The size of Bitcoin’s entire network—which full nodes got to synchronize—has reached a technical milestone.
The magnitude of the complete Bitcoin blockchain exceeded 300 gigabytes of knowledge on September 19, consistent with Blockchain.com.
This is the dimensions of the finished Bitcoin transaction history for the past 10 years.
It’s also the quantity of data full mining nodes got to download and keep it up their hard drives after synchronizing with Bitcoin’s network.
While this amount of data might seem significant, a terabyte hard drive would cover it—and continue to do so for another decade or two. In contrast, an archival node on the Ethereum blockchain is already over five terabytes in size—and increasing at record speeds with growing block sizes—although a pruned node comes in at just 165 GB.
But the Bitcoin blockchain has been advancing at a faster rate over the previous couple of years—as against its youth. This is due to an increase in the number of transactions being made daily and introducing scaling solution SegWit, which doubled block sizes to two megabytes.
In the first four years of its life, the Bitcoin blockchain just reached 20 GB. It was only in 2016, when it reached 54 GB, that its growth started accelerating—likely thanks to more people using the network. Now it grows at about 58 GB a year.
While the size of Bitcoin’s blockchain doesn’t affect the network’s speed today—after all, full nodes need to download the whole thing only once during synchronization—some parts of it still can be optimized.
One small aspect of Bitcoin’s bloat is unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs)—these are created when some Bitcoin is transmitted and therefore the remainder of the wallet is transferred back to the wallet as “unspent.” While they only take up four gigabytes of space now, they might become a scalability bottleneck within the future, consistent with Utreexo developer Calvin Kim.
And that’s what Utreexo is trying to solve. Utreexo compresses these proofs to under one kilobyte and provides a long-term scalability solution as their size grows.
“Utreexo may be a hash-based accumulator, which allows unspent outputs to be compressed into a smaller proportion.
There is no loss of security; instead, the burden of keeping track of funds is shifted to the owner of these funds,” the article explains.
This project has already received some backing. Crypto exchange BitMEX’s parent company, the 100x Group, has awarded a one-year grant of $40,000 to Utreexo. But getting Bitcoin to vary may be a slow and laborious process so it'd be a short time before it’s implemented. But as Bitcoin grows, there’s much time for adaptation.