Do you need to download the entire blockchain in order to mine bitcoins? I'm downloading bitcoin-qt, and I'm afraid it will take up too much memory on my computer. Also, I just read that when another node downloads the blockchain from me, that will also tie speeds. Is this true?

  • 3
    If you're thinking about mining with a regular computer, rethink. It's not going to be worth it.
    – Lodewijk
    Oct 31, 2014 at 1:04

2 Answers 2


If you are solo mining, then you need the entire blockchain since each block you mine references the hash code of the last block in the chain. If you don't have the last block yet, then the network will reject your mined blocks since there will already be later blocks in the blockchain.

If you are mining in a pool, then you don't need the blockchain or bitcoin-qt. Just point your miner at the pool and start mining.

  • is this true for ethereum also?
    – delueg
    Jun 17, 2017 at 23:39
  • 3
    This answer is wrong or at least highly misleading. You don't need the "entire blockchain" to mine but only the latest block
    – tobi
    Apr 23, 2018 at 17:11
  • So how you'd acquire the latest block @tobi?! With relying-on/trusting third-parties?! You have to verify blockchain on your own & thus you should have the entire blockchain or have to participate in a pool.
    – behkod
    Jan 27, 2019 at 10:53
  • @BehradKhodayar there are many ways and I admin that some are not implemented in bitcoin core atm. One good solutions would be UTXO commitments or some other form of checkpoints embedded in the implementation. There's not more trust than you have to trust that the node software you download is correct anyway. Also what is possible already today is to just set prune=XXXX so yes you'll start at genesis but always delete after n blocks. OP was implying that he's concerned regarding all the memory the blockchain takes. With pruning you'll never store the whole blockchain at once.
    – tobi
    Jan 28, 2019 at 12:08
  • I would add to my first comment that you need the latest block + the UTXO set
    – tobi
    Jan 28, 2019 at 12:10

If you mine in a pool, the pool will send you whatever work you are mining on, i.e. you don't need to download the blockchain.

If you are solo-mining you will need the blockchain.

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