Skip to content

Earn Passive Income by Running a Dash Masternode on Raspberry Pi

July 10, 2015


Why would you want to earn passive income as a Dash Masternode?

First, one can get up and running with just a Raspberry Pi (also in a dedicated server or in a VPS), which is small and inexpensive. Second, the return-on-investment (ROI) is currently estimated at 17 % per year.

The Dash blockchain has set itself apart as the world’s only currency to incentive its nodes with regular payment. Masternodes earn 47.5 % of the Dash block reward, which puts their earnings on par with Dash’s miners.

With some initial collateral and around US$50 to invest in hardware, you too can join the savvy group of earners running a Dash Masternode on a Raspberry Pi.

Pi Time

We interviewed two current Masternodes operators about their costs, setups, and recommendations. Dash Talk members Mangled Blue and Fuzzyduck both use the Raspberry Pi 2, which costs about US$40. They’ve added to it an $US8 microSD card (8GB).

Mangled Blue says that he also used an HDMI cable, HDMI monitor, a USB keyboard, and a USB mouse. He indicates that it’s possible to use a cell phone charger for power, or a microUSB-b to USB cable. Lastly, he connects his Pi with an Ethernet cable to his Internet modem, as he doesn’t recommend using Wi-Fi, though he concedes that it could work. He adds:

“I might not know every little detail about DASH or other cryptos, but having a Masternode    keeps me involved. It also forces me to learn something new – I knew nothing about Linux this time last year.”

Fuzzyduck says that the Raspberry Pi 1 only had 512MB of RAM, which may not have been enough to run a Masternode. But the Raspberry Pi 2 – boasting a full gigabyte of RAM – does the trick. He says:

“My Pi2 is running super-stable at the moment, and I hope it remains this way for the coming versions. I would like to see more people just try it.”


A collateral of 1,000 Dash is required to run a Masternode. This amount remains in the user’s possession (no private keys are transferred to anyone else). The user can rescind their Masternode status at any time by reclaiming their collateral.

The collateral scheme is designed to make a malicious takeover of the network (a “51 % attack”) cost-prohibitive for an attacker. It also has a side benefit of stabilizing Dash’s price, making it more attractive as a currency.

Interested in running a Masternode, but don’t have the full collateral amount? Not a problem. “Even if you don’t have the 1,000 Dash required, we can find you people to pair up with –  that’s how I got started,” says Mangled Blue. “You’ll find a lot of good info and people in the forums to get you up and running.”


“After running the Masternode stable for months now, I can totally say it already paid for itself for sure!” says Fuzzyduck. “Current price is US$3 per Dash. My Pi2 cost about US$35. I earn three Dash every four days. Do the math.”

And the payout isn’t the only perk for Fuzzyduck. He continues, “Since we are all technerds, we love to tinker with hardware and software – just for the fun of it! If I can do it, you can too.”

Proper Security & Risk Management

Dash Talk user Flare chimed in on security. He says:

“Running a publicly accessible host always requires security measures – the same security rules   which apply for a VPS also apply for a home-run Pi (e.g. enable firewall and disable remote root login).”

And in the event that your home network is breached, your 1,000 Dash collateral is still safe, as neither a Pi nor a VPS ever stores your private keys.

Fringe Benefits

A Dash Masternode does more than just provide paid services to the network (namely the hugely important Darksend and InstantX). Each new node also adds to Dash’s decentralization – a key component for any peer-to-peer operation that aims to achieve resilience and staying power.

Just how decentralizing are Dash’s Masternode incentives already? Crunch these numbers: Bitcoin’s market cap is nearly US$4 billion, and it runs on 6,000 nodes. In contrast, Dash’s market cap is only US$17 million – a mere half a percent of Bitcoin’s market – but it runs nearly 50% of the nodes at 2,650 and counting.

Head on over to Dash Talk’s forums to post your questions about becoming a Masternode. Then check out Fuzzyduck’s detailed guide “How to Run a Dash Masternode on Raspberry Pi” to get started.