Trying to find out how big the entire Bitcoin blockchain (also known as the Bitcoin ‘ledger’) is?
The size of the entire Bitcoin blockchain grows at a pace of approximately one additional megabyte (MB) every ten minutes (and has done since it began way back in 2009).
As of August 2023 it is a pretty sizeable 505GB.
Note: each year it grows in size (linearly) by approximately 63GB.
For exact figures check out this handy chart.
Wondering about some of the other top cryptos?
Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Entire blockchain size currently: 730GB.
- Began in 2015.
- Growing exponentially.
- Entire blockchain size currently: 120GB.
- Began as the first fork of Bitcoin in 2011.
- Growing linearly.
- Entire blockchain size currently: 82GB.
- Began in 2013.
- Growing non-linearly – rapidly!
- Entire blockchain size currently: 190GB.
- Began as a fork of Bitcoin in 2017.
- Growing non-linearly – slowly.
- Entire blockchain size currently: 30GB.
- Began in 2014.
- Growing somewhat linearly.
- Entire blockchain size currently: 260GB.
- Began as a fork of Bitcoin in 2016.
- Currently hardly growing at all.
Why do Litecoin, Dash and Bitcoin Cash have smaller overall blockchain sizes than Bitcoin despite having more capacity in terms of transactions per second?
Good question! The answer is, in part*, because although these blockchains have either a larger maximum block size OR a shorter block time (Litecoin adds a new block to its chain every 2.5 minutes whereas Bitcoin does so every 10 minutes for example) these coins are not as popular is Bitcoin, and so don’t use the entire capacity of their maximum block sizes (whereas Bitcoin almost always does). Meaning that rather than adding say 1MB blocks (in the case of Litecoin’s maximum block size) they are actually often only adding very very small block sizes (sometimes more like kilobyte blocks rather than megabyte blocks).
*another important reason being that these blockchains started at different times, giving some more time (years) to accumulate new blocks than others.