Light Client - what is it, and what is it for?

Light Client is a special application, more precisely, a piece of software, through which a specific connection with blockchains is provided through a connection to full nodes.

Every year, cryptocurrency ecosystems gain more and more adherents, due to which the network is developing dynamically. All this requires new technical solutions to eliminate overload and excessively long execution of transactions. Light Client software is used for this purpose.

Main advantages and differences of Light Client

Unlike full nodes, Light Client does not need to run 24/7. They are not designed to read and write large amounts of blockchain information. Thanks to this software, connecting to the blockchain directly is excluded; the process is carried out through intermediaries - full nodes- under minimal trust conditions.

Light Client only needs to download block headers on the blockchain to perform a given action. However, the Light Client software may require additional information, such as verifying the account balance. Having basic data on block headers, Light Client confirms the authenticity and reliability of the information without performing a full code review cycle.

System participants who plan to use Light Client need to know that:

  • even with a memory capacity of 100 MB and low computing power, it is possible to perform the necessary actions on transactions, including from any mobile device;
  • synchronization with the blockchain through light nodes occurs much faster - on average, a couple of seconds;

The main compromise when using the Light Client is the integration of the checkpoint, that is, the latest headers, which is considered the optimal solution today.

The use of light client software is suitable for checking account balances as well as sending transactions.

Main problems of Light Client

The main complaints about this type of software are that the program does not directly help the network. That is, only the information requested by the user is checked. The one that does not meet the client’s goals is not served and is not relayed to other peers. That is, Light Client does not give anything to the ecosystem in return.