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Why is my Bitcoin wallet always out of sync?

What can cause this?

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Desktop or Android? –  Felipe Micaroni Lalli Nov 14 '12 at 22:58

2 Answers 2

New blocks are continuously being created (about once every 10 minutes).

So if you don't leave your client continuously connected, then when you do connect it will be out of sync and need to download and verify new blocks.

There are SPV (Simplified Payment Verification) clients (e.g., MultiBit and Bitcoin Wallet for Android), client-server clients (e.g., Electrum), and hosted (shared) EWallet web services (e.g., CoinBase, Paytunia, and others) -- each of which either lessen or eliminate the need to sync.

One method that brings the convenience of an EWallet but keeps the private keys local and not stored with the provider is Blockchain.info/wallet.

That might be a better client if keeping your client connected continuously is a problem for you.

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Bitcoin clients with the exception of SPV clients like Multibit need to download the entire blockchain history before consolidating the wallet. Currently the blockchain size is around 22 Gb and increasing. The time it takes for your client to sync will depend on your internet connection. Also if you do not keep your client connected, the next time you connect it will have to download all the blocks that were created in the meantime.

SPV clients like Multibit do not download the entire blockchain history. They only fetch the relevant blocks that contain your transactions. Hence they do not take time to sync with the blockchain.

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