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The Unhashed Podcast: “85 TB is Fine!”

The Unhashed Podcast: “85 TB is Fine!”



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  1. At least they said “I hope I’m not taking him out of context” before taking him out of context.

    Vitalik is referring to the required storage size for an **archival** node. This is in contrast to a full node, which requires 400GB – 700GB (depending on implementation) to store the blockchain in its entirety.

    A full node contains the entire history of blocks, and the current state, and has all the validation/secure-the-network properties of a bitcoin full node.

    An archival node contains the entire history of blocks, the current state, **and** the state at every single block since the beginning of the chain.

    The purpose of the archival node is to be able to answer questions about past state (what was the balance of account xyz 400,000 blocks ago?) in constant time, instead of requiring computational complexity linear with the number of blocks. Bitcoin’s lookups like this are calculated on the fly, which is quick because there’s no VM code being run, just scanning all of the UTXO (as far I know, I’m sure Core is more optimized than that).

    Another important note is that an archival node can be built from a full node without any outside information. You can unplug your full node from the network and it would be capable of turning into an archival node provided enough storage space. It’s just going through and calculating the state at each intermediate step.

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