Desktop wallet downloading additional files?

After downloading the desktop wallet and opening it, I had to wait more than 2 hours to download ‘some package’ or ‘additional files’. What is that? Why so heavy?

Until pruning (ability to cut and work with only part of the Nano block lattice) is implemented, Nano nodes have to bootstrap themselves from other nodes, who provide them the history of blocks. This means a large download and verification of blocks is necessary, which also uses your computer’s resources.

The current Nano database of blocks (Aug 2019) is around 16GB - you can expect around 1GB for every 2 million blocks.

Different wallets can approach this in other ways:

  • The developer wallet (which is for advanced users) uses the node to bootstrap normally.
  • The NanoWalletCompany desktop wallet downloads a compressed zip file from a server which makes the process faster.
  • Nanollet does not download the whole block lattice at any point in time, being more efficient.
  • Nanovault, Canoe and other light wallets use a server, which has already downloaded the blocks somewhere in the world, to communicate with the network, and the user doesn’t need to download additional files.
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