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What is the cheapest hardware device that can run a proper bitcoin client that can participate in the P2P network?

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  • 1
    Raspberry Pi ($25) is probably the cheapest, although some cheap android devices will probably come close.
    – Ben
    Jul 4 '13 at 22:47
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    VPS servers are available from just ~$5 , a small debian vps should be just fine, with ssh you can access it from anywhere.
    – Aurigae
    Jul 5 '13 at 20:30
  • @ChaosAndOrder That is a good answer, but it can't be marked / upvoted unless it is posted as an answer below. Jul 6 '13 at 6:10
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You can use any computer that fulfils the minimal requirements:

  • Most important is sufficient storage for the blockchain (currently ~9.5GB), you probably want a multiple of that for some peace of mind.
  • The computing power necessary to just run a (non-mining) client is insignificant, any computing device available on the market today should do. If it isn't particularly powerful the initial sync might take longer, but after that the effect is neglible.
  • Internet connection with sufficient bandwith to keep up with the network.

An old computer or Raspberry Pi would be sufficient, whereas the Raspberry Pi will probably have a much better energy efficiency and thus should end up being cheaper in the long run.

A comment above suggested that a virtual private server might be even cheaper, however, if you want to store any significant amounts of money on your bitcoin client, you might be more comfortable to do so on hardware that you have complete control over.

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Go your local goodwill/thrift/whatever. They have usually old PCs for ~15EUR. If storage can hold block chain and can handle internet, is enough.

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