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In early 2013, it became a common belief that new Bitcoin users should not be recommended Bitcoin-QT, the full node client. Bitcoin.org was changed to no longer exclusively recommend it. Two years later, the block size conservatives are saying the drop in full node count was due to block size
I distinctly remember that the recommending of Bitcoin-QT to new Bitcoin users became a faux pas in early 2013. It was claimed that regular people should download and install an SPV client like Multibit. Predictably, there was a large drop in the full node count, as the wallet market became dominated by a large number of new, light clients, and the most trafficked Bitcoin website, bitcoin.org, stopped exclusively recommending people to install Bitcoin-QT. Now, we have important developers like Luke-Jr claiming that this 95% drop in full node count can be mainly attributed to the growing size of the block chain, despite the fact that the drop began right when light clients began being recommended.. EDIT to add some data: This is the image that GMaxwell and Peter Todd, two individuals who are conservative about the block size (in particular Peter Todd, who's been warning about increasing the 1 MB size limit since 2013), have linked to to make their point about the full node count: http://i.imgur.com/EL0zHRe.jpg Up until at least March 18, 2013, the only client recommended to visitors of bitcoin.org was Bitcoin-QT, and an installation link for it was provided right on the landing page: https://web.archive.org/web/20130318211940/http://bitcoin.org/ The WayBack Machine shows that by March 25th, 2013, this had changed, and a 'Choose Your Wallet' button appeared on Bitcoin.org/: https://web.archive.org/web/20130513214959/http://bitcoin.org/en/ From March 25th 2013 onward, the number of non-full-node wallets recommended by bitcoin.org increased, in response to a general increase in the number of high quality and/or well marketed light and mobile wallets on the market. Now a days, Bitcoin-QT is one of twelve clients displayed on bitcoin.org's Choose Your Wallet page: https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet Other than Bitcoin-QT and Bitcoin Armory, all of them are non-full-node clients. This shift, from a wallet market where only Bitcoin-QT was available and recommended to one that is increasingly diverse and dominated by light clients, coincides with the point (Spring 2013) where we start seeing a rapid decline in the full node count.
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