Kneecapping Grin: an experiment

Tried an experiment today with results that showed again that Grin is an ideal money for self sovereignty. The question I had was, can the poorest Grinner self host a node on ridiculously minimal dedicated Hardware and internet connection, and will it sync faster than a Bitcoin node using new tech including an NVME drive?

Conditions

Internet Speed: 50Mbps symmetrical
Grin Computer: Lenovo M32 thin client new from ebay for $35 shipped
Bitcoin computer: Lenovo Thinkpad T480 quad core i7 w/ HT and NVME SSD

PC Specs

CPU: Intel Celeron 847 1.1GHz Dual core w/ HT
RAM: 2GB DDR3
DISK: 16GB SATA DOM SSD
OS: Fresh install of Debian 12 Headless

Results

Grin FTW in ~6 hours. And it was no fluke as I had two identical Grin machines that both synced simultaneously and beat the Bitcoin core time by an hour. I only used 26% of my /home directory so I’ll definitely be adding pihole DHCP/DNS server and a Wireguard server as well and have a HA failover setup where I can tunnel in and swtich the port the miners are looking for nodes on quickly in case of some kind of failure.

After many nodes spun up, I really think Grin has the best UX for node running as nothing is ambiguous and the clean TUI spelling everything out is a great feature I don’t personally use, but I’m surprised other chains don’t utilize something like it. People hate uncertainty and that plus the straightforward slatepack transactions means I never get the feeling that I might be in danger of losing my Grin at all.

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On the one hand, the bitcoin history is orders of magnitude larger.

On the other hand, your bitcoin node probably didn’t fully verify history, if it used the default setting with assumevalid to skip verifying the vast majority of historical scripts.

On the third hand, this little thin client is a decade old and designed for terminal server or embedded device work. I am impressed it can run Grin at all and now I can flex on fools when they start talking about the minimal hardware needed for nodes on other chains.

I hadn’t fully grasped til now just how compact and efficient Grin is with its cut through feature and simple design.

I didn’t bother with setting Listen=1 for the Bitcoin node because most people don’t. Wanted to recreate what the average users experience is like.

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