Tips, tricks and hints. What else do I need to know about now I have my Masternode?
In my last two articles, What is a Masternode and why should I have one, and, I want to run a Masternode. How do I pick a good one? I explained what a Masternode is and how to avoid inadvertently picking a scam project or a poorly run one.
In this 3rd article in the series I will run through additional hints, tips and tricks I use to pick, run and monitor my Masternodes.
Hopefully by the end of this article you will be equipped with the essential information, sources and tips to help you select and run your Masternodes.
As always nothing in this article should be considered to be investment advice and you should always complete your own due diligence — this article covers the techniques and sites I use to help me select and run my Masternodes.
Volume? What’s volume? This is, in simplest terms, the amount of the specific coin that has been bought or sold in the last 24 hours across the exchanges. This can be represented in the volume of coin itself or value in BTC or USD.
OK so I know what volume is. Why do I care about it?
Good question! There are a couple of things you need to be aware of with regards volume. Firstly, it is an indicator of how much liquidity there is in a given coin on the markets. This becomes important when you want to sell your Masternode rewards and secure a return on your investment. If the volume is low it indicates there may be little demand for the coin and as such moving your coins on may be difficult. On the flip side high volume indicates that selling or buying the coin should be relatively easy.
BUT…… there is one other consideration when looking at a high volume coins. High volume indicates high demand. There are two scenarios when a coin can be under high demand. Firstly when a project is well run, doing well and has a positive outlook — this is a good scenario and is a positive indicator. However high demand can be seen in the early days of a coins life usually when it has very high ROI quoted. This attracts a lot of interest and investment as people attempt to get a rapid return on their cash. In this scenario you should be wary. High ROI coins can suffer extreme drops in value as people look to secure a return on their investment as soon as possible. In addition, depending on the strength of the project, this can be a cyclical event as people continually look to extract value and in extreme examples can send the coin price into a death spiral.
In short buyer beware!
You should assess volume as part of your selection methodology and this section complements my last article on how to select a good Masternode. I look for volume, as a minimum, in the 10’s of thousands of dollars. Anything less could leave you with issues/delays selling on your rewards.
These are the websites which are freely available providing information on Masternode projects currently available on the markets. Two of these offer monitoring tools for free and one is targeted at helping you assess whether or not you should invest in certain coins.
https://masternodes.online/ — This is the first ‘go to’ site when assessing which Masternode you want to invest in. It holds the largest list of available Masternodes on the market and provides a wealth of information which will assist you in making your selection.
On the first page it provides information on price, node collateral, ROI, volume, number of nodes, etc.
You can also look at upcoming Masternodes that are due to come to the market and make a judgement on whether you want to accumulate enough collateral of a coin ready to run a node when they are formally launched onto the market.
Navigating to the Masternode page for a project will provide all the necessary links to their website, Github, Discord channels, Exchanges on which the coin is sold and other social media channels. It will also provide Masternode stats and a graphical view of other relevant information.
Finally there is a free, but quite basic, monitoring tool on the platform. You just sign-up, enter your Masternode IP or public key information and you will be able to monitor the status of your Masternode provided it is one already listed on MNO.
https://mnode.club/ — This isn’t a site I use but I understand it provides monitoring for a smaller subset of Masternodes but the monitoring is more enhanced. You have the option to switch on Telegram and Email alerts to advise you of any changes to your Masternode status as well as when rewards are generated. (UPDATE – mode.club has recently merged with MNO. Thus the monitoring on MNO now includes enhanced alerting for your Masternodes).
https://masternode.live/ — This is another listing site providing information similar to the above sites. However where this one does differ is the extra due diligence they apply to projects listed on their platform. Each project listed has to achieve certain standards applied by the site and if these are met they can be listed. Not all projects are equal however and for any given project you are able to see which criteria the project scored well on. In essence the checks undertaken are similar to those within my earlier article covering what to check when selecting a node. This is a big step forward in the world of Masternodes and is a welcome resource which you should use as part of your toolkit to assess Masternodes to invest in. But please do not use this alone — you should always undertake your own due diligence when making your investment decisions. You can find out more information on Masternode.live and the team behind it here in my article — Masternode.live — Guardians of the Masternode Galaxy?
Running a node
OK now I am going to touch on various good practises when running a node that you should consider. Whether you apply any of this is your own decision to take but these are the general steps I take to further protect my Masternodes and to ensure any issues can be easily resolved.
· Resilience — When running your nodes you will eventually have to decide whether you run a single node on each VPS or run multiple nodes on a single VPS. I generally run a single node per VPS. I do this to ensure if a VPS ‘goes down’ it does not take multiple nodes with it thus incurring a bigger impact to your reward generation. Given the typical VPS only costs $5 per month it is a small price to pay for peace of mind. In addition getting support from the project for running multiple nodes on a single VPS may be more difficult. You should also ensure that when running multiple nodes you host them in different Datacentre (DC) locations — this further protects you from any events in the location of that DC which could impact its operation such as a major natural disaster. If, God forbid, this happened where you were hosting all your nodes then all of your Masternodes would be taken out.
· Setups — If you want to make sure you can be easily supported choose the most common setup for running your node. This usually means running a Linux based VPS with a cold wallet hosted off the node. Getting support for running a hot wallet (coins in a wallet hosted on the VPS), or, running a Windows VPS for your node can be more difficult and you should only consider this set-up if you know what you are doing and can resolve issues under your own steam.
· Diversification — Try to avoid putting all your investments in the same basket. This holds true for any investment to be honest and is equally applicable to Masternode investments. Spreading your investments across multiple projects will protect you against a project going south and taking all of your investment with it.
· Ubuntu versions — Ubuntu is the version of Linux most project guides advise you use to run their Masternodes. However it is important you install the version stated in the guides. To install a different version will risk an installation failure and having to start again from scratch.
· Encryption — Always encrypt your wallet. Wallet encryption will provide an additional layer of protection in the event someone manages to get access to the device holding your wallets. This encryption ensures coins cannot be sent out with unlocking the wallet with a password selected at the point of encryption — DO NOT LOSE THIS PASSWORD! Losing this is likely to result in the loss of your coins as you will be unable to send them out from the wallet.
· Backups — Always take a backup of your wallet on a separate medium. I use an encrypted USB drive to hold my wallet backup files. Most of my cold wallets are run on a Windows VPS and the wallet backups on this VPS are copied off in the event of a total loss of the VPS.
· Exchanges — Never leave your coins on an exchange for longer than necessary. This is good practise in general for any purchasing of cryptos whether they are Masternode coins or not. Coins on an exchange are always at more risk than when they are in your own possession within your wallet. If the exchange is hacked or goes down/out of business your investment is at risk.
And that’s it!
This is the last of my articles specifically covering how to select, run and manage your Masternodes. I hope you have found this series informative and of practical use.
For updates for when my next article lands or just general Masternodes updates, advice and guidance follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Ade_Redman