Ethereum blockchain’s weight is very close to surpassing that of Bitcoin

Ethereum blockchain's weight is very close to surpassing that of Bitcoin

Key facts:
  • The Ethereum blockchain currently weighs 318GB, very close to the Bitcoin mark.

  • Vitalik Buterin proposes to pass archive nodes to an external protocol, like that of TheGraph.

The Ethereum (ETH) blockchain is close to equal and, possibly, surpassing the weight of that of Bitcoin (BTC), which, although still the largest of the two, seems to be close to being outdated by the growth of the network created by Vitalik Buterin.

So suggests BitMEX Research, the analysis arm of the cryptocurrency exchange. As required, the Bitcoin blockchain is still the largest, with 378 GB on average. However, they say, “this is about to change.”

Ethereum will soon overtake Bitcoin with its rapid appreciation in the size of the blockchain. And to explain it better, they show a comparative graph:

Ethereum blockchain's weight is very close to surpassing that of Bitcoin
The Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains are close to coinciding / Source: BitMEX.

What the graph shows is the exponential and sustained growth that the blockchain of the first cryptocurrency in the world has had. market from 2009 to this year, and how Ethereum’s was heading in the same direction since the beginning of 2017.

In both cases, BitMEX Research makes the comparison taking into account the total size of the blockchains.

In the case of Bitcoin, that is the weight of software that should be downloaded to run a full node. In the case of Ethereum, it is the size of the blockchain that runs an archive node.

In both cases “they contain all the transaction data, which needs to be downloaded from the peers to fully synchronize and verify the chain.”

Running a full Bitcoin node is relatively straightforward. The blockchain is installed in a matter of hours and a home computer can be used for this.

But on Ethereum, running an archive node is a more complicated task. These nodes record all the transactions that have been executed on the network, including money transfers and smart contracts. The entire code for these contracts is also included. The download can take several days.

An example is that of the engineer Eric Wall, who took 25 days to download the blockchain from scratch, this in August 2019, CriptoNoticias reported.

For all these complexities, not everyone is willing to run an Ethereum archive node. Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin qualify as “big and scary.”

The fact that there are few of these nodes can be considered a point against the decentralization of Ethereum, compared to Bitcoin.

In any case, it is not something limitingSince in Ethereum there is also what is called a “typical full node”. This (which is the most used node type) records only the transactions already verified at the moment and not the previous ones.

Ethereum “has become a beast”

It is true that the performance of transactions in Ethereum is higher than in Bitcoin, which is why this network “has become a beast lately, with a high demand for activities related to DeFi and NFT,” suggests BitMEX.

Precisely and given the tediousness of having to download the complete blockchain from the genesis block, Vitalik Buterin raises the possibility of using external protocols to access the oldest history of the network.

According to Indian recently on Reddit, the intention is that instead of all archive nodes having to download and serve the entire chain from source (which implies increasing technical complexity), the Ethereum protocol It would only be in charge of delivering the historical blocks of at least one year, where transactions and receipts or records stand out.

“This can reduce code complexity and storage requirements for nodes, paving the way for further decentralization,” he explained.

Thus, older blocks, transactions, and records would still be accessible through dedicated sub-protocols or externally developed protocols.

If applied, it would ease a burden and could effectively increase the decentralization of Ethereum.

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