27/November/2019

Plug n’ Play Hardware Node Holiday Wishlist

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up, it’s time to load up on full node gear. What better way to show off your Web3 lifestyle while supporting sustainable decentralization of blockchain node infrastructure!?

These crypto OEMs build and ship pre-packaged a “node in a box”, making it simpler and easier to run a node. The industry is getting to the point where running a node will be as easy as plugging in a router. With incentivization schemes for monetizing full nodes, like VIPnode and Pocket Network, going live next year to further drive network growth and give at home node operators an opportunity to earn residual income, these are definitely the gifts that keep on giving.

Plug n’ Play Hardware Node Solutions

DAPPNODE

DAppnode is building the infrastructure to power a decentralized internet. DAppNode has the mission to put out as many nodes as possible to strengthen decentralized network infrastructure, so they sell their hardware at a cost without making any profit. They offer the best, easy-to-use, high-quality, plug n’ play hardware to make sure your nodes are always up and running.

The DAppNode shop offers three choices:

The advanced model should be enough to meet all your decentralized requirements and is the best fit for most users. You’ll be able to run both an Ethereum and Bitcoin node plus layer 2 solutions like Raiden or Lighting Network, simultaneously! In their Admin UI, you’ll also see options to install other DAppNode Packages (DNPs), such as Pocket, Cosmos, Polkaddot, VIPnode, and even more.

It will cost you 797.00 € (~880.90 USD). Use the coupon code BLACKDappNode20 at checkout for a 20 € discount. And if you are feeling extra generous this holiday season, donate to their Gitcoin project grant to help them in their mission. I did!

If you already have extra hardware lying around, you can download and install the DappNode OS. Just make sure it meets the minimum requirements!

Node runners can also take advantage of the DNP auto-update feature. This allows nodlers to upgrade their DAppNode packages automatically. For example, all Ethereum mainnet and testnet packages have been automatically updated and are ready for the Istanbul fork. It’s worry-free decentralized node infrastructure!

 

AVADO

Avado provides an easy way to run a blockchain node at home. They offer a handful of different options in their shop. The most powerful of the bunch is the Avado i5. The hardware it contains includes an Intel i5–8250u CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and 1 TB SSD with a 2.5 inch HDD slot for expansion. Avado hardware comes pre-installed with AvadoOS, which was originally forked from DAppNode.

It allows synching of two to three networks (e.g. Bitcoin/Monero/Ethereum + testnets). Owners of Avado hardware nodes can immediately begin to monetize their hardware with its “Smart Mining” program, announced a few months ago. This lets node runners rent out their processing power, storage, or bandwidth to earn cryptocurrency. The first Smart Mining application added to their Avado DappStore is the Mysterium Network, which is a decentralized VPN-as-a-service. By sharing your excess bandwidth, you can earn up to $600 worth of ETH a year!

COINMINE

CoinMine One dropped their price to $699 from $799, right ahead of the holiday shopping season. On top of that, they have offered our readers a discount code DISWeekly for $50 OFF, bringing the total down to $649! They also offer 4 interest-free payments of $174.75 with QUADPAY. With the Coinmine One, customers will be able to mine either Bitcoin, Ethereum, Grin, Monero, and Zcash. They’re also planning to support Cosmos and Handshake.

CoinMine recently announced Coinmine Interest, leveraging DeFi so miners will begin earning ~6.5% APR on the Bitcoin and Ethereum holdings, starting in December. First interest payouts happen on January 1st, 2020. They take the customer experience serious. If you are waiting on an existing order, they’ll even add a Coinmine Cloud Miner to your account so you can immediately start mining crypto in the Coinmine App.

Coinmine makes mining easy; however, in doing so, their MineOS takes a 5% fee. It’s beautifully designed, inspired by and reminiscent of Apple products.

NODLxSAMOURAI

If you are looking for the most private way to transact Bitcoin and run a Bitcoin node, then look no further! Nodl and Samourai formed an exclusive partnership to bring top-notch software DOJO, a bitcoin full node server, to a premium plug n’ play hardware node solution. The Nodl Samourai edition features:

As they say red is faster, and it looks rad AF! Pre-order your Nodl Samourai edition for $849. It will ship at the end of Q4 2019.

CASANODE2

Why should you run a Casa node? It’s a plug n’ play hardware Lightning Bitcoin node that comes pre-built and pre-synched. Node runners get the benefits of running a Bitcoin node in addition to direct access to the Lightning Network for faster transactions. In a similar manner to the Samourai wallet and DOJO powered hardware, the Casa Node pairs with its Sats App to make Lightning payments with just a few clicks. Last month, they announced the Casa Node 2!

The Casa Node 2 hardware specs include a faster process via a Raspberry Pi 4, 4 GB RAM, and a 1 TB SSD. You can pre-order with Bitcoin or Credit Card at the price point of $399. But, you aren’t just buying the device. You are signing up for a membership, which guarantees you’ll new devices and upgrades yearly. It also comes with a full 2-of-3 basic multi-sig access in Keymaster, a hardware wallet, and a Casa Faraday bag. If you act quickly, you can score $100 off on gift orders of Casa Node 2 and Casa Gold. You could either gift it someone else or to yourself. This offer’s only available through November 30th.

I’ll ask the same question again. Why should you run a Casa node? In late August, Casa introduced Node Heartbeats and the Satsback Heartbeat reward. You can earn Bitcoin for keeping a node online and supporting the Bitcoin / Lightning networks. Essentially, this incentive promotes the habit of maintaining a healthy node. By running at least 5 Node Heartbeat checks in a week, a Casa Node customer will be rewarded with 10,000 sats. It’s claimable every Saturday, aka “StackingSats Day”. And just for connecting a Casa Node to the Sats App, you can immediately earn 20,000 Sats. Over time, your SatsBack rewards will pay for your initial investment.

 

Casa also runs a recycle and donation program! If you are upgrading from the Casa Node 1, then you’ll help with the proliferation of nodes into the ecosystem.

Other Hardware Options

RASPBERRYPI

The Raspberry Pi 4 is a powerful microcomputer. It’s available with 1, 2, or 4 GB of RAM. This extra RAM opens up a world of new possibilities, such as running a full node on the Ethereum mainnet (and Tezos full node, too) or installing Samourai DOJO. Even the Storj team bootstrapped V3 of their network with Raspberry Pi 3s. With Ethereum 2.0 coming soon, the hardware requirements to run an Ethereum node will be sharply reduced.

As mentioned above, Avado announced its “smart mining” initiative with Mysterium dVPN as the first application. But, you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars to participate. Instead, Raspberry Pi aficionados already have the opportunity to monetize their hardware by renting out excess bandwidth to the Mysterium Network node pilot program and earning up to $50 worth of ETH a month. Quickly, making back their initial investment, while supporting a decentralized virtual private network. The hardware costs start at $35 USD, and only goes up a bit from there.

By clustering a bunch of Raspberry Pi 4 boards together, it offers an affordable alternative high-performance parallel computing system. At that point, a Raspberry Pi 4 cluster serves as a cheap yet beefy mini-supercomputer capable of hosting its company’s launch site, on a cluster of 18 devices, with tens of millions of visitors. Altogether, it cost less than $1000, provided 72 compute cores and 72 GB of DDR4 RAM, consumed less than 100W, and fit into 1/2 U of rack space. This could potentially significantly reduce the barrier to entry for potential generalized miners and PoS validators!

SYSTEM76

I may be a little biased, but I really like System 76. They build hardware for open source Operating Systems, in this case, Ubuntu and their own Linux distro Pop!_OS, which I am a really big fan of as I dual-boot it on my older laptop. It’s snappy, light, and aesthetically pleasing!

Okay, back to the hardware. For System 76, we’ll be focusing on the mini-desktop Meerkat. It offers prosumers a choice of an 8th gen Intel Core i3, i5, or i7. While designing the hardware, potential buyers can also choose up to 6TB of storage, which can come in handy as the blocks keep stacking up. Not only is the Meerkat energy efficient, but it also takes up a mere 4 inches of desk space. Don’t pick the “short” one, because you’ll need the “tall” one for added storage room and ability to choose an i5 or better processor, as that makes everything faster. If you choose to upgrade your SSD to an NVMe, which has far superior read and write times, you’ll notice an increase in speed and performance, too.

For example, here’s how my design came out:

Operating System: Pop!_OS 19.10

Design: Tall

Processor: i7–8559U (2.7 up to 4.5 GHz — 8MB Cache — 4 Cores — 8 Threads)

Memory: 16 GB

OS Drive: 1 TB NVMe

Configuration total: $1,156 (or $71.18 per month for 18 months)

They’ve partnered with Klarna to offer month financing, so you can pay over the course of 18 months. Right now, they offer $50 off instantly, with more discounts of up to $240 as you upgrade the tech specs. With full-node incentives coming, this could potentially offset the costs of buying hardware and running a node.

Conclusion

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, some of these Original Crypto-Equipment Manufacturers (OCEMs) are offering discounts ahead of the holiday shopping season. It’s not only becoming easier, but also cheaper to run a node.

Made your decision? No matter which one you choose, you’ll be supporting the security of these blockchain networks by running a node. The choice is yours!

Let us know the plug n play hardware solution you have picked in the comments below.