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I'm new to this technology and trying to understand it thoroughly. I'm working with smart contracts using Ethereum Wallet but I'm not able to figure out what exactly is the difference between bitcoin network and ethereum network from perspective of peer-to-peer network concept.

This is my understanding about ethereum and bitcoin:

In Bitcoin network each user has given one address which is treated as a node in the network(i.e. a node has single address). But in ethereum private network we can create multiple addresses in a single node and there can be multiple such nodes in that private network(i.e. a node can have multiple addresses).

Please correct me if my understanding is wrong and let me know how these two networks differ from each other or are analogous to each other.

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In Bitcoin network each user has given one address which is treated as a node in the network(i.e. a node has single address).

I think you're conflating "nodes" and "addresses" (and possibly "accounts").


A "node" is a software program that runs on your machine. It connects to other nodes on other people's machines, forming the network. It can either store all or part of the blockchain data. It can mine, should you want it to.

"Accounts" have addresses. In Bitcoin there is one type of account, but in Ethereum there are two. These are:

  • externally owned accounts, which are controlled by private keys;
  • contract accounts, which are controlled by their contract code.

Externally owned accounts could be considered analogous to Bitcoin's accounts. (At least for the sake of this comparison.)

In Ethereum, if you run a node it may or may not hold your account data. You can have as many accounts as you like - you just create them. At least in Ethereum (I can't remember for Bitcoin... ) you can run a node without actually having any accounts on it at all.

But in ethereum private network we can create multiple addresses in a single node and there can be multiple such nodes in that private network(i.e. a node can have multiple addresses).

A node can have multiple accounts, and these accounts each have an address.


Nodes could also be considered to have addresses, though these are different to account addresses. (Each node has a unique public key - which forms its enode - which allows other nodes to connect to it. This translates to an actual IP address.)

  • Thanks Richard for such a nice explanation! But I still want one more clarification on this. I got what exactly node, account and address mean with respect to Ethereum. Could you please give me some details on Bitcoin network(as I haven't worked on Bitcoin yet)? In Bitcoin network a node will have an address, is it also in the form of enode as in Ethereum? How many accounts a node in Bitcoin can have, only one or multiple as in case of Ethereum? – snehal Mar 9 '17 at 15:33
  • From what I can remember (and it's a few years now), there may well be underlying enode addresses for bitcoin nodes, but in general it might be easier to refer to them by their IP address. (e.g. blockchain.info/ip-log). With regards to accounts on these nodes: I'm not sure. I only ever used a wallet. (e.g. bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet) – Richard Horrocks Mar 12 '17 at 10:59
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Main Points Of Difference Between Ethereum And Bitcoin

1. First of all, the pre-set block time in Bitcoin is 10 minutes whereas in Ethereum, the block time is of 12 seconds. So consequently, while bitcoin transactions normally take a few minutes to be cleared, the Ethereum transactions are cleared almost instantly and in matter of seconds.

2. Ethereum uses a Turing Complete programming language and a Turing Complete internal code owing to which almost anything can be calculated by just providing sufficient computing power and a particular time period.

3. Both Ethereum and bitcoin use different hashing algorithms. While Bitcoin uses SHA-256 algorithm that produces a number in hexadecimal format, Ethereum uses Ethash algorithm.

4. Ethereum uses a Ghost Protocol that fends off the use of centralized pool mining. Whereas bitcoin still employs the pool mining concept.

For more : https://www.digitalcoinsexchange.com/blogs/bitcoin-vs-ethereum/

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