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5

The oldest version that can sync is 0.8.6. This is the version that first used LevelDB instead of BDB. Both the IRC node discovery and the protocol message changes occurred several versions prior.


2

There is a similar question from 6 years ago with different options and answers Is there a remote, trustless bitcoin API that doesn't require anything (blockchain/SPV headers) to be stored locally? Otherwise I suppose the options havent changed much, unless maybe the pruning mod which allow you to run a lightweight bitcoin node (550mb instead of 250giga+...


2

The provided approach is correct. A binary itself does not handle any requests. When you run bitcoind with separate instances of the config and data directories, the system will create multiple instances of the bitcoind program to execute. Each of these instances is a fully independent bitcoin node, and has no relation to any other instance running on that ...


2

As difficulty adjusts automatically, it is indeed possible to run a mostly functional network with the bare minimum hardware required for storage and networking. Naturally, this network will have next to no protection against a 51% attack, as anyone with a faster computer (or computers) will easily be able to outdo your bare minimum hardware. Running it ...


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