Blockchain snapshot: Explained In 5 Easy Ways


Ever heard of “blockchain snapshot” before?

As we know it, Blockchain technology has proved itself repeatedly.

There are so many protocols, algorithms, and technology put together to make this incredible technology which we’re still discovering. Today we’ll be looking at blockchain snapshots.

The Blockchain also takes pictures, more like screenshots, though, all to record the exact state of the Blockchain.

Imagine taking a selfie or picture; it means that moment has been recorded forever, so you can always pull up a picture and recall the memories attached to it.

On the Blockchain, snapshots can occur before a fork, I.e. a change in the protocol, an update, an upgrade, or a bug fix.

Let’s get on with it!!!

What is a Blockchain Snapshot?

Traditionally, the term snapshot is the capacity to record the condition of anything, such as a computer system or storage device, at a specific moment/point in time.

We can see a snapshot in the Blockchain as documenting/recording the status or state of a blockchain at the latest block height. We employ it to keep track of the overall quantity and balance of token holders.

In cryptocurrencies, a snapshot is often describing the act of recording the state of a blockchain at a particular block height.

Here, the image records the contents of the entire blockchain ledger, which includes all existing addresses and their associated data, such as transactions, fees, and balances, to name a few.

Five straightforward explanations of ‘blockchain snapshot’.

  1. Snapshots are also crucial during Blockchain hard forks. It helps to record the exact state of the Blockchain at the latest block height at that point in time.

So when a hard fork occurs, a snapshot records the previous chain before we create a new chain, after which the new chain continues the latest block height on the last chain. 

For example, when the Bitcoin Cash project hard fork took place, every address with Bitcoins at block 478,558 had its balance copied on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

Each blockchain network will operate independently and continue from the latest block recorded in the previous chain before the fork as soon as the split is done.

  1. Snapshots are used in airdrops; before an airdrop event, snapshots are frequently taken. The distribution of tokens is based on the balance of the address available during the snapshot period. 

We take snapshots to record each token holder’s balance at a particular moment, i.e., at the latest block height.

Users can shift their funds after we take the snapshot without jeopardizing their eligibility for that round of pay-out.

  1. BNB balance of users willing to take part in Initial Exchange Offerings (IEO) on the Binance Launchpad is also recorded by using snapshots. However, the images follow specific rules according to the guidelines of each project. 

Sometimes, photos are taken at a random time each day, and the users’ balances are averaged within a predefined period.

  1. When you want to test a new application, a program, or try out new settings, this may put your system at risk. So, we leverage snapshots for tests to help backup the previous data.

They provide access to an infinite number of clones of your data, allowing you to work on developing anything without affecting your routine. 

  1. We commonly use snapshots in production, so the system begins with a snapshot every time you generate a backup.

Complete backups can take hours to make and sometimes must be done overnight because of the system resources they demand.

The system can create snapshots in seconds and as frequently as needed. You can also reduplicate the data being snapshotted using technologies like “changed block tracking” (CBT).


Snapshots handle a lot behind the scenes in Blockchain technology like airdrop distribution, hard forks, etc. These help the Blockchain record data at a specific point, so the information is never lost.

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