User Manual & FAQ
This guide is not meant to replace the Darknode Installation instructions but supplement it as a handy manual for Darknode Operators.
Darknodes are the physical machines that power and secure the Ren network. Think of one computer split into thousands of pieces and placed all around the world. For that computer to work, all the pieces need to cooperate and work together. What makes Darknodes special is that they don’t know what it is they are computing. Imagine being given a maths equation on a piece of paper, having that piece of paper torn up into thousands of pieces, and given out to 1000 people. Then everyone, without even looking at the piece of paper, works together to solve the answer correctly. This is achieved through a number of technological breakthroughs pioneered by the Ren team and you can read more about them here and here. Security Audits are also available here. To run a Darknode, you will need 100,000 REN and an account with one of the supported Virtual Private Servers (VPS). These are the machines around the world that you’ll be installing the Darknode software onto, in order to power Ren. For a full list of supported VPS providers, head here. Since running a VPS costs per month (around $5-10 USD) it’s only fair that Operators would expect some kind of incentive for running a Darknode. Since the Ren network is used to transact value between blockchains, a small percentage of the volume is captured by the Darknode Rewards Pool contract and split between all participating Darknodes every 28 days (known as an Epoch). We’ll go into more detail on each of these as you read through the rest of this manual.
Before you launch your Darknode you MUST be aware that running a Darknode is a responsibility! It requires moderate involvement in the community and some technical expertise.
If you’ve made the decision that you want to operate a Darknode, the first thing you’ll need to do is acquire 100,000 REN and determine which VPS provider you want to go with.
Further, your Darknode will not become operational and start earning rewards UNTIL the beginning of the next Epoch. An Epoch is a 28 day period, for more information, look at the Epoch section of this manual.
You must also be aware that to deregister your Darknode and receive your 100,000 REN there is a total deregistration period of 2 Epochs. Find out more about this in the Deregistration section of this manual.
Once you’re ready to begin, head over to the Darknode Installation instructions and be very careful to follow them step-by-step. If you stray away from our official instructions, we can not help you recover any lost funds.
Although Darknodes can be launched with many of the different Ethereum wallets, the Ren team suggests you use MetaMask.
The REN bond is required for a number of reasons. Firstly, it ensures that you have an economic stake in the network, to ensure you’ll uphold your end of the deal and help power the network. The second reason is to ensure Darknode Operators act honestly and cooperate with other Darknodes. For example, if you are caught acting dishonestly, your bond will be slashed and divided between all honest active Darknodes. More information about acting dishonestly is detailed in the FAQ section of this manual. To find out more about security risks, head here.