Monero is deploying ways to optimise nodes in an attempt to reduce running costs. This type of development could make it easier for users to run nodes on their phones.
The commit on GitHub notes that the blockchain prunes 87.5% of prunable transaction data, which in turn “saves about two thirds of the blockchain size, while keeping the node useful as a sync for the remaining blockchain.”
Reddit user Alex_LocalMonero claims that blockchain pruning is an important aspect to improve both scalability and adoption, stating: “The lower the cost to run a full node, the more devices will be feasibly able to run a node.”
He also suggests that if a blockchain can be pruned down to a matter of “hundreds of megabytes, then it’s easy to imagine everyone’s phone running a Monero node.”
The commit highlights three ways a blockchain can be pruned:
- “Run monerod with –prune-blockchain”
- “Run ‘prune_blockchain’ in the monerod console”
- “Run the monero-blockchain-prune utility”
The first two methods will prune in place. However, due to how ‘Lightning memory-mapped databases’ (LMDBs) function, it will not reduce the blockchain size on disk.
Instead, it will categorise parts of the file as ‘free,’ meaning future data can utilise the free space. In turn, this causes the file to not grow until free space becomes scarce.
The third method will create a second database, which is a pruned copy of the original database. Because this method creates a new file, it will be smaller than the original.
It remains to be seen how this will affect Monero going forwards, but it is positive to see measures being taken to reduce node costs.
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