[Bitcoin-development] Service bits for pruned nodes

Jeff Garzik jgarzik at exmulti.com
Wed May 1 13:46:08 UTC 2013

On Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM, Pieter Wuille <pieter.wuille at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I think it is time to move forward with pruning nodes, i.e. nodes that fully
> validate and relay blocks and transactions, but which do not keep (all)
> historic blocks around, and thus cannot be queried for these.
> The biggest roadblock is making sure new and old nodes that start up are
> able to find nodes to synchronize from. To help them find peers, I would
> like to propose adding two extra service bits to the P2P protocol:
> * NODE_VALIDATE: relay and validate blocks and transactions, but is only
> guaranteed to answer getdata requests for (recently) relayed blocks and
> transactions, and mempool transactions.
> * NODE_BLOCKS_2016: can be queried for the last 2016 blocks, but without
> guarantee for relaying/validating new blocks and transactions.
> * NODE_NETWORK (which existed before) will imply NODE_VALIDATE and guarantee
> availability of all historic blocks.

In general, I support this, as anybody on IRC knows.

Though it does seem to open the question about snapshotting.

Personally, it seems important to enable running a fully validating
node, that may bootstrap from a UTXO snapshot + all blocks since that

NODE_BLOCKS_2016, in particular, is too short.  For users, I've seen
plenty of use cases in the field where you start a network sync after
a 2-week period.

Set a regular interval for creating a UTXO snapshot, say 3 months
(6*2016 blocks), and serve all blocks after that snapshot.  For older
nodes, they would contact an archive node or torrent for >3 month
blocks, and then download normally <= 3 month blocks (if the archive
node didn't serve up to present day).

Where are we on nailing down a stable, hash-able UTXO serialization?

Jeff Garzik
exMULTI, Inc.
jgarzik at exmulti.com

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