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Fast synchronization is usually OK, you download both blocks and states. However, using full synchronization you only download the blocks, and compute the states yourself. It takes MUCH more time, but you are sure the states are valid. If you don't mind waiting it's always a plus to do it full, but for most cases fast suffices. Concerning the required size, ...


Your problem is that you can start mining from whichever block and it's totally ok. At least in theory. If we are now at block 10 and you start mining from block 5 you may eventually get your own block number 10 and 11. But at that point the rest of the blockchain is probably already at least at block 20 or 50 or 1000 - you can never catch up by solo-mining ...

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