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Ethereum vs Bitcoin Blockchain Size

Ethereum vs Bitcoin blockchain size are they same? Currently, the size of the entire Bitcoin blockchain is around 200 gigabytes. Depending on the design of the node, Ethereum has blockchains of different sizes.

Due to strong growth in early 2018, the Ethereum barrier chain is over 1 terabyte (1000 gigabytes)

The size of the Bitcoin blockchain has grown steadily since the beginning. 

Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is a blockchain. The main difference between them is that Ethereum is not just an account ledger; also you can create smart contracts and built more code into the transactions. Thus Ethereum vs Bitcoin blockchain size are not same.

What is Bitcoin?

It was launched in January 2009 and is a decentralized cryptocurrency. It introduced a new idea presented in a white paper by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – bitcoin offers a guaranteed currency on the Internet without a central government, unlike currencies issued by the government. 

There are no physical Bitcoins, only posts related to public accounts that are encrypted. Although bitcoin was not the first attempt at this type of online currency, it was most successful in its initial efforts and was somehow recognized as the forerunner of almost all cryptocurrencies developed in the last decade. 

Over the years, the idea of distributed virtual currency has been adopted by regulators and the governments. So the virtual currency gain popularity.

Key highlights of Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin whitepaper was released on 31 October 2008.
  • Mining of the Genesis block (i.e. first block) takes place on 3 January 2009.
  • First transaction of Bitcoin occurred on January 12, 2009.
  • Version 0.2 released on December 16, 2009.
  • Market value exceeds USD 1 million on November 6, 2010.
  • Forks for the first time to create Litecoin in October 2011.
  • Block 181919 was created with 1322 transactions on June 3, 2012. This is the largest block today.
  • Coinbase exchange was launched in June 2012.
  • Bitcoin foundation was established on September 27, 2012.
  • Gox hack occurred on February 7, 2014.
  • BitLicense one of the most important cryptocurrency regulations gets established in June 2015.
  • Fork once again occurs on August 1, 2017, to create Bitcoin Cash.
  • SegWit activated on 23 August 2017.
  • China bans trade in BTC in September 2017.
  • CBOE Global Markets (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launch the first Bitcoin futures contract.
  • Cryptocurrencies fall 80% in September 2018 from their peak in January 2018 and caused the decrease in cryptocurrency in 2018 to be worse than the 78 percent collapse of the Dot-com collapse.  
  • For the first time since October 2017, the market value of bitcoin has fallen below USD 100 billion on November 15, 2018.
  • 10th anniversary of bitcoin on October 31, 2018.

Also Read: Skills Required for Blockchain Developer

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum was launched in July 2015 and is the largest and most respected open and distributed software platform. Blockchain technology is utilized to make applications that allow more than just enabling digital currency. Thus Ethereum is more than a digital currency.

Ethereum allows you to create and run smart contracts and distributed applications (dapps) without time limits, fraud, monitoring, or third-party intervention. Ethereum has its blockchain programming language that allows developers to create and run distributed applications.

The potential applications of ether are extensive and are supported by its native code, ether (abbreviated commonly as ETH). In 2014, Ethereum started pre-selling ether which received a great response. 

On the Ethereum platform ether is the fuel for executing commands, and developers use ether to build and run applications on the Ethereum platform.

Key highlights of Ethereum

  • Vitalik Buterin releases the Ethereum whitepaper in November 2013.
  • Ethereum development platform was officially announced in January 2014. Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, and Charles Hoskinson were in the original Ethereum development team.
  • Ethereum ICO ended in August 2014 and received $ 18.4 million.
  • The Ethereum test net “Olympic” was released in May 2015.
  • The first phase of Ethereum development, “Frontier” was released on 30 July 2015.
  • Homestead, the first “stable” Ethereum release, went out on block 1,150,000 on 14 March 2016.
  • $ 50 million worth of Ether in DAO hack took place in June 2016, which was 15% of the ether in circulation at that time.
  • Ethereum Classic forks away from the original Ethereum protocol on 25 October 2016.
  • The Metropolis Byzantium hard fork update takes place on 16 October 2017.
  • The update of Metropolis Constantinople’s hard fork happens on 28 February 2019.

Purpose of Bitcoin and Ethereum

Ethereum vs Bitcoin blockchain size are not same. One of the main differences between the two projects is the purpose of their creation. Many people mistakenly assume that bitcoin and Ethereum have the same purpose. As we will soon find out, nothing can be further from the truth.

Bitcoin purpose

Bitcoin came into existence after the financial crisis in 2008. At the time, public confidence in banks and financial institutions was at an all-time low.

An unknown programmer named Satoshi Nakamoto used an encryption hash operation and public-key encryption to create the bitcoin.

The purpose of Bitcoin has not changed from the beginning. Bitcoin wants to be a global decentralized financial system and allow people to have complete control over their finances.

While bitcoin does not have the flexibility to be a traditional currency system, it has the potential to be a platform for trading in digital value.

Ethereum purpose

On the other hand, Ethereum is not just a payment system. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin believes the blockchain has more uses than as a payment service provider.

Buterin believes blockchain technology allows developers to build real-world applications on it. The way they can do this is to make a smart contract and run it on top of Ethereum.

Smart contracts are computer code that operates in a blockchain that contains a set of rules with which the parties have agreed to communicate with each other.

Smart contracts have certain features:

  • Parties can directly communicate with each other through a smart contract without the need for intermediaries or third parties.
  • Smart contract’s each step can only be implemented after the first phase is implemented immediately.
  • Smart contracts act as a blueprint for decentralized applications (DApp).
  • Not all DApp content and data are owned by a single party

The size of the bitcoin blocks

Satoshi Nakamoto originally coded the 1MB Bitcoin block boundary to prevent spam transactions. With the growing popularity of Bitcoin, scaling has become a necessity of the day. That’s when people start arguing about the size of a block.

There is part of the community that wants to increase the block size to 2 MB, but another part wants to keep the block size to 1 MB and use SegWit. Two groups in society put forward the following arguments:

Arguments not to increasing the size of the block

  • Miners lose incentives as transaction costs decrease: As the block size increases, it is easy to insert transactions that will significantly reduce transaction costs. It is feared that this could weaken miners and move to greener pastures. If the number of miners is reduced, the overall hash rate of bitcoin will decrease.
  • Bitcoin should not be used for everyday purposes: Some members of society do not want to use bitcoin in everyday trading. These people feel that bitcoin has a higher purpose than just being an everyday currency.
  • This divides the community: Increasing the size of the block inevitably results in a branching system that holds the two Bitcoins in parallel and divides the community in the process. In this way, harmony in society may be destroyed.
  • This leads to increased centralization: as the size of the network increases, so does the processing power required to achieve it. This takes all the small mining pools out and gives mining power only to the big pools. This in turn increases centralization, which is against with the Bitcoin essence.
  • SegWit or Segregated Witness will increase the block size without causing a hard fork. SegWit will place the transaction signature data on a side-chain.

The arguments to increase the size of the block

  • Increasing the size of a block benefits the miner: Increasing the size of a block means increasing the per block transactions, which in turn increases the amount of transaction fees that a miner may earn from mining a block.
  • Bitcoin must be increasingly available to “ordinary people”. If the block size does not change, there is a strong possibility that the transaction fees will be higher. When that happened, ordinary people could never use it, and only rich and large companies used it. That was never the goal of Bitcoin.
  • Changes don’t happen all at once, changes happen gradually over time. The biggest concern for people, when resizing a block, is that too many things are affected at once, causing great disruption. However “pro block increase” people felt that this was a disproportionate fear, as most of the changes would happen over time.
  • SwgWit will change the architecture of Bitcoin this will entirely change the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto.

Unfortunately, society is divided into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash by this debate. Bitcoin uses SegWit, while Bitcoin Cash did not have SegWit and increased the block size to 8 MB.

Ethereum block size

Instead of their size, Ethereum blocks are limited by the amount of gas each of them can store up. On each block of Ethereum, there is a limit of 6.7 million gas.

Transactions can only be added by the miners if the demand for gas is added to something that is equal to or less than the block limit in that block. A typical one-on-one transaction eats 21,000 units of gas. 

Conclusion

The size of the Bitcoin blockchain has grown steadily since its inception, reaching approximately 285.06 gigabytes at the end of June 2020.

The Bitcoin blockchain is a distributed database that contains an ever-growing and tamper-proof list of all Bitcoin records and transactions from the original release date in January 2009. Thus all the transactions of Bitcoin from 2009 are stored safely in Bitcoin blockchain.

Ethereum is a blockchain like Bitcoin. The major difference is that Ethereum is not only an account ledger, but you can also code more into the transactions and create “smart contracts”. So Ethereum is not just a cryptocurrency it is more than that.

The size of the Ethereum blockchain does not stop. It is growing and changing constantly. For example, unlike Bitcoin which has a fixed growth rate, Ethereum is expanding according to demand. So the Ethereum vs Bitcoin blockchain size are not same.

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