Blockchain n00b here with a background in software development using traditional data storage (SQL) and app runtimes.
I realize that this question may have already been answered, but I am having trouble wrapping my head around blockchain in general so I want to ask this question very plainly for the benefit of my simple brain and perhaps the brains of others:
When I install Ethereum on my machine, does the entire blockchain (including all transactions ever made on Ethereum and their embedded data) get downloaded to my machine?
I think this is how it works, but I have downloaded about half the blockchain so far and it looks like only a couple of gigabytes. How is this possible? Seems like we would be in petabyte range.
It's incredible technology and I hope someone will help me understand it in simple terms (pretend you are answering a 5 year old ;).
FOLLOW UP QUESTION: Can the chain be queried? For example, if I sold products via smart contracts, could I have an account management tool that queries my local chain for all of my transactions?
Thanks in advance!