This article is published on Medium.

Mina is a succinct blockchain, and as a result, consensus nodes only store the recent history of the chain before discarding it (the last k blocks, currently 290). While prior transaction history is not required to prove the current state is valid (this is handled via a recursive zero-knowledge proof), many applications would like access to this prior transaction history. Examples include block explorers and wallets. To solve this problem, users may optionally run an archive node that stores a summary of each block seen in a Postgres database.