Given that the median transaction sizes are so similar between Monero and Bitcoin (see this question), what other contributions are there to the overall blockchain size (e.g. database overheads or other Monero-specific contributions)?

I ask as someone not terribly familiar with databases and blockchain storage codebases between different cryptos. I don't see why there is so much concern over Monero's scalability with respect to blockchain size if the median transaction sizes are so close, unless there are other factors I am not aware of.

Edit: I have just realised that the statistics linked to in the answer to the question linked refer to the median block size, despite saying transactions size. If there are empty blocks then obviously that will bring down the median block size. What I am interested in is the median transactions size when compared to Bitcoin. If anyone can shed light on this then it would be much appreciated.

2 Answers 2


The database file is something like 2.5 or 3 times larger than the actual blockchain data. There are a variety of reasons for it: preallocation of space in the file (if your filesystem supports sparse files, this doesn't actually take physical space, otherwise it does), denormalization for performance reasons, internal tables for the database engine's usage.

If we look at just the blockchain data, most of it is transactions. There's a little bit to do with block versions, timestamp, etc, but it's not much. Many blocks are currently "empty", but they still contain a coinbase transaction (which is typically smaller than user transactions, due to the absence of signatures).


The main factor is the number of signatures included in a transaction. With Bitcoin you only have 1 signature per input, whereas with Monero you have N number of signatures (depending on your choice for that transaction) per input. There should be little else that affects the blockchain size as directly as that.

  • 1
    Would the sizes of those signatures not be included in the reported TX size, or are they stored in the Blockchain in addition to the transaction.
    – BauerJack
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 19:56
  • Just to clarify, I mean specifically the median transaction size as reported by the following site: moneroblocks.info/stats
    – BauerJack
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 23:05
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    @BauerJack MoneroBlocks is reporting the median block size, not the median transaction size. If you view a block (with transactions in it) on the block explorer you will see that each transaction has a size in bytes in the right hand column. This size includes both the transaction data and the signature. Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 11:16

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