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Suppose that the client keeps a hardcoded table of some known, famous nodes in order to start the connection with the network. When that node initially connects to the entry point, it must then proceed to find its own peers. How is that done?

The node obviously can't just ask the initial nodes for their neighbors.

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Refer to this link: 

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Satoshi_Client_Node_Discovery

What you need to understand is: 

  • There is a central service that identifies the user's public address
  • There are hardcoded IRC channels, DNS domains or IP addresses to discover initial nodes
  • Usage of specific advertisement messages to share among peers
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