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the blockchain is about 20GB today, but i was wondering how much space does it take up each day if i were to leave bitcoinqt on regularly? also by hour? reason why im asking is im thinking about just putting the blockchain in my cloud drive (bitcasa.com) as my laptop has only so much space. if its not too much space that means it wont be a bandwidth hog when its uploading it to cloud drive after it downloads it.

  • Leaving your Bitcoin-qt software open doesn't make it magically start taking up space. It a network-wide growth. – John T Feb 10 '14 at 7:55
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The blockchain size growth is kind of approximately linear at this time (although I wouldn't expect it to continue linearly). See the nice graph at https://blockchain.info/charts/blocks-size and particularly check the "All Time" scale option.

Over the past year, the blockchain size has grown by approximately 10 GB. On average, that would be around 27 MB per day, or 1.1 MB per hour.

  • You didn't take under consideration the growth of a single block, therefore your calculations are wrong. – Maciej Mączko Apr 11 '14 at 18:38
  • @MaciejMączko: I don't quite understand what you mean. After a block is created, it does not grow any further. My estimates are based on the total size, which certainly includes the size of each block. – Greg Hewgill Apr 12 '14 at 4:29
  • @GregHewgill : Once the block has been created, it cannot be resized - true. However, max block size has been changed in bitcoind 0.8. Previously, it was 300kB (citation needed), now it is 1024kB. Therefore, blockchain can grow by 6 MB per hour, not by 1.1 as you have stated. – Maciej Mączko Apr 12 '14 at 13:04
  • @MaciejMączko: I was not calculating the maximum blockchain growth rate, only the average observed growth rate over the past year. The maximum blockchain growth rate would have been about 1.8 MB per hour at 300 kB per block, or up to 6 MB per hour at 1024 kB per block. – Greg Hewgill Apr 12 '14 at 18:45
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The others didn't notice, that the maximum block size is 1 MB now, so teoretically the bitcoin blockchain can grow by 6 MB per hour which makes 144 MB per day, which makes 52.5 GB per year!

This is, hovewer, highly unlikely. There are two reasons:

  1. People do not use full block. This is just not needed at the time being.
  2. Some miners prefer smaller blocks (because they are slighty easier to crack). Some pools, like Ghash.io do not even produce blocks > 300 kb.
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Bitcoin-qt maintains a copy of the blockchain, which should be local for performance and trust reasons. It's not designed to have its copy of the blockchain stored on a remote server.

If the storage requirement is excessive for you, the solution is to use a lightweight client that does not require a copy of the blockchain, such as Electrum or Multibit.

  • heh, interesting, the simple it/its typo made it incomprehensible to me; it did make sense if read with 'its' but my brain didn't see that. I like your new verion better tho, thanks. – dchapes Apr 11 '14 at 18:44
  • This is just plain wrong. There is nothing wrong with storing blockchain the cloud, however, storing unsecured private keys in the cloud is. You can always sign transactions at localhost and use clouded bitcoind to broadcast it. – Maciej Mączko Apr 11 '14 at 18:53
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    @MaciejMączko: I'm afraid you're mistaken. Signing transactions is easy enough as you said, the tricky part is verifying that you've received payment. Running a local full node gives you the best surety, an SPV client is worse, and a hybrid client (a la blockchain.info) is worse. In any case, what the OP asked about is running bitcoin-qt locally (not using a hybrid wallet). As I said it's not designed to work with a blockchain copy on a remote server. – Meni Rosenfeld Apr 13 '14 at 12:37
  • @MeniRosenfeld: You are right. – Maciej Mączko Apr 13 '14 at 15:04

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