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Simplified Payment Verification (SPV)

A scheme to validate transactions without storing the whole blockchain (only block headers) and without trusting any external service. Every transaction must be present with all its parent and sibling hashes in a merkle tree up to the root. SPV client trusts the most difficult chain of block headers and can validate if the transaction indeed belongs to a certain block header. Since SPV does not validate all transactions, a 51% attack may not only cause a double spend (like with full nodes), but also make a completely invalid payment with bitcoins created from nowhere. However, this kind of attack is very costly and probably more expensive than a product in question. Bitcoinj library implements SPV functionality.

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