I am reading the Ethereum white paper and I am frequently seeing this word "state". The meaning of

state is ambiguous to me.

What does it mean?

  1. Does it mean the previous block?

  2. Does it mean the current block?

  3. Does it mean the entire blockchain?

  4. Does it mean a single transaction(may be the last transaction?)?

  5. Or any other thing?

Please help me. One example where he uses this word is:

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I am currently reading this part of the white paper: "https://ethereum.org/en/whitepaper/#blockchain-and-mining"

Thank You!

  • @Ismael yes, But no excatly. Sorry! I want a better answer. Commented May 17, 2021 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


The state is all written SSTORE data at the current block and associated account information.

An Ethereum node that does not operate in an archive mode discards any state information of the past blocks and you cannot query it anymore over JSON-RPC API. The state of the past blocks is usually referred as a historical state. E.g. historical account balances per block are not available. Storing historical data is expensive because the past state information greatly bloats the disk space usage - you need to store all state snaphot blocks instead of just one.

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