Bitcoin’s Distributed Ledger Approaches Half a Terabyte

  • BTC price at time of writing – $19,141.87
  • Almost 14 years ago, blockchain was less than a kilobyte
  • The BTC chain is approximately 432,176,009 kb in size

On January 3, 2009, well over a decade ago, the Bitcoin blockchain was 0.285 kilobytes (KB) in size, or about 285 bytes. However, the blockchain ledger currently occupies just over 432 gigabytes, or nearly half a terabyte.

The Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain is getting close to reaching 500 gigabytes, or about half a terabyte, on October 15, 2022. This is needed to store the entire distributed ledger history on a drive.

At the time of writing, it takes over 432 gigabytes (GB) of space to store the entire BTC blockchain. On January 3, 2009, almost 14 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto launched the blockchain with a size of less than one kilobyte, or about 285 bytes.

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The Bitcoin Blockchain Approaches 500 Gigabytes in Size

Bitcoin’s distributed ledger only reached 1 MB in size on February 16, 2009, and on February 13, 2012, the blockchain was around 1,000,000 kB or 1 GB in size.

The BTC chain weighed around 432,176,009 KB on Saturday, while it was 432 GB today. To store the entire blockchain network, miners and full nodes require more than 432 GB of storage space to manage the chain.

According to current metrics, there are 14,299 full nodes accessible at the time of writing. This indicates that thousands of nodes host a complete copy of the blockchain network. Thin clients are wallets that do not run a full node and use a simplified payment verification (SPV) scheme.

SPV clients sync with nearby Bitcoin full nodes that validate rather than hosting a full node. Fullnodes are used by fullnode operators, miners, and institutions such as exchanges, payment companies, and custodians, while SPV wallets make up the majority of wallets in the crypto community today.

Storing BTC and other distributed ledgers requires a significant amount of disk space.

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network is 186 gigabytes, the Bitcoinsv (BSV) network is over 7 terabytes (TB), and the Dash (DASH) network is around 27 gigabytes. Ethereum (ETH) is only five gigabytes from 0.5TB to 495GB.

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How many bitcoins are there?

Bitcoin’s software restricts the total supply, which will never exceed 21,000,000 coins. Mining is the process by which new coins are made: miners take transactions as they are relayed across the network and package them into blocks, which are protected by complex cryptographic calculations.

For each block successfully added to the blockchain, miners receive rewards as payment for using their compute resources.

The reward for each block at the time of Bitcoin’s launch was fifty bitcoins: for every 210,000 new blocks mined, which takes the network about four years, that number is halved.

The block reward has been halved three times by 2020 to 6.25 bitcoins.

Bitcoin was not created, which means that no coins were mined or distributed to its founders before its public release.

However, early participants in the network were able to mine a significant amount of coins on a regular basis because there was little competition among miners in the early years of BTC’s existence: Satoshi Nakamoto alone is believed to own more than a million Bitcoin.

Nancy J. Allen

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Bitcoin’s Distributed Ledger Approaches Half a Terabyte

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