A Bitcoin node is a computer connected to the Bitcoin network that helps to keep the blockchain consistent. By validating and relaying transactions, Bitcoin nodes can ensure that all payments are properly processed and added to the blockchain. Node operators can earn fees paid by users for this service. Bitcoin is a digital asset and payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public dispersed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin has been criticized for the amount of electricity consumed by mining, the influence of miners on the price of bitcoin, and the instability of its value against national currencies. However, supporters argue that bitcoin offers unique benefits over traditional payment systems such as low fees, fast transactions, and an independent monetary policy.