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Author Topic: Skipping validation for txs until the last checkpoint  (Read 878 times)
Stefan Thomas
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May 06, 2011, 04:41:53 AM
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I'm dealing with a lot of block chain downloads and as such I've been thinking about how to speed it up. It seems that the official client validates all transactions, even ones that are deep in the block chain.

The hash of any given block guarantees the integrity of every previous block and the merkle tree guarantees the integrity of all transactions in those blocks. So couldn't we skip validation (other than the hashes/merkle) for everything up to the last checkpoint?


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theymos
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May 06, 2011, 04:45:42 AM
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I wouldn't mind that as an option, but it seems bad to rely so much on checkpoints by default. Bitcoin.org would be telling you which blocks are right instead of which blocks are wrong, which I feel is an important distinction.

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May 06, 2011, 08:52:45 AM
 #3

I'm dealing with a lot of block chain downloads and as such I've been thinking about how to speed it up. It seems that the official client validates all transactions, even ones that are deep in the block chain.

The hash of any given block guarantees the integrity of every previous block and the merkle tree guarantees the integrity of all transactions in those blocks. So couldn't we skip validation (other than the hashes/merkle) for everything up to the last checkpoint?

In the C++ the slow part is the indexing and data structure maintenance rather than the block integrity checks. If you want to run a full node you can't avoid it.

For a lightweight/client-mode/SPV implementation yes you can skip earlier blocks if you have an empty wallet and I plan to implement that optimization at some point in BitCoinJ.
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