Welcome to the Secret Nodes Cookbook, a living document where you can learn everything you need to know about Secret Nodes.
Last update — July 1st, 2020
Hello, Secret Agents! Today, we’re focusing on a key aspect of the Secret Network: Secret Nodes.
Here you will find a “table of contents” for all information related to “secret nodes”, the worker nodes on the Secret Network that perform privacy-preserving computations. When you operate a secret node, you are helping secure the decentralized web and providing much-needed data privacy for public blockchains and secret contracts. You're also earning fees and block rewards in return for staking your SCRT and keeping your node operational!
This blog post is primarily structured as an FAQ, answering critical questions about secret nodes and how you can participate in the Secret Network. Below is a list of questions that will be addressed in this post, followed by answers. We hope this thorough guide is helpful, well-explained, and exciting!
- What is a “secret node”?
- What is SCRT, and how is it used?
- Is there a minimum stake to operate a secret node?
- What is delegation?
- What do I get for operating a secret node? What is ROI?
- How can I run a secret node?
- What are hardware and software requirements?
What is a “secret node”?
Secret Network is a decentralized network of computers ("secret nodes") that utilize trusted execution environments (TEEs) to protect data-in-use, keeping data encrypted and "secret" at all times. This means that even the nodes in the network cannot see the data being used for computations. These computers are run by community members all over the world, and they help keep the network secure.
What is SCRT, and how is it used?
Secret Network is secured by the SCRT coin (Secret), which is used for fees, staking, and governance. That means nodes in the network receive fees and block rewards in SCRT, and they must stake SCRT in order to operate. When nodes go offline, they can be "slashed" and lose a portion of their SCRT stake.
Secret nodes can create and vote on governance proposals using SCRT, allowing for decentralized control of the network by the community. Most network parameters, such as the inflation rate, are decided through on-chain governance.
Is there a minimum stake to operate a secret node?
There is technically no minimum SCRT stake for a secret node. However, only the largest 50 nodes in the network as measured by SCRT stake are treated as active validators. If a new secret node joins the network with a larger SCRT stake than the smallest node, that smallest node is no longer treated as active.
What is delegation?
If you have SCRT coins but do not want to run your own node, delegation is a great option! Delegation involves giving some of your staking power to a specific validator on Secret Network, who will then give you a share of their fees and rewards. If there is an on-chain governance vote, a delegator's vote will be the same as their validator's, unless the delegator changes their own vote manually. Since at present there can only be 50 active nodes on the network, delegators play a crucial role in decentralization.
What do I get for operating a secret node? What is ROI?
Operating a secret node requires electricity, hardware, upkeep, and attention. In return, node operators receive a share of network fees and block rewards.
Secret Network is inflationary, meaning new SCRT is created over time and distributed to node operators based on the current inflation rate for the network. Returns for node operators depend on this inflation rate and the number of tokens staked in the network. You can find the current inflation rate, total supply of SCRT, and the number of tokens staked on this Secret Network block explorer.
If you want to calculate your potential return as a secret node operator or delegator, reference this ROI calculator, or you can follow the examples below:
Say there are 100M SCRT coins in total. Annual network inflation is 15%. 50M of the 100M SCRT coins are currently being staked or delegated. There is no community tax.
(100M total / 50M staked) * 15% inflation = 30% ROI for validators (not including any fees they may earn!)
Say there are 100M SCRT coins in total. Annual network inflation is 12%. 25M of the 100M SCRT coins are currently being staked or delegated. There is a 25% community tax, meaning 25% of all block rewards goes to an on-chain community pool.
(100M total / 25M staked) * 12% inflation = 48% ROI for validators pre-tax, 36% ROI for validators post-tax.
How can I run a secret node?
These next parts get technical, but they're all important!
If you have an Intel Nuc, you can prepare it with this guide.
Now you must setup a full node:
After you've setup a full node, you must turn it into a Validator.
Now that you have your validator setup, it is highly recommended that you back it up.
Protect your validator from DDOS attack. Remember it is your responsibility to keep your validator up and running. Setting up Sentry Nodes can protect you from downtime.
What are hardware and software requirements?
Specialized hardware requirements for the current Secret Network mainnet are not substantial. However, in the future running a secret node will require access to an SGX-enabled computer or an SGX-enabled cloud operator. Any 6th Generation Intel Processor (Skylake) after Q3 of 2015 should have this capability. However, this may or may not be enabled by the BIOS — for example, SGX in Mac computers is not and cannot be enabled. Currently cloud providers like IBM and Alibaba Cloud do enable SGX instances. For a detailed list of SGX enabled hardware and cloud options, please visit this link.
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