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Author Topic: Can we still advertise the Satoshi Client for noobs?  (Read 3354 times)
Pieter Wuille
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May 31, 2012, 10:37:12 AM
 #41

  • Download a block (bandwidth usage)
  • Verify its validity (CPU intensive, plus indexed queries)
  • Insert the block in the DB - indexation (IO intensive, and probably O(log) on the index size, or perhaps even O(n), don't know)
  • Proceed to next block

The blocks are downloaded into a memory buffer by the network handler thread. This buffer is 10 megabytes, so it can certainly contain several blocks simultaneously.

The initial verification is very fast.

The bulk of the verification is done while updating the index: we need to a) find previous outputs b) check they are not yet marked spent c) evaluate scripts and signatures d) mark previous outputs spent e) mark new outputs spendable. This has to be done transaction per transaction (mostly), as each transaction can legally spend the outputs of the previous ones. Certainly optimizations are possible, but it's not as easy as splitting verification and db updates into two threads.

By the way, Matt Corallo has a branch that does split the initial verification and connecting/indexing steps into separate threads, and this does indeed seem to improve throughput a bit.

aka sipa, core dev team

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caveden
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May 31, 2012, 12:16:47 PM
 #42

I'm not too sure about that, but wouldn't that kind of issue be helped by forwarding port 8333 (at router level)?

I'm not really willing to expose my IP like that. But anyway, I don't think it's a bandwidth issue.

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caveden
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May 31, 2012, 12:17:53 PM
 #43

Thanks Pieter Wuille for the clarification.

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May 31, 2012, 03:46:58 PM
 #44

When it becomes commonly accepted that transmission nodes in the Bitcoin network are feasibly mainly to those with dedicated or specialized hardware in environments where network connectivity significantly exceeds what joe-sixpack has access to, I doubt that it will bounce back (to 'users run nodes') no matter what the theory says is possible.
I've been assuming hardware/bandwidth is getting cheaper at a greater rate than the blockchain is growing. So it should become relatively easier to run a full client on normal hardware.

Have I assumed wrong? Has anyone checked the math?
Kupsi
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May 31, 2012, 04:46:43 PM
 #45

Has anyone checked the math?
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Scalability
tvbcof
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May 31, 2012, 05:19:46 PM
 #46


I was going to point to that.  While that body of work probably didn't plant certain seeds of doubt in my mind, it certainly did help to germinate them.

Most 'Bitcoin is fine' arguments are winnable on this forum with two words: "Moore's Law."  I feel that there is some nuance to be contemplated.  Two of the more important ones:

 - Just because new technology is developed does not mean that it is necessarily universally available at low cost or without significant hurdles.

 - Bitcoin growth rates could easily dwarf technology developments even though both may be exponential.  (And if they don't, it means that Bitcoin remains a fringe toy for us geeks in my opinion.)


Dabs
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June 01, 2012, 04:36:36 AM
 #47

I was / is still a noob, but I think I understand more of how or what bitcoin is or is not and how it works in a matter of a few days of lurking here, and reading all the wikis.

For me, I got the Satoshi client (version 4 or 5; 2 to 3 months ago) and just patiently waited for the whole blockchain to download over a week. Then I got pywallet and added some private keys I generated using vanitygen and bitaddress because I couldn't spend the money I had collected through the faucet.

I had other ideas regarding scalability but they involved incompatible protocol changes that may not be accepted by other people.

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