Fullnode.co is a scam

So, another thing that gets media coverage. Let’s look into it.

They are using extremely overpriced ISPs1. For the same price, they could easily host more than four times as many nodes.
At least they are not charging you more than it costs – the servers they list really use those ISPs, and the cheaper plans can’t work. Moreover, the $10 plan by Linode is soon going to be too small to store the blockchain!

Their server list show a lot of servers expiring in a month or less. How about hosting less servers but for a longer duration? Having stable, static IPs is highly valuable, as past connections are saved by clients.

Then, and perhaps worse of all, the nodes are ran by the same organization and too few providers; you’re actually paying for the centralization of the network. Want to help Bitcoin? Learn how to run a full node. It’s not hard (see below). Or even easier, seed the blockchain data torrent.

So, how do you set up a full node? Here’s the fastest, easiest way:

Go to http://lowendbox.com/ and select a provider with 30 GB disk space or so.
At checkout, select Debian or Ubuntu.
SSH into it, and run “apt-get install bitcoind”. Forget about it.

Feel free to copy-paste without attribution.

Of course, to help Bitcoin, it’s even better to go deeper into what running a full node entails. You can blindly apply updates, but you can also choose if you agree with them or not. Full nodes are an underestimated power.

It is quite unfortunate that once again, the “community” raves over something that has been provided for years, in a better way, by many, including yours truly, for what I estimate to be a two-digit amount of terabytes. We haven’t asked for your recognition, but at least don’t donate to fuckers.

  1. No, full nodes don’t need SSDs, because what they do is mostly sequential. []

5 Responses to “Fullnode.co is a scam”

  • Entirely this. Pick you version of bitcoind (or perphaps btcd or that other thing…) and keep this thing robust.
  • That last paragraph makes the whole thing.
  • I’ve just tried setting up my own full node and I have a few relevant domain names. I’m not a coder or anything but I was thinking maybe someone could help me create an alternative to fullnode.co.

    Any interest in that?

  • What should be done is not host those for people, but teach people how to host. Namely, how to find a host, what to select and how to install Bitcoin.

    It shouldn’t require much technical expertise; I plan to do it but haven’t had the time to test my instructions yet (for example I know Debian tends to auto-run daemons, but I’m not sure it does it for bitcoind, and you might have an extra step).

    In addition to the instructions, you can automate the installation or configuration if there is one: provide a script to download and run (still requires knowledge of SSH), or provide the configuration as a service (almost no knowledge required).

    The first one requires some trust but happens in public, the second one requires much more trust as the configurator will have full access to the server (even if it is temporary, backdoors can be left).

    The second one is the only one that can be a business, and perhaps it can add value by providing more than setting up a node. I’ve already seen some people offer such service.

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