Why did Core move from BDB to LevelDB? Why don't they use SQLite or move to Redis now? Is there a technical reason for this choice?

  • The bdb->leveldb change was made to increase speed while validating blocks and during initial block download. Also, doesn't redis require that you load your entire dataset into memory? Pretty painful for a 60GB blockchain.
    – Nick ODell
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 23:43
  • but redis uses LZF light data compressor , this won't help to reduce the data volume in memory? and i thought leveldb was chosen because it supports high caching data. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 8:22
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    LevelDB also supports compression. We explicitly disable it in Bitcoin Core because it does not help (almost all the data in the database consists of uncompressible cryptographic material anyway: hashes, keys, signatures). Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 10:59
  • @Nick We wouldn't store the entire blockchain in the database anyway. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 11:05
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    Not even the blocks. Those are stored on disk, but not in a database. The only data of significance in the database is the UTXO set. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


Redis and LevelDB solve very different problems. We tried using SQLite and its performance was abysmal.

Bitcoin Core needs a database to store the set of unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs). This means we need fast simple reads, and fast batches of random updates.

We don't need a server/client architecture, as we can't have multiple applications accessing the database at once anyway: inconsistencies in the database would lead to forking risks (every node in the network needs to make exactly the same judgement about what is valid and invalid).

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    Has LMDB been considered? Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 0:49
  • @Pieter Wuille Do you consider that moving from BDB to LevelDB was a correct decision? Or LevelDB is causing major problems that didn't happened with BDB? (ex: file corruption, bugs ...)
    – Mark Messa
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 4:32

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