This is my first question (on any StackExchange), so sorry if it's 'stupid' or already answered somewhere else.
I've just downloaded the beta GUI wallet (MacOS) and it is now 'sychronizing blocks' (with a progress bar in the bottom left corner) but it seems to be doing so incredibly slowly. How long would you expect this to take (HDD, 8GB RAM)?
Is it downloading the entire blockchain? If so, does that have to be done? I'm comparing it to Electrum for bitcoin which works without having to download the entire blockchain.
I'm happy to download the blockchain if that's required, I guess I just want to know if its necessary and whether my slow synchronizing is betraying a different problem.