Are there any use of mini-farmers?

The tutorial about farming suggests gigabytes of storage and network.

Is there any use of little nodes spanning only 200 megabytes with limited CPU and network?

As far as I know, there are problems in supporting distributed network with nodes of very different cabapility.

Is it a good idea to host a node on a VPS alongside with other services?

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Yes! Not only not a problem having nodes of different sizes, but smaller nodes are treated favourably to encourage them, and provide a balance against the efficiences of larger nodes. One of the ways smaller nodes are favoured is the “network average” is a tipping point, that sets an ceiling on the excess earnings of larger nodes (+20% farming rate). The network average itself will be heavily weighed down by commodity computers and mobile devices which will be able to farm with very low or no cost at all (ie because they can farm just when they happen to be on for other purposes). So these devices become “profitable” at little or no cost at all, whereas nodes built purely for farming would need to pay for their hardware and energy costs out of a maximum 20% farming rate.

All good :slight_smile:


Prefering small nodes? Does it mean it would be profitable to run many little nodes on a big server instead of one big node? Or is there a IP-subnet-based protection against it?

I don’t know the thresholds but yes, one of the ways smaller nodes are favoured is that nodes close to the network average will receive more opportunities to farm than nodes storing a lot above the network average vault size. So splitting a large vault into ones closer to the network average will be better, but to keep this advantage one would have to both know what that average is, and track it as it changes.

There is are disadvantages of allowing storing mini-nodes on a big server:

  1. Corellated failures;
  2. Metadata collection => deanonymisation by a persistent threat.

Both these issues are mitigated by the random assignment of nodes within XOR space.

Sure, if all the nodes were on one big server, that would defeat the object. But by favouring small nodes you get two effects:

  1. on some larger servers running multiple nodes: increased correlation failure the the possibility of (actually I don’t see how metadata collection or deanonymisation might happen, but lets say that too :-)).
  2. a dramatic increase in the number of smaller commodity devices (ie truly distinct nodes) on the network, which works to oppose the effects of 1), and actually makes the networks stronger.

Edit: note that 1) is also limited by the bandwidth. You will only be able to put so many nodes on one server before you start having to add bandwidth to handle the traffic for all those nodes.

The problem with bitcoin is it lacks a means to favour small low performance miners, so they all got squeezed out, and the system has become highly centralised. SAFE Network aims to avoid this and to increase the security of the network by ensuring even people with a mobile phone will join and farm Safecoin with which they can pay for their use of the network.

The aim is to create a network owned by the participants, with Safecoin being the means for ensuring this happens rather than the network being created in order to provide a platform for Safecoin.

Safecoin can still be used for other things, but it ensures the decentralised ownership and operation of the network, as much as the network creates a platform for Safecoin and services built on it.