"Donate To Your Rep" feature in Nano Wallets


I am posting this here in hope it gets more traction from wallet developers.

There is a post posted on reddit couple of weeks ago and it got some traction

Some Nano nodes operators started to shut off their rep nodes because of lack of incentive/interest. This wouldn't be an issue if we have a lot of businesses running their own nodes, but were are not at that stage yet.

The network relies on enthusiasts running their own nodes to keep the network decentralized and transactions feeless. Those nodes have costs associated with them and the node operators need to pay for them. So, a suggestion was made to add a feature where users of wallets (natirum / nault) can donate to their rep a one-time payment or subscription type of payment through the wallet itself.

  • One-time payment is easy to implement imo, just click on your rep and issue a transaction.
  • Subscription-based donation is a bit trickier but it can work without compromising user experience or private keys. The wallet can prompt the user to get the consent to sign a transaction on their behalf and when the time comes, the wallet can sign and execute the transaction with the specified amount (everything stays on the device).

Not all reps need donations though. So maybe we can add a flag for "Donations are welcome" like we have when there is a node shutting down to let the users know about this piece of information. This should be an "opt-in" feature from nodes operators' side.

Needless to say that this feature should be optional from user's side and I expect 99% of users wont donate, but the 1% that do will help node operators stay in business to cover some of the running costs of the node and maybe even upgrade the nodes to a more powerful one if they happen to get more donations than they expected.

What do you guys think about this proposal, would love to hear your thoughts on this.


While it may seem like a good idea on the surface, it may muddy the water on the motivation and hence long term viability of some nodes.
Ultimately I see the ideal attributes of a long term node operator as:

  1. Good understanding of network security and commitment to good op sec
  2. Clear history of engagement with the community and understanding of the goal of the protocol.
  3. An entity that can afford sufficiently high performance, high bandwidth, and storage requirements in a sustainable way. I.e. node costs are a neglible overall cost to them. At the moment server costs are minimal, and there will be a balance between increasing adoption and cheaper hardware/bandwidth.
  4. Skin in the game as a public identity eg Binance/Kappture where identity and reputation are at stake. Anonymous nodes are fine to bootstrap the network over the next 10 years, but this will likely change to predominantly merchants and services.

Donations may support smaller nodes, but these nodes may not be in the network’s long term interest, particularly if weight is delegated to them and keys are lost in which case this weight will be lost with the node.