Running Your Own RedStone Node: Why and How?

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RedStone is an Arweave-based oracle that powers price data for everything from crypto and stocks to grain and livestock. Over 1,000 sources feed into RedStone – technology that relies on a distributed network of nodes to provide price data that can be called like an API into any app that needs fast and reliable information without relying on a centralized provider.

Why does RedStone rely on node operators?

For sensitive data, trustlessness is of vital importance. Any apps – exchanges, for example – are vulnerable to manipulation if they pull their price data from a centralized API. That’s because data from a single source is able to exploited, whereas data from multiple nodes cannot be abused so easily. For this reason, RedStone relies on node operators to run the redstone-node software, hook into the network, and act as sources for the main oracle.

RedStone currently has four nodes listed as providers – RedStone, which stores all data; RedStone Rapid, which stores data from the most popular tokens and offers a fast update rate; RedStone Stocks, responsible for ETFs, commodities and non-crypto data, and one test node. To give an idea of scale, the main node provides over 350 million historical data points to client applications.

What do you need to run a node?

RedStone’s current nodes run on AWS with some pretty light specs:

To run a node on your own hardware matching these specs, the RedStone team say it would likely even be possible on a Raspberry Pi or old computer. As a refreshing change from the strict requirements of PoW, anyone can run a RedStone node.

One caveat is that a node would need enough storage space for future log storage – RedStone’s biggest node produces and stores around 1GB of logs per day.

What incentives are there for node operators?

While the team hasn’t made an official announcement, there are plans to release a RedStone token in the very near future. RedStone Head of Growth Marcin Kaźmierczak explained in our ongoing AMA:

[A] data provider who sets up its own RedStone node will charge fees from users via [the RedStone] token. We will leave the price structure and fees up to the market entirely – the providers and users will decide if it’ll be a subscription, a per-request fee, or another model. In the early stage of the market, we plan to subsidize both early data providers, as well as early users, with RedStone tokens.

The team is currently ensuring the tokenomics of the upcoming RedStone token are fair before going live with the token launch plan. From the looks of the current UI, nodes will operate partly on a proof-of-stake basis; current nodes from the team are shown to hold a stake of tokens, presumably so they could be slashed in case of malicious activity.

Overall – with such a low barrier to entry and the chance to earn tokens from an exciting project – it’s clear many people will be keen to run RedStone nodes and earn tokens, regardless of their system specs.

Do you have an old desktop computer or Raspberry Pi you could put to work as a node? Check out the redstone-node GitHub for more information, and keep track of the team’s updates on Twitter for more news about incentives.

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