Isn’t technology a wonderful thing? There are so many complicated computations, unique languages full of fun vocabulary, and detail-oriented advances in an ever-changing landscape that even the best computer scientists can sometimes be confused.

To add to the challenges, new concepts are adding to the space at a rapid pace, making it difficult to stay updated on the newest tech. Thankfully, there are resources at your fingertips that, with just a simple search, can help you to better understand the complicated field.

If you have dabbled at all in learning the cryptocurrency industry and blockchain technologies that make it possible, you’ve likely come across some unfamiliar phrasing. To better understand how the concept works, it is ideal to have a good grasp of its fundamental language.

What exactly is a blockchain? How do “nodes” factor into their design? What do they enable users to do? Let’s take a dive into this language hurdle and discover what these phrases mean, and how they all factor into the crypto space, too.

Blockchain Technology

To understand a blockchain node, it is first crucial to have a grasp of what the blockchain is and how it works. The blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DTL). It is focused on the concept of decentralization. In both concept values and technical processes, the blockchain allows for information to be distributed, and not centralized.


Since data is stored on a network of peer-to-peer computer systems, there is no centralized server. Instead, network users can log in anytime to see the full distributed ledger. This concept serves to both secure the network, as it is nearly impossible to take control of in this state, and to support the values of its participants.


The blockchain itself is a series of data boxes (blocks) that are chronologically stored in an attached series (chain). This, as previously stated, provides a level of security by distributing the information across many users and not storing it in a centralized location.

Additionally, the transparency of the system allows for a checks and balances routine to secure its space as each network user can see all comings and goings of the blockchain at all times.

Once data is entered into a blockchain it is immutable. There can be no changes, from anyone at any time. This adds yet another layer of security.


Another reason for the boost in popularity of this technology is the values that it coincides with for its users. For example, not having a central authority isn’t just about central data storage. Instead, it is also a freedom from the oversight of another entity.

Cutting out the “middle man” in some cases, such as cryptocurrency, with the use of the blockchain allows for freedom from fees typically charged by corporate banks and governments. Additionally, no authority has the right to censor or ban a user. This opens the doors for freedom of speech greatly.

Without a centralized power, and instead redistributing that to the users of the network, the “power” is back in the hands of the people. Those on the network enjoy a user interface that does not require the “approval” of a corporate giant.

Instead, transactions can be made, programs can be created, and data can flow freely, without the governance of another. The “people” rather govern themselves.

A Web Server

In traditional tech models of old, it is common for an entire room (if not building) to house an internal server. These centralized models relied on technical support, 24/7 to stay functioning and robust.

Now with the use of the blockchain, that data and functionality are reached with the use of a series of devices that may even span the globe, a network can be created by linking them together in a blockchain. Following code for the entire blockchain, these units can work together to spread the necessary server requirements across many devices, and not force file and data storage to be located in one, bulky space.

A Costly Tech

Speaking of power, there is another side to blockchain technology that many consider a major drawback. To operate a blockchain network, the amount of actual power, from humans, computers, and electricity, is required is enormous.

Not only does this system of operations not allow for very “green” business practices, but it also means it can be hard to find an interconnected network of users with enough man- and computer power to fuel the beast.

To create new blocks in the blockchain, users are known as “miners” who must “dig” for them. In short, a series of complicated computations must be “unlocked” via encryption software for a block to be created. This means a computer may sit and run a series of demands for hours for it to work at all.

There are different ways that a blockchain can allow for such mining (see more about Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, and the like), but whatever the chosen method, the need for power often creates a drawback for many.

The Blockchain Node

With a baseline understanding of what a blockchain is, it is important to understand how the “node” fits into the concept. A blockchain node stores a complete copy of the distributed ledger. Think of it as a file folder.

These nodes are then responsible for the reliability of the stored data held within them. Nodes are used by developers for building blockchain-based applications.

With what data the “folder” stores, users can build off of one another to create such applications, assuming as most blockchains are, that the space offers open-source code. In other words, instead of starting from scratch each time, a developer can build off of the coding of others, perfecting, altering, and changing the code used for a new app entirely.

A node is an indispensable and fundamental component of the blockchain.

Technology Behind the Node

As with any tech, there are many “rules” that come into play for systems to operate expectedly. When it comes to the deployment of a full blockchain node, hardware, software, and network connections must satisfy very specific requirements.


What Is a Node?

A blockchain is a series of blocks containing data. These blocks are stored on “nodes,” which are rather like small servers.

Thanks to the connectivity of the blockchain network, a peer-to-peer system allowing for the aforementioned distributive features, all the nodes are connected. They are continuously exchanging the newest information on the system with each other.

In other words, each “folder” is talking to all of the other “folders” to keep the entire system connected, updated, and factual. This is also a feature that permits the security of the immutable block, as once created, these nodes store that data that can now not be changed. Since it is already out there amongst the virtual “folders,” no center power can change them.

Thanks to the updates, all nodes are on the “same page” so to speak. It is the nodes’ job to store, spread, and preserve the blockchain’s data. This begs the argument that, in a virtual sense, a blockchain is thusly stored on nodes. Nodes become the baseline framework for what a blockchain is, how it exists, and how it functions.

Nodes: In a Physical Form

Physically speaking in real-world tactile objects, a node can be any computer, laptop, device, or server. It is the space in which such data will be stored and shared. It must be connected to the Internet to have connectivity with other nodes.

How much data the device must hold depends on the blockchain and the amount of information being distributed each moment. The size of such chains can vary greatly, and so too can the nodes that hold the information.

Node as a Business

The process of installing and setting up nodes is quite laborious and time-consuming, not to mention expensive. This struggle, however, has paved the way for the creation of “node providers,” or companies that provide services to other startups or businesses looking to use the blockchain.

Instead of having to create a language and coding from scratch, such companies will do the groundwork for you, potentially saving you time and effort, not to mention some green! These front-end frameworks are developed for you, with simply a need to install. With one request, developers can get a jump on even this facet of the business.

The Functions of a Node

As we noted already, a new block is created by a miner. To do so, a node transmits information of a new block to all of the blocks on the network.

Nodes can then accept or reject that block, based on the block’s validity of signature and transactions. In laymen’s terms, the nodes will scan any new block that wishes to link into the chain by checking its data. If the data is correct, submitted in the proper format, and without error, it will be linked to the preceding blocks.

If the node accepts a new block (of data containing transactional information), it will save the block and store it on the “top” of the rest of the blocks it has stored. Blocks will always be added in chronological order (or order in which they were created).

Nodes then save and store accepted blocks to create a lengthy transaction history. Every alteration on a site is recorded in this distributed ledger of sorts.

An Accurate Accounting

Each user on the network can access it, and it will only allow for the “right” data blocks to be linked. With the help of smart contracts, programming, and detailed checks, the blockchain is a factual and error-free transaction history.

When it comes to the use of blockchains for cryptocurrency, this is a crucial feature, as it will show the exchange of a currency from its creation to the present.

In the case of an NFT, for example, a user can see the entire history of its ownership. Like the crypto, its blockchain will show a listed log of owners from its creation to the present.

Distribution to All

Once a new block is approved by a node, it is then broadcasted and disseminated across all nodes in the network. This means that the entire blockchain will update with a synchronization.

In this way, all nodes in the network will have updated information at all times, and work in conjunction with one another, to store the same, correct ledger at the same time.

Types of Nodes

There are four main types of nodes when it comes to the blockchain:

  • Full nodes
  • Lightweight nodes
  • Miners’ nodes
  • Listening nodes
Full Nodes

Full nodes are used to support and provide security for the blockchain network. These nodes continually are downloading the complete history of the blockchain. They observe and enforce the rules of the blockchain.

These full nodes are the tech that is responsible for maintaining a consensus among the nodes in the network. They are making sure that all nodes maintain consensus with one another, and they ensure that all nodes are correct.

Full nodes verify the data on the blockchain and store a copy.

Lightweight Nodes

Some nodes are not equipped to handle the “full” workload, so they are charged with establishing connections. These nodes ensure that the users outside of the chain can interact.

Lightweight nodes make up the users of the network, each of which needs to connect to a full node to synchronize to the current, most updated state of the network to participate in the blockchain.

Lightweight nodes make sure that can happen. It is an outreaching node of sorts, helping others join in an update to the blockchain.

Miners’ Nodes

This may not come as a shock, but these nodes are named for exactly what they do: they are simply the crypto miners of the world existing throughout blockchains.

Miners are the workers that attempt to create new blocks. In exchange, they typically earn crypto known as a gas fee or the cost of having a block mined for you.

Once a node will validate a transaction, it will stand pending until a miner or mining pool (a group of miners) picks up that transaction.

A miner will compete against other miners in the blockchain to confirm the pending transactions. In short, these miners are trying to solve the complicated computations required to encrypt and secure the data the fastest. In doing so, they will be the only miner rewarded and thusly paid. In other words, you want to be first.

After a transaction is confirmed, the transaction is added to the blockchain and the “winning miner” can use the node to send the crypto to another user.

Listening Nodes

A listening node is sometimes also called a supernode. These nodes are visible to anyone, publicly. The viewer does not have to be on the blockchain.

These nodes are used as communication connections providing blockchain information to other nodes, not in the chain. Server listening is one of the web applications a blockchain can have that, even at default settings, will allow a public insight into its operating system.

The Node Language

A node package manager (NPM), sometimes also called an NPM package manager, is a program that can allow the node to operate. This operating system runs in a digital language many are familiar with: Javascript files (.js). NPM itself is a package manager “name brand,” (think of it as the Kleenex of facial tissues) for the JavaScript programming language maintained by “npm, Inc.,” and it is the default package manager for the JavaScript runtime environment known as “Node.js.”

What is the NPM? It, in simplest terms, consists of a command-line client (also called npm) and an online database of public and paid-for private packages, called the “npm registry.” To find the following command, access to the database must be obtained.

An npm start eases the process and the required “leg” work to get a page going. By using built-in command language, coders can upload files that are preprogrammed and ready to roll out. With an NPM install, even Windows can be converted for use in this function.


While most have heard of and worked in Javascript, it is less likely you have had to operate using a .json file. The letters “JSON” stand for “JavaScript Object Notation” and such files are used to exchange data between web servers and web applications.

In terms of the blockchain and its nodes, it is a .json file that is often responsible for interconnecting the different nodes to one another throughout a network.

A .json file derives from JavaScript but has now become so popular in recent years that it’s now synonymous with the internet and its functions on nearly any page. The file itself is compatible with multiple programming languages and databases, not just Javascript. Such files are easy to recognize as JSON files by their .json file extension, as opposed to the usual .js file extension. 

A .json file is like the “settings” for your blockchain. For example, the chain configuration, level of difficulty to mine blocks, index, page, etc. are all defined by the .json file. It is the starting point for the blockchain and contains the rules, so to speak.

Pug File

The funny language and file names don’t stop there. Another phrase in the node space often used is a “pug file.”

A pug file is a template written in the “Pug language,” which is a strange way of saying a shorthand version of HTML language that is used similarly to the Emmet and Markdown languages.

The file contains HTML code in the standard syntax, however, it does not include closing tags and instead emphasizes indentations. Developers may choose to use a wide variety of coding languages, which only adds to the confusion for new developers. A tutorial on any HTTP server can be a helpful start. Knowing a command and understanding its function is crucial, and advanced tutorial pages can be helpful for anyone trying to file a code.

Node Uses

Just like blockchains such as Ethereum allow developers to ease into the development process by allowing open-source code and open-source code editor programs, so too do frameworks exist for the development of applications.

A Code Editor

If you are just starting in the land of coding, you will need to decide on HTML. If you have created a code editor in your installation of the Node package manager, you can open a working directory from there.

Many starters prefer Visual Studio, but you may select a program that works best for your needs. Working in the Visual Studio program can make developers more productive as editing and navigational interfaces are easy to use.

For example, if you open a file app.js in Visual Studio and hover a cursor over the Node.js global object __ dirname, the Visual Studio will understand that “dirname” is a string. Visual Studio is also a Windows-compatible program. With plenty of tutorial help both online and through Microsoft, the application is popular among developers.

To create a Vue.js or visual studio application, you can operate Javascript and Typescript, making it more easily accessible to coders.

Express App

Express app, or Express application, is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features for web and mobile applications. Express app calls itself a “fast, unopinionated, minimalist web framework for Node.js.” Node.js development is fueled by the Express app company. To create a new product, developers can rely on node.js development.

Using node.js, programmers are typically given the first lesson in coding: Hello World.

Hello World

One of the most basic express application examples is that of “Hello World.” For those working in NPM or Node.js, it is often the first “assignment” given to test your skill.

Embedded below in code is essential “the simplest Express app you can create.” The Hello World is operated with the following command:

const express = require('express')

const app = express()

const port = 3000

app.get('/', (req, res) => {

res.send('Hello World!')


app.listen(port, () => {

console.log(`Example app listening on port ${port}`)


It is a single file app, the coding above, and not what you’d get if you used, say the Express generator, which “creates the scaffolding for a full app with numerous JavaScript files, Jade templates, and sub-directories for various purposes.”

Instead, Hello World is a basic example shown once one is to install express. In this example, this app would start a server and listens on “port 3000” for connections.

The app responds with “Hello World!” for requests to the root URL (/) or route. For every other path, it will respond with a “404 Not Found.”

Those training to develop often run the app to understand the basic prompts for a web server. The Hello World command prompt is just one example that those just learning basic function and code editor skills will likely have to master.

Express Generator

An Express application called “# Express” is another very popular application framework for building and running Node.js applications. Developers can create a new Express application using the Express Generator tool.

The tool is shipped as an npm module and installed by using the npm command-line tool npm. If you think you have your product installed, you can check your work. To test that you’ve got npm correctly installed on your computer, type npm — help from a terminal command line. If the usage documentation is displayed, you have correctly installed the work.

Node.js Installation

If you are ready to dive into the world of the “node,” it is important to know how to install node (or skip ahead and install express).

The installation of Node.js is not complicated. If you don’t have it already installed the LTS version can be obtained from the node.js website. The LTS version has the best compatibility with other frameworks and libraries to make it easier for users to work across platforms. Whether creating a new blockchain, web application, or hot new phone app, these programs can be a crucial tool in a developer’s toolbox.

To include command line tools on your PATH, you will need to open a new command prompt (or new terminal) at the start. Each manager will not operate under the same directory nor in the same file space. Be sure your command prompt is a fresh start each time you begin to code.

Alternatively, the NPM install is also available online. For use of the npm install, simply type the phrase and add “save crypto.js” to incorporate the cryptocurrency library. In this similar function, developers can code and create to install countless pages and files within the same index.

To install express, the express application is available at You can run the app from the Express application site, or operate a template engine on your own. Create a new node for your uses or connect to an already existing blockchain platform. You will be able to create your piece of the blockchain puzzle with your portion of a much larger “server” created by your peer-to-peer network.

Debug Mode

Once you have launched Hello World, a common lesson is to debug. A visual studio code will display. It is shown in a different color than the status bar to show that the system is now in a “debug mode.” The words “DEBUG CONSOLE” should display.

Please note, however, that if you are practicing by following along, you’ve likely seen the visual studio codes in action by coding Hello World into your command line. Once you are done with that exercise, navigate out of that folder before creating your first Express application.

Stay In the Know

From open index to view engine, from a line number to a run node, the world of blockchain technologies, code create skillsets, and app development all come with confusing words and explanations. Staying up to date on these definitions will help you to stay “in the know” when it comes to the latest tech.

Whether you know how to write code, can barely follow an HTTP request, or are a master web applications specialist, there are plenty of new and changing tech advancements on the horizon. It is important to manage dependencies and be able to function in the high-tech future by first understanding the files, vocabulary, and products out there.

From a basic tutorial to in-depth analysis, you can find a robust index of information at your fingertips with FLOLiO. Our page is here to help you function in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment of technical jargon and confusing language. There is no need to create a new search each time you want to understand a facet of this space. Simply rely on FLOLiO for your research.

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