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Best Crypto Nodes to Run in 2024 

Deen Newman

Deen Newman

April 17, 2024

11 分鐘閱讀

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In this longread, we’re going to discuss the best crypto nodes for newcomers and pros in 2024 that can be deployed and activated on entry-level hardware. Best crypto nodes for passive income remain among the easiest ways to generate predictable income streams with no expertise in tech.

What are cryptocurrency nodes?

Cryptocurrency nodes are essential components of a blockchain network, functioning as individual points that maintain, verify, and store the complete history of transactions on the network. Nodes operate on computers distributed globally, each containing a full or partial copy of the blockchain ledger.

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By executing consensus protocols, nodes agree on the validity of transactions, ensuring the integrity and security of the network. Nodes come in various types, including full nodes that validate and relay transactions and blocks, and lightweight or "thin" nodes that require less data for quicker setup and use. Collectively, nodes provide the decentralization and robust security characteristic of cryptocurrencies.

Types of cryptocurrency nodes

As every node is responsible for its own task in securing the network’s decentralization and data integrity, there are three main types of nodes: light or lightweight, full nodes or masternodes, and archive nodes.

Light nodes

Light nodes in cryptocurrency, also known as "thin" nodes, download only essential information, like block headers, to validate transactions without storing the full blockchain. This makes them ideal for less powerful devices, offering faster setup and reduced storage needs, while still supporting network security through partial verification.

Full nodes

Full nodes or masternodes in cryptocurrency maintain a complete copy of the blockchain ledger, fully validating all transactions and blocks independently. This comprehensive verification strengthens the network's security and decentralization. Full nodes require significant storage and computational resources, enabling them to support the network's integrity and consensus processes effectively.

Archive nodes

Archive nodes in cryptocurrency store the entire blockchain history plus all historical states, going beyond what full nodes retain. They keep every state change from the genesis block to the present, facilitating deep historical queries and aiding in complex data analysis. This requires extensive storage capacity and computational power.

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Best crypto nodes to run: 2024

In this chapter, we’re ready to cover the top 10 best cryptocurrency nodes to run: most profitable validator nodes, mining nodes, light nodes, and so on.

Bitcoin

With the Bitcoin network, earning BTC via mining remains the most profitable way to get rewarded for contributing to network integrity and performance. BTC is the less volatile and most liquid cryptocurrency that makes Bitcoin mining the most predictable in terms of USD-denominated income rates. At the same time, mining Bitcoin node represent sophisticated hardware mechanism that might not be affordable for hobby node enthusiasts

Ethereum

After the first phase of migration to Proof-of-Stake, Ethereum (ETH) validator nodes should be backed by a 32 ETH deposit minimum which is equal to over $100,000. Such a high entry barrier makes it almost impossible for newcomers to join the Ethereum node ecosystem. However, enthusiasts can stake their ETH in liquid staking protocols and therefore get rewards from providing liquidity to re-stakng provider.

Binance Smart Chain (BSC)

Running Binance Smart Chain or BNB Smart Chain node allows you to benefit from gas payments on the top of the fastest-growing blockchain for DeFi, NFTs, and GameFi. BSC is well known for its cheap transactions, so its on-chain activity is very high in recent years. Also, should you run a BSC node, you will be able to protect the decentralization of 100% EVM-compatible blockchain which means constant inflow of dApps.

Cardano

Cardano is the most decentralized blockchain ever, as per some experts. In its ecosystem, you can become a Staking Pool Operator (SPO) or delegate your ADA deposit in favor of some third-party SPOs. Running Cardano (ADA) nodes directly is not a challenging task itself. The blockchain leverages cost-efficient versions of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, and, therefore, can be joined from a computer with average characteristics.

Polkadot

By joining a Polkadot node ecosystem, a crypto node operator gets connected to one of the first cross-chain protocols. Running a Polkadot node involves setting up a computer with specific hardware requirements, typically a multi-core CPU, 16GB RAM, and a solid-state drive with at least 1TB of space for optimal performance. Operators can earn DOT rewards by participating in consensus through validating or nominating. Validators secure the network by staking DOT, while nominators delegate DOT to trusted validators, both sharing in block rewards and transaction fees proportionally to their stake.

Solana

Running a Solana node can be profitable primarily due to earning rewards through transaction fees and staking. Operators who validate transactions on the network receive SOL tokens as incentives. High throughput and low latency of the Solana blockchain ensure constant transaction processing, increasing reward potential. Additionally, validators play a crucial role in network security and consensus, contributing to network stability and performance, thereby sustaining the overall health and value of the Solana ecosystem.

Avalanche

In order to join the Avalanche node ecosystem, one should operate a computer with at least 4GB RAM, a 2GHz CPU, and 200GB SSD. Potential node operators should download and install AvalancheGo, the official node client and configure the node settings as required. Once installed and configured, an AvalancheGo client should be executed to join the network. Optionally, node runners should stake AVAX tokens to become a validator and earn rewards.

Dash

Running crypto node DASH - a veteran hybrid blockchain that merges the benefits of PoS and PoW algorithms - offers several benefits for newcomers. They can participate in the network as a Masternode to earn transaction fees and block rewards or just support and utilize PrivateSend for anonymous transactions. Also, node runners may enable InstantSend for immediate transaction confirmation and contribute to network health and decentralization. At the same time, Dash node operators influence the future of the network through governance and voting rights.

Starknet

Starknet is one of the newest blockchains in the list. Its node operators contribute to the transactions of eponymous decentralized networks. The main benefit of running StarkNet nodes lies in supporting and participating in a scalable Layer 2 solution that uses zk-rollups technology to offload computation from the Ethereum mainnet, thus reducing costs and increasing transaction throughput. By operating a node, participants contribute to the network's security and decentralization. Additionally, node operators can earn STARK rewards by processing and verifying transactions, helping to facilitate a more efficient and scalable blockchain ecosystem. This makes StarkNet particularly attractive for applications requiring high computational throughput without the burden of Ethereum's gas fees.

Node AI

Node AI GPU nodes specialize in processing artificial intelligence tasks, leveraging powerful GPUs for accelerated computation. These nodes are essential for deep learning and other intensive AI algorithms that require significant graphical processing power. By utilizing GPU nodes, businesses and researchers can dramatically reduce the time needed for training AI models, making them more efficient and cost-effective for deploying complex AI solutions.

As a result, node operators can benefit from running both old (like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano) and new (Node AI, Starknet) blockchain nodes

Top crypto nodes to run in 2024: Overview

In this index, let’s recall some basics of cryptocurrency node management in 2024 in terms of technology and economics. Best blockchain nodes in 2024 should leverage powerful tech infrastructure. Some powerful options include:

  • Samsung 970 EVO Plus with its good capacity options (up to 2TB), high durability (up to 1,200 TBW), and excellent read/write speeds, suitable for most blockchain applications;
  • Western Digital Black SN750 with capacities up to 4TB and a TBW of up to 2,400, this SSD (initially it was designed for gaming but works well for high-intensity blockchain environments).
  • Crucial MX500 which is a more budget-friendly option with adequate performance specs (up to 560 MB/s read and 510 MB/s write speeds) and good endurance (up to 700 TBW for the 2TB model).
N Blockchain node Specifics Crypto node reward token
1 Bitcoin The largest and oldest blockchain BTC
2 Ethereum First and most popular decentralized smart contract network ETH
3 Solana Most trending blockchain in 2023-2024 SOL
4 Polkadot Pioneering cross-chain network DOT
5 Cardano One of the most decentralized blockchains ADA

As such, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) networks represent the most obvious solution for blockchain node management newcomers.

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Factors to consider before running a crypto node

Prior to starting experimenting with running crypto nodes, blockchain enthusiasts should consider technical, security, and economical specifications of their hardware and software resources.

Technical requirements

Typically, cryptocurrency networks rely on high-performance hardware elements synchronized with each other. Running cryptocurrency nodes involves specific technical requirements that can vary depending on the cryptocurrency. However, there are common general requirements across most nodes:

  • CPU. Multi-core processor (e.g., 4 cores or more) capable of handling computational tasks efficiently.
  • Memory (RAM). At least 8GB for basic functionality; 16GB or more is recommended for optimal performance, especially for full or archive nodes.
  • Storage. High-speed SSD (Solid State Drive) with sufficient capacity to store the entire blockchain. The required size can range from a few hundred gigabytes to over a terabyte for networks with larger blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
  • Operating System. Most nodes can run on various operating systems including Linux, Windows, and macOS, though Linux is often preferred for its stability and performance in server environments.

These specifications ensure that the node can handle its duties of validating transactions, participating in consensus, and relaying blocks reliably.

Reliability and stability

To ensure predictable income for every phase of cryptocurrency node operations, users should care about the reliability and stability of their technical systems.

  • Internet connection. Stable and fast broadband internet connection with high uptime. An unlimited data plan is recommended because nodes often download and upload significant amounts of data.
  • Power supply. Reliable electrical connection with backup solutions like UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to maintain node operations during power outages.

As such, cryptocurrency node operators should top up their Internet provider’s account in time and ensure a reliable power stream.

Cost and profitability

Profitability (revenue) of running cryptocurrency nodes can be calculated in three simple steps with the known name of the blockchain, hardware specifications, electricity costs, and so on.

  1. For cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, miners earn block rewards and transaction fees. If you are running a full node and choose to mine, calculate the potential rewards based on current rates.

  2. For proof of stake systems, consider the staking rewards which depend on the amount of cryptocurrency you are staking and the network's staking yield percentage.

  3. Some networks also offer payments for services such as providing data, processing smart contracts (in the case of Ethereum nodes), or participating in network governance.

By carefully analyzing these factors, potential cryptocurrency node operators can make a more informed decision about the profitability of running a blockchain node in a specific situation.

Benefits of running a cryptocurrency node

Running a cryptocurrency node offers several key benefits that contribute to both the robustness of the blockchain network and the incentives for the node operator.

Enhanced security and privacy

By running your own node, you can independently verify transactions without relying on third-party services. This self-verification ensures the highest level of security and privacy since you are not exposing your transaction details to potential scrutiny or relying on external validations which could be compromised.

Supporting network integrity and decentralization

Nodes are crucial for the maintenance and operation of a blockchain’s infrastructure. By running a node, you contribute to the network's decentralization, making it more robust against attacks and less dependent on large centralized validators or miners. This decentralized architecture is vital for reducing vulnerabilities and ensuring a fair and resilient operation of the blockchain.

Financial incentives

Many blockchain networks incentivize node operation through transaction fees, block rewards (in blockchains that use mining), or staking rewards (in proof-of-stake systems). These incentives can provide a passive income stream while also increasing the stakeholder’s influence in network governance decisions, depending on the blockchain’s consensus mechanism.

Overall, running a cryptocurrency node can be a strategic move for those looking to enhance their engagement with the blockchain ecosystem, promoting a more secure, private, and equitable environment while potentially earning rewards for their contributions.

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Deen Newman

Deen Newman

April 17, 2024

11 分鐘閱讀

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