ETH team lead says most ETH clients ‘very aggressively’ delete old data

As a researcher with a background in blockchain technology and a deep interest in Ethereum’s development, I find Péter Szilágyi’s recent comments on the growing dependency on Geth for Ethereum’s data storage to be a significant concern.

According to Péter Szilágyi, the team leader of Ethereum, several Ethereum client applications are forcefully eliminating outdated chain sections. This action has sparked concerns about the extent of Ethereum’s reliance on Geth (an Ethereum client) due to its prevalence in deleting old segments.

The Ethereum software client Geth, also known as Go Ethereum, continues to be a subject of intense debate. Péter Szilágyi, the team lead at Ethereum, has voiced apprehensions about the growing dependency on this client, highlighting the potential repercussions for data accessibility and network dispersal.

I originally intended to give a straightforward response, but this topic seems worth exploring further. So, let me expand on our definition of full nodes in our context instead.

— Péter Szilágyi (karalabe.eth) (@peter_szilagyi) May 27, 2024

On May 27, Szilágyi posted on X an analysis of Ethereum’s intricate storage issues, drawing comparisons to the protracted disputes that have marked Bitcoin‘s growth process.

Szilágyi is worried about Ethereum’s increasing reliance on Geth for data storage as the platform plans to expand. The Ethereum team leader noted a discrepancy among Ethereum clients, with several choosing to actively discard older chain segments since they are considered unnecessary by these clients.

As a crypto investor, I’ve noticed that most other wallets and clients apart from Geth have been aggressively deleting old chain segments. The rationale behind this is that these segments are no longer required since the blockchain can be reprocessed to achieve a full sync. However, there’s no need for us to keep the data as Geth takes care of it for us.

Péter Szilágyi

Though this approach could yield savings in the initial storage phase, Szilágyi brought up significant concerns regarding the network’s longevity and distributed nature in the long run for Ethereum.

He strongly cautioned against the dangers of data dependence and the possible repercussions of mass data deletion. He explained, “Data has a tendency to vanish forever once discarded, meaning that as more people eliminate something, it becomes increasingly unlikely that other nodes will be prepared to preserve or provide it; and the greater the challenge in identifying those rare individuals who are willing to keep it.”

ETH team lead says most ETH clients ‘very aggressively’ delete old data

The Ethereum community has faced ongoing challenges related to their reliance on specific Ethereum software applications (clients) for quite some time.

According to information from Ethernodes, approximately 40% of Ethereum nodes rely on Geth as their client software, while around 38% utilize Nethermind. This dependence on specific Ethereum clients has led significant cryptocurrency firms such as Coinbase to consider adopting different Ethereum execution clients in order to enhance infrastructure resilience.

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2024-05-27 14:38