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I've been doing some research into Bitcoin and the blockchain in general, and I've come upon a question that I can't find much of an answer to.

With my current understanding of the blockchain, I wonder if it would possible to create a "summary" block, and start the chain over? reducing its size while still maintaining continuity.

  1. The summary would have the hash of the last block in the old chain.
  2. For length calculation, it would be considered an extension of the old chain, and therefore its length calculated by adding its length to that of the old chain.
  3. I'm thinking that it would need to contain a summary of all accounts at the time of the summarization; essentially it would be the net of the old chain.

I found this question from five years ago, which helped a little bit.

This article states that the current size of the blockchain is over 100GB, and thats from 6 months back.

I'm just trying to learn, and this question has been bugging me for a little while. Is something like this possible?

  • To explore this idea, you might want to estimate how big the "summary of all accounts" data might be. – Greg Hewgill Sep 6 '17 at 3:13
  • Just using some estimation, according to this there are approximately 20,000,000 wallets with positive balance. A balance and address can be stored with 288 bytes [35 characters + 8 byte balance (assuming a double, could be larger)], lets be conservative and round that to 300 bytes if we include other information or need more decimal precision. That leads to 20,000,000 * 300 = 6GB, which is large, but a significant reduction. – Adam Schiavone Sep 6 '17 at 4:47
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it is not possible, because there is no consensus rule who, how and when should do it and how sould others accept "new genesis" block

  • It seems to me like that could be orchestrated. Just like BTC halves every 210000 blocks, its an agreed upon event. Once the "new genesis" block as you called it is made, its just like everything else in that if you see the same block coming from a majority of the community, its probably safe to trust. – Adam Schiavone Sep 6 '17 at 5:35
  • how shall new clients verify the blockchain is they have only genesis by satoshi? of course, hard-fork/alt-coin is possible, but it will be not a Bitcoin – amaclin Sep 6 '17 at 7:52

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