Masternode setup and troubleshooting.
PIVX has a two-tier network of nodes. The first tier includes common wallets and staking nodes and the second tier is comprised of masternodes. Masternodes support voting on PIVX budget proposals as well as experimenting with the future addition of special features, such as instant transactions. They also strengthen the overall network through incentivized software updates and online availability.
Unlike PIVX Stakers who receive rewards at random, masternode rewards are more predictable. PIVX produces a new standard block on average every minute. (There is also a superblock made roughly once per month that pays for budget items that have been voted on by the masternodes.) Each block generates a single masternode reward and is awarded to a single masternode from a deterministic list of all masternodes. Once a mastermode get's a reward, it is moved to the bottom of the list. Each reward is 6 PIV and the reward frequency is based on the total number of masternodes.
You can estimate your annual returns over a period of time by dividing that time in minutes by the estimated number of masternodes to get the number of rewards and then multiplying that by 6 to get the number of PIV. For example, for around 1600 masternodes over 30 days, your masternode will receive approximately (minutes/masternodes)x6 = (30x24x60/1600)x6 = 162 PIV. Here are some tools that help calculate masternode rewards:
Requirements for Running a PIVX Masternode
To run a masternode, you will need 10,000 PIV. Exactly 10,000 PIV must be sent in a single transaction output (called a UTXO) to an address you control. The private key for this address will be used to sign the one-time transaction that starts the masternode after the masternode software is running (more on that below).
Running a masternode requires running masternode software, which is an online PIVX wallet specially configured to be a masternode. It must be continuously running, without a break of more than two hours, or it will be penalized through a delay in its ability to get a next reward.
This masternode software can either be outsourced, using a service like Allnodes or nodehub.io, or self-hosted. Outsourcing the masternode is a popular choice for many, as it removes the technical burden of running and maintaining the masternode server and can be acquired for only $5-10/month.
Self-hosting requires more technical knowledge and responsibility, but gives greater control. It also helps PIVX because it is beneficial to the network to have as many independent entities as possible runnibg masternodes. Hosting a masternode requires a single-processor computer with a recommended minimum of 2 GB RAM, 50 GB disk space, and 2 TB of monthly data.
A good source for this computer is a Virtual Private Server (VPS) purchased from providers like Vultr, Digital Ocean, or others. After acquiring a VPS, you will need to download and install the latest PIVX wallet, set the configuration file
pivx.conf for masternode operation, and run
pivxd, the PIVX daemon. This software, the first time it is run, will take several hours to sync the blockchain, and after that have minimal maintenance.
With the masternode software running and a fully syncronized blockchain, you will then create a transaction that starts the masternode. Software exists to help with this, including the PIVX Core wallet and the Secure PIVX Masternode Tool (SPMT). SPMT provides a graphical interface for handling multiple nodes with easy access to payout balances, status checking, and estimates to the next payout.
How Do I Start
You first need to decide if you want to self-host your masternode software or outsource it. If you want to outsource it, you can go to the provider, such as Allnodes, and follow their directions to start the software and start the masternode.
If you are self-hosting, you will need to acquire a VPS and download and run the software. You can follow general instructions for using the PIVX Core wallet for masternodes given in General Masternodes or detailed instructions on setting up a Digital Ocean VPS and configuring it using the SPMT software with a Ledger Hardware Wallet given in Running a Masternode on Digital Ocean.
Troubleshooting Masternode Issues
If you have issues with your masternode, they may have already been solved by others. Please check the relevant FAQ at Troubleshooting Masternodes.