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Author Topic: Will it be possible to user bitcoin core without downloading whole blockchain ?  (Read 246 times)
Uniex
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March 27, 2018, 11:49:23 AM
 #1

I have now 1TB HDD on my server, what if bitcoin blockchain become more than 1TB, is there any plans
from developers community to make version where I can use recent blocks to use bitcoin server ?
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March 27, 2018, 12:11:04 PM
Merited by EcuaMobi (1)
 #2

Bitcoin Core actually doesn't need the blocks once it has validated everything and created the chainstate. That is if you're using the client in a manner which is pretty minimal.

Pruning could reduce your blockchain size to 550mb. However, you cannot import addresses or search for transactions unrelated to your addresses in the wallet. You will still have to download every block.

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March 27, 2018, 12:28:25 PM
 #3

As said before, the prune mode can do this, but you need first download all the data.
There are methods which can save you from download all the data, like downloading a preconfigured Bitcoin Core with prune mode and all the data verified, but if you are using the Core software, i think you know what is safe and what is not.

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March 27, 2018, 12:51:40 PM
Merited by lordquanta (1)
 #4

1TB will be fine for a very long time. Currently the chain is around 170GB. As other users have pointed out, you can prune the blockchain so you can save Hard Drive space.

Disk storage technology is developing much quicker than the blockchain is growing, so we should not have any problems with that. As regular user can use lightweight client, it is enough that there are only few nodes that are able to provide the needed bandwith and storage for the blockchain.

If you want to prune your blockchain, you can add "prune=x" to your bitcoin.conf

Replace value "x" with the amount of megabytes that you wish to have as the cap that Bitcoin Core will use from your storage.

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March 27, 2018, 03:51:41 PM
Merited by achow101 (2), TechPriest (1), Xynerise (1)
 #5

You can reduce the HDD space of Bitcoin-Core software by activating pruning (remove already verified blocks).

Code:
/bitcoind --prune=550
dbcache=1000 (if you have more than 2 GB RAM)
you can read more from here ----> https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/blob/a6a860796a44a2805a58391a009ba22752f64e32/doc/release-notes/release-notes-0.11.0.md#block-file-pruning


You can also store blockchain in a separate hard drive and make sure that it is available every time you run the program. Read more ----> https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/43636/how-do-i-relocate-my-bitcoin-data-in-bitcoin-qt-to-save-space/43637#43637

in the future, I do not think the disk size will cause a problem  due to


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March 27, 2018, 06:42:22 PM
 #6

I shouldn't worry too much about hard drive size. I've got a node running with an external 256GB SSD. That's really a bit small, and I'll replace that pretty soon, or maybe I'll prune it, that would probably make more sense. I've also got a couple of 2Tb HDDs, and I seem to be able to move the external drives around between core installations. The software seems to be pretty robust and well written. I'd be grateful for some advice on any dangers from swopping these copies of the blockchain around.

The important thing seems to be to move the whole directory onto another disk if you are copying it, don't just move the block files. Also, I believe that it is worth investing in an external HDD to use as a backup of the blockchain. I don't think I could face having to do another download.

That doesn't really answer your original question though. It is my opinion that it is worth downloading the whole blockchain, even if it takes a month to do it, but it shouldn't take anything like that length of time. The download is interruptable, and it runs well as a background task. I hope that I am confirming the previous comments with my experiences.

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March 29, 2018, 08:03:57 PM
 #7

1 TB is enough
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March 29, 2018, 09:15:20 PM
 #8

I shouldn't worry too much about hard drive size. I've got a node running with an external 256GB SSD. That's really a bit small, and I'll replace that pretty soon, or maybe I'll prune it, that would probably make more sense.

With prune mode you are not able to use some full version opportunities. For example -zapwallettxes method (as i remember). Also i'm not sure about creating raw transaction on prune node.

1TB will be fine for a very long time. Currently the chain is around 170GB.

It is better to use 256 gb SSD than 1 TB HDD. Synchronization will be much faster. In another hand, SSD more "dangerous" because there no way to read broken SSD.


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March 30, 2018, 06:51:07 AM
 #9

With prune mode you are not able to use some full version opportunities. For example -zapwallettxes method (as i remember). Also i'm not sure about creating raw transaction on prune node.

The use of -zapwallettxes implies the use of -rescan, which is not possible on a pruned node (which only stores the last 550 blocks).
But creating raw transactions is still possible on a pruned node. Simply because the node stores all relevant information (UTXO's, etc.. ), regardless of pruning.



It is better to use 256 gb SSD than 1 TB HDD. Synchronization will be much faster. In another hand, SSD more "dangerous" because there no way to read broken SSD.

While i agree with SSD's being 'more useful' overall, a broken HDD can't be read easily either.
SSD's survive a good amount of write cycles. Without downloading the whole blockchain daily, there shouldn't be a big risk of disk failure in the near future.
SSD's have more cells than they actually need to reach the desired storage space. The SSD controller is allocating the cells 'on demand' in the 'best possible way'.




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March 30, 2018, 08:56:45 AM
 #10

The use of -zapwallettxes implies the use of -rescan, which is not possible on a pruned node (which only stores the last 550 blocks).
But creating raw transactions is still possible on a pruned node. Simply because the node stores all relevant information (UTXO's, etc.. ), regardless of pruning.

Thank you for your refinement of this.

While i agree with SSD's being 'more useful' overall, a broken HDD can't be read easily either.
SSD's survive a good amount of write cycles. Without downloading the whole blockchain daily, there shouldn't be a big risk of disk failure in the near future.
SSD's have more cells than they actually need to reach the desired storage space. The SSD controller is allocating the cells 'on demand' in the 'best possible way'.

Can't agree with this. If SSD controller get broken there no way to read this SSD. All data will be lost permanently and forever. HDD is much "safer" if we are talking about data restoring. 
So if you are using SSD you must have backup of your wallet in some safe place.

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March 30, 2018, 10:02:06 AM
 #11

You can also store blockchain in a separate hard drive and make sure that it is available every time you run the program. Read more ----> https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/43636/how-do-i-relocate-my-bitcoin-data-in-bitcoin-qt-to-save-space/43637#43637
I underlined a phrase from your reply that got me think twice to consider running a node.
Is that means that I need to re-sync the whole node everytime I close it if I use bitcoin core with pruning activated?

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March 30, 2018, 01:26:34 PM
 #12

Can't agree with this. If SSD controller get broken there no way to read this SSD.
All data will be lost permanently and forever.

I thought you were talking about cells which do break after a certain amount of write cycles.

If the SSD controller is damaged the SSD (itself) can't be used, thats right.

But its not true that the data is lost. If the controller is broken and the cells aren't damaged, you are able to extract the cells and access them directly.
You don't need the controller to ensure the integrity of data stored on these cells.
Law enforcement agencies do have tools to directly access each cell of a SSD.



HDD is much "safer" if we are talking about data restoring.

That mostly depends on each individual case.
It is easier to restore deleted data from HDD's, yes.
But its also easier to delete data from HDD's permanently.

Both is not that easy to accomplish with a SSD. HDD's and SSD's do have different pros and cons.



So if you are using SSD you must have backup of your wallet in some safe place.

You should always have a backup of your wallet. Completely independent from the type of storage you are using.

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March 30, 2018, 04:13:38 PM
 #13

But its not true that the data is lost. If the controller is broken and the cells aren't damaged, you are able to extract the cells and access them directly.
You don't need the controller to ensure the integrity of data stored on these cells.

It depends on controller.In some controllers you can do it, in some - not.

Law enforcement agencies do have tools to directly access each cell of a SSD.

I think we are talking about ways that available to ordinary people. If you're not a member of such agencies you can't use their opportunities.

In other statement i agree with you  Smiley

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March 30, 2018, 07:47:45 PM
 #14


Is that means that I need to re-sync the whole node everytime I close it if I use bitcoin core with pruning activated?

It's the blockchain that you resync, and if you have that on an external drive, you can bring it up to date once a week or so if you have an old computer with core installed. I keep a couple of copies of the blockchain ( and associated files) because I couldn't face downloading the whole lot again. Smiley An external HDD is pretty cheap, and I think it's worth the payment for the extra security. Running core in pruned mode would be a separate excercise, and I use a cheap netbook for the backup node.

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April 03, 2018, 12:19:38 AM
 #15

Bandwidth (or even CPU processing power) will become a limiter way before HDD space.

I know the client allows you to set outgoing limits now, but I ended up killing the public node I had going after some sustained 1Gbps upstream for over 12 hrs.  Not sure if it was legit block downloads or just someone being a meanie.  Couldn't say it's a DDoS since it wasn't a lot of diff streams.  I guess it's also possible I got to the top of that seed list.

The one thing that this big blockchain does cause is make it hard to find some VPS out there that have enough space for it =)

Speaking of which, dacentec has some $20 and $25 servers right now.  https://billing.dacentec.com/hostbill/index.php?/cart/dedicated-servers/   alas, they broke my affiliate link.  so i'm not even making anything from this.  jaja.

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#2 is best (it has 6 HDDs)

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April 03, 2018, 08:33:32 AM
 #16

I decided to get a Samsung 860 EVO SSD 1Tb - the speed is about the same, but it seems to have some serious improvements in reliability.

Despite that, you should always keep at least one backup of the blockchain and associated files ( including wallet files). I understand that getting a larger SSD helps to prolong its life as well. It seems best to run it at less than 50% of its capacity.

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