In the world of crypto, nodes are an integral part to keeping a blockchain network safe and capable of validating transactions. But as web3 adoption becomes more mainstream, it’s becoming harder not only to maintain the blockchain but also to maintain the node where the blockchain lives.
One Raleigh-based startup offers a solution that makes it easy for anyone to run and monitor their own nodes.
Founded in 2022, Node Orbit is a SaaS-based node hosting platform that is focused on increasing web3 adoption by creating an easy and accessible application that provides real-time updates on all relevant node performance metrics. By being able to track node statuses, users can maintain control of their node rewards and start earning passive income through Proof-of-Stake (PoS) crypto networks.
A cryptocurrency node is a dedicated computing power processor for blockchain networks that functions as a peer-to-peer (P2P) system to ensure transactions are valid without needing to rely on a third-party “authority” like banks. Ensuring that the nodes are performing well, however, requires constant maintenance from their users, who can simultaneously earn rewards in exchange for their upkeep efforts.
This process is called “staking,” which provides stakers with rewards in the form of a percentage stake in the annual profit of the platform. These rewards help to incentivize users to achieve consensus, verify transactions and secure the PoS network.
Because of the need for constant upkeep, maintaining these blockchains can be difficult and inaccessible to most people who are not totally familiar with the process. But if the blockchain is un-managed or poorly managed and becomes corrupted, the value of the native token (a cryptocurrency) can plummet and the participants will lose their money.
Node Orbit Founder Jonathan Lima said that even with his extensive programming experience, he found that trying to get a project’s nodes up and running was difficult and cumbersome. He realized that if it were hard for him, it would be even harder for less experienced developers. Lima decided to try running nodes for other people on Node Orbit’s platform and quickly created some happy users (and potential customers) because of the platform’s reliability and accessibility.
Node Orbit’s platform runs on dedicated servers all around the world. Unlike VPS (virtual private server) providers who over-provision resources, Node Orbit servers are optimized per project and stay on top of all benchmark and uptime checks.
The platform’s custom monitoring solution also ensures that their servers are running and that the hosted nodes are up to date and passing benchmarks. In the scenario where servers go down, their platform will automatically start deploying node configurations to backup servers based on node rank to help mitigate the risk of nodes going offline.
Users can send their node configuration to Node Orbit and the startup handles the rest, from node creation to monitoring to upgrades. Therefore, the users’ coins and the rewards they receive through maintaining nodes never leave their virtual wallet, leaving them in control of their own assets.
“As more and more projects come on board, we will make it easy for end users to actively participate and stay engaged in projects,” Lima said. “In general, what’s important for a lot of the different users is generating passive income. By having the nodes up and running, they’re able to generate rewards, which is greater than what they’re paying me to keep it going.”
Since its launch last year, Node Orbit has hosted more than 1,000 nodes across over 300 active customers, some spending over $5,000 a year, according to Lima. The platform offers annual and monthly pricing plans, curated to different projects and users based on their needs.
“The crypto space is very large and still in the Wild West,” Lima said. “There are a lot of different providers doing this already, but I think a lot of our community members and subscribers are happy with the level of service that we’ve been providing so far.”