Bitcoin Scanner Data (2018)
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that has gained significant attention and growth in recent years. Unlike traditional currencies, Bitcoin does not rely on a centralized authority to control the supply, distribution, and verification of the validity of transactions. Instead, Bitcoin relies on a peer-to- peer network of volunteers to distribute pending transactions and confirmed blocks, verify transactions, and to collectively implement a replicated ledger that everyone agrees on. This peer-to-peer (P2P) network is at the heart of Bitcoin and many other blockchain technologies. In this article, we present a comparative measurement study of nodes in the Bitcoin network. We measure and analyze how many so-called ‘volunteers’ are in Bitcoin P2P network by scanning the live Bitcoin network for 37 days in 2018, and compare them with data reported by prior work in 2013∼2016. Our work is motivated by the fact that Bitcoin has experienced explosive growth in terms of number of users, transactions, value, and interest over the recent couple years. Our investigation includes the IP addresses of Bitcoin nodes, size of the network, power-law in the geographic distribution, protocol and client versions, and network latencies, and show how today’s network is different from early days. In addition, based on the observations made from the measurement study, we propose a simple distance-based peer selection rule for improved connectivity and faster data propagation. Evaluation results show that our proposed light-weight and backward-compatible peer selection rule has potential to reduce data dissemination latency.
Collected Bitcoin node IP addresses using the Bitcoin protocol
- Version, VerAck, GetAddr, Addr messages
Recursively scanned IP addresses collected from Addr messages.
All collected information stored in JSON format.