What is the normal synchronzing time for your wallet when you first start? I am using 4G on a wireless and it seems to be taking forever to count down the number of blocks left until it is properly synchronized.

  • 1
    I left my pc running for last 48 hours and it is now stuck at around 60% and I can see only increasing number of blocks and not decreasing. Have connection 500kB/s up/down. Really confusing.
    – user12578
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 23:03

6 Answers 6


There are two factors to the time to catch up with the network:

  • The sheer size of the blockchain
  • The time to verify the blocks

As Tom mentioned the blockchain is currently about 7GB in size, so no matter what it'll take some time to download it. On the other side you have to verify each block, hence each transaction in the block, which requires random access to the blockchain downloaded so far. Depending on your setup the bandwidth may not be the main issue. Random lookups on spinning disks are not the fastest thing to do, and using an SSD might actually result in a speedup of the synchronization.

So don't worry if your bandwidth is not fully utilized, it just might be that the disk is the bottleneck (especially for later block >180'000 with lots of transactions in them).

  • 2
    This seems like a problem! Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 1:46

It downloads roughly 7GB of data, so it will take a very long time via mobile internet. For desktop computers via normal internet it usually takes roughly a day.


Hours! As long as more than a day.

And, and as Bitcoin use increases this will take more time.


Alternatives to downloading the whole blockchain:

Electrum (https://electrum.org/) is a client/wallet that does not download the whole blockchain. I think Multibit is another.

You can also get most of the blockchain via DVD. Here's one place that offers the DVD: http://startbitcoin.com/blockchain-on-dvd/


You can use adsl to sync your client, and use the 4G connection later.

Or get the ~/.bitcoin/ folder from a sync client.

  • Do you mean ~/.bitcoin/ ? Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 5:08

Interestingly there is a torrent to download a file called "bootstrap.dat", but: "As of Bitcoin Core version 0.10.0 or later, this torrent is slower than a direct download using the bitcoin P2P protocol & client."


  • In regard to the question "How long does first synchronization take?", I don't find this answer useful. Also, as you did mention, the bootstrap.dat is outdated.
    – Murch
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 10:11
  • I created the answer as information for people like me, who were searching for the torrent, because in the past it was the fastest way to get the blockchain. I thought it might be handy for some people.
    – kristianp
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 0:19

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