. In total you should only be paying $15 a month for the droplet. It should only take a few seconds to create the droplet and you should receive an email with the required login information.
Step 2: Login to your droplet
Using Putty and the information provided in the email, we need to login to the VPS in order to begin setting up the Bitcoin node. The way digitalocean has it setup, the first time you login you would also need to set a new password. Once that is done you should have access to the machine.
Step 3: Begin Installation
We created a simple install script which you can use in order to setup all the required libraries and frameworks for the Bitcoin network. Simply enter the following line into the terminal and the installation will start:
wget https://raw.github.com/TheMerkle/EasyBitcoinNode/master/easyBitcoinNode.sh ; sudo bash easyBitcoinNode.sh
If you want to know more about the libraries that the bitcoin binary uses and for a more detailed guide checkout this article on the importance of bitcoin nodes and how to setup one. The installation may take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour depending on what kind of CPU your VPS has. If you selected the minimum $5 / month option on digitalocean, the installation process usually takes around 30 minutes. You will know it is done when the server sends a message that it is restarting
Step 4: Enjoy your Bitcoin node
Fire up Putty again and login to the VPS. Your node should start up automatically when the server boots up and you should be able to use the command “btc” to execute calls on the bitcoin client. For a complete list of available client calls visit the Bitcoin Wiki. Congratulations, you now run a Bitcoin node and help secure the network.
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