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First, you can validate the utxo set for the most part using SPV proofs. Essentially, that would mean you need the 80-byte block headers from every block (currently 410,000 or so, which means a 32MB worth of headers) and every transaction in the utxo set can carry a merkle proof for the block that it was published in, which can help you validate the set. So ...


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In bitcoin we add unspent entries to the UTXO when created inside a block, and delete them when they are spent. Syncing “in reverse” would be a messy process that wouldn’t allow for the verification of authenticity of the blocks being imported until the sync was entirely complete, where going forwards we have complete confidence in blocks as they progress. ...


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