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Why comparing Ethereum, Bitcoin blockchain size is ‘not always particularly relevant’

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Following a Twitter discussion on the differences in blockchain size of Bitcoin and Ethereum, BitMEX has released research touching upon those points.

In response to the following tweet, Peter McLasso had also added that “Ethereum full archival node is 9TB when Bitcoin node is 412GB.” Therein, he might be referring to the archival node, as pointed out by the research.

It is noteworthy that both chains follow a proof of work mechanism currently, before Ethereum transitions into POS in 2022. BitMEX noted Bitcoin’s blockchain is larger than that of Ethereum. However, very soon, Ethereum is set to surpass Bitcoin in that aspect, as it is about to increase its blockchain size.

However, users are curious as to how Ethereum’s chain has a small size of 175GB, considering its higher transaction throughput. As per BitMEX, Bitcoin has more cumulative blockchain data even if Ethereum is leading in generating more data lately.

The research makes some interesting observations that Bitcoin’s chain grew faster than Ethereum between 2015 to 2018. After which, both chains maintained a parallel growth until 2020. However, after that, Ethereum took over and continues to maintain a lead in blockchain growth.

Do investors care?

But, most investors wouldn’t care about these aspects of the assets per se. Instead, analyst Willy Woo explained that decentralization is not what the market prices in.

In an overview, there is however a growing voice that Ethereum might overtake Bitcoin “as the next generation of crypto.” Kenneth Griffin, Citadel’s CEO echoed that thought, stating,

“Bitcoin-based conception [will be] replaced by the Ethereum-based conception in the next generation of cryptocurrencies.”

With expectations of Ethereum overtaking the cumulative blockchain size from Bitcoin, the research does note that both the chains function differently. And therefore,

“The comparison between the blockchain size for Ethereum and Bitcoin is not always particularly relevant.”

In the context of valuation, Ethereum co-founder Anthony Di Iorio also opined in a recent interview that there is a possibility that Ethereum will overtake Bitcoin. He based the argument on the network’s “functionality and flexibility,” even when he agreed that “he loves Bitcoin.”

On the contrary, Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary had previously slammed Ethereum’s network for being “slow”, in an interview with CNBC. He had commented,

“I find Ethereum – as a user, it’s too slow. And so there’s going to be other chains that are going to emerge.”

Having said that, both the networks have achieved some milestones recently. Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade went live about two weeks back. Meanwhile, Ethereum is buckling up for Arrow Glacier in December.

Additionally, both the assets will feature on TIME Magazine’s balance sheet.


Shraddha is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. She has a keen interest in personal finance and wealth generation. Her primary focus is on the cryptocurrency space's applications for investment vehicles and portfolios
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