An Explanation of IOTA’s Local Snapshots That Will Prune Transaction History on the Network

In the coming weeks, the IOTA (MIOTA) foundation aims at introducing a new feature onto its network known as Local Snapshots. A brief definition of the concept has been provided via twitter by IOTA News, who made the announcement about the technical development only yesterday as follows:

The upcoming feature of Local Snapshots will not just solve the space problems that arise with the growing adoption of #IOTA, but will also simplify the setup of new nodes and allows to operate permanodes. IOTA will be opening this up for beta testing in the coming weeks.

More Details About the Snapshots

Further investigating the new feature on IOTA’s blog-site, we find a broader more technical explanation.

The origin of the Local Snapshot can be attributed to developers implementing solutions based on the Tangle. As IOTA becomes popular, its database size will increase as well, which becomes problematic to the nodes.

The IOTA foundation has been performing these global snapshots on a regular basis and involves pruning/trimming the transaction history and the resulting balances are consolidated into a new genesis state. This state then allows for the nodes to start over with an empty database. One can consider it as balancing the books as seen in regular accounting bookkeeping.

Such global snapshots prevent the ledger from growing too large and causing the following issues:

  • Temporarily stop the coordinator
  • Generate the snapshot state
  • Give the community time to verify the generated files
  • And finally restart the coordinator

 

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