Geth: Light Nodes for Ethereum thanks to Iceberg Update

With the Iceberg update 1.8.0 and the bugfix 1.8.1 for the Geth client, Ethereum has dedicated itself to the topic Light Node. What does this mean for the normal user?

Maybe it was similar to one or the other: Enthusiastic about Ethereum they downloaded the dung browser or the wallet and wanted to dive into the world of dApps.

There was only one obstacle in the way of the Bitcoin evolution: the synchronization with a huge blockchain

The correct word is huge: With 217 GB, the Ethereum blockchain is 16% larger than the Bitcoin evolution – and about every 15 seconds a new block with an approximate size of 20 kB is added! Quite a few people have broken off frustratedly after several attempts at blockchain synchronization:

Although Fast Synchronization is a method that only stores the current state of the network, the blockchain continues to be stored regularly from the time of this snapshot, so that an enormous amount of data accumulates again over time. Some time ago BTC-ECHO talked about this possibility with Christian Reitwiessner, the developer of Solidity.

This problem should be solved some time ago with the possibility of a Light-Node

A light node is a node that does not store the entire block chain, but only downloads the headers of the current blocks and only verifies what needs to be verified. The goal is to be able to offer a kind of node in this way, which has a similar functional scope as the classic Ethereum Wallet or the Mist Browser, but does not take as long for synchronization.

With the current version of the Geth client, the update 1.8.0 named Iceberg, the possibility of a light client is now given. Geth stands for Go Ethereum. It is a client for Ethereum that is command line based in itself, but also runs in the background of every large Ethereum app. So you can be sure that every Mist Browser or Ethereum Wallet runs a Geth client in the background.

With the help of Iceberg, the new Geth client, contact to other nodes should be established within a few seconds and a synchronization with the Main Net within one minute should be possible.

If synchronization is so fast and the functionality is similar to that of a full node, why doesn’t everyone just switch to the light node? On the one hand this would mean the loss for the history of the blockchain, because the complete blockchain would be lost. Second, every Light Node depends on a Full Node.

The Light Node allows those who were previously denied the opportunity to work with the real Ethereum Wallet due to the frustratingly long synchronisation, the experience of testing the full potential of Ethereum. One can therefore hope that this will advance the development and use of decentralized applications. In this respect, this Light Node is less the tip than the underwater part of the iceberg!