Before Getting Started

Understand the responsibilities and implications of running a ZelNode, especially if using your own home network/equipment

Running on home networks

Running a ZelNode from home should only be done by experienced/knowledgeable users who can set up proper network/router security. Zel is not responsible for consequences of inadequate network security. Most ZelNode operators should use a VPS provider as host.

Potential issues (not an exhaustive list)

  1. 1.
    Your home network IP address will be displayed to the world. Without proper network security in place, a malicious person can lurk around your IP for vulnerabilities to access your network.
  2. 2.
    Port forwarding: The p2p port for ZelCash will need to be open.
  3. 3.
    DDOS: VPS providers typically provide mitigation tools to resist a DDOS attack, while home networks typically don't have these tools.
  4. 4.
    Zelcash daemon is ran with sudo permissions, meaning the daemon has elevated access to your system. Do not run a ZelNode on equipment that also has a funded wallet loaded.
  5. 5.
    Static vs. Dynamic IPs: If you have a revolving IP, every time the IP address changes, the ZelNode will fail and need to be stood back up.
  6. 6.
    Anti-cheating mechanisms: If a ZelNode fails benchmarking/anti-cheating tests too many times in the future, its possible your IP will be blacklisted and no nodes can run using that public-facing IP.
  7. 7.
    Home connections typically have a monthly data cap. ZelNodes will use 2.5 - 6 TB monthly usage depending on ZelNode tier, which can result in overage charges. Check your ISP agreement.
  8. 8.
    Many home connections provide adequate download speeds but very low upload speeds. ZelNodes require 100mbps (12.5MB/s) download AND upload speeds. Ensure your ISP plan can provide this continually.
  9. 9.
    ZelNodes can saturate your network at times. If you are sharing the connection with other devices at home, its possible to fail a benchmark if network is saturated.

Notes on Network Upgrades & Benchmarking

As the ZelNode Computational Network continues to develop after activation, upgrades and requirements will keep evolving.
  1. 1.
    The current plan is to release network upgrades roughly every 4-8 weeks. This will keep the network growing, provide a fair rewards system by catching active cheaters, and expand the usage of the network.
  2. 2.
    The network upgrades will require binary updates. You will have advanced notice of these upgrades. Please keep up to date on Zel news via one of our many social media outlets (Discord #announcements, Medium, Twitter, etc.)
  3. 3.
    The current benchmarking minimum requirements will likely shift (slightly) as the network is stood up and more data can be collected. Any changes will be made to keep the network fair for all node operators, and will not be used to halt the number of nodes or otherwise hamper ZelNodes that meet the specification.
  4. 4.
    Anti-cheating mechanisms will need to continually develop and be deployed to keep the network fair for those acting in good faith and maintaining the proper hardware. As new cheating methods become apparent, we will work diligently to discourage this behavior while also working on proactively stopping new forms of cheating.

ZelNode Operator's Requirements

  • ZelCash Collateral
    • Basic ZelNode - 10,000 ZelCash
    • Super ZelNode - 25,000 ZelCash
    • BAMF ZelNode - 100,000 ZelCash
  • ZelNode Server - VPS meets the required specifications (DigitalOcean droplets used as baseline)
    • Basic - 2vCores | 4GB RAM | 50GB SSD | 2.5TB total monthly up/down bandwidth
    • Super - 4vCores | 8GB RAM | 150GB SSD | 4TB total monthly up/down bandwidth
    • BAMF - 8vCores | 32GB RAM | 600GB SSD | 6TB total monthly up/down bandwidth
  • Unique, static IP address (per ZelNode)
  • PC with control wallet (does not need to be open to collect rewards)
    • ZelCore Full Node
    • Swing/Full Node wallet
    • ZelCash Daemon
  • Successfully pass benchmarking
  • 97%+ uptime requirement
If you are using your own hardware, the minimum recommended system specs can be found here
Control wallet will be the address where the collateral is stored and rewards are deposited. There is no ZelCash held on the VPS/server/ZelNode.
The VPS will run the ZelNodes daemon with a fully synced copy of the chain data