I set up my first bitcoin node and I'm a little confused with it.

So, I am trying to setup a pruned node - which from my understanding is very useful if you just need your application to verify transaction/read blocks/lookup TXIDs.

I added:


to my bitcoin.conf, and started up daemon again.

However, I am now confused. I ran bitcoin-cli getinfo and got this: enter image description here

It seems like it is still downloading the entire blockchain, and its downloading oldest blocks to newest.

Did I do something wrong? Isn't the point of pruning just to download recent blocks to verify transactions? Please someone fill me in...

2 Answers 2


Pruning just means it doesn't store the blocks forever, but it still must download them all at least once to verify the chain and track the unspent outputs which form the UTXO set. Once the blocks are downloaded and verified then they can be automatically deleted

  • How does it verify old transactions though if it deletes old blocks?
    – 2523454
    Feb 4, 2018 at 20:36
  • 2
    It verifies them and then deletes them Feb 4, 2018 at 20:37

In pruning mode, you still have to download and verify the entire blockchain (so you still get the security of having done that). However, as it downloads new blocks, it deletes old ones, so that you never have to store more than 550 MB.

It saves storage space, but not bandwidth or CPU.

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