Setting up QBIC masternode for noobs - step by step guide
So how does it work? Multiple decentralized servers are coming together to validate transactions and "agree" on the content of blockchain. Participation in this decentralized transaction validation mechanism gives all participants rewards that are later on equally distributed among all participating parties. In order to participate you must accumulate specific number of coins belonging to a given project and set up a piece of server that will connect with remaining nodes and remain online as long as you are willing to play: your server becomes a masternode.
You can review different requirements for different nodes and compare ROI and cost of setting one in many websites today. For the purpose of this post, we will guide you through details how to setup a masternode for QBIC altcoin, and describe caveats and gotchas that are not covered by the step-by-step guide prepared by QBIC team and published recently on their website.
Remember, that once you lock in your coins in a masternode, you cannot sell it without breaking the node (which will stop your daily passive income).
In my example I will be using QBIC wallet running locally on Windows desktop, while mastenode will be deployed on a remote VPS running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, with a static IP address. Looking at how the masternode software is built, I believe it would be possible to host both, the wallet and masternode on the same machine. But this is probably not the smartest thing to do -> you want your wallet to stay close to you. In case your masternode gets compromised, you will still keep all QBICs you've earned (and invested) and simply rebuilt a node from scratch, risking at most a day worth of profit...
Step one: gather as much as 1000+ QBICs.
QBIC project started earlier this year and after initial burst of excitement the dev team collected a lot of bad press from the community due to failed marketing campaigns and lack of regular updates. That is promised to change now with new ideas and the new, very active project team. That is the reason why jumping on board now, when the price of 1000 QBIC is still relatively low (within $300 range for 1000 QBICs as of the time of writing this post), might actually not be such a bad idea. There are several ways how you can obtain such amount of QBICs - if you are not sure which exchange to use, check Markets tab on coinmarketcap.com.
Hint: usually the market with the highest trade volume is where you are going to spent least amount of time waiting for the transaction to happen.
Once you have obtained your 1000 QBICs and have them in your wallet, it is time to perform a very specific transaction that will be recognized in blockchain as masternode creation eligible. To do this, simply create yourself a new receiving address and label it somehow - the guide mentions "MN1" as an example (File - Receiving Addresses - New).
After that, transfer 1000 QBICs to your newly created address, just make sure you don't select "subtract fee from amount" - leave it unchecked. This way you will send around 1000.00004 QBIC to yourself (1000 QBICs + 0.00004 transaction fee). Once completed, it will be visible in your transaction list as zero value transaction with a cost of negative 0.00004 QBIC. It's OK that it looks like transaction value was negative – this is by design. We will have to wait around 30 minutes for the network to accept this transaction. Give it some time.
Step two: you will need to setup a Virtual Machine (VPS) at one of cloud providers: AWS, Hetzner, DigitalOcean? It is up to you really where you are going to set it up. All you need is the minimal hardware footprint and a static public IP address, available for you 24/7. For the purpose of this exercise I chose Hetzner's CX11 VPS offering with monthly running cost that matches a daily masternode return (EUR 2.11). Small footprint and cheap price makes it a really good candidate for such workload. Masternode will not require multi-core system with loads of memory. It is a very simple workload (at least in current project's state - that may change in the future).
Once you sort out account registration and payment details, initiate deployment of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS image. I humbly recommend using RSA keys as the ONLY ways of accessing the machine - unless you want somebody to take your node away from you in the future (because it is more than certain that somebody would if you leave it protected with standard username and password pair).
Once your machine is ready and you managed to successfully log on (as root), upgrade it by running command:
apt update && apt upgrade
Let's get back to the official deployment guide: All operations in the QBIC's guide are assumed to be executed by root and from /root directory. And to be honest, their deployment scripts are not too smart in terms of recognizing different environment variables or paths, so for your own good, stay in /root and do as they say:
- download the installation script
- make it executable
chmod 740 install.sh
- run it
That's it. On this small footprint machine it took around 5 minutes to run the script. If you tried to download it to some other location, if you used another linux distro, or run it as a standard user using sudo, the script most likely will fail... Stop. Start over.
If nothing failed, you should see an output containing a private key: note it down -> we will need it in few minutes.
Step three: Masternode software.
Let's now apply an update to the mastenode software:
- download update
- make it executable
chmod 740 qbic-upgrade.sh
- run it
The remote server part is done.
You don't need to do anything anymore on this host. Update makes sure your masternode automatically recognizes the list of existing other nodes and will not require you to make any more adjustments to the masternode end.
The port for the service is set by configuration script to run on port 17195. If you are using some firewall or need some network security groups to be configured by your service provider, make sure to open just this port out. Hetzner does not require such configuration as your machine is directly connected to the Internet. On AWS/Azure you would have to perform extra configuration just to enable this port to be visible from outside. At this point you can also nmap your machine from the outside world (e.g. from your home) to see if port 17195 is open.
You can move back to your wallet running on your Windows machine.
Now the critical part - let's see if the transaction you made (when you paid yourself 1000 QBICs) is already confirmed by the network. It should be ready by now. If not, give it a few more minutes.
Open a debug console (Tools – Debug Console) and type in:
You will see the eligible transaction id and transaction number (it will be most likely 1). If you don’t see it, make sure your wallet is online and that your transaction was EXACTLY 1000 QBIC. Not 1001, nor 9999.99991, nor 1010… only with round 1000 you will be eligible to start a masternode.
Click tools -> open masternode configuration file, this will open a notepad where you will be able to edit a config file.
We will add a new line to this file in a moment. You can have multiple nodes running based on this wallet, hence every new line is dedicated to one masternode. It is also wise to call them differently and use different receiving addresses for each node.
The file contains references and examples - those are the lines beginning with # - they are ignored by the algorithm. Your file should have only one line created below the commented lines in a format specified in the deployment guide. My file looks like this:
Note that alias is something you type and it has no reference to the label of the receiving address you created. You can type in whatever you want there with no consequences.
Save it and close notepad. One more thing - you need to enable masternode tab in your local wallet - to do that, click settings -> options -> wallet -> Show Masternodes Tab.
Restart your wallet (close it and start again). You will see a new tab called (you guessed right) Masternodes. Once you open it, you will see a masternode that you've just added, it will have a status described ad "MISSING". Click START MISSING button to initiate the synchronization and start it.
Within few hours (yes, you need to be patient here), it will change its status to Enabled. If it doesn't, just restart your Windows wallet app.
Step four will be to observe the status of your node via external watcher, like mnode.club - register your account there and start monitoring your nodes (you can identify your node by searching for your receiving address) -> once you register your node under your account, you will receive an email every time a block reward transaction is sent to your wallet, together with payment statistics and ROI calculation for this specific altcoin/node.
Note: the first payment will happen within 24 to 48 hours.
There is nothing you can do to speed it up. Sit tight and patiently wait. You will receive an email from mnode.club once it happened (or you can nervously keep checking your QBIC wallet every hour…).
You can see if the node is healthy via mnode.club OR locally on the server by running one of the two commands. Don't pay too much attention to what your Masternodes tab in your local wallet says: it is not accurate - in my case the status was incorrect for almost a week while I kept receiving reward transactions.
To validate if your node is working fine, check the output of the following commands on your server:
qbic-cli masternode status
Currently the reward is 10 QBIC/node. Reward payment is received every 28-30 hours in my case, which gives a daily return of little below 8 QBICs (the below shows stats from mnode.club - note that only one transaction is listed under 24 hour details - a new one will come up any minute now as the monitoring window is 24 hours and transactions happen every ~ 28 hours).
Side note: reward payments require way more network confirmations than regular transactions (101 at least), so you must be a bit more patient here because these qbics won’t be confirmed for at least 3-4 hours after you receive them. But, hey, masternode is a long term investment.
Happy Masternoding! :)
BTW. If you have any issues with setting it up or some random weird errors showing when you run qbic-cli, head to QBIC Discord chanel and share your problems out there!