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Author Topic: Is the Bitcoin Block Chain too big?  (Read 6935 times)
jbreher
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November 12, 2013, 09:43:42 PM
 #41

Most people use laptops with SSD, and cant afford to have a blockchain size of 40 GB or bigger.. that consumes 1/3 or 1/6 of their SSD size.
If we want a truly decentralized network, nobody should be excluded. The solution is therefore to make the blockchain dynamic and small instead of one gigantic mirror on every HDD in the network.
That's a very bold claim, that most people use laptops with SSD. I for one do not know any of them.
I agree that the thing to do is to make a lightweight version of the blockchain that would contain only current spendable transaction outputs. But anyone willing to host the full blockchain should have the means to do so.
Not at all, nowdays most people buy thin clients like iPad (16GB-32GB) or small laptops (120GB-240GB) instead of heavy desktop PCs with 2TB HDD.
Heavy desktops will become a minority among households, so if we care about decentralization we must consider what kind of clients most people will be using within a few years.
When people need terrabyte storage they buy USB-drives or NAS-drives - which are useless to host the bitcoin client.

Still waiting for your follow-up on the other thread there, gollum. Thanks.

Are there even any full clients available for iPad?

For my case, I am happily running the full Bitcoin-Qt on my laptop. With the blockchain on its single internal SSD. I don't know what the heck your problem is.

SSD GiB/$ increases by a factor of 2x every eight months or so. Even if someone is too obstinate to not buy enough storage for their imagined needs today, Moore's postulate ensures that they will soon be able to. Probably not even be able to find a drive small enough to present a problem. Seen any 10 GiB drives for sale lately?

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DeathAndTaxes
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November 12, 2013, 10:21:58 PM
 #42

SSD are subject to Moore's law.  The blockchain is growing slower than Moore's law.

Get rid of block size limit and blockchain will start growing faster than Moore's law. Mass adoption and 1 Mb limit are incompatible each to other. The best we can do is to find Equilibrium.

Not on any decade long scale.  In the short term we may grow faster than that BUT the current transaction volume is a tiny fraction of what current hardware can handle so there is a "cushion" built in.  We could increase tx volume by a factor of 20x and not be limited by hardware.  So if we grow at double (or triple) Moore's law for a couple years it simply eats into that cushion.  There is no scenario where Bitcoin growth can exceed Moore's law on a multi-decade timeline, there are only so many humans on the planet.

In 30, 40, 50 years, the discussion of not enough GBs look as silly as saying "video games will never take off because it in the future they will require thousands of floppy disks".  I bought a 1 GB drive for $300 in 1995.  That would be $300,000 per TB, and in less than 20 years the cost to store 1 TB has fallen to $50.  In 20, 30 years I fully expect the cost to store 1 PB to be <$300.  This isn't ancient history we are talking about just the effect of Moore's law in a single lifetime.

However in the long run most users will use SPV clients.  The security of the network doesn't require 100% of users running a full node, just that a critical mass continues to do so.  Between merchants, , developers, exchanges, service providers, hobbyists, and just die hards who refuse anything less than an equal peer on the network I don't see it being an issue.
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November 12, 2013, 10:41:08 PM
 #43

SSD are subject to Moore's law.  The blockchain is growing slower than Moore's law.

Get rid of block size limit and blockchain will start growing faster than Moore's law. Mass adoption and 1 Mb limit are incompatible each to other. The best we can do is to find Equilibrium.

Not on any decade long scale.  In the short term we may grow faster than that BUT the current transaction volume is a tiny fraction of what current hardware can handle so there is a "cushion" built in.  We could increase tx volume by a factor of 20x and not be limited by hardware.  So if we grow at double (or triple) Moore's law for a couple years it simply eats into that cushion.  There is no scenario where Bitcoin growth can exceed Moore's law on a multi-decade timeline, there are only so many humans on the planet.

In 30, 40, 50 years, the discussion of not enough GBs look as silly as saying "video games will never take off because it in the future they will require thousands of floppy disks".  I bought a 1 GB drive for $300 in 1995.  That would be $300,000 per TB, and in less than 20 years the cost to store 1 TB has fallen to $50.  In 20, 30 years I fully expect the cost to store 1 PB to be <$300.  This isn't ancient history we are talking about just the effect of Moore's law in a single lifetime.

However in the long run most users will use SPV clients.  The security of the network doesn't require 100% of users running a full node, just that a critical mass continues to do so.  Between merchants, , developers, exchanges, service providers, hobbyists, and just die hards who refuse anything less than an equal peer on the network I don't see it being an issue.

OK. U r Satoshi, so u know that better than anyone else. Smiley
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November 12, 2013, 10:41:57 PM
 #44

It's not that long,yet.

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gollum
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November 12, 2013, 11:24:13 PM
 #45

Im actually impressed that bitcoin has worked so well from start, and will work well for several years.
My point is that we must be proactive and change the protocol now before it becomes to big.

Remember that the userbase of popular trends grows exponentially - not linear. So when the userbase and transactions goes up to the sky the infrastructure must be prepared for that success.
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November 12, 2013, 11:27:35 PM
 #46

Im actually impressed that bitcoin has worked so well from start, and will work well for several years.
My point is that we must be proactive and change the protocol now before it becomes to big.

Remember that the userbase of popular trends grows exponentially - not linear. So when the userbase and transactions goes up to the sky the infrastructure must be prepared for that success.
or yet alone in this last 6 month period.

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niothor
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November 13, 2013, 09:56:30 AM
 #47

Just for the fun I started again bitcoinqt on a laptop i haven't used in a while.
It says 31525 blocks remaining , I wonder how long it will take.

41 remaining , it took almost 1 day to synchronize after ~100 days offline.
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November 13, 2013, 10:10:13 AM
 #48

Wanted to install bitcoin-qt with a computer with 8GB left. Realised it don't have that much space. Got my New computer and it have been syncronizing for a day now. Any idea how long will it take?

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November 13, 2013, 10:56:52 AM
 #49

Wanted to install bitcoin-qt with a computer with 8GB left. Realised it don't have that much space. Got my New computer and it have been syncronizing for a day now. Any idea how long will it take?

mine takes a couple of hours.  i use imdisk to create a 16gb ram drive and then run it off of that

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November 13, 2013, 10:59:17 AM
 #50

Wanted to install bitcoin-qt with a computer with 8GB left. Realised it don't have that much space. Got my New computer and it have been syncronizing for a day now. Any idea how long will it take?

Depends on your download speeds and the upload speeds of your peers.
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November 20, 2013, 01:44:50 AM
 #51

exactly hard drive sizes will get bigger over time Smiley
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November 20, 2013, 02:06:51 AM
 #52

I would say rather than the chain being too big, the CHAIN is TOO SMALL!!!

Transactions are taking too long!

Increase the minimum blocksize to 10mb and maximum to 1 gigabyte.

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November 20, 2013, 02:33:04 AM
 #53

Increase the minimum blocksize to 10mb and maximum to 1 gigabyte.

That seems rather silly if most blocks don't even fill 1 MB yet.  Perhaps it would be better if more mining pools would expand their current usage to fill more of the 1 MB block than they currently are.

10 most recent blocks:


Average block size: 193.8 KB

What sense is there in increasing the minimum blocksize to 10 MB if we aren't even using up 200 KB?

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November 20, 2013, 02:36:38 AM
 #54

Increase the minimum blocksize to 10mb and maximum to 1 gigabyte.

That seems rather silly if most blocks don't even fill 1 MB yet.  Perhaps it would be better if more mining pools would expand their current usage to fill more of the 1 MB block than they currently are.

10 most recent blocks:


Average block size: 193.8 KB

What sense is there in increasing the minimum blocksize to 10 MB if we aren't even using up 200 KB?

Future-proofing and to allow people to gain more confidence by allowing transactions to occur faster. At the moment, you can only allow for 360,000 transactions a day. That's going to be way small. If you want people to jump in, the developers better fix it or at least do away with the 1MB limit.

Paying extra transaction fees doesn't make anything go faster. It merely transfers your position on the waiting list, driving up transaction costs for everyone.

Remember, we the users of bitcoin are causing this problem. Why don't we just fix it by rolling out a new client.

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November 20, 2013, 02:42:03 AM
 #55

Well it isn't future proofing or improving confidence to just raise a limit and then have the defacto size remain the same.  Lets see if pools can use the available resources first.
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November 20, 2013, 07:33:56 AM
 #56

Not necessarily! If I hold a very large hdd then 20 gb isnt much!

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November 20, 2013, 09:52:47 AM
 #57

Most people use laptops with SSD, and cant afford to have a blockchain size of 40 GB or bigger.. that consumes 1/3 or 1/6 of their SSD size.
If we want a truly decentralized network, nobody should be excluded. The solution is therefore to make the blockchain dynamic and small instead of one gigantic mirror on every HDD in the network.
That's a very bold claim, that most people use laptops with SSD. I for one do not know any of them.
I agree that the thing to do is to make a lightweight version of the blockchain that would contain only current spendable transaction outputs. But anyone willing to host the full blockchain should have the means to do so.
Not at all, nowdays most people buy thin clients like iPad (16GB-32GB) or small laptops (120GB-240GB) instead of heavy desktop PCs with 2TB HDD.
Heavy desktops will become a minority among households, so if we care about decentralization we must consider what kind of clients most people will be using within a few years.
When people need terrabyte storage they buy USB-drives or NAS-drives - which are useless to host the bitcoin client.

a nas can be used to store and dwnld blockchain

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November 20, 2013, 09:58:47 AM
 #58

Just expand storage using RAID...

This is another reason why we should have bigger block sizes as it will benefit the uptake of bitcoins. Everyone seems to be scared of huge blockchains, but I don't think it's anything to be scared of.

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November 20, 2013, 04:51:56 PM
 #59

i'm not scared, just concerned how it will be handled in the future
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November 20, 2013, 04:53:30 PM
 #60

Just expand storage using RAID...

This is another reason why we should have bigger block sizes as it will benefit the uptake of bitcoins. Everyone seems to be scared of huge blockchains, but I don't think it's anything to be scared of.

It's not just the storage space , it's the download that might get problematic for a lot of users.
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