Darknodes power RenVM by contributing network bandwidth, computational power, and storage space. As such, operating a Darknode incurs a financial cost. To incentive Darknodes to contribute their resources, there needs to be a financial incentive.
Furthermore, the security of RenVM is built on the assumption that acquiring 100,000 REN is non-trivially expensive. The greater the cost of the bond, the greater the security of RenVM. If Darknodes are earning rewards for their contribution of resources, this naturally establishes a cost for REN.
To compensate Darknodes for their work, users of RenVM are required to pay fees. These fees are paid to an Ethereum smart contract, known as the Darknode Payment contract. Once per payment cycle, the Darknode Payment contract distributes these fees evenly to all Darknodes as a reward for their work. Payment cycles happen once every four weeks. Only Darknodes that are actively powering RenVM during the payment cycle are rewarded.
The most common type of fee paid to the Darknode Payment contract is a dynamic fee. Dynamic fees are required when users are moving tokens from one blockchain to another. The fee is specified as a percentage of the moved token.
Users must pay a minimum fee of 0.1% of the moved tokens. Users can optionally increase the fee in steps of 0.01% to encourage Darknodes to prioritise their transaction.
As payment cycles begin and end, your Darknode will slowly earn rewards in different tokens from different blockchains. To access these earned rewards you will need to visit the Darknode Command Centre and go through the following steps:
Navigate to your Darknode in the Darknode Command Centre.
Claim the rewards earned by your Darknode.
Withdraw the rewards claimed by your Darknode.
After registration, Darknodes must be whitelisted before work will be distributed to them and they can earn rewards. Darknodes registered during a payment cycle will be automatically whitelisted at the beginning of the next payment cycle.
Darknodes that do not actively contribute their resources to powering RenVM will be blacklisted by their peers. Blacklisted Darknodes will no longer have work distributed to them and can no longer earn rewards. The only option for the owner of a blacklisted Darknode is to deregister the Darknode and withdraw the REN bond.
Blacklisting inactive Darknodes protects RenVM from malicious adversaries that might try to take RenVM offline by refusing to do work that has been allocated to them. Darknodes will vote to blacklist other inactive Darknodes after they have been inactive for 24 hours or more.