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In Defense Of HAB Nodes

Bitcoin, in whole, is a fundamentally robust, antifragile or highly available (HA) system. Although most nodes are not HA, meaning it is unreasonable to expect persistent connections to any randomly selected Bitcoin node, the design and incentives in Bitcoin as a whole ensure many nodes will always be available. Stated differently, though individual nodes may crash, it is increasingly difficult to get all the nodes worldwide to crash all at the same time. Because the average node downtime will generally be a shorter interval than uninterrupted uptime for the same node, and because the incentives and consensus mechanisms in Bitcoin cause node running to be of importance, Bitcoin, at large, remains reachable:

"Nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will"

— Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin White Paper

Bitcoin uptime, as a whole, is outstanding, but the low marks for the average node persist, for the average node does not have the luxury of a distributed worldwide p2p incentive system optimized to keep it alive every second. Or at least, it doesn't yet.

A HAB Node does not change or attempt to fix anything about Bitcoins security or operational model network wide: Bitcoin does not need "fixing", which is why this is being presented as an independent project and not a BIP. However, individual implementations of running a node could use improvement, and eventually, as self-hosted higher layers begin to dominate, more serious issues could develop for node operators if downtime is not adequately addressed.

Amazingly, the incentives in Bitcoin will force this problem to be fixed as we will soon see, and motivate this very guide.

A Node Threat Model

In broad strokes, the node threat model can be characterized like so: With regard to threats, there are both known threats, and unknown threats in node operation. Known threats might include threats like hardware failure, or internet disruption, things that are ordinary parts of computer operation, that everyone should know about, have experience with, and can already plan for. We already expect that these will happen, but we don't know when. However, there are also unknown threats in node operation. Obscure threats such as a zero-day in a kernel, or compromised dependencies. These threats are both unknown, occur at unknown times, and may themselves go unnoticed for days, weeks, months, or even years.

To even begin to address these threats, asymmetric feats of engineering, planning, and flexibility must be employed. Though many of these threats might be mitigated in the source code, those solutions could be days, weeks, or months away. Considerable operational front loading at the edge, away from root cause, is the only practical way to make sure that any number of future probabilistic downtime events aren't catastrophic for the non-developer (or even non-technical) node operator, while root issues are addressed and fixed by those able. And to complicate it all the more, much, if not all of that front loaded engineering, may never be needed or used.

Thankfully, we know these efforts are not a waste of time and that they work because many systems exist which face similar kinds of threat models. Most notably, the—let's call it—DNA model. Consider this, information systems and DNA are fundamentally alike: DNA is code. If Bitcoin is the organism, then nodes are the individual cells. Each individual cell, alone, is entirely expendable by the organism, but only together do all the cells make the whole organism. Bitcoin does not exist to defend each node, but each node exists to serve a purpose for the whole. As such, cells can only rely on minimal help from the larger organism and must chiefly employ their own internal threat mitigation technology to continue to allow them to execute on their purpose.

That technology set is encoded in the cells DNA. For any one cell to accomplish its purpose, it might only need to use a small fraction of the DNA available to it for the majority of its existence. "Junk DNA" might even argue for less than 3%. But is the rest of the DNA really junk? By no means. Within the rest of the DNA (among many other things) there reside instructions on how to deal with untold count of long dormant threats, unknown threat mitigation strategies, emergency protocols, communication and search mechanisms, and so much more. Molecular biology assumes "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it".

Contrary to DNA's threat modeling and strategy, non-highly available node operators are unaware of the need (or flatly reject the need) to have this expansive threat mitigation in place. Highly available node operators embrace the DNA threat model, they adapt a similar philosophy to DNA, and run their nodes with the widest threat model they can muster in mind.

What Matches The Threat Model?

As far as we are aware, only a Highly Available Node can address the most threats posed in the threat model. High availability is exactly what it suggests: a node which can not be taken down easily (unless its operator intentionally designs a kill switch). The "traditional" Raspberry Pi bitcoin node (or any single-computer, run-at-home node), though extremely important for economic, privacy, and security reasons, is not highly available, and can not be. These nodes are chalk-full of single points of failure—they do not have a deep well of DNA playbooks ready to solve problems. If only one of those single points fail, it could mean weeks of downtime for the individual node.

The stated purpose of a Highly Available Bitcoin Node is to remove, as much as is reasonably feasible for the context which the node is operating in, all the single points of failure, both known and unknown. As such, a HAB node is designed from the ground up with this end in mind.

Why Is this Important?

From this premise, we can begin to ask why this is important, what specific benefits it gains us, and what specific or unknown threats it curtails. From this foundation, we can begin to build a defense of HAB Nodes. Though there are undoubtedly many more answers and points of discussion, these stand out and are worth elaborating on here:

  • Reduction to Lost Liquidity / HALX Option
  • Self-hosting / Sovereign Option ("Trusted Third Parties Are Security Holes")
  • Obscure Threat Mitigation / Hydra Option
  • Forecasted Obsolescence / Induction Option
  • Node Operators are First Class Voting Citizens
  • Bitcoin is. (And Will Always Be Under Attack)
  • Dissenting Opinion Refutation

Reduction to Lost Liquidity / HALX Option

It is becoming clear that higher layers of the stack will increasingly mean income streams—routing fees, streamed sats from podcast listens, gaming apps, etc, aka cash flow and liquidity. As these streams mature into living wages, or even corporate expenses and revenue, it will become paramount for security, autonomy, and privacy that independently operated, economic nodes process those transactions. In any adversarial or competitive economy, autonomy is key to competitive advantage, otherwise participants subject themselves to financial censorship, conflict of interest, or cross purpose arrangements. Though transactions may only be delayed by downtime, they can not be ultimately processed without compute, power, an internet connection, and memory. As such, independent and economic node downtime will soon mean either lost or delayed living wages/bidirectional imbalances, or sacrifices to privacy, autonomy, security, independence, etc.

A highly available node alleviates this pressure. From the physical and data inputs, hardware layer, and up, it has the capacity to offer all services as highly available, and thus reduce all possibilities of liquidity interruption.

For the purposes of this guide, we refer to this ability as "if and only if you have a highly available bitcoin node, can you have a highly available layer X node". H.A.B.N. ⇔ H.A.L.X, or Highly Available Layer X Option. Put differently, if operators wish to have higher layers highly available (and they will for liquidity) then they will need to start at the physical and data inputs layer, the hardware layer, and work through layer 1, Bitcoin. When higher layers become economically viable, this is how the incentives in Bitcoin will force the low marks in average node operation to be remedied.

The moment meaningful capital is involved on higher layers, where that capital is in competition to be earned or adversarially won (say, in the case of avoiding financial censorship), combined with the moment a node operator is able to build a HAB Node, the incentives then align. From that moment forward, HAB Nodes become the de facto basic utility to protect capital flows until yet more robust engineering comes up with something better. Operators may not choose to employ HAB nodes built from these pages, or with the technology therein, but at the time of writing, no other class of node exists which addresses the concern.

Self-hosting / Sovereign Option

With the never ending stream of nefarious Big Tech / Gov involvement in or enabling of high profile hacks, censorship, property confiscation, privacy violation, data mining and too many other rights and privacy infringing actions to count, many people have rightly leaned into the idea of self-hosting all their data, services and apps. HAB Nodes, by nature of their redundant and oversupplied resources, greatly enable this functionality.

Trusted Third Parties Are Security Holes

— Nick Szabo

Arbitrary services can be added to the cluster, including hooks, repository mirroring, and any other infrastructure. A HAB Node can thus operate as GitHub, Docker Hub, and a build server, hardening it against middle man failures from any of the above. All self-hosted and highly available.

Under such a setup, for instance, a node would be able to take full ownership of the entire Bitcoin code pipeline, every dependency, and all code needed to do this, build bitcoin from source code, from any branch or fork, automatically, targeted to any architecture, and be a hosting location for others to find bitcoin implementations.

But it doesn't stop there, HAB Nodes would be great candidates for TOR relay nodes, and maybe even TOR exit nodes, but considerable research would be needed here.

For the purposes of this guide, we refer to this as the Sovereign Option, as it mitigates MITM attacks. True, this kind of attack can be mitigated without HA, however, HA mitigates the attack far more robustly by providing the service the attack seeks to shut down in a highly available capacity.

Obscure Threat Mitigation / Hydra Option

MITM attacks are fairly well understood. However, a HAB node accounts for bizarre, unknown, and/or unlikely attacks as well. Designed correctly, it is decomposable into individual, self-sufficient nodes. Together, for the purposes of this guide, we call this the Hydra Option, as in some cases, it gives a node the seemingly mythical power of growing back and multiplying new heads.

Potential scenarios for this optionality include, but are not limited to:

  1. Most basically, it allows the node operator to cheaply diversify location as a first order function of the node: run a cluster with a host at home, the office, and at a family members house. It is then trivial to change from one to many nodes, or to slice off one or many parts, without taking down the cluster.
  2. In the case of an unlikely kinetic attack, or a more likely planned relocation, a cluster can be incrementally torn down host-by-host and set up host-by-host in a different physical location without downtime.
  3. It allows the node operator to front run supply chain collapse for his immediate meat-space network who may need to all-of-a-sudden place a bid on spinning up their own nodes.
  4. It fights against a “Version” signalling Sybil Attack. An attack when bad actors spin up hundreds of AWS nodes to signal to the bitcoin network to push particular protocol changes such as soft or hard forks. It fights this by giving plebs control of more bitcoin instances.
  5. Given a sufficiently distributed remote network of cloud hosts in a cluster, it allows the node operator to diversify himself out of physical node operation, while retaining high levels of security and independence. This, undoubtedly, would be expensive month to month, but might be able to be independent of "Bitcoin" services entirely: anywhere a VPS can run might now also have the ability to be a host in a HAB Node.
  6. When each decomposable unit is accompanied by a sufficiently powerful router and network broadcasting capabilities, it becomes not inconceivable to bootstrap a basic local or mico-local internet decoupled from the legacy internet. Say, if the legacy internet gets co-opted. At time of writing, much research is still needed to make this a reality, however.
  7. HAB Nodes can be expensive and normalizing expensive nodes is non-productive for decentralizing Bitcoin. However, clustering nodes which employ the Hydra Option actually serves to make individual, non-HA nodes cheaper by creating a bigger market for singular nodes, allowing single-node manufacturing to dip more into economies of scale. Furthermore, in a HAB denominated market, hardware products become more interesting to customers the more differentiated they are, as such, manufacturers no longer adversarially compete for customers, operating under the assumption they will only buy one node, but cooperatively compete for customers, operating under the assumption they will buy multiple different individual nodes from a variety of manufacturers. Naturally, this also invites new differentiated node manufacturers to enter the space, just like a Hydra multiplying heads. Though it may be possible that some are infiltrated, it fights the likelihood that they all are.

Truly, it is a Hydra Option on many verticals.

Forecasted Obsolescence / Induction Option

The blockchain, as far as we are concerned, will always grow. And it will always grow at or below a known rate: every 10 minutes a new block is added which does not exceed the block size maximum.

This means that all self-hosted blockchain storage options will eventually be exceeded. At the time of writing, depending on which flags you have set, the blockchain exceeds 500 GB, this means that all non-pooled 500 GB hard drives are now obsolete if you wish to keep that set of flags.

Because these rates are known, we can easily plan ahead and determine, at the earliest, when our node might run out of storage. Problematically, in the case of a non-clustered node, this means a lot of work and planning to transition over to a larger hard drive: do we spin up a brand-new node? How do we transfer appropriate keys, accounts, channels, network connections, addresses, and end points? How do we communicate about potential downtime? Etc. With a clustered node, there is also some planning and difficulty involved, but it takes place far in advance of need, happens once, and is far less difficult as entirely new computers can be provisioned without downtime or interrupting auxiliary services. Once provisioned, new containers can be spun up as expansions of existing clustered nodes, meaning they are automatically networked, load balanced, and integrated with auxiliary services—which could very will eventually include keys, accounts, and wallets. For the purposes of this guide, we call this the Induction Option: almost any hardware can be inducted into the node with zero-downtime, and maintenance can also happen without downtime.

Further, once the old hard drive limits are exceeded and the hard drive can no longer be used to hold the blockchain, it can still be used to service the node, giving additional space to other containers that run on higher layers with smaller footprints than the full blockchain. Returning to the DNA parallel, this process can be thought of as a type of autophagy.

Node Operators are First Class Voting Citizens, Only If/When Their Node is Running

Many things were revealed in the block size wars of 2017. Not the least of which was who is actually in control of Bitcoin. Up until 2017 a lot of doubt and uncertainty existed around who actually had the ability to affect Bitcoin policy: was it the core developers, the miners, the node operators, commercial nodes, who?

Core Developers

Through the events of 2017, and the User Activated Soft Fork (#UASF), it became clear that though the core developers could define some choices about what software options existed, node operators made choices about how the protocol was defined because they were the ones who ultimately ran the software. This was seen in how many core developers thought that #UASF was dangerous and did not support it, create it, or even touch it, yet, how node operators saw a bigger picture beyond technical reality, and became an intransigent minority, forcing the #UASF policy through, despite developer protestations.


#UASF also revealed that miners are not bitcoin policymakers, but paid employees of the bitcoin network. When they saw that many nodes on the bitcoin network were signaling for #UASF, they had to make a choice: risk mining blocks that would be rejected by the network (aka, get fired), or support policies which agreed with #UASF (aka do what the boss says). Although miners do have a bigger voice than bitcoin users who do not run nodes, 2017 showed us that node operators had authority over miners.

Commercial Nodes

For our purposes, we will say that commercial nodes are nodes that are primarily "large" "crypto" business interests able to deploy a lot of capital toward their ends. This group of node operators indeed has a vote, but they do not have a voice which has influence over individual operators which must make their decisions from first principles, not deep pockets.

Further, commercial node opinions are mired in insider dealings, closed-source development, Sybil attacking node version signalling by spinning up hundreds of AWS nodes, getting hacked, defrauding users, and other shenanigans. In short, though they may vote on bitcoin protocol rules, it is clear that their efforts would be better spent trying to clean up their poor track records than publicly voicing any opinion about Bitcoin.

In fact, the informed and responsible node running community should fully not trust this group of operators, as an operational imperative, and fully verify all their claims. As was made evident by the SegWit2x attack on bitcoin, and the off-by-one-error in the SegWit2x nodes which killed the fork. Had the members of the New York Agreement convinced the greater bitcoin node running community to follow them into that mess, bitcoin would have experienced a very serious downtime event.

Node Operators At Large

From the above, it is clear that the individual node operator is the true influencer, defender, voter, and validator of the bitcoin protocol as they must make choices from first principles. As such, it is up to us node operators to act as Senators for Bitcoin. Node operators are the operators of last resort. When their node is running, they are actively voting, actively defending, actively decentralizing, and actively influencing the direction of the network. When it is not running they are flatly not making those contributions, abdicating responsibility, and silencing their own voices.

HAB Nodes ensure the node is always running.

"This is my node. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My node is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my node is useless. Without my node, I am useless. I must run my node true"

Bitcoin Is. (And Will Always Be Under Attack)

At its simplest, a HAB Node is like a multi-sig wallet but for your node. If you lose one computer in the cluster for any number of reasons, the node remains operational, which is to say, a self-hosted Bitcoin instance remains operational and accessible to you. Not only does a HAB Node make the network more robust, it makes your interaction with it more robust. Based purely on speculation, it is none-the-less reasonable to deduce, that perhaps one of the biggest adversaries that bitcoin has is node hardware failure—thermodynamics itself—which pushes to centralize Bitcoin around nodes which are highly available. Formerly, this has meant datacenter nodes.

In Bitcoin, whoever controls nodes, controls Bitcoin. And we should assume that for years now, very moneyed interests have run replicated nodes in the cloud, using the very same tech stack we are employing in this guide, for the purpose of having large stakes in the bitcoin p2p network. Indeed, companies exist to explicitly run nodes in the cloud, and boast about doing exactly this for various blockchains. Nodes managed by blockdaemon

This is great for shitcoins, as they are all designed to be attacked in this very manner, but it is not for Bitcoin. Bitcoin is designed to be decentralized. It is intolerable for Bitcoin to not be fully at the ready, and equipped with a counterattack at the edge: the very technology and resources which give the attack any bite at all.

And this is only one of the persistent and known threats bitcoin faces. There are undoubtedly others, and we should assume that some may be backed by considerably more funding than a private or public company might control.

HAB Nodes give plebs the tools that the biggest, and most moneyed tech firms and government institutions on earth use every day to defend trillions in value. They ensure that plebs control as many nodes as possible at the edge of the network by utilizing technology employed in datacenters at the center. And they give plebs the power to ensure those nodes continue to function as intended by the individual pleb.

HAB Nodes are an advance in the defense of the bitcoin network. For above all, it is paramount that Bitcoin survives. Every second Bitcoin survives is a second closer to winning. We must have constant vigilance.

Dissenting Opinion

Is a HAB node a panacea? Far from it. Here are some oppositional arguments worth addressing and potential refutations:


Though user error and environmental factors will also most likely be heightened security problems under a HAB Node paradigm, those factors are also the case with single node operation. Here are some security concerns that pertain specifically to HAB Nodes:

  1. Kubernetes Complexity. The security around Kubernetes is an ongoing discussion seriously worth addressing. Because Kubernetes is a complex ecosystem on top of a complex paradigm, it is very easily prone to miss-configuration, blind spots, and a host of niche problems which can open up security concerns for all involved.
  2. Attack Surface Multiplication. What is more, moving from one hardware device to many will mean multiplying attack surfaces for the node. This is also true with the introduction of new dependencies that the node will need to function and thus Bitcoin will need to rely on. Each of these dependencies will also bring a new attack surface. The same can be said for multiplying location and other forms of node diversification.

Potential Refutation

We can not claim to, in this guide, presently offer a robust security solution. It should be noted here, as it is in the guide, under no circumstances should private keys presently live on a HAB Node built from these pages. However, we do have a few important frameworks in our favor that will allow us to start flushing out a robust solution both from first principles and practical reality:

  1. Completely FOSS. From OS to Bitcoin, there are no parts of the stack which can not be fully understood and audited by anyone. As such, we adopt the security model therein: public and open discussion, full accessibility to the code, full community accountability, serious difficulty in injecting vulnerabilities, and so on.
  2. Complexity/Uniform Use Case. Unlike broad usage of K8s, everyone who runs a HAB Node will more or less use similar plugins and apps, arrange the cluster in similar ways, and have the same security concerns. As such, we can begin to find and build best practices and sensible defaults around HAB Nodes and HAB Node security. With proper Infrastructure As Code techniques, setup can be very repeatable and testable, and it can responsibly account for fringe cases and minimize or remove setup/user errors. From here, because we are already relying on automation in the stack, we can implement and make use of practices like Security as Code.
  3. Magnitude of Problem. Yes, building nodes on k8s is increasing dependency attack surface and can be viewed as inserting weakness. However, Kubernetes defends trillions in value. It's not hard to extrapolate, that at all moments of Bitcoins history, k8s has defended more value than Bitcoin has. Far from inserting a weakness into the Bitcoin stack, strictly in terms of value defended, building nodes on k8s may actually be inserting strength, whereas building k8s on bitcoin might be inserting weakness. Yes, Bitcoin's value lies behind one protocol, while the value defended by k8s is behind thousands of companies, code implementations, and custom k8s configurations, but at some level, value is value.
  4. Multi-Sig Wallet Wisdom What is more, multi-sig wallet implementations and multi-sig wallet providers have given considerable thought to how to secure multi-point systems and how to think about these systems adversarially and tactically. There is of course no direct mapping here, but there is considerable wisdom to be gleaned from the solutions and best practices produced in multi-sig wallet management.
  5. Multiplying Attack Surface: Yes, we are multiplying attack surface, but we are also multiplying the options for healthy node operation. We are not meaninglessly opening up ports on our computer, these are real security advancements, in a real security trade-off. A trade-off trillions of dollars in legacy tech value makes every day.


Apart from the reality that HAB Nodes can potentially cost unlimited amounts, it will remain true that it is sufficient and necessary for a HAB Node to be at minimum two or preferably three hosts (depending on k8s availability mode) and a router. This will always be more expensive than a single node on the most expensive host of the same group, without a dedicated router. This has these knock on effects:

  1. Multiplying hosts may be non-productive for keeping Bitcoin decentralized.
  2. HAB Nodes present messaging problems that may confuse people out of running a single node at all.
  3. Strictly on cost alone, they may price out participation.

Potential Refutation

  1. Anti-decentralization. We believe that this argument only has merit if HAB Nodes are designed in such a way that the Hydra Option is not employed. For instance, if instead of diversifying hosts, a consumer pooled the entire budget into one host and then ran a k8s cluster on VMs on that host to create a "HAB Node". In such a case, all those resources can only function together, they have at least one practical similarity with a cloud based node: they are not as friendly with decentralization as they could be. With a Hydra Option, decentralization is at worst a forever potentiality, at best it is a fully operational part of the HAB Node. What is more, some long term effects of enabling a Hydra Option might actually create more diversity, and thus decentralization, in node hardware.
  2. Messaging Problem. Indeed, care should be taken to not mix messaging: running a HAB Node should not be anyone's first node. If a potential node running pleb is asking "Should I get a HAB node or a regular node?" and that question is preventing them from running any node at all, we think that it is fair to conclude that person has way too big a budget, which will be a vast minority of potential node operators. For such a person, they should re-evaluate the budget for the purpose of running a single node, buy Bitcoin with the surplus, and once it has sufficiently appreciated, expand their node. It should be obvious to all economically constrained participants that running a single node is cheaper, faster, and easier to understand. What is more, running a single node, in many cases, will be the first hardware acquisition for a future HAB Node, as was the case for the PoC.
  3. Priced Out Of Participation. Again, HAB Nodes should not be anyone's first node. However, they can very easily be someone second node. And they should be a second node over the current alternative of Lightning Service Provider for the sufficiently sophisticated Bitcoiner, and once ligntning functionality makes its way to the HA universe. To be clear, we think it is a net benefit that someone might first choose an LSP before ever running their own node, but once they run their own node, then the next node should be a HAB Node, for a HAB Node, in the long run (but not presently), eliminates the need of an LSP. As for cost, or being priced out of participation, this pathing is key. At it's simplest, a HAB node is no less than two nodes and a router. Almost everyone already has a wifi router, so, after they purchase their first single-node, which every Bitcoiner should have done already (or is about to do), they are then only one purchase away from a HAB Node. In all likelihood, their first node would at some point be dated hardware that could use replacing, or be out of storage. But it would also most likely be able to enter a new cluster because of the Induction Option, and as such, this relieves the pressure of planning far ahead and purchasing high-end, longer lasting hardware for more money and replaces it with affordable and incremental purchases as need or want arises because hardware in a HAB Node is infinitely replaceable. Far from pricing people out of participation, it might actually, in the long run, price in more participation.

Undoubtedly there are more dissenting opinions than these. If you have one, please don't hesitate to open a PR. If it is well argued it will be added to the list, and hopefully there will be a decent refutation as well.


In 2008, Satoshi himself opined on issues of availability and node management:

At first, most users would run network nodes, but as the network grows beyond a certain point, it would be left more and more to specialists with server farms of specialized hardware. A server farm would only need to have one node on the network and the rest of the LAN connects with that one node.

BCH and BSV adherents often quote this email in defense of large blocks. But this was written 4 years before the launch of Raspberry Pi (and the explosion of cheap consumer SBCs), 5 years before Docker really made sense of containers, 4 years before Ansible made provisioning and automation intuitive, and 7 years before the robust FOSS orchestration technology of Kubernetes arrived. As such, the key technologies which make HAB Nodes possible came after Satoshi's time in their individual niche settings.

Even if the need to solve the problem of delivering highly available node infrastructure was deeply felt by Satoshi—for instance, if he meant LAN connections to server farms to mean the LAN network of self-hosted households running HA Nodes—there wasn't an actionable or accessible way forward when he wrote those lines. The prevailing way forward was not through container orchestration, but was as Satoshi said: primarily through specialized hardware run by specialists.

Now, thanks to Satoshi's efforts to design Bitcoin so robustly, to Core's efforts to expand on this premise, the efforts of #UASF to keep the cost of a minimally viable node as small as possible while scaling, the fantastic work being done in the microcomputer / SBC industry, the ingeniousness of DevOps engineers to automate provisioning, and the unparalleled work done in containers and container orchestration, we now no longer face these issues. And we should pursue those advancements for the health, preservation, decentralization, permanence, and robustness of Bitcoin. The more we push on clustered edge nodes, the more the entire bitcoin ecosystem improves.

Contrary to what Satoshi seems to have meant, a home-server HAB Node should run. It should run many Bitcoin instances, it should run on a diversity of easily acquirable consumer hardware, it should be provisioned via simple processes, and node operators need not be server specialist for this robust version of node operation to be reality. As you'll see in the guide, setting up a HAB node is well within the range of what a simple GUI might need, already.

"OK, but isn't container orchestration complete overkill?"

Yes. And that's the entire point.

Let us not forget that this is Bitcoin we are defending, the first money in human history which does not commit time theft. The first honest money. The first money to empower all people equally and the first money to tell the truth.

Let's put it to scale: using container orchestration to defend Bitcoin is akin to deploying an aircraft carrier to make a routine arrest of what appears to be a petty criminal. Be it unlikely, we'd rather have the Seal Team on the Aircraft Carrier be able to extract and safely dispose of a dirty nuke, with every possible resource available to them, and do so within minutes, should a nuke be concealed by he who we at first thought was a petty criminal. It may not seem obvious at first blush, but the choice to use k8s becomes more and more appealing as a solution to the problem at hand the deeper you understand the asymmetric difficulty of running highly available infrastructure, and what is needed to meet a truly unknown-depth threat model. Again, looking to DNA as a guide, we see there is no better way forward, for it is how we as the human species, and all life which uses DNA, function at the cellular level.

Interestingly, the analogy above may not even cut deep enough. An aircraft carrier costs somewhere north of $10 Billion to make, whereas $56.5 Billion has been invested in the landscape and infrastructure in and around Kubernetes—the CNCF exists because of Kubernetes. We should be running HAB nodes to incorporate as much of that incredible work, deep wisdom, and experience as possible.

Indeed, there are other ways to solve the problems that a HAB Node solves, and solve them cleanly without the dependencies we introduce to do it (systemd, running multiple un-clustered nodes, for instance). But pursuing all of those options, to their ultimate ends, eventually means creating a new form of highly available infrastructure which solves all the exact same problems that k8s already solves and has been solving for a decade in defense of trillions more in value than Bitcoin. If the legacy internet is increasingly becoming a walled garden, and the peer web is the future, who knows whether Kubernetes came to be for such a time as this?

There is no need to reinvent this wheel, we simply need to use it, and we already can, as the PoC demonstrates.

Do We Need This Solution?

Yes. Resoundingly so. To step back, the problem we face is small at the moment, and not without its difficulties, but it carries all the characteristics of a problem that will only increasingly become more evident as the self-hosted Bitcoin node ecosystem continues to mature into the very source of wages, circular economy, capital flows, and human flourishing the world over.

For a more in depth explanation on how this is accomplished, see How?