There is more to maintaining the Bitcoin network than mining – miners validate transactions, but those transactions need to be relayed across the network. The relaying of transactions is done by full nodes; without full nodes, there is no Bitcoin.
The problem is that while miners are rewarded for processing transactions, full node operators are not rewarded for relaying them. In the earlier days of Bitcoin, this was not an issue because the two were often one and the same. However, with the arrival of pooled mining, most people that operate bitcoin mining equipment are not full node operators. The result is that full nodes have become a neglected aspect of participating in the Bitcoin ecosystem.
To address the dearth of nodes in the Bitcoin network, the Counterparty Team will be launching the Nodeshares initiative. Nodeshares is a non-profit that collects donations for the setup and maintenance of full bitcoin nodes. Nodeshares will gratefully accept individual donations of any amount, both privately and publicly. Industry members will be able to choose from three public donation tiers. All donations will go directly to the setup and maintenance of full nodes.
To kick-start the Nodeshares initiative, Counterparty will be donating 100 full nodes to Nodeshares, which is approximately 1.1% of the total nodes in the Bitcoin network. For comparison, Counterparty data currently makes up approximately 0.03% of the data in the blockchain. Counterparty will increase its contributions to Nodeshares over time as the number of Counterparty transactions increases. The percentage of full nodes hosted by Counterparty’s donations to Nodeshares will always equal to, or greater than, the percentage of Counterparty data in the Bitcoin blockchain.
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