Fortnite Mastermind Defends EOS Blockchain Bloat

Gaming mogul Tim Sweeney, best known these days for founding the company behind Fortnite, made the unusual decision to defend the size of the EOS blockchain in a tweet today.

Trent [⇪ ETH upgrade feb 28]@trent_vanepps · Feb 20, 2019

EOS has grown to 4 tb in 8 months. Only 5 BPs are storing historic state, and none of them being compensated for this on standby, leading to downtimes for apps across the network.

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Tim Sweeney@TimSweeneyEpic

What’s wrong with 4TB for a global transaction ledger? That fits on a $200 hard drive.591:06 PM – Feb 22, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy15 people are talking about this


EOS Weekly created a video expressing concern over the current size of the EOS blockchain. Sweeney wondered what the big problem with a 4TB blockchain is.

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YouTube ‎@YouTube

EOS Weekly@EOSWeekly

How did the greatest strength of EOS (its speed) turn into its greatest vulnerability?

For the answer, follow the white rabbit: #EOS #EOSIO@greymass @EosSweden @EOS_CryptoLions @EOSTribe @EOS_Canada @eosriobrazil @EOS42io11212:18 AM – Feb 16, 201946 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Of course, the size of blocks and blockchain bloat is a serious issue in the cryptocurrency community. The Bitcoin blockchain currently clocks in at over 200GB. Concerns over centralization fueled a years-long debate about the raising of the standard block size limit in Bitcoin. The debate eventually led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash.

After some explanation, the Fortnite billionaire still didn’t understand the problem.

𝙲𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚊𝚗 𝙰𝚗𝚝𝚔𝚘𝚠@CAntkow · Feb 22, 2019Replying to @TimSweeneyEpic @trent_vanepps

The problem is that’s grown to 4 TB in only 8 months.

That’s an unsustainable long-term growth model for such a young project.

Bitcoin, that has been around for over 10 years, can still comfortably run on a 500 GB hard drive for a many more years, still.

Tim Sweeney@TimSweeneyEpic

So nodes have to buy a new $300 8TB hard drive every 16 months? Why is this a problem? Usenet was growing 1TB/day more than a decade ago…351:42 PM – Feb 22, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Tim Sweeney’s other Tweets

It’s unsurprising that a video game developer would have no concerns about the size of a codebase. Updates for many games on platforms like Xbox One can be upwards of 50GB, taking hours to download. Millions of files and lines of code go into every aspect of a modern video game.

But the concern about the size of the blockchain is less related directly to its size and more related to the increasingly centralized nature of EOS. Just a handful of block producers store the entire history of the EOS blockchain, making them crucial to the network’s operation. If it were Bitcoin, the network would be virtually unusable with that few nodes running.


The video explains in detail why the lack of “history nodes” presents a problem for EOS. He explains that in November, the EOS blockchain grew to 1 and then 2 terabytes.

When the chain started hitting this size range, a good portion of the [Block Producers] started pulling out. They had to stop offering full history. It was just becoming too technically burdensome and expensive to keep it going.

One user pointed out that the “4TB” estimate might be inaccurate.

Tim Sweeney@TimSweeneyEpic · Feb 22, 2019Replying to @CAntkow @trent_vanepps

So nodes have to buy a new $300 8TB hard drive every 16 months? Why is this a problem? Usenet was growing 1TB/day more than a decade ago…

𝙲𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚊𝚗 𝙰𝚗𝚝𝚔𝚘𝚠@CAntkow

1) I believe the original article was erroneous with stating 4TB in 8 months.
2) It’s a problem because it’s ultimately leads towards node ops becoming “more centralized” in the future – Ideally, the barrier-to-entry for running a full, validating node, should be low.31:47 PM – Feb 22, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee 𝙲𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚊𝚗 𝙰𝚗𝚝𝚔𝚘𝚠’s other Tweets

The video is referring to “full history” nodes, however. A regular block directory for EOS was around 122 gigabytes at press time.

According to EOS creator Dan Larimer, “full history” nodes are not critical for the network to function.


Tim Sweeney’s interest in blockchain is passing at best. As we reported recently, the Fortnite store was accepting Monero by mistake. Additionally, Sweeney’s company hasn’t pursued potential plans to develop crypto-integrated products. They had investigated making a deal with a European blockchain company, but haven’t pursued anything.

Still, that the recently minted billionaire is following blockchain information on Twitter is interesting. That he is interested in EOS is even more interesting, as most mainstream developers have looked to Ethereum when exploring the possibilities of smart contracts.

Will the next Epic game have an economy built on the blockchain, or some other interaction with it? Will that crypto network be EOS? Seems we’ll find out, but for now, don’t get your hopes up.

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