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Author Topic: BlockChain Size  (Read 4957 times)
Yeraze
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May 17, 2011, 04:27:46 AM
 #1

So, I'm kinda new to BitCoin so forgive me if I'm missing something Smiley

I've been reading the Forums & Wiki, and managed to get myself a nice TrueCrypt setup working on my Mac (app & data in the Crypt, with a shell script to launch it all).  However, I thought I could get away with a tiny little volume, but it seems I'm wrong. the BlockChain is BIG.

What's a good size for a Container volume?  And will these BlockChains just continue to grow indefinitely as Coins flow around the network?

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kiba
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May 17, 2011, 04:32:57 AM
 #2

You don't need the blockchain.

Yeraze
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May 17, 2011, 04:36:43 AM
 #3

Without it, won't I have to wait hours for it to download a new one every time I want to do something?

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theymos
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May 17, 2011, 04:39:52 AM
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I keep the Bitcoin data directory unencrypted, but symlink wallet.dat into a Truecrypt volume so I can keep the volume small. (Windows does support symlinks.)

1GB would be reasonable if you want to keep the entire data directory encrypted.

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afbitcoins
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March 19, 2014, 11:46:59 PM
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The blockchain is more than 15 G now. It is a  concern how big it is getting, how do the devs intend to handle it as it keeps growing ?
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March 19, 2014, 11:54:53 PM
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1. back up your wallet unencrypted (paper and pen is best to write all the privkeys)
2. back up your wallet 3 other methods and store in 3 different locations. (i dont mean under your bed, in the sock draw or nxt to yorbedside lamp (all 3 in one phsical room) i mean 3 different location)
3. then encrypt the wallet on your computer

imagine in 6 months your life changes, you go college, get married, have kids and move away from the bitcoin ecosystem. then in 2 years time you come back and have forgotton your truecrypt password.

do not think truecrypt is the only security you need to protect you from outsiders. you need to also protect yourself, from yourself.

many people relied on just encryption and forgot passwords
many people relied on just one back up, and forgot where they stored the backup after having lost the original file.


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March 20, 2014, 12:06:12 AM
 #7

The blockchain is more than 15 G now. It is a  concern how big it is getting, how do the devs intend to handle it as it keeps growing ?

It is a concern. It will keep getting larger until work is done to prune it. For now the solution is to get a bigger drive, or to use a client that doesn't download the block chain.

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ThirdRenaissance
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March 20, 2014, 12:09:53 AM
 #8

Try using a light client instead, e.g. Electrum. Much easier to handle, not only for beginners.

bl0ckchain
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March 20, 2014, 12:50:58 AM
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Try using a light client instead, e.g. Electrum. Much easier to handle, not only for beginners.

Yes. More and more people will be forced to use light clients and consumers will become more reliant on institutions to store and protect the blockchain. The surge in altcoin popularity will also help in some respects as consumers migrate to coins with relatively small blockchains.
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March 20, 2014, 02:18:15 AM
 #10

What's a good size for a Container volume?  And will these BlockChains just continue to grow indefinitely as Coins flow around the network?

There's really no need to encrypt your copy of the blockchain.  It is a very public database.
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March 20, 2014, 02:45:15 AM
 #11

I keep the Bitcoin data directory unencrypted, but symlink wallet.dat into a Truecrypt volume so I can keep the volume small. (Windows does support symlinks.)


Ah that is wise.

Regarding the blockchain size, it is a problem for sure. But something that can be fixed. For now though, it is pretty big deal for many folks to want to have their own private wallet and have to download a 20gb blockchain.  But it is not a technically insurmountable problem.  I would imagine the blockchain would lend itself to be easily and effectively compressed.

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tomlovexiong
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March 20, 2014, 02:55:13 AM
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The whole  blockchain is not useful for personal usage.

You can use wallet online like blockchain.info instead
irrational
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March 20, 2014, 03:00:14 AM
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The whole  blockchain is not useful for personal usage.

You can use wallet online like blockchain.info instead

You also lose a LARGE portion of what makes Bitcoin, Bitcoin. The Bitcoin "core" app is the problem here, but resorting to having to trust a 3rd party with your money isn't a wise solution.

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amspir
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March 20, 2014, 03:08:47 AM
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The whole  blockchain is not useful for personal usage.

You can use wallet online like blockchain.info instead

You also lose a LARGE portion of what makes Bitcoin, Bitcoin. The Bitcoin "core" app is the problem here, but resorting to having to trust a 3rd party with your money isn't a wise solution.

That is a misrepresentation of what a blockchain.info wallet is; blockchain keeps an password-protected encrypted block of data on it's servers, and a client-side set of scripts to do operations on your wallet.   They can't help you gain access to your wallet private keys if you lose your password.

firestone411
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March 20, 2014, 03:41:48 AM
 #15

Is there a way to compress the blockchain file size ?
lorix
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March 20, 2014, 03:59:17 AM
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Is there a way to compress the blockchain file size ?

If you have a read of this there are some approaches underway in the current release to reduce the Blockchain size, or at least mitigating the problem in the anticipated future use of the Blockchain for things like data storage:

http://bitcoinexaminer.org/gavin-andresen-talks-about-the-0-9-release-what-is-finished-and-what-still-needs-to-be-done/

We don't want to carry around the entire Blockchain everywhere we go so it makes sense for a more streamlined approach to be taken. I think the section about "Provably Prunable" outputs is the relevant part here involved with reducing cockchain overhead. Other projects like Mastercoin which ride on top of the Blockchain also deal with some of this too.

Regardless, it's an evolving technology and the market will decide on the best approach and trade-off between functionality, size and performance.


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firestone411
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March 20, 2014, 05:11:33 AM
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Seems like multibit does a similar thing with the reduction of the blockchain size. Isn't there a more efficient way of doing what multibit has already done?
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March 20, 2014, 09:39:44 AM
 #18

Currently the maximum growth of the BlockChain is

1MB per block (hard limit)
1 block per 9 minutes (average mining time with increasing speed of the network)

-> 1MB/Block * 60/9 Block/hour * 24 hour/day * 365 day/year  *  1/1024 MB/GB = 57 GB/year

This is a lot of data, but then again it's surely not a crippling amount of data. You can just use a small server as a node, or use an old hard drive in your desktop PC. Plus storage is still getting cheaper.


The 1MB hard limit should be raised eventually though to allow more transaction per second. Then we might run into the real scalability problems. But it's a few years into the future, for now bitcoin is fine.

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dreamspark
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March 20, 2014, 10:22:48 AM
 #19

Yes just use a thin client if you don't want to download the whole blockchain.

In regards to blockchain size though 15gb is not a lot. You can fit it on a $15 usb drive so there's no real issue there.
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March 20, 2014, 10:24:08 AM
 #20

Soon companies like Mastercoin (http://www.mastercoin.org/) and Counterparty (https://www.counterparty.co/) and others will start to build Apps on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. This will drive the blockchain way out of proportion in short order. In the next year we can expect to easily see a doubling in size of the blockchain. But it might be a ten-fold increase in size or more. So what's the answer?

The blockchain will need to be archived on a regular basis in several (multiple) locations in its entirety. These locations will need to constantly update the blockchain record. The Bitcoin-Qt client will need to be adjusted so that newcomers will only need to download the latest portions of the blockchain. They will have the option of how much of the latest to download. There would be a minimum, of course, to make transacting practical.

Currently, there are other Bitcoin clients that do this, or something like it. Multibit and Electrum are two good examples. The important thing is that the complete blockchain record needs to be maintained in multiple locations, the more the better.

Smiley

EDIT: Consider. There are still probably less than 500,000 people/addresses in the blockchain. The world has a population of over 7 billion. Bitcoin has just barely started. The blockchain is microscopic compared with what it will become if the process isn't adjusted somehow.
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