Shutdown a Darknode

Step by step on how to deregister and destroy your Darknode.

How do I shutdown (deregister) and then destroy my Darknode?

Mainnet Darknodes are on a 28-Day Epoch Cycle. Full Registration takes up to one (1) Month Full Deregistration takes up to two (2) Months

Your Darknode will NOT earn rewards while it is deregistering.

You MUST withdraw your RenVM rewards BEFORE you start deregistering your node, or you will lose your rewards!

If you only want to withdraw ETH from your darknodes, you only need to do step 7.

When deregistering a Darknode, please go to the Command Center (CC) and click the DEREGISTER (top right) button on the CC.

  1. A request to deregister will commence at this time.

  2. You will need to wait a few minutes until your transaction clears via MetaMask.

  3. At that point the CC will show 'Deregistration Pending'

  4. Once complete, you will need to wait up to one (1) full epoch (4 weeks). Step 5 is to wait another epoch to claim your bond, which makes full deregistration up to 2 months. This is to prevent bad actors from simply absconding with their REN prior to it being slashed.

  5. After waiting for approximately 4 weeks, you go back to the CC webpage and click the REFUND button (top right) of Darknode page. To receive your 100K REN, simply click refund.

  6. Sign the necessary Ethereum transaction and wait patiently. Your 100K REN will then be refunded to your MetaMask wallet.

  7. At this point, you can Withdraw ETH (gas) from your Darknode via the CLI

    1. You can do so by inputting the below command in terminal


  8. Once the ETH (gas) is received, you can Destroy the Darknode via command via CLI

    1. You can do so by inputting the below command in terminaldarknode destroy YOUR-DARKNODE-NAME

  9. Go to your respective VPS provider account to make sure the droplet/instance is gone/deleted, ensuring you are no longer being billed.

All Done!

WARNING: Before destroying a Darknode make sure you have deregistered it, and withdrawn ETH!

Why can it take two (2) months to fully shut down a Darknode?

Unlike “masternodes” in other projects, the Darknodes that collectively power Ren do a lot of compute and storing to keep the network running (i.e. running the secure multiparty computation).

This gives others in the network enough time to detect any potential malicious behavior that the Darknode got up to, and appropriately punish the Darknode for that bad behavior. Other staking networks have similar mechanisms; Ethereum is proposing a disbonding time of several months. If you'd like to know more on Epoch times, check out this material.

A few quick points

  • In general, not just in the case of Ren, we advise people against using funds that may need to be accessed quickly in any kind of bonding. It typically takes a long time to disbond since most projects will have similar needs to detect/punish cycles.

  • All bonds are sent to, stored, and controlled by, an Ethereum smart contract called the Darknode Registry. We have no control over the funds and we have no way to change the rules about bonding/disbonding. It is trustless and decentralized.

  • The bond can only be refunded by the Ethereum address that bonded the tokens in the first place.

  • You should try to avoid turning off your machine until de-registration has completed avoiding the risk of losing rewards earned (the Darknode CLI won't actually let you destroy the machine unless you’re doing it manually you should be fine).

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