lightweight node [English]

InterPARES Definition

No definition in earlier IP projects. ITrust definition not yet developed.

Other Definitions

  • Andreev 2015 (†797 s.v. "Lightweight client"): Comparing to a full node, lightweight node does not store the whole blockchain and thus cannot fully verify any transaction. There are two kinds of lightweight nodes: those fully trusting an external service to determine wallet balance and validity of transactions (e.g. and the apps implementing Simplified Payment Verification (SPV). SPV clients do not need to trust any particular service, but are more vulnerable to a 51% attack than full nodes.
  • BlockchainHub Glossary (†807 s.v. "Light Node"): A computer on a blockchain network that only verifies a limited number of transactions relevant to its dealings, making use of the simplified payment verification (SPV) mode.
  • Pfeffer [2017] (†844 s.v. "LightNode"): A light node is a participant in an Ethereum Network that does not completely do any of the following: store the complete Blockchain, store the complete world state, engage in mining.


  • Buterin [2017] (†818 s.v. "Merkle Trees"): A protocol known as "simplified payment verification" (SPV) allows for another class of nodes to exist, called "light nodes", which download the block headers, verify the proof of work on the block headers, and then download only the "branches" associated with transactions that are relevant to them. This allows light nodes to determine with a strong guarantee of security what the status of any Bitcoin transaction, and their current balance, is while downloading only a very small portion of the entire blockchain. (†2110)