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I'm trying Bitcoin for the first time, so I'm about 7 years behind. As far as I understand every bitcoin user has a copy of the entire transaction record that has happened for all time for all accounts. So, when I initially install Bitcoin Core which I am going to use for my wallet, it has to synchronize with a history that is already 7 years old.

This seems to take a lot of time and as far as I know will only get worse as

  1. the number of users increases and
  2. time since the first transaction increases.

Are there any methods to mitigate this?

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No, this is a fundamental concept in Bitcoin. You must download and verify the entire history of the network in order to be sure that it is valid and untampered with. If your situation doesn't allow this it is possible to use SPV wallets which only do weak validation, sacrificing security and privacy for sync speed. Electrum and Multibit are examples of SPV wallets.

  • could you elaborate more on downloading/verification processes? downloading time should be possible to reduce by using bootstrap.dat. What are the proportions of the time spent on download and verification then? – jangorecki Aug 3 '15 at 13:38

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