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Basic Blockchain Questions  RSS feed

 
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I've been reading up on Blockchain and have a vague understanding of how it works but would appreciate any help with a couple of questions.  I searched the forum here for previous discussions on this and found a few links to posts relating to books on the subject.  Hopefully you don't mind that I've decided to start a new thread and post my questions here instead.

I get the fact that the Blockchain is a distributed ledger with no centralised database and that every user can see the details of every transaction placed on the chain.  

a) But if every node contains details of every transaction isn't that an enormous duplication of data?  
b) Does every node have a record of every single transaction?
c) If so, doesn't that mean that the more transactions that are placed the less memory there is on each node?
d) Isn't there then a risk that eventually the every node will simply run out of space to store ledger information?
 
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Search for Humble Bundle; they are selling books about digital currencies very cheaply just at the moment.

Memory restrictions are unlikely nowadays; memory has become very cheap in the last few years.
 
Simon Ritchie
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Thanks, I'll check that out.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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That's a pleasure This might be a helpful link.
 
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Simon Ritchie wrote:a) But if every node contains details of every transaction isn't that an enormous duplication of data?


But that is what distributed network means. Same as git. Everybody has full history of code. Look answer in b.

Simon Ritchie wrote:b) Does every node have a record of every single transaction?


Not every. Only the full ones. As of now is around 130 GB of data. Lightweight nodes they need to maintain as much blocks of transactions as much they need to validate transactions fairly safely.

Simon Ritchie wrote:c) If so, doesn't that mean that the more transactions that are placed the less memory there is on each node?


Sounds logical.

Simon Ritchie wrote:d) Isn't there then a risk that eventually the every node will simply run out of space to store ledger information?


There is such theoretical risk, but hardly possible in practice. In case one node goes either offline or can't run node because of some issues for some time, he'd simply would go out of the game after the certain amount of time being inactive.

You can also go to bitcoin site developers guide, so you could find lots of useful information how things work.

What I can tell from my side - it is very interesting technology, and I'm working on few assignments to implement the structure myself. Very interesting.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Liutauras Vilda wrote:. . . . As of now is around 130 GB of data. . . .

I carry more than that around on my laptop every day.
 
Liutauras Vilda
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Liutauras Vilda wrote:. . . . As of now is around 130 GB of data. . . .

I carry more than that around on my laptop every day.


You are right, for those full nodes it shouldn't be a big deal to buy couple of HDD's for 100 $ which result in total to 4 TB. Which is for another 5 years of transactions.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Liutauras Vilda wrote:. . . . Which is for another 5 years of transactions.

Famous last words. Those 4TB will fill up in twelve months because of increasing traffic, by which time the price of buying 20TB will have come down and they will have to spend another $200 on new hard drives.
 
Simon Ritchie
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That's kind of what I'm confused by too.  In work we have a database that handles thousands of transactions per day and the growth in database size on a day-to-day basis isn't massive but it's large enough that the server needs its memory increased every couple of years.  I'm confused by the idea of having all of these nodes - which are effectively just personal computers - lying around with each one carrying gigabytes of historic data that grows daily every time someone places another block on the chain.  I'm sure I'm missing something but it just doesn't appear stable, for one thing.
 
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