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Author Topic: How to make blockchain download faster?  (Read 2537 times)
running
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January 03, 2012, 12:51:23 AM
 #1

Hello.

I think I do understand inner BitCoin workings a bit, but one thing bothers me, even as a "simple" user.

I want to receive a payment. I haven't opened BitCoin application in about 3 months. So, I open the application, expecting the payment in few minutes.

...but I have to wait hours and hours and hours, while the client downloads the last 10 000 blocks slooooowwwwllyyyy.... one... by .... one. (Eating huge chunks of RAM and CPU as a byproduct, but I guess that has more to do with my aging computer.)

Do I have any alternative? Like, say, don't download the blockchain from the deadslow P2P network, but from some "trusted" place like blockexplorer?

Yes, I know I can use some online bitcoin wallet, but that didn't work out so well with MyBitcoin, right.

edit:

Aah. Right now, I discovered this:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/bitcoin/files/Bitcoin/blockchain/

It seems about allright, but why is there "may" in quotes? Shouldn't the -rescan option just work?

edit2:
no it doesn't. The linked blockchain is ancient. Oh well, another few hours of downloading.

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Each block is stacked on top of the previous one. Adding another block to the top makes all lower blocks more difficult to remove: there is more "weight" above each block. A transaction in a block 6 blocks deep (6 confirmations) will be very difficult to remove.
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running
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January 03, 2012, 01:25:18 AM
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And another, more "philosophical" question.

A lot of you guys are thinking BitCoin will be the currency of the future. Do you really expect people to wait hours and hours before the blockchain downloads? (Not everyone can find the blockchain hidden in sourceforge plus run the client with '-rescan' option.)

Plus, if it really takes off, the blockchains will be even bigger and the waiting times astronomical (and I can't imagine how big the whole blockchain will be). Even today, I am starting to think why I haven't just used PayPal, it would be less anonymous, but I would have the money right now. It will be totally unusable if the currency is to used by a bigger circle of people.

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Stephen Gornick
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January 03, 2012, 03:54:07 AM
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Bitcoin doesn't need to have a one-size fits all client / user model.  

Casual users might wish to use a javascript wallet, such as the My Wallet from http://Blockchain.info/wallet and http://StrongCoin.com (though know that both have fees when withdrawing).  Or a paper-based wallet -- http://www.bitaddress.org
Or a wallet on your mobile, like BitcoinSpinner, or BitPay (which is a mobile front-end to an Instawallet)

None of these methods require the Blockchain to be downloaded.

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January 03, 2012, 04:14:28 AM
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Do I have any alternative? Like, say, don't download the blockchain from the deadslow P2P network, but from some "trusted" place like blockexplorer?
Electrum is what you're looking for, then:
http://ecdsa.org/electrum/

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January 03, 2012, 05:39:28 AM
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hi, once you're through the downloading, all your other clients can download the blockchain at the speed of lan from your pioneer installation. or grab a copy of the blockchain from a friend. copying the files from the working directory works just fine.

your ad here:
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January 05, 2012, 03:37:27 AM
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Do I have any alternative? Like, say, don't download the blockchain from the deadslow P2P network, but from some "trusted" place like blockexplorer?
Electrum is what you're looking for, then:
http://ecdsa.org/electrum/

This is awesome. I am not sure if I like the strange wallet generation and the fact that I can't import my own wallet.dat, but other than that, I really like this.

Or a paper-based wallet -- http://www.bitaddress.org

How does the paper-based wallet work? More exactly - I know I can check the balance on, say, block explorer, but how do I send the bitcoins to someone when I have the private key?

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nmat
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January 05, 2012, 03:42:23 AM
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Or a paper-based wallet -- http://www.bitaddress.org

How does the paper-based wallet work? More exactly - I know I can check the balance on, say, block explorer, but how do I send the bitcoins to someone when I have the private key?

You have to import the private key. You can do it with pywallet or in one of the online wallets, such as mtgox or blockchain.info.

Usually you use that as a savings wallet because it not practical to keep importing the keys somewhere (and it is safer if you keep it on the paper).
running
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January 05, 2012, 03:58:04 AM
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You have to import the private key. You can do it with pywallet or in one of the online wallets, such as mtgox or blockchain.info.

Usually you use that as a savings wallet because it not practical to keep importing the keys somewhere (and it is safer if you keep it on the paper).

Pywallet imports the wallet into the "official" bitcoin client wallet.dat format, right?

Without importing the keys somewhere, the bitcoins are quite useless since you can't really post them anywhere.

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nmat
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January 05, 2012, 04:02:09 AM
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You have to import the private key. You can do it with pywallet or in one of the online wallets, such as mtgox or blockchain.info.

Usually you use that as a savings wallet because it not practical to keep importing the keys somewhere (and it is safer if you keep it on the paper).

Pywallet imports the wallet into the "official" bitcoin client wallet.dat format, right?

Without importing the keys somewhere, the bitcoins are quite useless since you can't really post them anywhere.

Yes, pywallet works with the official wallet.dat file. Well, if you want to save some coins to use 6 months from now there's no need to keep them in your computer Smiley
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January 05, 2012, 06:43:31 AM
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Bitcoin doesn't need to have a one-size fits all client / user model.  

Casual users might wish to use a javascript wallet, such as the My Wallet from http://Blockchain.info/wallet and http://StrongCoin.com (though know that both have fees when withdrawing).  Or a paper-based wallet -- http://www.bitaddress.org
Or a wallet on your mobile, like BitcoinSpinner, or BitPay (which is a mobile front-end to an Instawallet)

None of these methods require the Blockchain to be downloaded.

oh wow thanks for this info, interesting stuff I didnt know !
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January 09, 2012, 07:22:31 PM
 #11

Wow just the info i was looking for
petala
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January 09, 2012, 09:19:31 PM
 #12

Do I have any alternative? Like, say, don't download the blockchain from the deadslow P2P network, but from some "trusted" place like blockexplorer?
Electrum is what you're looking for, then:
http://ecdsa.org/electrum/

This is awesome. I am not sure if I like the strange wallet generation and the fact that I can't import my own wallet.dat, but other than that, I really like this.

Or a paper-based wallet -- http://www.bitaddress.org

How does the paper-based wallet work? More exactly - I know I can check the balance on, say, block explorer, but how do I send the bitcoins to someone when I have the private key?

+1 for Electrum thin client. It really rocks with all the functions : fast blockchain no need to download, import private keys!
minimalB
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January 09, 2012, 11:15:29 PM
 #13

Is there any specific reason why official bitcoin client does not have "check blockchain from another server" feature - like electrum?

Or is this feature coming sooner or later?

@developers: it would be nice if original client would at least inform you (when run for the first time), that you have to download whole transaction list...

A lot of friends ring me up and ask "why is this program scanning my hard drive like crazy"? : )

Cheers!
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January 15, 2012, 09:49:06 AM
 #14

As I understand it the soon to be released bitcoin client will have some speedups, but I'm not sure if it's seeding up downloads or just verifing the blockchain. Have a look at the git repository. I just checked their newer integrations of the bitcoin client and this should make you happier. https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/740

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