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Every time the Bitcoin-Qt is launched, the blockchain syncs to update to its latest state. Does this mean the data stored locally will always grow continously, eating up all available space eventually? Or is there a size-limit so that only the latest info is kept? How does it work?

At the time of writing, my folder is 5.82GB; let's see if this changes..

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1 Answer 1

The Bitcoin.org client v0.7 and lower will continuously increase in size about once every ten minutes, on average.

Blockchain.info provides a chart showing the size of the data (actual disk consumption will be slightly larger even.)

The Bitcoin.org client v0.8, being developed now, dramatically changes how it stores and accesses data that will reduce the amount of disk storage space to some degree but also will provide a dramatic increase in performance.

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Where can I learn about the benefits and design of the new storage system? Also the configuration (indexes, etc)? –  makerofthings7 Dec 19 '12 at 1:54
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Good to know it's being worked on, but assuming it survives until the year all 21m are mined; this will not stop the blockchain's size growth since transactions depend on the creation of new blocks, right? Storage space will always be limited (despite its getting cheaper) so how is this sustainable when its a snowball getting bigger & bigger? –  Deniz Dec 19 '12 at 2:02
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From en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Scalability : "It is not required for most fully validating nodes to store the entire chain. ... "pruning", a way to delete unnecessary data about transactions that are fully spent. This reduces the amount of data that is needed for a fully validating node to be only the size of the current unspent output size, plus some additional data... As of October 2012 (block 203258) there have been 7,979,231 transactions, however the size of the unspent output set is less than 100MiB, which is small enough to easily fit in RAM for even quite old computers." –  Highly Irregular Dec 19 '12 at 2:38
    
@Deniz, does that help? –  Highly Irregular Dec 19 '12 at 2:39
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It's also a little disingenuous to use terms like "eating up all available space." That would be a real possibility if hard disks never got bigger or if the growth of the block chain was outpacing the growth rate of hard disk media, but to my knowledge neither of these factors is true. –  David Perry Dec 19 '12 at 5:48

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