bitcoin core – Is it advisable to operate a full node with test release candidate version on the mainnet?

Running release candidates poses little to no danger to the network. The node software is designed to be highly self-reliant, at worst a node would ignore incorrect information and disconnect another node that misbehaves. A release candidate node might be less useful to its operator, in case it’s unstable or has issues making connections, but that would not significantly impact other users.

So, it depends on what you are using your node for. If you e.g. run a node as a datasource for the backend of your business processes, for your personal wallet, or as the source of blockchain information for an active Lightning Node, you should wait for the final version before updating.

If you run a node that is not directly involved in managing funds or business processes and you could stomach it being unavailable for a few hours, then I’d encourage you to update and play around with the release candidate.

If you do rely on a node for your business, you might want to spin up another instance of your testing setup to try that the new version works out for you and e.g. you don’t rely on any API calls that may have changed.

If you do have any unexpected problems, please file an issue in the Bitcoin Core issue tracker.

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