Can bitcoin node startup be secure without validating the entire blockchain?

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In general, there are policies and there are rules in Bitcoin. Every full node works independently to enforce rules by checking each received block, transaction and etc... Once a received block has been checked and verified, a full node will then update its UTXO set to reflect the latest state in the Blockchain which is stored in Memory.

What to do with the block, is left as a policy decision to the owner of the Full Node. As the owner, you may elect to have your full node run in Prune Mode. That being, you get rid of all transactions with its UTXO spent to relieve storage usage as these transactions do not add value to maintain the current state. Note that your policy decision does not affect the capability of your full node in enforcing the rules of Bitcoin.

To address your question directly. No. Bitcoin cannot start securely without downloading the entire blockchain. As a full node it is part of its functionality to independently verify the sequence of state...

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Block

Blocks are found in the Bitcoin block chain. Blocks connect all transactions together. Transactions are combined into single blocks and are verified every ten minutes through mining. Each subsequent block strengthens the verification of the previous blocks, making it impossible to double spend bitcoin transactions (see double spend below).

BIP

Bitcoin Improvement Proposal or BIP, is a technical design document providing information to the bitcoin community, or describing a new feature for bitcoin or its processes or environment which affect the Bitcoin protocol. New features, suggestions, and design changes to the protocol should be submitted as a BIP. The BIP author is responsible for building consensus within the community and documenting dissenting opinions.

Block Chain

The Bitcoin block chain is a public record of all Bitcoin transactions. You might also hear the term used as a “public ledger.” The block chain shows every single record...

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Blockchain - Wikipedia

the blockchain of transactions. may to bring such secure of. through facilitate openness and collaboration a estate to facilitate this possibility together with our bitcoin exchange JPMorgan quality is...

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A blockchain refers to a public ledger in which the latest block, itself comprised of unfiled transactions, is added chronologically as the last ledger page, so to speak. Once a block is added to the blockchain, all transactions within are immutably recorded. In this way, the ledger represents a final and irreversible settlement of accounts. Blockchain technology could thus be enormously beneficial to banks and other commercial entities, who literally spend billions and billions of dollars annually on a settlement process that a proper blockchain could, theoretically, manage for free.

Bitcoin is the most well known blockchain technology. Generally speaking, when one thinks of bitcoin, they most likely view the blockchain as necessary to support the currency - it is meant after all to provide an accounting of how bitcoin itself moves from account to account. However, when looked at in the context described in the first paragraph, this perception is flipped upside down....

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As the present happenings seem to be taking us to an almost inevitable bitcoin hard fork, it is pivotal now to point out to bitcoin enthusiasts, that running a full node today will have positive influence on the bitcoin ecosystem during the upcoming critical period in the history of bitcoin.

As an experienced bitcoiner, I would recommend starting a full bitcoin node via running the traditional Bitcoin Core Client. Keep away from Bitcoin Unlimited (BU), if you plan on running a full node, as until now, two major bugs have been discovered in its code; one of them was exploited by a malicious user which allowed him to take down a large number of Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) nodes. Another bug was discovered which led to mining of an invalid block whose size was larger than 1 MB. Moreover, I would not trust any solution that receives support from Gavin Andersen; the guy who helped seed the bitcoin community with birdwatchers.

The number of Bitcoin Core full nodes and that of...

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The blockchain is the new hot technology. If you haven’t heard about it, you probably know Bitcoin. Well, the blockchain is the underlying technology that powers Bitcoin. Experts say the blockchain will cause a revolution similar to what Internet provoked. But what is it really, and how can it be used to build apps today? This post is the first in a series of three, explaining the blockchain phenomenon to web developers. We’ll discuss the theory, show actual code, and share our learnings, based on a real world project.

To begin, let’s try to understand what blockchains really are.

What Is A Blockchain, Take One

Although the blockchain was created to support Bitcoin, the blockchain concept can be defined regardless of the Bitcoin ecosystem. The literature usually defines a blockchain as follows:

A blockchain is a ledger of facts, replicated across several computers assembled in a peer-to-peer network. Facts can be anything from monetary transactions to...

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In fact, on a fresh installation of the official Bitcoin Core client, it could take up to a few hours (even days!) to sync up with the blockchain, and that too on a decent Internet speed. Even if you’ve already set up the client before, it could take significant time to catch up with the blockchain, if you’re opening it after a while.

Luckily, you can avoid this scenario by opting for a few specific solutions, such as, an online wallet or a lightweight client.

Online wallet services always keep the blockchain synced on their servers, so you get a ready wallet as soon as you’re logged in. However, by using an online wallet, you’re trusting a third party service to keep your crypto-assets secure. And though popular wallet services, like CoinBase, implement necessary security measures to keep your accounts secure, they’re also at a greater risk of being targeted in major cyber attacks.

Alternatively, you can also opt for faster, much lightweight software clients,...

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Are Bitcoin and blockchain the same thing? No, they aren’t. However, they are closely related. When Bitcoin was released as open source code, blockchain was wrapped up together with it in the same solution. And since Bitcoin was the first application of blockchain, people often inadvertently used “Bitcoin” to mean blockchain. That’s how the misunderstanding started. Blockchain technology has since been extrapolated for use in other industries, but there is still some lingering confusion.

How are Bitcoin and blockchain different?

Bitcoin is a type of unregulated digital currency that was first created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Also known as a “cryptocurrency,” it was launched with the intention to bypass government currency controls and simplify online transactions by getting rid of third-party payment processing intermediaries. Of course, accomplishing this required more than just the money itself. There had to be a secure way to make...

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George Samman is a blockchain and cryptocurrency consultant and advisor who recently co-authored a seminal report on blockchain architecture with KPMG.

Here, Samman looks at how solutions like zero knowledge proofs can preserve privacy and confidentiality on blockchain platforms – if they can be made to achieve speed and scalability.

One of the bigger trends in the blockchain world, particularly when it comes to financial services and specifically capital markets operations, has been a need for privacy and confidentiality in the course of daily business. This has meant that blockchain solutions are being designed with this primary need in mind. This has led to all the private blockchain solutions being developed today.

When you build for privacy and confidentiality there are tradeoffs that come with that. Mainly you lose transparency, which was the major feature of the the first blockchain: bitcoin. As originally designed, a blockchain is a transparency...

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