An explanation of IOTA’s local snapshots that clean up transaction history on the network

In the coming weeks, the IOTA (MIOTA) Foundation wants to introduce a new function into its network, called. is known Local snapshots. A short definition of the concept was provided via Twitter by IOTA News, who just yesterday made the announcement about the technical development as follows:

The upcoming feature of Local Snapshots will not only solve the space problems that arise with the increasing acceptance of #IOTA, but will also simplify the setup of new nodes and enable the operation of permanodes. IOTA will be opening this up for beta testing in the coming weeks.

More details about the snapshots

If we examine the new feature further on the IOTA blog site, we can find a broader, more technical explanation.

The origin of the local snapshot can be traced back to developers who implement solutions based on the Tangle. If IOTA becomes popular, its database size will also increase, which will be problematic for the nodes.

The IOTA Foundation performs these global snapshots on a regular basis and involves clipping / trimming the transaction history and the resulting balances are consolidated in a new Genesis state. In this state, the nodes can then start over with an empty database. It can be viewed as a balance sheet adjustment in the sense of regular bookkeeping.

Such global snapshots prevent the ledger from becoming too large and cause the following problems:

  • Temporarily stop the coordinator
  • Generate the snapshot status
  • Give the community time to review the files generated
  • And finally restart the coordinator

How the local snapshots solve the problem

Once fully tested and operational, the local snapshots clean up the transactions as follows:

  • Pick a fairly old confirmed transaction and use it as an ‘anchor’ for the local snapshot
  • Then clean up any transactions that this transaction directly or indirectly references and clean up the database
  • Before cleaning up old transactions, the balances affected by these transactions are checked and the resulting state of the ledger is ‘continued’ in a local snapshot file, which is then used by IRI as a new starting point
  • In order for new nodes to “enter” the network, they are synchronized to know at what point they can stop solidifying a chain of transactions and only look at the sub-tangle solid

FinallyAnd as complex as it sounds, local snapshots offer a solution to an ever-growing ledger as the IOTA network continues to grow in popularity. This then solves the question of maintaining the data space in the network. It will also make it easier to set up new nodes and allow organizations and community members to run permanodes. You can find more on this topic on the IOTA blog and theirs #Snapshot Channel on Discord.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended as financial advice. Any opinions contained herein should be understood as they are. Please do your own research before investing in one of the many available cryptocurrencies.

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