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I would like to start using bitcoin more for day-to-day transactions. However, it takes way too long to keep my wallet up to date to be practical. I am using Bitcoin Armory, though I have had this problem with every bitcoin wallet software I have tried so far.

I don't have a super powerful machine, 64 bit OS, 8 core CPU @ 1.6 GHz each, 6GB RAM, Radeon 6570m GPU, no SSD. My laptop becomes noticeably slower and almost unusable when the bitcoin software is running. Thus I have to turn it off when I need to use my computer. But if I leave it off for 12 hours, it takes on the order of 12 hours to resync.

I feel like I MUST be doing something wrong. Does everyone using bitcoin really have a 24/7 dedicated box (possibly in the cloud) to keep their wallet up to date? This isn't practical for me at all, especially since it takes longer and longer to sync each time as the number of transactions per day increases.

Note: for security reasons I am not willing to use an online service that holds my wallet.

How can I make using bitcoin more practical? I have heard about using clients that don't download / maintain the full blockchain, but doesn't this defeat the purpose of being able to verify the transaction ledger myself?

  • This doesn't seem normal. On my laptop (less powerful than yours, though it does have an SSD) using Bitcoin-QT under Linux, after being off for a day, it takes maybe a minute or two to resync. – Nate Eldredge May 27 '14 at 17:38
  • No, it shouldn't be taking that long. What is your Internet up/down speeds? – Tim S. May 27 '14 at 17:40
  • @TimS.: If Internet bandwidth was the limiting factor, the OP would have to have speed of roughly 1K/sec. – Nate Eldredge May 27 '14 at 17:42
  • speakeasy.net/speedtest tells me i'm 64 Mbps down 84 Mbps up. – nullUser May 27 '14 at 17:42
  • It's also strange that it makes your machine unusably slow; the wallet will use all CPU while verifying new blocks, but that should only be a couple minutes of CPU time total, and a sane multitasking OS should keep other processes running reasonably. So I'm inclined to suspect something else is broken with your software or hardware. Do any other applications seem unusually slow? – Nate Eldredge May 27 '14 at 17:45
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Try Multibit. It's a light-weight client.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

  • Perhaps you could add a little about why a light-weight client is a solution to the problem of the asker. – Murch Sep 4 '14 at 14:20

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