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Okay, my hard drive is a bit cramped, and the Blockchain for my Bitcoin client is completely sucking up my free space. I want to know how much room I need to be prepared to lose.

This isn't a duplicate of the other questions - those had answers that were highly impractical - I'm not sure if they dealt more with the theory of the blockchain or what, but the filesizes were way off.

For example, right now, says that the current blockchain size is 6073 MB, which is complete BS - the cumulative size of ~/.bitcoin/blocks/*.dat is 6970 MB, and it's not even done yet.

Basically, what I want is a realistic, down-to-earth estimate of how much hard disk space the blockchain is going to cost me. Not the theory, not the "data minus overhead", the actual cost of the .dat files.

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I can't offer a formula. I can only offer that it will continue to grow at a rate equal to or greater than its current rate, likely the latter. If hard drive space is a significant issue, consider using a lightweight client like Multibit or Electrum. –  Colin Dean Apr 1 '13 at 14:25
The latest version of Bitcoin-Qt also stores all unspent tx's so that could also contribute to the size? –  lurf jurv Apr 1 '13 at 20:46
You may already know this, but there are clients such as Electrum that do not require local storage of the blockchain. –  rdb Jan 21 '14 at 11:10

3 Answers 3

On my Mac, the blocks directory consumes 7.8 GB of physical space. The entire Application Support folder takes 8.0GB.

For those not familiar with Macs, the Application Support folder is somewhat like a hidden data folder. It is where applications keep their data other than the documents users actually work with. (Which are usually in the Documents directory.) It is where the Qt client keeps both the blockchain, address book, wallet, and other databases.

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Wow, right before I discovered that, I had been storing the blockchain on a symlinked 8GB SD card - 2.4% free space by the time it finished... Forunately, I managed to kick out some space on my HD... –  JamesTheAwesomeDude Apr 3 '13 at 3:33

The blockchain sizes of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Dogecoin, Peercoin and Namecoin are listed here at (scroll down to Blockchain Size)

As of today (2015-07-12) the sizes are (sorted by market capitalization):

Bitcoin             Litecoin          Dash              Dogecoin          Peercoin          Namecoin
44.73 GB            4.64 GB           1.01 GB           11.41 GB          0.4191 GB         2.64 GB
$4,477,078,707 USD  $209,054,841 USD  $23,217,866 USD   $20,686,200 USD   $15,897,328 USD   $9,888,883 USD

Note that Dogecoin, although very new, has a very big chain already, where Peercoin has by far the smallest.

Your question

On my hard disk the .bitcoin directory uses 45 GiB = 48 GB.

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wow.. its now at Blockchain Size - 55.04 GB –  Dinesh Rajan Oct 4 at 15:24

The Bitcoin mainnet blockchain + block reverse data is currently roughly 50GB after sync, and the vast majority of that data is in the last 100,000 blocks.

With the 8 mb block limit going into effect, and increasing transaction volume I wouldn't be surprised to see this double in the next 18 months.

If that is too much disk space for you to devote you can use an SPV client, or turn on block pruning in the latest official bitcoind release.

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