Run A Liquid Node
The Liquid Network is a second layer solution and fork of the bitcoin blockchain and protocol. However, it acts as a separate blockchain. It has no native asset. The liquid network comes with a host of other features and rule sets, such as allowing you to peg in assets like Bitcoin, stable coins, and NFT’s on its network. Therefore, it requires its own method of verifying transactions on the liquid network.
If you are a regular liquid network user and want more oversight over the network or want access to more features to build on top of the liquid network, then running a liquid node is a must. Similar to running a full bitcoin node, you have complete transparency of what is going on on the network and check if all those federated block producers are playing by the rules.
Once your liquid node is operational, you can run it against the live Liquid network. Your node will connect to other Liquid network peers, allowing it to receive, validate and relay transactions and blocks.
The Liquid Network is a Bitcoin sidechain that facilitates quick and private transactions. As a sidechain, it runs as a separate blockchain with different features than its base chain but is pegged to it to utilise the main chain’s native currency. The 2-way peg in Liquid is 1:1 to Bitcoin, so for every bitcoin, you peg into the network, you unlock or create 1 Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC for short). When you peg out of the liquid network, that L-BTC is in turn burned/destroyed to keep the 1:1 peg at all times
Liquid provides faster settlement with short 1-minute blocks and privacy through a technology called confidential transactions.
Peg-ins basically just require you to send BTC to a multi-signature address that is controlled by members of what’s called a Strong Federation. Peg-outs (transferring back onto the Bitcoin chain) require you to go through a Federation member exchange. Since the liquid network uses this distrubted trust model of a federated system, it’s important to have nodes verify that the peg in’s is honoured as not to create any unbacked Liquid Bitcoin and create artificial supply.
For liquid users and bitcoin investors, a liquid node will serve two purposes—monitor the health and security of the liquid blockchain and validate the accuracy of transactions. Monitoring the health of liquid blockchain is essential as the blockchain has a direct bearing on bitcoin’s price since it is used to process transactions—both commercial or trading-related. Meanwhile, securing the cryptocurrency’s blockchain ensures the safety of the investment.
A liquid bitcoin node is any computer that runs a liquid bitcoin implementation (elements core) and stores the entire liquid blockchain for validation purposes. Nodes validate each block and transaction before adding them to the blockchain.
Thus, they serve as the referees of the liquid side chain network, setting and enforcing the rules about which transactions and blocks are valid and which are invalid. Liquid nodes share new blocks and transactions among themselves to keep each node up-to-date on the state of the sidechain.
A liquid bitcoin node acts as a validation tool for the network; as an individual user, you do not want to simply take the data you see on third party sites at face value and want to review it yourself.
A liquid node allows you to download the entire history of the liquid blockchain along with the software that governs the rules of the chain and to check if everything is running smoothly.
Using the combination of the elements software and the history of the database, you can review all the data yourself and any data you write to the blockchain.
As a liquid node runner, you also have access to additional features like creating tokens and digital assets on their chain. Token creators can also register their assets in the Liquid Asset Registry at assets.blockstream.info
To set up a Liquid node, you’ll need to download Elements Core software which is the framework the Liquid Network is built upon using the Elements sidechain platform. Once downloaded and installed, the Elements Core connects to the Liquid Network by default.
You will need a desktop computer with at least 4GB of hard disk space available to complete the installation. You can run a liquid network node using elements core on any desktop device that meets the minimum requirements, such as macOS and Windows devices as well as Ubuntu, or even run it on a Raspberry Pi as you could with a full bitcoin node.
The liquid network is open to support from the general public, and users or businesses can participate. Anyone can run a Liquid full node to validate the network or to create fungible or non-fungible assets on the network.
If you want to start running a liquid node, here are two detailed guides set up by the team at Blockstream.
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