I have a very naive question: Are there any distributed cryptocurrencies with a financial incentive to run a node? I know that cardano ada has financial incentives to run nodes, as they pay a part of transaction fees although I do not understand how much and who gets paid.: https://cardanodocs.com/cardano/transaction-fees/ Also they decide the price for a transaction (currently about 0.16 ADA per transaction), so this is not really what I am looking for. I do not know if such a cryptocurrency exist. But ideally what I am looking for is something, where you add some value to the network by running a node, and get some transaction fee when your node is used. For example, one could imagine setting a price for running transactions on your node and everybody else on the network can decide if he accepts the price or not to run a transaction on that node. In this case there is not a regulatory instance who sets the transaction fees, as is the case with cardano ada. So my question is: Does such a network / cryptocurrency exist?

  • A Bitcoin Lightning node theoretically (as I have myself not proven) profits from transaction handling. – Willtech Jun 25 '18 at 9:28

While such an incentive could maybe work in centralized system where known people have control of network/miners, its very difficult to design in a truly decentralized network like bitcoin. Few reasons:

  • Can be easily gamed. People can spin off a bunch of nodes to collect fee without incurring any extra costs. Note that providers like AWS/Google provide one month free basic cloud server whose configuration is enough to run a node (but not to enough to mine anything substainial)
  • We should incentivize honest nodes and not all nodes. The health of the network depends on percentage of honest nodes. It is difficult to find who is honest and who is not. For example, I can program my company node to reject all my competitors' transactions

A possible idea is to run trusted nodes that are payed by SPV clients that connect to them to get transaction information. Electrum wallet uses such servers to get txout/wallet instead of asking each user to run his own node. Has been discussed in this thread. Hasn't been successful yet due to lots of free servers available

  • Thank you for your answer. However I don't see how your argument with Google and AWS is valid. In contrary: It shows that computing power and internet connection is a costly thing. – orgesleka Mar 14 '18 at 11:53
  • No it shows is very cheap today, they even give a month for free. – Osias Jota Mar 14 '18 at 12:26
  • But this is only advertising. I think if they found out a misuse they would stop giving it away for free. – orgesleka Mar 14 '18 at 12:50
  • @stackExchangeUser what I am trying to say is the cost required to run a node right now is very low. You can do with a 2GB RAM and 1GB HDD and a decent laptop CPU. Anyone can spin off a bunch of nodes with zero cost to collect these incentives. In fact a good decentralized network should have low node costs – dark knight Mar 14 '18 at 14:40

See this catalog of coins that support masternode functionality https://masternodes.pro/statistics

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