I want to start playing around a bit with the technical side of Bitcoins (thinking of setting up an exchange). So I built a bitcoind (daemon) binary from source and now the docs say that when I run that, it will start downloading the blockchain, which is several GBs large and takes a couple hours.
The only thing I want to do however, is create a simple wallet and make transactions from and to it. And because I ultimately want to deploy this to a server, I would prefer to not download several GBs.
So do I really need to download the whole blockchain in order to get a simple bitcoin wallet? Or is there a smarter way than deploying a wallet on a server using the bitcoin daemon?