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I want to install a Pruned Bitcoin node with limited connections. I will be connecting to it with JSON-RPC to interface with my web application. What happens when I want to fetch information about an address that is not in my pruned blockchain on my node? Can someone explain this to me?

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The pruned node will always have the full set of UTXOs available. This includes all spendable transaction outputs, also the ones of addresses that you hadn't been watching previously. If you want to look up old transactions of a previously unwatched address, your node will not be able to provide the information if you have already pruned those blocks. You'd either have to redownload and resync the blockchain to look for them, store the full blockchain in the first place, or use a third party service to look up the information.

  • I was under the impression that if I was looking up a transaction that was not in my local blockchain, my node would fetch the transaction from another node and return it to me? – Nelson101 Mar 7 '17 at 22:47
  • @Nelson101: That's actually a good question. Clearly, if you are looking for a specific transaction it would work that way (you just request it by it's txid). However, when you try to look up all activity of an address, I don't think that full nodes would do this by default, but it could work of course. They wouldn't by default, because it tells the node they ask what addresses exactly one is interested in. Actually, that would be a good follow-up question. – Murch Mar 8 '17 at 6:15

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