Use Crypto Wallet without downloading the entire Blockchain

Use Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum wallets without downloading the entire Blockchain

When it comes to cryptocurrency wallets, most of them usually download the entire blockchain on your device, before you can initiate any transaction. Now, one of the thickest concerns associated with this — exclusief from the high Internet bandwidth and storage requirements — is the time it takes to initialize the client, while setting up for the very first time.

Te 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 welgevoeglijk 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.

Fortunately, you can avoid this screenplay by opting for a few specific solutions, such spil, an online wallet or a lightweight client.

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

Alternatively, you can also opt for quicker, much lightweight software clients, popularly known spil light client, thin-client or SPV wallets, which help you to get the best of both worlds. While using a light client or SPV wallet, your crypto-assets and private keys are stored locally on your device. But at the same time, the wallet only downloads a specific portion of the blockchain, thus saving a significant amount of storage space spil well spil sync time.

Simplified Payment Verification

A blockchain essentially made up of a linear series of blocks, each of which primarily consists of (among others):

  1. Block Header (containing a reference to the Previous Block Hash, a Merkle Root, and a few other elements).
  2. Transactions (a list of all transactions included within the block).

To validate a particular transaction, all the preceding incoming and outgoing transactions, to and from the sender’s address, need to be tracked. Ter order to do so, a wallet needs to download the entire blockchain locally on the device. This is a one time activity, spil straks, the software has to only update the blocks that it hasn’t downloaded before.

This is exactly what a traditional thick-client wallet does. But spil the number of transactions grow exponentially, downloading an entire list of transaction records (blockchain) could become inconvenient. To tackle the kwestie, a mechanism known spil Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) can speed up the verification process to a large degree. And wallets which implement this technology are known spil SPV (thin-client) wallets.

The list of transaction records included within a block, can be arranged ter the form of a Merkle Tree, created from the hash values of those transactions. Thus, the root knot (called the Merkle Root) of this tree has a reference to all of the transactions contained te the specific block. SPV wallets just download the block headers of all the blocks included ter the blockchain, which is collectively much smaller ter size, compared to the utter blockchain.

To verify a transaction, the light (or SPV) client requests for the Merkle Root of the block (te which the transaction belongs to), from certain total knots te the blockchain network. The client also requests thesis knots for the ondergrens information (hashing fucking partners) required to calculate the Merkle Branch.

The Merkle Root helps the SPV wallet to identify the parent block of a particular transaction, while the Merkle Branch permits it to verbinding the transaction to its parent block.

Thus, even tho’ a light client can’t verify a specific transaction all by itself, it can prove that the transaction has bot accepted by the network, by linking the transaction to its parent block. The subsequent blocks added after the parent, further confirm the acceptance of the transaction. This method works flawlessly unless a majority of knots ter the entire network has bot compromised.

Note: The term “SPV” wasgoed originally associated to the Bitcoin blockchain, however similar technologies are also implemented ter other blockchains. For example, Ethereum uses a similar concept, known spil Light Ethereum Subprotocol (Lesuur). Onderricht is used by light clients, which only download block headers spil they show up ter the blockchain, and fetch other parts on-demand, spil required.

SPV or Light Client Wallets

Below are some of the well known lightweight or SPV clients, which do not download the entire blockchain, enabling a quicker setup and less storage space requirements.

Electrum (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash)

Electrum is a rapid and secure software wallet that uses SPV for verifying transactions. It is dependent on numerous, decentralized knots, which are selected randomly, for providing necessary inputs required to validate transactions. Because it supports SPV, Electrum is transaction-ready almost instantly after the client is launched. It also features the capability to samenvatting private keys locally, enabling you to go online with a watch-only wallet.

Electrum has separate clients for Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dash, each of which can be downloaded for free from their respective official websites. Additionally, it is also compatible with hardware wallets, such spil Trezor or Ledger Wallet.

Jaxx (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, Zcash, etc.)

Jaxx is a multi-platform light wallet that supports almost all the popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, Zcash and more. It integrates the ShapeShift API, permitting you to exchange funds inbetween different cryptocurrencies, right within the app’s interface.

The setup process is fairly effortless. During the initial setup, you get to choose among numerous wallets to keep, invoer or transfer funds from paper wallets, and different fiat currencies to display the value of assets. Once the initial setup is ended, you’re ready to send and receive funds using your wallets, without requiring to download the total blockchain locally.

It uses a hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet structure for select cryptocurrencies, which means fresh public keys (addresses) are dynamically generated, every time you send/receive funds to/from a particular address. You can receive funds using any of the addresses generated under the same wallet, and all the funds sent to any of thesis addresses will add up ter your wallet balance.

All your wallets’ private keys reside with you on your devices, and is never uploaded to any server at any time. Jaxx does permit you to backup your private keys with the help a 12 word seed phrase. This single seed phrase can straks be used to regenerate all your wallet keys locally.

A 4-digit Speld may be used to secure some of the app’s features, such spil, sending funds, accessing keys, or pairing fresh devices.

Jaxx is available spil free download on 7 different platforms, including desktop apps for Windows, Mac and Linux, mobile apps for iOS and Android, browser add-ins/extensions for Firefox and Google Chrome.

Supported Cryptocurrencies &, Tokens: Bitcoin, Ether, Dash (not available for iOS wallets), Ethereum Classic, Augur REP, Litecoin, Zcash (not available for iOS wallets), Rootstock Testnet (not available for iOS wallets), Dogecoin, Iconomi, Golem, Gnosis, DigixDAO, BlockchainCapital.

MetaMask (Ethereum)

MetaMask is a lightweight, free Google Chrome extension that enable the browser to connect to the Ethereum network, and permits Decentralized / Distributed Apps (dApps) to run within it. With MetaMask, Chrome functions just like the official Nevel browser, the major difference being that Nevel requires the entire blockchain to be downloaded, before you can commence using dApps, MetaMask &, Chrome does not.

MetaMask is a lightweight client that converts Google Chrome into an Ethereum browser, and depends on other total knots te the network for updated blockchain information. While browsing, the client injects Ethereum Web3 Javascript app API into all websites, so that dApps running on applicable websites, can interact with the blockchain.

Te order for MetaMask to do this, it uses certain special permissions that enables it to alter the client side contents of any webstek. Spil this could be a major privacy punt, it is recommended that you run MetaMask on a separate Chrome profile, which is not associated with your usual browsing profiles.

MetaMask can be downloaded for free from the Chrome Web Store.

Bither (Bitcoin)

Bither is another Bitcoin skinny client that supports SPV for verifying transactions. It can operate primarily ter two modes. Ter cold wallet mode, the private keys are stored offline (on the cold storage device), protected by password. Te hot wallet mode, you can go online (using your daily device) ter watch-only mode to monitor your transactions. You can also create an unsigned transaction for a watch-only address, and sign it using the cold wallet.

The lightweight software wallet is available for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows.

Note: If you’re a miner, it is not recommended to point the mining prizes to a light client wallet. Mining prizes are actually composed of several micro-transactions, instead of a ordinary send/receive transaction, which lightweight clients aren’t usually designed to treat.

Additionally, wallets that are connected to the Internet at all times (a.k.a. “hot wallets”) are more susceptible to third party cyber attacks. Thus, it’s recommended to use thesis wallets along with secure hardware keys (cold storage solutions), especially if you have a large volume of crypto-assets.

If you know of any other lightweight wallet that uses SPV or other similar technologies, do let us know ter the comments below.

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