Why is the Bitcoin Blockchain so big?

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There are a lot of intriguing statistics as far as Bitcoi is concerned. The blockchain recording all the information, for example, has grown in size by leaps and bounds. So much even that it currently surpasses 300GB, and will keep growing bigger over time.

The Bitcoin Blockchain is Chunky

It is only normal to see the Bitcoin blockchain grow in size as more time progresses. Every 10 minutes, a new block is created on the network, which is 1MB in size. This block includes network data related to transactions and mining rewards. With 6 blocks being generated every hour, it adds up to 144 per day.

As such, the blockchain grows by 144MB in size per day as well. 

On paper,that may not seem like much. After all, most videos one downloads from the internet are bigger in size than this daily 144 MB being added. However, it is equally crucial to keep in mind that Bitcoin has been around for over 11 years. Every day since its inception, 144MB of size has been added to Bitcoin’s blockchain. 

Source: Statista

Extrapolating those numbers to today, the Bitcoin blockchain has gone from being a few megabytes in size to over 300GB today. Storing all of this data is becoming a bit problematic for people who run a Bitcoin node on older hardware. At the same time, prices for internal and external storage continue to go down, so no real issues are expected in the near future. 

For as long as the Bitcoin network remains active, the blockchain will keep growing in size. This is not unique to Bitcoin either, as it applies to all cryptocurrency blockchain – and any other blockchain – on the planet today, or in the future. As data traverses the network, it has to be stored somewhere on the ledger. 

A Bigger Size is a Good Thing

One of the strengths of Bitcoin – and other cryptocurrencies – is how its transactions are irreversible. Once funds have been spent and the transaction is confirmed by the network, it cannot be taken back. The finality of transactions involving the transfer of wealth makes cryptocurrency a very unique breed in the financial industry. The size of Bitcoin’s blockchain also comes into play in this regard. 

At its core, Bitcoin’s technology links recorded transactions to one another in the form of a chain of blocks. As more blocks are added to the chain, it becomes all the more difficult to attempt and reverse previous transfers. As such, the longer and bigger the chain becomes, the more secure Bitcoin’s transaction history is. 

Other than for Bitcoin node owners, the actual size of the Bitcoin blockchain is not overly important. Users who interface with the network do not need to store all of this data on their device by any means. Most wallet services for BTC are “light” clients, to accommodate ease of use and convenience. 

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