Blockchain Size Questions

Hi, I am simply a Bitcoin guy who is trying to get to the bottom of differences between BTC and BCH (and it takes a lot of digging and questions to get there, even with the internet and nimble fingers). Currently listening to “The Blocksize War” actually πŸ€“.

With the BCH block size limit at 32MB and BTC’s at 1MB, I expected there to be large (and exponentially growing) differences in the blockchain sizes between the two. It seems that’s not the case?? Can someone help me understand, please:

1. What is the current size of BCH blockchain
2. If it is indeed the ~200GB stated by, how could that be true that it is half the size of the BTC blockchain when the blocks are 32x the size?
3. What are the technical reasons for any answers to 2. above?


What do you think?

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  1. BCH blocks are not 32x larger than BTC blocks. Rather, BCH blocks have a “soft” block-size limit that is 32x larger than the BTC hard limit. It’s a soft-limit because it’s a configuration option that miners can change themselves (as opposed to a limit at the protocol level) and 32MB is just the default value.

    Anyway, for the purposes of napkin math, BCH blocks have roughly 1/3 as many transactions in them as BTC blocks, so they are roughly 1/3 the size.

  2. Thanah85 gave the basic answer to your question: BCH blocks *can be* up to 32MB currently, but in practice they are generally much smaller.

    However, I think the underlying question may be “would large BCH blocks make it prohibitively expensive to run a full node and validate the chain?”

    The answer is no. There is a lot of research and development being done to make sure that the BCH node software is extremely efficient at delivering tx data around the network and processing it rapidly.

    Pruning the blockchain as you go allows you to validate all transactions without *archiving* them for all eternity. I currently have a pruned BCH node running which only takes 5.6GB of disk space (and that number does not grow, because it keeps pruning older blocks as newer ones come in, only keeping the last few days of chain history stored at any given time).

    Even if the blocks were 100x larger, this node would only need 560GB of disk. An SSD that size may not be within the budget of every third-world smartphone user. But it is certainly within the budget of just about any hobbyist who has the expertise to handle configuring and running a node.

  3. 1. BCH blockchain is ~199.74 GB. BTC blockchain is ~411.30 GB.
    2. Because the block size only dictates the upper limit for a block, not the actual size of the block. A block with, say, one normal transaction would be quite small. BCH has, historically, had fewer TXs than BTC, so its blockchain is smaller.


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