Can I use Blockstack without running a node?

@david asks:

is there a way to use the blockstack DNS network without running a node?

Yes! You can use the Blockstack CLI to connect to a publicly available Blockstack node. In the future, you will also be able to conduct Blockstack look ups by accessing a publicly available REST api or a publicly available DNS server that supports Blockstack.

Having said that, to get the decentralization characteristics of Blockstack, you should run your own node. We hope to make this very easy for end users to do in the near future, but if you are comfortable with the command line, you can very easily do that now.

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Thanks Larry, I’m all for running a full node when one has resources! Do you know what it will take to get DNS servers to support blockstack lookup? It seems to me that that will open up a huge amount of interest in the protocol. For example, the first time two people on the internet make a name connection to each other without using any tld servers using blockstack names, the suggestion of replacing DNS will be complete.

We plan to create a fork of a DNS server that will support blockstack lookup.

Thanks. Nice feature we really want! We are looking forward.

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Another thing to keep in mind is that the heaviest part of a Blockstack node is the Bitcoin node that sits inside it.

You can actually run a “full” Blockstack node locally and point to a remote Bitcoin node. With this, you use up much less hard drive space and memory and you only need to (somewhat) trust the Bitcoin node you’re using (I say somewhat because you can use light node / SPV proofs). No need to trust anyone else’s processing of it because you’re doing all the processing yourself.