I'm new to IOTA, from the reading of the whitepaper and from this question, "Does every node in the network have to know about all transactions issued by other nodes eventually?" I understand that every node finally must know all transactions in the tangle.

Isn't this fact posing the same bloating issues of Ethereum and Bitcoin and eventually making IOTA useless for small footprint devices?

2 Answers 2


A couple of points:

1) Small footprint devices aren't relevant to the issue of bloating. The sensors aren't bottlenecked by bloat, the nodes are, and nodes are separate from transactors.

2) The answer in the question that you linked is accurate in that sharding is on the IOTA roadmap. There aren't any formal references to this yet, so here is a description of the aim and goal to solve this problem is:

Swarm Client

Another approach planned to enable the IOTA client running in these very resource restrained environments is to shard the core logic and database amongst different devices that then collectively run it. Similarly to swarm intelligence, this enables a cluster of devices to efficiently make transactions without being a full node, but having reduced trust requirements from SPV and light clients.


  • Sharding is also in the Ethereum roadmap, and Lightning Networks can bring massive transaction througput in BTC as well. So, what is the added value of IOTA if the architecture will converge to the usual Tx signer -> validator node -> blockchain or tangle.
    – Davide C
    Dec 17, 2017 at 23:48
  • 1
    Lightning Network will still require an onchain transaction, meaning the fee is not truly 0. There are also technical limitations regarding the feasibility of lightning, see here: medium.com/@jonaldfyookball/…
    – aboose
    Dec 17, 2017 at 23:53
  • True, in IOTA there is no fee but the cost of PoW is shifted from validators to signers, making the two roles collapsing in one single entity. The IOTA value proposition seems pretty thin if "devices" must rely on some external nodes to include tx in the tangle. Again, I'm trying to understand, not meant to troll.
    – Davide C
    Dec 18, 2017 at 11:11

Light nodes don't need to know all transactions. A light node will just ask to it's full node for tips to approve, do the pow (or even delegating the pow to the fullnode) and post the nonces to the fullnode.

A small footprint device will be a light node.

  • If a full node makes the PoW for a device, which is the incentive for the full node? Is there a fee from the device to the full node? Isnt' the zero-fee the strong call of IOTA?
    – Davide C
    Dec 18, 2017 at 11:14
  • IMO, we will have non-public fullnode belonging to big companies owning many devices and providing this "pow delegation" service only to their own devices.
    – ben75
    Dec 18, 2017 at 13:24

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