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2019 Bitcoin Node Performance Tests

Testing full validation syncing performance of seven Bitcoin node implementations.

As I’ve noted many times in the past, running a fully validating node gives you the strongest security model and privacy model that is available to Bitcoin users. A year ago I ran a comprehensive comparison of various implementations to see how well they performed full blockchain validation. Now it's time to see what has changed over the past year!

The computer I use as a baseline is high-end but uses off-the-shelf hardware. I bought this PC at the beginning of 2018. It cost about $2,000 at the time.

Just set up a maxed out @PugetSystems PC on PureOS 8.0.Core i7 8700 3.2GHz 6 core CPU32 GB DDR4-2666Samsung 960 EVO 1TB M.2 SSDSynced Bitcoin Core 0.15.1 (w/maxed out dbcache) in 162 min w/peak speeds of 80 MB/s. Next step: see how much traffic I can serve on gigabit fiber. pic.twitter.com/QOvuwPgCgy— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) February 11, 2018

Note that no Bitcoin implementation strictly fully validates the entire chain history by default. As a performance improvement, most of them don’t validate signatures before a certain point in time, usually a year or two ago. This is done under the assumption that if a year or more of proof of work has accumulated on top of those blocks, it’s highly unlikely that you are being fed fraudulent signatures that no one else has verified, and if you are then something is incredibly wrong and the security assumptions underlying the system are likely compromised.

For the purposes of these tests I need to control as many variables as possible, and some implementations may skip signature checking for a longer period of time in the blockchain than others. As such, the tests I'm running do not use the default settings - I change one setting to force the checking of all transaction signatures and I often tweak other settings in order to make use of the higher number of CPU cores and amount of RAM on my machine.<...

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