[Bitcoin-development] Proposed additional options for pruned nodes

Jeff Garzik jgarzik at bitpay.com
Tue May 12 20:10:56 UTC 2015

True.  Part of the issue rests on the block sync horizon/cliff.  There is a
value X which is the average number of blocks the 90th percentile of nodes
need in order to sync.  It is sufficient for the [semi-]pruned nodes to
keep X blocks, after which nodes must fall back to archive nodes for older

There is simply far, far more demand for recent blocks, and the demand for
old blocks very rapidly falls off.

There was even a more radical suggestion years ago - refuse to sync if too
old (>2 weeks?), and force the user to download ancient data via torrent.

On Tue, May 12, 2015 at 1:02 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, May 12, 2015 at 7:38 PM, Jeff Garzik <jgarzik at bitpay.com> wrote:
> > One general problem is that security is weakened when an attacker can
> DoS a
> > small part of the chain by DoS'ing a small number of nodes - yet the
> impact
> > is a network-wide DoS because nobody can complete a sync.
> It might be more interesting to think of that attack as a bandwidth
> exhaustion DOS attack on the archive nodes... if you can't get a copy
> without them, thats where you'll go.
> So the question arises: does the option make some nodes that would
> have been archive not be? Probably some-- but would it do so much that
> it would offset the gain of additional copies of the data when those
> attacks are not going no. I suspect not.
> It's also useful to give people incremental ways to participate even
> when they can't swollow the whole pill; or choose to provide the
> resource thats cheap for them to provide.  In particular, if there is
> only two kinds of full nodes-- archive and pruned; then the archive
> nodes take both a huge disk and bandwidth cost; where as if there are
> fractional then archives take low(er) bandwidth unless the fractionals
> get DOS attacked.

Jeff Garzik
Bitcoin core developer and open source evangelist
BitPay, Inc.      https://bitpay.com/
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