In Monero's early history, many transactions did not include any decoys. It was extremely clear that these outputs were spent.

Could Monero prune these known spent outputs?

Here is an example transaction from block 100000: 9c3c0086ef9aa98f370dac303c5dca109678bf95c9e4252e103dab16dce46fa8

It has a ringsize of 1 and 5 inputs:






Since all of these outputs are known to be spent in this transaction, is it possible to prune/delete all record of these outputs and their key images? Are there any significant downsides to doing so?

  • From where do you want to delete them? The blockchain itself? Could you elaborate? Aug 20, 2018 at 5:26

1 Answer 1


In theory, yes. In practice, this might be a bit harder, depending on how the data is laid out in the on-disk blockchain database. Typically, for access speed, data is laid out in a fixed size vector, like this:


Now if you want to prune C, you end up with

A B _ D

The space used by C is now unused, but you may not necessarily be able to reclaim that space easily. It is a similar problem to memory fragmentation. Somtimes you can compress this to


But if you have fast index based access to elements, you have to keep D at offset 4. So it depends on how the database is structured.

Nevertheless, some of that data can be pruned without such problems. You do lose the ability to query the database for those outputs, though.

In any case, you do not want to delete their key images, or they'd be spendable again.

  • One thing I do know is that Monero uses LMDB, which is a key-value store database, not a fixed size vector. hyc could elaborate, but removing an entry will not be the issue at hand. Integrity and being able to prove ownership are surely the issues. Any pruning would rely on trust.
    – jtgrassie
    Aug 20, 2018 at 11:55
  • Technically, if you remove a small amount of data from a page, you might be able to slot an identical amount in the resulting hole. That amount of data is much smaller than a 4 kB page, so you don't free pages by doing this. It may be that this can be done, and the tree updated to point to the right places. I'm interested to know too. "Any pruning would truly on trust" is false though. If you do it dumbly, then sure, but only then.
    – user36303
    Aug 20, 2018 at 11:59
  • If you prune the public blockchain, then others have to trust your pruned db. That's what I'm getting at with the trust point. And LMDB, yes the tree is updated. hyc would need to elaborate further, however, it is definitely not like a fixed size vector as you have answered.
    – jtgrassie
    Aug 20, 2018 at 12:12
  • The outputs data is not used when others sync from you, so no. Some records are stored in the LMDB database as fixed size records indexed by an index, so it's not as clear cut (though it might be that the sub-page holes can be filled, as I suggested above).
    – user36303
    Aug 20, 2018 at 12:41
  • Fixed size record is not the same as fixed size vector. And the tree is updated. And if outputs were pruned, one can't verify the tx.
    – jtgrassie
    Aug 20, 2018 at 13:22

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