Blockchain Blog

Keeping tabs on the health of the Bitcoin network

Staying in the loop of bitcoin related events can be time consuming, so we do our best to provide the community with tools to easily stay afloat of what is happening in the world of bitcoin, for example with our weekly news recaps, our bitcoin charts, and live markets page. We also provide users with access to our developers’ API, which lets anyone tap into our wallet and blockchain explorer.

However, we wanted to point out another great way of monitoring the health of the Bitcoin network is by watching the number of bitcoin full nodes. Blockchain monitors the number of nodes that we are connected to, but keeping tabs on the entire network is just as important. Bitcoin full nodes help run and validate the network, so it’s important to know not only how many there are out there, but also to support full node operators.

![Map via Bitnodes](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/10/bitcoin-network-map.png)
Full Nodes map via Bitnodes
In a recent article from 21 Inc., they wrote about their pledge to help maintain and incentivise full node operators. 21 Inc. partnered with the BitNodes project which monitors the entire network for nodes and displays them geographically. Together, they launched the **Bitnodes Incentive Program**, where reachable nodes with public bitcoin addresses can receive weekly incentives paid in bitcoin, where recipients are randomly selected.

In addition to the incentives program, they plan on providing better node metrics and educational tools and resources on getting more node operators.

How do you monitor the health of the Bitcoin network? Let us know in the comments below!