Blockchain Nodes

Overview

Similar to other blockchains, IoTeX is a peer-to-peer network of nodes that maintain a global consensus over the status of a single ledger, replicated among the nodes of the blockchain in a distributed fashion. IoTeX is also a digital democracy, where anyone can configure a node and propose himself to become a Delegate node. Token-holders that stake their IOTX tokens have the right to vote for Delegates to maintain/grow the network on their behalf. Every 1 hour (aka "Epoch"), the ranking of all delegate candidates is evaluated by the blockchain, and the top 36 voted Delegates get elected as Consensus Delegates for that epoch.

Node types

In IoTeX there are four types of node:

  • Archive-Gateway: This is a heavy-duty full-node with API support: it stores a full copy of the blockchain, the status of all accounts, and the accounts index database so that it can serve as a Consensus Delegate, securely verifying any new incoming transaction against the actual status of the ledger. Additionally, it can serve as a Gateway for communication with the blockchain, supporting API queries of account and contract states, both on current block height and any past block height. [Archive nodes will be available from release 1.2 of the blockchain]

  • FullNode-Gateway: This is a normal full-node with API support: it stores a full copy of the blockchain, the status of all accounts, and the accounts index database so that it can serve as a Consensus Delegate, as well as a Gateway for communication with the blockchain, supporting API queries of account and contract states on current block height only.

  • FullNode: This is a normal full-node: it stores a full copy of the blockchain and the status of all accounts, so that it can serve as Consensus Delegate, but not as a Gateway for communication with the blockchain, as it does not support API queries.

  • LightNode: This is a light node: it only stores the headers of past blocks up to a certain block height, so that it cannot serve as Consensus Delegate, and it cannot be a gateway. It can only act as a local, lightweight validation node. [Light nodes will be available from release 1.3 of the blockchain]

Interested in becoming a IoTeX Delegate? Check out the official forum thread for instructions. Also, you can see the full list of Delegates on the IoTeX Voting Portal and Block Explorer.