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I was wondering, what do the peers the ethereum client connects to, do? Do they store the block chain, fragments of it or point to other nodes that store it?

From a topology perspective, how does the ethereum network look like?

Is it something along the lines of:

[my client node] ---> [bootstrap node] ---> [nodes that hold the block chain]

where the bootstrap node contains a list of peer nodes each containing parts of the block chain, the "main net"?

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There are only full nodes (which have the full blockchain). The light clients are not available (see "LES" client). Bootstrap nodes are the initial nodes (in the network view), you don't need to discover them.

  • But what is the deal with bootstrap nodes? There is a wiki entry on git that launches a node as a bootstrap node and several others connect to it. So the client has a predefined list of full nodes it initially tries to connect to? Don't those nodes have addresses of other nodes so that they may cover the network at a greater extent? – Sebi Jun 2 '16 at 20:16

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