The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a new, more powerful model of its single-board computer. The new device will cost $35 a unit and has the capacity to run full nodes cheaply on the Bitcoin network.
Earlier versions of the Raspberry Pi have been popular with Bitcoin enthusiasts and decentralisation advocates as it provides a low barrier to entry for those interested in running their own full nodes on the network.
Raspberry Pi 4 is here! A tiny, dual-display desktop computer, with three RAM variants to choose from, and all the hackability you know and love. On sale now from the familiar price of $35: https://t.co/d9iwVidexm #RaspberryPi4 pic.twitter.com/4fll4gx1Ax
— Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) June 24, 2019
Using the device to run a Bitcoin node allows users to verify their own transactions over the Bitcoin network independently without having to trust third-party wallets or custodial service providers.
Unlike miners, who are rewarded with BTC for validating transactions, full nodes do not get compensation for their contribution to the network in the form of hosting and transmitting updated copies of the blockchain (or distributed transaction ledger).
More than 10,000 reachable and public nodes
At the time of writing, of the 10,516 reachable Bitcoin nodes on the network, we can see that almost 40% are geographically located in either the United States or Germany.
The new Raspberry Pi model (4th version) represents a significant upgrade on earlier versions. Its most expensive option – with 4GB of RAM – will cost just $55 (excluding tax).
It also comes with a new operating system, which the Foundation claims comes with a host of back-end technical improvements, a modernised interface, plus support for updated applications such as the Chromium 74 web browser.
In the years since Pi’s initial release in 2012, other hardware options have emerged for use as a Bitcoin full node as well. These include HTC’s Exodus 1S smartphone, which has Bitcoin full node capability and was released this May.
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