For this post to make sense I have to start with a side story. Back in the day (2005-2008ish time frame) I was a huge fan of Digg.com and the Diggnation podcast. The podcast was hosted by digg.com founder Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht. In summary the Diggnation podcast reviewed the top/popular stories on Digg.com while drinking beer and going on side tangents. It was a very funny show and I listened to it religiously. At the time I had a job where I could listen to music all day. If memory serves me correctly the podcast ended shortly before Kevin Rose sold Digg.com and went to work for Google Ventures. Why is this important you ask? Because Diggnation podcast/Digg.com was how I originally got into Bitcoin.
In between then and know I saw that Kevin Rose started a new Podcast but, when I looked that the summary of the available episodes, the topics were about things I wasn’t interested in, so I never made time to give it a chance. Then one day while eating lunch at Chipotle and surfing Facebook I saw a post for “The Kevin Rose Show Episode 15 Alex Albrecht, Talking Tech” the feed post was sub titled saying “The Diggnation Boys are back” which immediately made me click “Like” and reshared it from my Facebook Profile before even listening to it. I listened to the episode on my way home from work and in that episode, Kevin Rose decided add episodes about Cryptocurrency into his Podcast show.
A couple of Podcast episodes later Kevin Rose released “The Kevin Rose Show Crypto Show #2 – ZenCash (ZEN) with co-founder Rob Viglione.” The episode goes through Rob Viglione’s past working on ZCash and the forking to ZENCASH. The episode goes through some of the programming theory and the direction the ZENCASH is going. One thing that stood out to me was when Rob Said that Secure Full Node operators get a part of the block fees to help offset the cost of running a full node.
At this point I thought, I got a VMWare Cluster with available resources what are the requirements to do this really? And to be honest the Virtual Machine requirements weren’t anything crazy. 1 or 2 cores, 2-6 GBs of Ram and 20-60 GBs or hard drive space depending on storage type and configuration. As far of the operating systems options goes there is an option for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Then my last initial question was if I had to buy a certificate or if I can use LetsEncrypt to get a free certificate. LetsEncrypt certificates are a supported option to run a Full Secure Node. At this point everything looked good.
My whole assumption at this point was that I would get/make tiny fractions of ZENCASH coins for processing transactions and then after a year or two I would have a small amount ZENCASH. Which I would call that fair considering I would only have to software updates every so often and as long as the virtual machine was on and I had internet I would make a little bit of ZENCASH but at the same time I would be turn helping the cryptocurrency grow.
I went online and started searching for a complete guide to properly deploy a Secure Full Node on Linux and found a very complete guide on BlockOperations. BlockOperations goes through all the options for hosting and sizing configurations and a step by step guide for installing the software and monitoring the solution by email.
I read through the guide and they only thing that stood out was the you have to fund the node with at least 1 ZENCASH coin to process transaction. This was my mistake that I’ll explain later. I checked online and saw that ZENCASH was at $38 US dollars a coin. Then went through and checked the conversion ratios between some of the coins I currently hold vs buying more coins. Right now, my most profitable coins I holding for (hopefully) long term gains and some of the other coins I have I’m holding for in a bet with some friends of mine and can’t sell at this time. Now that that my current option was to buy more Cryptocurrency to exchange for ZENCASH. I found the best conversion rate was US Dollar to LiteCoin to ZENCASH. I went on Coinbase and bought one LiteCoin at $156. Then sent the LiteCoin to Cryptopia to Exchange it to ZENCASH. Then sent the ZENCASH to the Wallet on my computer. After all the transaction fees and transfers I own 3.87699257 ZENCASH coins.
Another side-note. I generally use Poloniex to do my exchanges and day trading because of the wide range of crypto currencies supported and the features in the platform. Unfortunately, ZENCASH is currently not available on Poloniex so I had to go to a different exchange. I used Cryptopia to process the exchange. I looked on Coingecko and the number 1 exchange was Bittrex but right now Bittrex is only accepting applications from corporations and individually selected individuals. Which in my opinion that’s professional speak for people or organization with deep pockets and they don’t want to process the exchange my 1 LiteCoin to less than 4 ZENCASH. Second on the list was Okex which I haven’t heard of before, so I went with option 3 Cryptopia and everything worked out correctly.
At this point I had a Ubuntu VM and a hand full of ZENCASH so I started installing and configuring software according to the guide. Until I hit a big road block that I missed during my original read through of the guide. You need 42 ZENCASH in a swing wallet. Which at today’s prices 42 ZENCASH Coins is a ~$1700 investment to run a Secure Full Node plus hosting costs.
To clarify the required ZENCASH coins to run is:
- At least 1 ZENCASH coin in a private address wallet.
- AT least 42 ZENCASH coins in Transparent/Public address wallet.
Also, to fund the private address you have to subdivide the at least 1 ZENCASH Coin into “4 or 5” transactions. When you factor in the transaction costs which as off today was .001 ZENCASH to go from ZENCASH to ZENCASH and the other exchange currencies you’ll need a little more.
All said in done you’ll need roughly 44 ZENCASH to get started or ~$1800 US as of today.
That 42 ZENCASH detail isn’t really documented/advertised online. There is way more documentation on how to get the smallest VPS solutions from different providers to work as a Secure Full Node then the requirements of ZENCASH on hand. I looked at multiple guides before I started and after I hit my road block and I didn’t see it called out anywhere else. Even in the guide I followed it wasn’t really called out as an important requirement. It’s not like ZENCASH is worth the same as Dogecoin where 42 coins is a tiny investment.
Now I’m trying to decide what to do. Am I going to invest an additional $1700 out of my bank account into ZENCASH to run a Secure Full Node… No. I’ll probably look into the mining requirements and see if the equipment I already have is good enough to mine another 40 coins in a short amount of time. If I don’t have the equipment on hand, I’ll probably transfer the 1.25 ZENCASH out of the Private Address on the node and shut it down.
Overall, I believe that ZENCASH has potential to be a big player in the Cryptocurrency Market so I’m not angry that I bought some today. ZENCASH already has a higher market value then a lot of its serious competitors and is focused on scalability and privacy. ZENCASH was on my watch list for Currencies to buy but I just haven’t done it yet. Again, I wasn’t planning on buying Cryptocurrency today, but I don’t consider it to be a wasted purchase…. Unless ZENCASH tanks then I’ll be pissed at myself, but I doubt that will happen.
This post is just a friendly reminder that sometimes we all get so tunnel-visioned on a task that we can miss important detail. In this case I spent roughly a day building and configuring a virtual machine plus the $162 on litecoin (after Credit Card Processing fees). If I would have caught the detail that I needed to invest $1800 I wouldn’t have done it and played Destiny 2, PUBG, or Forza during that time.