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The release notes for version 0.8 of the "Satoshi" client say

"Bloom filter" support in the network protocol for sending only relevant transactions to lightweight clients.

  1. Is this an optional feature or on by default? Does this mean that the client will no longer download the whole blockchain? What is a relevant transaction? Is it only transactions related to keys in my wallet?

  2. Does that mean that I can no longer keep the machine that downloads the blockchain separate from the machine that hosts my wallet (and that I keep offline, copying over the blockchain manually by USB). If so, is there an option to get the old behaviour?

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Please separate out these questions, as they are all good. At least put question 3 in a separate question. –  lemonginger Feb 21 '13 at 4:25
    
@lemonginger: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/7824/… –  Thilo Feb 21 '13 at 9:08
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1 Answer

up vote 12 down vote accepted

0.8 doesn't actually use the bloom filter feature, but it enables support for letting other nodes use it.

0.8 does download the entire chain.

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The blockchain index though doesn't include all transactions by default, so anyone wanting the ability to access transactions (i.e., "raw transactions") for addresses other than those in your own wallet need to reindex and include -txindex=1 to cause the full blockchain to be indexed, just like it was in v0.7 and earlier. –  Stephen Gornick Mar 7 '13 at 8:27
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