Ethereum (ETH) Network Loses Nodes as Hashrate Falls

The Ethereum network is going through a process of shedding nodes, while mining is slowing down.

The Ethereum (ETH) network constantly loses nodes, in a process of changing user behavior and lowered miner participation. Observations on the network by Trustnodes show that the days are gone when the Ethereum network reached 30,000 nodes.

One of the reasons for the lower number of nodes is the fact that users no longer download the whole blockchain to run a full node wallet. Only one entity may actually run a node with the full Ethereum transaction history, while most nodes offer a pruned blockchain. Currently, Ethernodes statistics show a total of 8,326 nodes that are reachable, with the potential for other non-communicating nodes.

More than 41% of Ethereum nodes are in the USA, with China hosting about 15%. But not all nodes are created equal, as the Infura service offers node-related information to most distributed apps (dApps).

In the meantime, the Bitcoin network now holds 10,472 nodes. The slow growth of nodes means they are mostly run by miners. The Bitcoin network is older and quickly grew too large to have small-scale users run a node.

But the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks are not in competition - they are merely going through different types of evolution. The Ethereum network plans a future with a proof-of-stake mechanism and forms of sidechain computation to decrease the strain on nodes.

The Ethereum hashrate has also fallen in the past months, remaining stagnant around 160 TH/s, down from more than 250 TH/s in the summer of 2018. One of the reasons is the lowered block reward, shrinking from 5 to 2 ETH. The other reason is the uncertainty of buying Ethereum-specific mining rigs, as the network plans to go to proof-of-stake. Additionally, within the Ethereum community, there is some support for the idea of an ASIC-disabling hard fork.

The ETH market price is also at a crossroads, staging a rally in the past day to $273.01. ETH is still the altcoin receiving the biggest trading inflows from Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT). The network remains a leader in smart contract creation and distributed apps.

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