In this episode of Bitcoin,
Explained, hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discuss
research done by CasaHODL co-founder and CTO Jameson Lopp as well
as Sjors himself on syncing old Bitcoin nodes.
Whenever a new Bitcoin node comes online, it must
first sync with the rest of the Bitcoin network: it needs to
download and verify the entire blockchain up until the most recent
block in order to be up to date on the state of bitcoin ownership.
This can take quite a while, however, and should take longer over
time as the blockchain keeps growing. To offset this, and to
improve user experience more generally, Bitcoin Core developers
seek to improve performance of the Bitcoin Core code so that newer
releases sync faster than their predecessors.
In the episode, Aaron and Sjors outline the performance
improvements of Bitcoin Core clients over time, as analyzed most
recently in two blog posts by Lopp. They first explain why some
very old Bitcoin clients have trouble syncing to the current state
of the blockchain at all, pointing out some bugs in this early
software, as well as issues relating to dependencies and the
challenge of using such old clients today. Sjors then goes on to
sum up some of the most important performance improvements that
have been included in new Bitcoin Core releases
Jameson Lopp’s blog posts: