How to EASILY Set Up a Secure $ZEN Node for LESS than $30 / year while HODLING!
Setting Up a Zen Node Easily
$ZEN is the native cryptocurrency of Horizen. The zero-knowledge enabled network of blockchains. Horizen offers best-in-class tools for developers to custom build private or public blockchains. It is powered by the most robust and secure public infrastructure enhanced with multiple security layers. It is fast, secure, scalable and reliable. In short, it is in our opinion the BEST crypto project out there you may have never even heard of.
Before I go on, first, a quick disclaimer. At the time of writing, I hold $ZEN. I’m also planning to hodl it, which is how the idea of this article came to be. I’m also not a financial advisor and this is not financial advice. In fact, I’m probably biased toward the project at this point because of how much I love it. So always do your own due diligence and never take financial advice from a random person on the internet.
However, this article is definitely meant for educational and entertainment purposes. Once you research $ZEN and walk away loving it as much as I do, you’ll want to set up a node… or 100… or 1000. That’s what happened to me. It was a scary idea at first, but after actually doing it, I kicked myself for not doing it sooner. Final Caveat: There may be cheaper ways to start a $ZEN node. There may be ways to have more control over your $ZEN node. But for under $30 USD a year and the ease of which I was able to set this up and put it on autopilot, this method works extremely well.
Final Caveat: There may be cheaper ways to start a $ZEN node. There may be ways to have more control over your $ZEN node. But for under $30 USD a year and the ease of which I was able to set this up and put it on autopilot, this method works extremely well.
What is a ZenNode?
ZenNodes bring true decentralization to the blockchain. At writing, there were 42,965 active nodes, which is about 3.5x that of Bitcoin. Nodes are what improve the network’s scalability, reliability, security, and speed. In short, they are one of the most important aspects of a blockchain.
$ZEN has three types of nodes.
The first is the Regular Full Node. All public blockchains require full nodes. They hold an up-to-date copy of the blockchain and are typically wallets running an instance of core software.
Second is a Secure Node. Secure Nodes enable security and resilience of the Horizen network with enhanced point-to-point encryption and decentralization. They employ speciﬁc enhancements and function more than a regular node. It takes 42 $ZEN to act as collateral for a Secure Node which is incentivized by 10% of the block reward.
Third is the Super Node. Super Nodes bring major improvements to the Horizen ecosystem that enable a sidechain platform for an unlimited amount of blockchains and dapps. They also allow tracking and payment of Secure Nodes to be moved on-chain or in protocol. It takes 500 $ZEN to act as collateral for a Super Node and is also incentivized by 10% of the block reward.
How much does that 10% equate to for a Secure or Super node operator? It varies based on the value of $ZEN, meaning as more updates are released (such as Zendoo in 2021 and EVM coming in 2022) and more partnerships are developed, your node will create more value in company with the rise of $ZEN. HERE is a great calculator to help you estimate earning based on different $ZEN price points. To set up a Secure or Super node, you will need to have 42 or 500 $ZEN respectively. Unlike staking for more mainstream coming-2.0 altcoins, these funds need not be locked away in a smart contract waiting for a future update to be released. They also don’t have to be located in an online hot wallet. No, you can set up as many nodes as you want while hodling your coins via your cold storage.
To set up a Secure or Super node, you will need to have 42 or 500 $ZEN respectively. Unlike staking for more mainstream coming-2.0 altcoins, these funds need not be locked away in a smart contract waiting for a future update to be released. They also don’t have to be located in an online hot wallet. No, you can set up as many nodes as you want while hodling your coins via your cold storage.
For this example, I will be using my Leger Nano S (that is an Amazon affiliate link). I love that little device and while there may be other wallets that can also serve a similar purpose, this guide will be with that Ledger Nano S in mind.
Also for this example, I will be setting up multiple nodes. As mentioned, you can set up a single node, 1000 nodes, or anything between or beyond. $ZEN also allows single address staking. So, you can create a single address to hold your collateral $ZEN for multiple nodes. However, I’m a geek for lists, and I actually prefer to name Node accounts on my Ledger and have them match my Node account names. This way as each earning comes and grows that node account, I get more even more excited watching each account grow. If you like the single staking idea, there are plenty of articles on it. However, I’m going to show you how I did it.
STEP 1: Create your ZEN account on your Ledger.
For the brevity of this article, Im going to assume you have basic knowledge of the crypto world and can navigate the internet while also having the ability to set up a user account… anywhere. If you are reading this article, then it’s likely you can handle all three of those things.
$ZEN is supported on Ledger, so set up your first wallet (if you’re not already hodling) under [Manager]. I renamed this account to [CORE] but you can rename it to anything you want; Main, Master, Nexus, etc. I then created a second account under [Accounts] and renamed it N1. You can rename it to whatever you’d like; Node 1, 1, Alpha, etc. If you want to set up multiple nodes, you will need multiple accounts (again, since we aren’t single-account staking in this example). So set up as many as you need following the same naming series convention you went with for your first node.
Quick Tip: You will have to have coin in an account before you create a second account of the same coin. Which means you will need some $ZEN in your Core account before you create your first Node account. Then you will also need some in your first Node account before making a second. This will continue to be true as you add more and more nodes. You will also need 42 or 500 $ZEN in an account for the node, so I’d suggest starting off with that now. I use my core wallet to HODL any new $ZEN buys, gifts, transfers, etc. Then I funded each of my Node accounts with 42 $ZEN each since we are setting up Secure Nodes.
Of note, each of these accounts will create a different address, which is what I wanted. If single staking, you would create a single node address for all your collateral, but it is still suggested to do it separately from your core address. For those account address, which you will need to note, grab those as you send from your Core to N1, N2, N10, N100, etc. You can send/receive using the Ledger from one address to the next. Then you can look in your [Latest Operations] under each account to see the address you sent it to. Once each of your accounts is funded, you know that address will work for that account.
STEP 2: Host Your ZenNode.
It is entirely possible to set up your own hardware, install the software and run your own node. However, I wanted this guide to be for the every-person. So, we used a 3rd party hosting provider. There are a few listed on the Horizen.io website, and 6 with discounts. These hosts are not run by Horizen, so if you have any issues with any of them, please connect with the hosts directly.
The host I went with was Allnodes. They offer hosting and staking for many cryptoprojects, $ZEN included. After some time with them, I am extremely happy with my choice. So happy in fact, I felt comfortable including them as my host of choice for this article. The process was set up in minutes and has worked flawlessly.
Once you go to Allnodes, set up an account with them and confirm your email. That was free. You are only charged if you start hosting.
I then went to billing (The credit card looking icon on the left-side menu) and selected [Other] and entered in 26.50 (see was USD):
I did some research and saw the hosting fee (for the year) + initial setup fee came to a total of $26.50. It was $24.00 for the actual hosting (prepid for the year) and $2.50 for the setup. That’s it… to host my node for the entire year. There are also discount codes you could use, but they already gave a 20% discount for paying for the entire year up front. I thought $26.50 was a steal.
I set up 1 node at a time. I added $26.50. Connected it to my first node address on my Ledger. Then rinsed and repeated for all my nodes.
After paying the $26.50. I clicked on the green [Host] button from the main dashboard screen.
Then I followed these 3 simple steps:
For the Secure Node, you will want to select Horizen 42. If you are setting up a super node, you would be using the Horizen 500.
After you select the Horizen 42, select [Ledger] on the next screen and then put in your first Node address (or only Node address if single-staking):
It will then confirm that address has the needed 42 $ZEN in it. This will only take a moment.
Once done, just finish setup. It will default to the correct hosting requirements. I used ‘Plan B’ and the $26.50 I paid earlier to fund it.
That’s it, you’re all set up. That literally is all you need to do.
Step 3: Enjoy the Benefits
The Allnodes dashboard is also really cool. Even if you are using a different host, you can select the purple [Monitor] button from the dashboard and it will track the node within your account.
But what about payouts?
Well, payouts are as simple as everything else has been. It says roughly every 7-8 days you will get your reward. My first reward came after 5 days or so. You can click on various segments of the dashboard to view node activity, days left of server time, etc,
At time of writing, I was a little past hallway in queue for the next payout.
The best part? The payout goes right to the wallet address. Nothing was held for a minimum amount to accumulate. No extra fees. I just pulled up my Ledger app on my phone (after I synced all my new addresses) and saw all the nodes had the extra $ZEN. That made me realize… You could set this up and take a year-long nap. Eventually wakeup and find your account(s) have all that extra $ZEN. And a year from now, not only would you realize any gains from the $ZEN natively going up, but the additional $ZEN on top of that you earned. All safe and sound in the accounts managed by your Ledger.
And a year from now, not only would you realize any gains from the $ZEN natively going up, but the additional $ZEN on top of that you earned. All safe and sound in the accounts managed by your Ledger.
At the current price of $51.61 for a $ZEN, which is criminally low but is due to the overall market state, your Secure node is estimated to earn $15.43 worth of $ZEN. So, if you prepaid the server for a year ($26.50), that is 10.5 months of profit.
When $ZEN goes back up to $125+ it was around the Zendoo launch, the node will earn about $37.38 a month. At that rate, you’d pay off your yearly server and setup fee in just a few weeks.
If you are holding 42 or more $ZEN, it is a no-brainer to set up a Secure Node.
And in the event you run into a financial need and have to sell you $ZEN, since you control the funds via your Ledger, you have full access at all times. If you move the $ZEN out of an account, that node will stop. It’s nice to know you control ALL your funds ALL the time.
I hope you found this quick guide useful. Setting up a node will only take 5-15m depending on how skilled you are. Then you wont need to touch anything again until a year later.
If you’re like me, you can micro-watch it, and just leave the Allnodes dashboard up on your desktop.
I also created an excel dashboard that auto updates all the $ZEN financial data along with all my buys, node earnings, etc, giving me a near-live, updated ROI on my $ZEN. It accounts for not only the value of $ZEN, but my cost per coin decreases as I earn free $ZEN after accounting for the $26.50 server fee.
Im in $ZEN for the long haul. It is an amazing project, has an amazing team behind it and a great community. Zendoo and Blaze SDK are game changers for future growth and development. When EVM hits later this year, it will open up even more opportunity for the coin to flourish.
$ZEN is currently ranked 146 by marketcap, which is unbelievably low considering the juice this project has:
I urge you to dive into it yourself with your own due diligence. And if you start hodling it, set yourself up a node or 10. Hopefully this guide will make it easier for you to do so.