How To Set Up a Bitcoin Node for $15 With 1 Line of Code

Bitcoin nodes are an important part of the Bitcoin ecosystem, they help validate transaction and keep the network alive. While there is no direct reward for running a Bitcoin node, there are plenty of reasons why you should run your own full node. Not only will you learn more about how the Bitcoin network works, but you can benefit from increased anonymity and faster blockchain querying for a mere $5 a month. This article will show you how to setup a Bitcoin node in under 5 minutes using a cheap digitalocean VPS.

Step 1: Create a droplet

digitalocean droplet building

If you do not already have a digitalocean account you can create one here. Proceed to your account and create a new Ubuntu 14.04.5 x32 droplet, choose the cheapest $5 a month option which comes with 512MB and a 20GB SSD disk. Since the Bitcoin blockchain is currently around 104GB in size, since you only have 20GB on the default droplet that isn’t enough space. What you need to do is select the add more volume option and add an extra 100GB for $10 month. In total you should only be paying $15 a month for the droplet. It should only take a few seconds to create the droplet and you should receive an email with the required login information.

Step 2: Login to your droplet

Using Putty and the information provided in the email, we need to login to the VPS in order to begin setting up the Bitcoin node. The way digitalocean has it setup, the first time you login you would also need to set a new password. Once that is done you should have access to the machine.

Step 3: Begin Installation

We created a simple install script which you can use in order to setup all the required libraries and frameworks for the Bitcoin network. Simply enter the following line into the terminal and the installation will start:

wget ; sudo bash

If you want to know more about the libraries that the bitcoin binary uses and for a more detailed guide checkout this article on the importance of bitcoin nodes and how to setup one. The installation may take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour depending on what kind of CPU your VPS has. If you selected the minimum $5 / month option on digitalocean, the installation process usually takes around 30 minutes. You will know it is done when the server sends a message that it is restarting

Step 4: Enjoy your Bitcoin node

enjoy bitcoin node

Fire up Putty again and login to the VPS. Your node should start up automatically when the server boots up and you should be able to use the command “btc” to execute calls on the bitcoin client. For a complete list of available client calls visit the Bitcoin Wiki. Congratulations, you now run a Bitcoin node and help secure the network.

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  • Daxx10

    20GB SSD disk to accommodate the 114GB blockchain … are you sure?
    20GB might have been big enough when your 2014 article was published.
    To allow for expansion, the cheapest digitalocean offering I can find is $160 per month, considerably more than your $5 ‘solution’.

    • Go ahead

      Digitalocean allow attach more disk space to the same cheapest plan. 15 USD/month for 150 GB more (170 GB in total).

      • @Daxx10:disqus You are correct, I did in fact miss that part completely. Updated the article with the correct info along with the title. Just like @nelromn:disqus said, for an extra $10 you can add 100GB of storage.

        • Daxx10

          With blockchain growth of around 4 to 5GB per month, the 120GB might last until May 2017 … 170GB is likely to expire before the end of this year.

          Reality is making me look like the negative guy but I was very interested in doing this.

          • Then it would take an extra click and $5 to add another 100GB to your droplet.

      • evulqubit

        how do i point the script to that disk

  • Ali kara

    is your code allowing to launch on reboot?

    Thank you!

  • Ali kara

    If not, how can i make the bitcoind running at startup?

  • evulqubit

    how do i point the ledger to the disk attached in digital ocean

  • mumiea

    Hi, I just follow the instruction on my VPS, but after the installation complete I start to type the command “btc” and it tells “sudo: bitcoin-cli: command not found”

    how to fix this?

  • Graeme Conradie

    Mark, this is a pre-release build – “errors”: “This is a pre-release test build – use at your own risk – do not use for mining or merchant applications”

  • Christoph Atteneder

    Hi Mark!

    Thanks for this nice tutorial! Do you have by any chance for updating the current version of bitcoin core also a shell script (stopping service, updating source, rebuilding, restarting)?

    Thanks anyways for your effort so far!