Bitcoin Node and Data Extraction

I want to analyse Blockchain transaction data for a project – I have decided that the best way to understand Bitcoin and get the data I require is to set up a Bitcoin full node. This way I can also support the network.

I have a few questions… Please correct me if I make any wrong assertions (I am a Bitcoin newbie).

  1. I need to download the Blockchain and my current machine is not capable. Can I use cloud computing services like AWS or Linode to host my node? How much does this cost to run? How can I do this?

  2. How do Bitcoin nodes work? For example, do people connect to my node to issue transactions?

  3. I have done a bit of research and I have come across a Python library named bitcoinrpc. Can I interact with my node using this library to extract Blockchain data? If so, am I the only one who can extract data from my node?

  4. For data analysis, should I keep data in its raw format or should I process the data? e.g. place into database

Thanks in advance

submitted by /u/dec-97
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