[bitcoin-dev] Small Nodes: A Better Alternative to Pruned Nodes

Leandro Coutinho lescoutinhovr at gmail.com
Fri Apr 21 15:58:43 UTC 2017

Maybe it already exists ...

#9484 <https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/9484> 812714f
<https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/commit/812714f> Introduce assumevalid
setting to skip validation presumed valid scripts (gmaxwell)

..., but ...
It would be very interesting if a new node could decide to be a pruned node:
  - it would need to trust one or more peers for the initial blockchain
download, because the blocks downloaded would not be validated
  - it would decide a time from when to get the blocks, like a week before
  - once a day a routine would run that would prune blocks older than the
chosen time


*The unspent transaction outputs (which is the only essential piece ofdata
necessary for validation) are already kept in a separate database,so
technically removing old blocks is perfectly possible.*" Pieter Wuille

On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 10:35 AM, David Kaufman via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> Hi Danny,
> On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 3:11 AM, Danny Thorpe wrote:
> >
> > 1TB HDD is now available for under $40 USD.  How is the 100GB storage
> > requirement preventing anyone from setting up full nodes?
> Yeah, but that's because most people (well, using myself as the
> "target market" anyway) are upgrading to SSD's for the faster boot and
> response times.  Modern consumer OS's run incredibly slow on
> non-ssd drives!  And since the vast majority of consumer laptops sold
> today fall into the $400 to $700 range, a 200 - 500gb SSD is about the
> most storage upgrade people can afford.
> And so I think David's premise, that having to devote only 30GB to
> running a full node instead of 100, would remove a major obstacle that
> prevents many more people running full bitcoin nodes.
> My only suggestion is, does it scale?  I mean, if the bitcoin network
> volume grows exponentially and in 2 years the blockchain is 500GB, can
> the "small node" be adjusted down from one fifth of the blockchain to
> just one-tenth, or one twentieth?  Can different smalInesses
> interoperate? Can I choose to store a small node with 20 - 30% of the
> blockchain, while others chose to share just 5% or 10% of it? Can I run
> "less small" node today that's 50GB?
> Can the default install be a "small node" that requires about 30GB of
> storage (if that is indeed the sweet spot for enticing many more users to
> bringing nodes online), but allow the user at install time, to choose *how*
> small? To, say, drag a slider anywhere up and down the range from
> 10GB to 100GB?
> If not, then it will have to be revisited constantly as the blockchain
> grows, and disk storage prices drop.  I suspect the blockchain will
> grow in size, at some point in the not too distant future, much faster
> than storage prices drop, so making small, smaller and smallest nodes
> that can be configured to store more or less of it will be necessary
> to motivate most users to run nodes at all.  But when that happens,
> there is likely to be exponentially *more* people using bitcoin, too!
> So an exponentially growing number of users running (smaller and
> smaller) nodes would take up the slack.
> Then, the blockchain would begin to look a lot more like a bittorrent,
> right? ;-) but -- happily -- one that you never need to download fully.
> -dave
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