Germany is now running more bitcoin nodes than the US for the first time in history, according to Bitnodes data analysis.
There are currently over 10,000 bitcoin nodes worldwide, of which 1833 are in Germany and 1821 are in the US, with France a distant third at 549 nodes, while China has only 152 Bitcoin nodes.
What is a Bitcoin node?
A Bitcoin node is any computer that runs Bitcoin software and stores the entire blockchain. Nodes validate each block and transaction before adding them to the blockchain. Thus, they serve as arbiters of the network, defining and enforcing the rules about which transactions and blocks are valid and which are not.
Bitcoin nodes share new blocks and transactions to keep each node up to date on the state of the blockchain. This sharing takes place over a peer-to-peer network; each node directly connects to several other nodes and shares data with those nodes.
Most nodes connect via the Internet, but some nodes connect via satellite, mesh, or even radio. This peer-to-peer network ensures that there is no central authority controlling the blockchain.
Germany was close to overtaking the US in 2019, but at that time the US was operating 2,400 Nodes, while Germany had 1,900.
This is remarkable because Germany’s population is about four times smaller than the US, while its economy is about five times smaller, yet it managed to overtake the US.
This appears to be in part because the number of US nodes dropped during this period by about 700 publicly accessible nodes, while the Germans held the line.
It’s not clear what these nodes are used for, as they can range from a kid in the basement playing with Bitcoin to a global entity like Coinbase or Binance.
However, by the looks of it, it’s a little obvious that Germany is an underappreciated programming power, in part because some American programmers have chosen the country as their residence because of its strong privacy laws.
One of the most striking images of our times is Google Street View, which covers the entire US and Europe, but almost nothing in Germany.
There is also the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) in Germany, which is described as the biggest hacker association in Europe, with 7,700 registered members.
Also, there are some Bitcoin programmers there, of course, including some Bitcoin core developers, and who knows, Satoshi Nakamoto himself might be in Germany, this no one knows.
USA falling behind
Another explanation, however, could be that the US is facing some backlash due to entrenched banking interests that have significant influence over regulators that are engaging in a takeover without a mandate from legislative bodies.
Some cryptocurrency companies are now beginning to ban the US from participating to deny its jurisdiction, creating a slightly more restrictive atmosphere there.
Therefore, cryptocurrency fans can start running VPNs by default, or for Bitcoin nodes they can start running them on the Tor network, hiding the operator’s geographic presence.
This indicates a kind of shifting wind as the global influence of the US diminishes, in large part to the gains of Europe, which lacks mass surveillance and does not have the same level of economic capture by the banking establishment that seems to have all the key positions in the USA.
The political environment in Europe is therefore much more permissive and liberal, with Germans free to reveal their location without fear of the state. While in the United States, two decades of war have eroded constitutional limits on state power, as well as general political accountability to some regulators acting as a government in its own right.
Talent wants freedom, so it’s no wonder that in what must now be the freest country in the world by size, this is where most Bitcoin nodes are running, and per capita is by far.
It might just be temporary
The information presented here may however only be temporary, as Bitcoin nodes are constantly being turned on and off for whatever reason.