I found some statistics that the bitcoin blockchain is 285gb. https://www.statista.com/statistics/647523/worldwide-bitcoin-blockchain-size/

Bitcoin has been around for how long? 10 years? with 1mb blocks every 10 mins.

6mb an hour * 24 = 144mb a day * 365 = 52,5 gb a year * 10 = 520gb

How come it's significantly smaller?

Are my calculations wrong?

1 Answer 1


Any factor limiting the size of a block is a maximum, there’s no minimum requirement.

  • 1
    Ah I see, so in the beginning years blocks weren't full with transactions and were less than 1mb? Because nowadays I don't think any blocks aren't full as there are so many pending transactions in the mempool all the time right?
    – Ivelin
    Aug 8, 2020 at 0:34
  • 2
    These days almost all blocks are full, but full means 4000000 weight units (as not every byte is counted equally since segwit). Typical full blocks are between 1.2 and 1.5 MB in size on disk. Aug 8, 2020 at 1:14
  • 1
    There is a minimum size though. The block should have at least 1 transaction (coinbase) which itself has a minimum size (2 byte signature script, at least 1 output). Aug 8, 2020 at 4:00
  • 2
    @CodingEnthusiast Good point. I believe the minimum is 145 bytes (80 bytes header, 1 byte tx count, 1 coinbase transaction consisting of 4 bytes version, 1 byte txin count, 36 bytes prevout, 1 byte scriptsig length, 4 byte scriptsig (conforming to BIP34), 4 byte nsequence, 1 byte txout count, 8 bytes amount, 1 byte scriptpubkey length, 0 bytes scriptpubkey, 4 bytes nlocktime). Aug 8, 2020 at 7:07

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