I don't know if this is a good idea or not, someone may even have already suggested it, but...
As bitcoin grows and more transactions take place, anyone running the bitcoin client will start having there resources monopolized. They will then stop using the client and the number of nodes will diminish leaving the network vulnerably to bot attacks.
So my suggestion is, create a version of bitcoin that rewards people with coins for solving compression problems which would make the network more scalable. Compressed data would consume less bandwidth and less HDD space.
Also the electric used to mine would be spent on something useful.
What do you think?
Much of the block chain is random numbers and outputs from cryptographic functions. Both of these are very high entropy data and don't compress very well. I just ran bzip -9 on my blk0001.dat and I got 21.36% savings (606,522,351 bytes -> 476,975,806 bytes).
For comparison, a recent test showed that pruning could reduce the block database by over 70%.
The bigger problem is that no reversible compression systems that would meet our needs as a security function. Hashing was picked because it has a whole bunch of desirable properties, like the avalanche effect
, and that the outputs look very much like random numbers, allowing us to scale the difficulty in a predictable way.