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I started a new node from scratch with monerod --prune-blockchain, so when the blockchain was finished syncing, it only took up about 35GB on disk. My understanding is that one of the main tradeoffs on running a pruned node is that it is not possible to mine from such a node; that mining requires the full blockchain.

However, I was perfectly able to connect the monero-wallet-cli to this node and have it start generating hashes. I didn't think this was possible?

Do I have any incorrect assumptions here, or is this incorrect (or pointless) behavior of the daemon and wallet?

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My understanding is that one of the main tradeoffs on running a pruned node is that it is not possible to mine from such a node; that mining requires the full blockchain.

That is simply not true.

The tradeoff running a pruned node is for the network as a whole, i.e. other people wont be able to sync certain blocks (i.e. the ones you've already pruned), from your node. This is why when running a pruned node, a percentage of blocks are left unpruned. This means, assuming everyone was running pruned nodes, a new user needs to sync from many other peers.

A simplified example: Imagine a network of only 3 people, Bob, Carole and Ted. And let's say the blockchain is 60 blocks deep. Bob, Carole and Ted have all synced, verified and pruned their chains and each left a different 3rd unpruned. Bob didn't prune 1-20, Carole didn't prune 21-40 and Ted didn't prune 41-60. Now, when new user Alice decides to start using Monero, she needs to sync and verify the whole chain (as a new user does). To do so however, she needs to sync each of these separate unpruned sections from Bob, Carole and Ted. After syncing and verifying, Carole may also prune.

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  • Gotcha! I totally get how the striping and random distribution works. I think there's just a lot of misinformation out there about pruning vs. mining, and nothing that I found clearly described the tradeoffs for an individual running a single node. Seems like if all you're doing is running that node for personal use, there is basically no benefit to keeping it un-pruned.
    – NReilingh
    Apr 20 at 8:17
  • "Seems like if all you're doing is running that node for personal use, there is basically no benefit to keeping it un-pruned." <- That's not quite true though. Running an unpruned node benefits the ecosystem as a whole.
    – jtgrassie
    Apr 20 at 20:29

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