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$STRONG nodes – earn passive income with crypto – StrongBlock

Photo by Kate Trysh on Unsplash

$STRONG nodes – earn passive income with crypto – StrongBlock

I might just have found my 3rd passive income stream* in STRONG nodes and I’m delighted as noding is something I wanted to get into back in 2018 but it never quite happened!

*Update: Strong is in My Top 3 Passive Income Opportunities – read more here!

And now, it’s even better for #vanlife as Strongblock operate Node as a Service or ‘NaaS’, which means the hardware is in the cloud, so there’s no hardware to contend with or maintain and no local power supply is required…yey! Perfect for van life 🙂

Firstly, unlike some of the other passive income streams I’ve covered, this opportunity is probably more suited to those who already have experience in cryptocurrency as buying Strong tokens, creating your node and managing it is a little more technical and needs decent understanding of transferring coins, wallet security etc. However, I’ll try to keep this post layman and ‘low tech’ for those who are curious.

Think it sounds too much effort? Wait!

What if I were to tell you that that wee node could be earning you +20% per month?

Interested? Let’s get started.

What is StrongBlock?

Strongblock develops blockchain platforms and protocols and aims to transform the way blockchain networks reward the nodes that secure and support them. They provide an easy-to-use Node as a Service (NaaS) tool that enables any non-technical person to launch a blockchain-compliant node in seconds and be rewarded for running them.

The first blockchain blockchain StrongBlock support is Ethereum.

What is a node? (simple overview)

blockchain nodes

Blockchains (cryptocurrencies are blockchains) require nodes to operate. A node is a piece of software that connects to other nodes in the blockchain to create a network. Nodes are where data is stored, received and transmitted. They are crucial to network security and integrity.

Nodes enforce the rules of the protocol. All blockchain transactions must pass though nodes as they validate the transactions via a ‘consensus mechanism’, aka algorithm (mathematical calculations). Multiple nodes must agree that the transaction is legitimate by ‘confirmation’ before it is agreed to be final. Some nodes contain a full transaction history.

Each blockchain has a different protocol or way of validating transactions eg the Bitcoin protocol is different to that of Ethereum and has a different means of ‘consensus’. Thus what a node actually does in any given blockchain protocol will vary, however one thing remains; a node requires a piece of hardware to run on (just like any other piece of software or program).

What are Strong nodes?

Strong nodes support the Ethereum network and reward nodes with a ‘Node Universal Basic Income’ (NUBI) on a ‘per Ethereum block’ basis for contributing to maintaining the network.

Strong nodes Strongblock logo

Strong nodes are operated ‘Node as a Service’ and thus require no hardware (ie. StrongBlock take care of the resources and technical stuff for a small monthly fee). Whilst currently only Ethereum is supported, StrongBlock’s goal is to be blockchain-agnostic and more protocols are coming soon.

It should be noted that Strong nodes are ‘private nodes’ for which demand has been growing. A solid network of nodes is required in order to provide Blockchain as a Service (BaaS), the newest of the ‘as a Service’ services that is likely to explode over the coming years (Markets and Markets expect BaaS to grow at an insane CAGR of 90.1%!), similar to the explosive growth of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) over the past decade. And ‘BaaS’ is exactly where StrongBlock are headed.

What are the StrongBlock / Strong tokenomics?

Strong is an ERC-20 token. The max supply of $STRONG is 528,886. You can read more about the Strong tokenomics here on Medium and see the latest circulating supply on CoinGeko (approx 25% is circulating at time of writing, mid June 2021).

Relative to other token/supply, half a million is pretty damn low. For that reason (and many others!), I feel the price of STRONG (currently around $200USD) is fairly stable and has a high likelihood to increase. Note that STRONG has already experienced explosive growth this year – it was only $20 in January and six months later was more than $200.

How much can I earn from Strong nodes?

The current reward for operating a Strong node is 0.1 STRONG per 7,000 blocks. This works out at 0.092 STRONG per day. Assuming Strong holds it’s value and rewards remain the same, that works out at about 27% per month.

BUT WAIT “hold yer horses” as my ma would say.

The math ain’t that simple…and the variables change.

Firstly, you have monthly NaaS fees of $15 (+ETH transaction fees) per node.

Then, you have ETH transaction fees every time you ‘claim’ your STRONG or create a Strong Node or stake an NFT…all of which vary based on the ETH gas fees at the time of the transaction 🤯. That, plus the volatile nature of cryptocurrency makes it pretty difficult to calculate your return, especially in fiat currency.

I’ll do some example math here later, but let’s just say that if Strong value remains static, the rewards are currently excellent and you should return your investment in around 15 weeks or less than 3.5 months.

However, the value of $STRONG can go up….and down. And, the rewards may (will!) change

If the rewards were to be cut in half (and price remained stable), then it would take twice as long to recoup your investment — monthly it would look more like 13% return (minus those fees we mentioned). Be sure to factor that into your risk calculations. Read on for information on ‘halving’ of rewards.

How much does a Strong node cost?

A Strong node costs 10 STRONG tokens + a monthly service / maintenance fee of $14.95 USD (paid in ETH and +ETH transaction fees) to operate and maintain the node. No hardware or maintenance is required – that’s what you’re paying the $14.95 for.

Strong (STRONG)

$ 527.62

Whatever that price is above, X10, + $14.95 and +{???} for ETH fees.

It’s better to have more ETH than less eg $100 is usually good for one, but totally depends on gas. You shouldn’t need $100 unless gas is crazy – check out https://www.gasnow.org/ for the latest Gwei, however MetaMask can be a bit buggy and likes you to have a decent amount. It cost me about $20 to create a node (inc the 1 month maintain fee and gas) when Gwei was around 10.

Not sure what Gwei is? Check out this post!

Where do I buy Strong tokens?

You can buy Strong tokens on Uniswap DEX (plus various other aggregators) and KuCoin, Gate and Hoo exchanges.

Uniswap has by far the most liquidity and of the CEXs, Kucoin has most. Check withdrawal fees — last time I checked with Kucoin it was 0.1 STRONG….so you’d need to buy at least 10.1 STRONG to withdraw.

How much do Strong tokens cost?

Like other cryptocurrencies, the price of Strong is volatile and can change (it went from $20 to $200 during the first six months of 2021).

The latest price should be displayed a few questions above. If you can’t see it, try CoinGeko.

Is Strong a passive income crypto?

Yes. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, Strong has the potential to be an excellent passive income stream. You essentially ‘pay’ 10 STRONG for your node and earn 0.09 STRONG per node, per day* (*see next question!). You can claim as often as you wish however you will need to take into consideration the ETH gas fees associated ie. it is not economical to withdraw daily, and mostly it is not economical to claim weekly. All depends on gas fees.

Note that there is a monthly NaaS maintenance/rental fee of $15 and Ethereum gas fees to take into consideration.

What are Strong Node rewards?

The current Strong Node rewards are 0.1 STRONG per 7,000 blocks…which is about 0.09 per 24hrs (as there are approx 6,500 blocks per 24hr). They start immediately after your node is created.

The rewards for Strong Nodes are NOT guaranteed and will reduce at some point. The reason they are so good is to incentivise early node creators.

What is a ‘halving’ with regards Strong nodes?

When people talk about a ‘halving’, they are referring to a reduction in the STRONG node rewards – the Universal Basic Income’ (NUBI) provided. It does not necessarily have to be a 50% reduction.

The last ‘halving’ of rewards was in April 2021 and it was a 50% reduction. Several weeks notice was provided ahead of the halving.

Update: In July, there was almost a halving without warning; it was announced suddenly (and badly!), however, the community protested and StrongBlock executive team listened – the halving has not happened and communication has since improved 1000% — the StrongBlock CEO, David Moss has held regular AMA (ask me anything) sessions with the community on Telegram.

We are waiting for news regarding what the new ‘halving’ solution might be (we all know the current rewards are not sustainable long term and not guaranteed).

How passive is Strong as an income source?

Strong is very passive, but not 100%. The main reason is that the monthly server rental/maintenance needs to be paid. If you do not pay the fee past its due date block, you cannot claim rewards. And, if you have not paid after a set period of time – currently 30 days (another 210,000 blocks), your node will be removed by the smart contract.

#byebye little node 😢

You can pay up to 3 months in advance by clicking on the ‘pay fees’ button 3 times (each time you need to pay individually and confirm via MetaMask). They also have a ‘Pay All Node Fees’ button, which enables you to do the same.

How do I create / setup a Strong node?

You’ll need to have your 10 STRONG tokens in a wallet with MetaMask plus enough ETH to cover $15 first month maintenance plus enough ETH to cover all gas fees. It’s difficult to say exactly how much that is – check gas at gasnow.org.

As a rough example, it cost me around $20 to create a node when gas was around 10 Gwei. However, you will need significantly more ETH in your MetaMask otherwise the transaction will probably fail (I always have minimum $100).

Then go to https://app.strongblock.com/ and it’s literally a 1, 2 ,3 process:

  1. Connect to Metamask
  2. Click ‘Create Node’
  3. Approve Metamask

Be sure the wallet you create it in is secure as currently nodes cannot be transferred to other wallet(s) – see: Are there any other risks?. If in doubt, create a new wallet for your nodes (and ideally use a hardware such as Ledger to manage it).

Invest some time learning about wallet security first..and double/triple check the URL to ensure you are connecting the real StrongBlock website!

What about ETH and gas fees?

As already mentioned, make sure you have enough ETH in your wallet to cover gas fees. It’s a real kicker if you are ‘tight’ with funds, only to realise your transaction has failed and the gas fees taken. Best to be safe and have that little bit extra!

Always check the gas fees first so there are no nasty surprises! Try gasnow.org &/or ethereumprice.org/gas to check the latest Ethereum network fees and how they compare.

If the ETH gas fees displayed in MetaMask look extortionate, double check you have a decent amount of ETH in your wallet (this is a known ‘bug’ with MetaMask/gas fees – if you don’t have enough ETH, an extremely high fee can be displayed. Adding more ETH to the wallet usually sorts it).

Okay, #confused so how much does it actually cost?

Currently, it all depends on ETH gas fees….

  • Monthly fee $14.95 in ETH + gas fees
  • Setup a node costs ETH gas fees
  • Claim a node costs ETH gas fees + approx 0.005 ETH per token claimed (the ‘per token’ part of the fee is barely noticeable unless gas is super-low. The vast majority of the contract fee is ‘per node’)

To ‘compound’ (ie. create new nodes using your Strong rewards), currently you need to claim your rewards to your wallet first, and then create a new node. So yes; lots of gas fees 🙁 The good news is that the StrongBlock team are working on a solution to this (see the AMA section with updates)

How long does it take to create a Strong node?

Clicking the buttons and confirming the transaction on MetaMask only takes a moment, however it can take 30 minutes before your Strong node shows up in the dashboard.

Can I use my mobile to create a Strong node?

Not yet – use a desktop browser such as Chrome or Brave. UPDATE: as of August, yes – you can create nodes via your mobile and WalletConnect 🙂

Can I sell my Strong node?

Nope. At this time there is no way to transfer a Strong node from one wallet to another.

Can I get a refund for my Strong node?

Nope. Once you contribute those 10 Strong, they are gone.

And why would you want a refund anyway? Are you crazy?!

How do I earn money from a Strong node?

You claim the $STRONG tokens that your node generates and sell them.

Note that clicking the ‘Claim’ button will claim for ALL nodes. You will need ETH gas each time you claim AND for EVERY node — gas fees per individual node mean it is not economical to claim regularly eg daily.

Example; If you have 4 nodes and click ‘claim’, there will be 4 X gas fees to pay. Make sure you have enough ETH to cover gas!

You can claim for an individual node. There does not appear to be a difference in cost-per-node doing this than claiming all together.

This is useful if you only have a small amount of ETH and need to claim one node so you can sell the STRONG and then claim remaining nodes so you can compound (buy another node).

Claim single STRONG node rewards

How do I ‘compound’ Strong nodes?

When people say ‘compounding’ the context fo Strong, they mean using your rewards to buy more nodes. Essentially, as soon as you have 10 STRONG, you claim them and create another node.

Starting out with 1 STRONG node, this would take approximately 115 days at current rate/rewards.

If you can afford 2 nodes, it is much better because it would only take around 60 days to get 10 STRONG…and if you started with 3 nodes, you could ‘compound’ in around a month. Remember; there are gas fees for each claim. So claim wisely!

What are the Strong node tax implications?

I have not yet consulted with a tax advisor (and the implications will vary form country to country) however it seems like it will probably be 100% income tax. When you buy a Strong Node, you currently cannot sell it, therefore it is not an ‘asset’ and thus a node purchase would be seen as a business expense. Then, I’m guessing the rewards would be seen as ‘earnings/income’….

So I’m guessing it will be ‘income – business expenses’ ie. ‘rewards – node cost – maintenance fees – gas fees – other business expenses’. It would be nice if some were capital gains.

However, Strong is very new — their NaaS have only existed since December 2020 — and so there is a chance things may change. From Telegram, it is clear that many members would like the ability to sell their node as an asset, in which case that could change things and possibly be subject to capital gains tax.

Also, nodes and all these new opportunities are very new. It’s not clear yet in all tax jurisdictions how they should be treated.

For crypto tax tracking I’ve used Cointracking since 2018. It’s not as pretty as some of the new tools, however it works really well. If you use this link, you’ll get 10% off (there’s also a healthy free use allowance).

I’ve only been with Strong since beginning of June 2021 so there is no tax implication for me in the near future (I’m in the UK and tax year runs April-April). I’ll update this when I speak to an advisor, hopefully around September 2021.

Strong tax calculator (Google Sheets)

If you’re up to your eyeballs in $STRONG nodes and want to crush some numbers then reach out to https://twitter.com/phtevenstrong with a DM. He has an awesome calculator for just $75. It hooks up to your metamask transactions too!

https://twitter.com/phtevenstrong – Strong tax calculator

Isn’t that a beautiful thing. Even if you don’t have Strong nodes you might just want a copy anyway!

What are Strong NFTs?

Think of an NFT as a ‘boost’ or ‘powerup’ within a game. The Strong bronze NFT provides a 0.0125 ‘boost’ to the rewards of one node. This might not sound like much, however it is fixed (ie that ‘0.0125’ reward will never change, even if the general ‘0.1’ rewards are reduced) alongside other benefits that are not yet specified but include early access to create new nodes on new protocols.

It has also been stated that at some point, probably mid-late summer 2021, a NFT will be required in order to make any Strong Node.

At the moment, the value of an NFT is fairly speculative. You can view information on NFTs here: https://nfts.strongblock.com

Sidenote: Strong NFTs are assets and so would be subject to capital gains tax (CGT) if disposed of (sold!).

Where can I buy a Strong Bronze NFT?

All the Bronze Strong NFTs are currently in circulation and therefore you can only buy them in the secondary market; OpenSea.

Bronze NFTs are the cheapest and have seen high demand. You can buy one here: https://opensea.io/collection/strongblock-nfts – just make sure the item you purchase has a blue tick of authenticity and purchase it with the same wallet that you use to create your nodes.

How do I add an NFT to my Strong node?

The NFT needs to be in your node-connected wallet. Then simply click on one of your nodes, a popup will appear and in it an option to stake NFT. Stake your NFT and do the various confirmations in MetaMask.

Be sure you have ETH in your wallet and check the gas fees first via gasnow.org &/or ethereumprice.org/gas.

Help! My node(s) are not loading!

Hard-refresh the page a few times. If that doesn’t work, switch MetaMask networks and then back to Ethereum and hard refresh again.

If that fails, logout of MetaMask, hard refresh the https://app.strongblock.com page and re-connect Metamask. If that doesn’t work, go make a coffee and then try again (it’s never got that far for me – usually a few hard refreshes &/or switching MetaMask network back & forth does the trick!).

What is the StrongBlock business model? How do they make money?

Like many blockchain companies, StrongBlock is a startup, still in its infancy. It has been operating since 2018 and their NaaS launched December 2020.

StrongBlock is currently building both it’s technology AND community of node operators in order to be able offer a decentralized BaaS (hey, that’s a pretty cool thing to say when asked what you do for a living at a dinner party; “I’m a Strong node operator…”). Anyway…

During this proof of concept and community building/early adoption phase, StrongBlock rewards mostly come from STRONG itself — when you click create a node, you will see the breakdown of where that 10 $STRONG go, and currently 60% goes to the node rewards pool.

However, StrongBlock’s ultimate business model is BaaS — to offer blockchain-agnostic infrastructure services, including ‘nodes-as-a-service’ node rental. In addition, they are democratizing the ability to participate and earn to non-technical people, like myself, by simplifying the node creation and management process through their Node as a Service (NaaS) offering.

BaaS - blockchain as a service

Image Source: A Review of Blockchain in Internet of Things and AI, Atlam et al 2020

A similar BaaS business model is Infura, who are centralized operate only on Ethereum (StrongBlock aim to be protocol-agnostic and decentralized).

The first public commercial partnership is with Sentinel, a decentralised VPN (Virtual Private Network) that operate on the Cosmos blockchain and expected mid-late 2021. You can read the Sentinel announcement here.

Update: In August, StrongBlock announced Polygon $MATIC as a parter! It is also anticipated 1-2 protocols to be announced monthly, accelerating into 2022. More details coming soon.

Is Strong ponzi scheme?

I’ve added this simply because it seems to be a question being floated about a lot. No; StrongBlock are definately not a ‘Ponzi’.

Strong are very transparent about their rewards and how they work. Their business model is that of a ‘platform’ or ‘multi-sided marketplace’ — whereby two or more parties are required for the business to be sustainable and profitable, similar to eBay, Fiverr, AirBnB.

Thus they have a “chicken and egg” problem (alongside all the other typical crypto-innovation / tech problems!).

StrongBlock’s solution was to incentivise node operators and build a ‘node army’ that will not only provide a massive inventory of ‘stock’ to sell, but also test their technology and produce an enthusiastic, loyal community. The incentivization method they use involves most of the Strong node purchase fee (10 STRONG) going into a rewards pool; we, the node-operators are essentially funding a startup (and being handsomely rewarded for it…which accelerates growth).

This of course is only a short-term or interim solution; StrongBlock must become sustainable through customers if it is to succeed.

Based on this startup growth and funding tactic, some people claim Strong to be a Ponzi scheme. However a Ponzi is deceitful and has no path to legitimate earnings. StrongBlock is transparent and honest in its current rewards structure and its journey to commercialisation. Read on for even more reasons why Strong is not a Ponzi…

How risky is Strong?

Until StrongBlock prove their concept, ability and business model, any investment in Strong should be deemed ‘high risk’ with the potential of ‘high reward’.

This is the same for any startup, however it comes with the added ooomph of crypto and its notorious volatility. This only serves to multiply the ‘high-risk, high-reward’ nature of investing in Strong nodes.

The good news is that StrongBlock is not an anonymous team. The senior executives are experienced blockchain veterans. You can view the Linkedin profile of David Moss, StrongBlock CEO here, CTO Brian Abramson here and CPO (Chief Product Officer) Corey Lederer here. Their big crypto background is in Block.one aka $EOS. Check out their profiles.

If you’re already investing in cryptocurrency, I’d say that Strong is a much lower risk relative to most other small-cap cryptos (there are +8,000 listed on CoinGeko!).

Strong has an experienced team, working product, highly active community and operating in BaaS, an industry undergoing extreme growth. In addition, you have the potential do de-risk quickly – assuming you create a node and withdraw, then sell everything and there is no change in $STRONG price and no change in rewards, you could return around 30% of your investment within a month (ie de-risk).

What about the risk of Strong ‘halving’ rewards?

This is one aspect that is a risk, and it will happen at some point (the last halving happened in April 2021 and several week’s notice was given).

I think the main concern people have is that there is no published roadmap or tokenomics regarding reduction in Strong node rewards. ie. we don’t know how this is determined, all we know is that it involves many factors and is required for sustainability. A increase in price (which is likely before any halving) should offset a significant proportion of any ‘loss’.

It should also be remembered that the current return is phenomenally generous and designed to incentivise and grow the community of node operators, hence over time reductions are required. However, there is good news – as Strong moves into the commercialization phase, these new protocols and nodes will provide rewards in a mix of Strong and the native token of the partner which will reduce the need for halving.

And, one final thing to remember is that STRONG is required to create nodes…and StrongBlock need nodes. It’s in their best interest to keep decent rewards so operators keep creating new nodes. All things considered (even if Strong rewards halved right now!), these nodes still offer a cracking return which would be hard to beat!

  • 24th July update: there was a ‘zero-warning’ halving announced last week (rewards reduced) 😱. However, after community feedback, StrongBlock revoked the halving and are looking at other options. We do not yet have any further information. This was bad communication by StrongBlock (due to the zero notice) however to their credit, they reacted to the community feedback, communications have improved 1000%, and we look forward to hearing how they plan to manage NUBI reductions going forward.

Are there any other risks?

Yes – you MUST ensure your MetaMask is secure ie. your seedphrase is NOT stored on your device(s).

Obviously you should do this anyway, however it is more important with Strong Nodes because your node is ‘in’ your wallet and currently there is no way to transfer a node to another wallet. Essentially this means if your wallet gets hacked, your node rewards (alongside anything else in the wallet) is gone.

So make sure that MetaMask and wallet is secure. Consider additional hardware security to access it such as a Ledger or Trezor (always buy direct from manufacturer – NEVER buy second hand or from a third-party seller).

What is my Strong Nodes plan/strategy?

My plan is to use Hyperfund withdrawals to create 12-14 Strong nodes ASAP. This should return around 1 STRONG per day at current rewards rate, including fees AND enough to cover any potential tax.

Similar to what I did with Hyperfund and Yieldnodes, I’ll then start pulling out some profit in order to de-risk my position, before compounding again (ie. buying more nodes with rewards) and/or looking at diversification into other opportunities.

How long have I been using Strong Nodes?

I only created my first node in the first week of June 2021 and now have a few nodes as a means of diversifying my existing passive income streams, HyperFund and YieldNodes which I’ve been with since December 2020 (and am very pleased with their results).

Overall, I’m extremely enthusiastic about StrongBlock and excited to see what happens over the coming months and years.

So I’m fairly new to Strong, however I’m loving it and based on the use-case, CEO, community and growth it seems like a strong (🤣 ) project with long-term potential that could be a total game-changer for blockchain….and potentially a great investment – Markets and Markets report that BaaS is expected to grow at a CAGR of 90.1% until 2023. (That’s massive!).

Strong updates (AMA notes etc)

Things move fast in crypto projects and Strong is no different, so I thought I’d start a small ‘updates’ section here to follow on from this article which was written June/July 2021. I’ll update it as news is made available, however if you’re really interested it’s best to follow their Twitter and join Telegram to get news quickly.

AMA: 18th Sept 2021
As usual, most of the content below is verbatim from David MOss himself, just grouped roughly into sections. Please search Telegram for the actual conversations.

Rewards/Sustainability/Ownership

  • What we’re looking to do is create pools with rewards from different protocols. The idea is to use incoming contributions to create these pools for overall protocol sustainability. Sounds vague, huh? What if we had an ETH 2.0 pool that anyone could contribute to and get ETH 2.0 rewards when it came online next year? That’s a bit longer term. But we’re working on short, medium and long term plans. Some really cool stuff. Hope to announce it soon.
  • As I’ve been discussing for the last month+, we are working on systems that would reduce or eliminate the need for reducing rewards. If we do need to do so, it would be gradual – say after 100 days of node creation – and you would be given 30 days notice before we implemented it.
  • What we’re looking at doing is fractionalizing ownership OR creating pools of nodes that you can stake in to get rewards. We have a big announcement about that coming soon.

Protocols/Partners

  • We had a great meeting this week with what we believe will be the next protocol announcement. One of their team even confessed that he is a big fan of STRONG and had been holding since January…..he went on to say later that announcement should be within next few weeks.
  • Yes, we’re familiar with Elrond. They’re on the list.
  • We would love to work with them [Polkadot]. Have not yet had a discussion, but they’re high on the list.
  • They [Presearch] are on our list.
  • We are not in discussions with them [$DAG]. I don’t have a contact there yet. But they’re on the list.

Node Mgmt etc

  • Internal transactions (eg create node from claim rewards) is a high priority. #yey 😀
  • I brought up node transfer at the team planning meeting yesterday. We believe we may have a way to do this. Keep in mind that thieves are getting more sophisticated; our concern is that they will get your seed phrase, then use a transfer process to claim your rewards and transfer your nodes as well. We’re concerned that people will say that is the protocols fault. So, still complicated.
  • They hope to announce the model for being able to earn a NFT soon. Sounds like could be some sort of lottery + payment plan.
  • Governance timeline: Yes, as we move to more circulating STRONG – which will begin happening very soon – at some point there will be a majority of STRONG outside of our control. That’s the time to turn governance on.
  • Some awesome chat about potential Strong Foundation to ‘make a difference’. This is something that is in the works. One of the StrongBlock customer support team has experience in non-profits and will be leading the effort.
  • Node marketplace is in early development but not a priority.
  • There will be some announcements in the next few weeks that will give you a better idea of what will happen through the end of the year and into next year.

Interesting question:

Phonz: @DavidMoss did strongblock ever think about making its own blockchain and have the transaction fees in strong? Or was it always going to be eth blockchain?
David Moss: 😎
Phonz: 👀 Is it still a possibility?
David Moss: Oh yeah.

That’s a wrap. Happy Saturday everyone!


AMA 11 Sept 2021 with StrongBlock CEO, David Moss

Quite a lot of discussion about node migration, compromised metamask accounts and of course; rewards, gas costs and new protocols. Below are the bits that jumped out. Again, mostly verbatim from Mr Moss himself.

I also added a few thoughts/tips at the end – these AMAs are getting busier and it’s only fair to a busy CEO that we respect his time and maximise what we all gain from this 1-2 hour session e.g. there were a lot of repeated questions and questions regarding stuff that is already known….which means that quality questions are more likely to be missed.

Savings & Earnings 

  • Q: “IF there will be a reward reduction, how long in advance will you be announcing it?”
    David Moss: “IF – and that’s a big “IF” – we have said many times that we will discuss it with the community first, then give a minimum of 30 days before it goes into effect.”
  • One of their big priorities is making it inexpensive to create new nodes and ‘move’ $STRONG within the ecosystem: “…that is a priority for us. We want to make it easy and inexpensive to apply rewards to other nodes and pools.”AND...”You are interacting with two separate smart contracts there. They will need to be consolidated in order for it to be one step.” [when claiming rewards and creating nodes]
  • Q: Are they thinking of increasing the number of $STRONG required to create a node?
    David Moss: “Not at this time. With current prices, it’s prohibitive for many people to create a node. We want to make it more accessible, not less.”
  • NFT earning system is being worked on. Sounds like something fairly basic in the near-is future, with a more elaborate system in Q1 2022 (poss inc airdrops).
  • Q: Great question from Crypto Penguin (what a cool name?!): “Any possibility for a DAO-controlled STRONG ‘vault’ of yield-bearing assets (collected from partners/clients and/or new nodes) where the yield is used to help replenish the rewards pool?”
    David Moss: That is EXACTLY what we are working on 😉

Protocols & Partners

  • Q: Will we see polygon or fantom nodes going live by the end of the month?
    David Moss: “We’re working on both of them now. It depends on how testing goes.”
  • We are very interested in working with Solana. We have not had formal meetings with Solana, but have mutual contacts. They are on the short list.
  • Luna: “Yes, we are interested in Luna. Very impressed.”
  • “We are big fans of Avalanche.”
  • There was further confirmation they are talking to Zilliqa.
  • David Moss: …We’re working on ETH 2.0 pools. I’m rather curious why no one has picked up on how significant that’s going to be…
    Various people: Pls explain to us pleebs!
    David Moss:  ETH 2.0 nodes require 32 ETH plus all of the tech associated with it. And then you have to lock it up for a year. That’s unobtainable for most. We’re going to fractionalize that, and tie it in with sustainability.

Node management

  • Node migration is something we take very seriously. We are trying to make it work without compromising the integrity of the protocol. It is non-trivial.
  • Questions re swapping nodes for different type of node: “It’s something we’ve discussed, but keep in mind that nodes are not interchangeable, even if they use the same underlying engine. So, it would be more like a marketplace and/or collateralization of your nodes.”
  • There was mixed opinion around KYC, security etc. General consensus seems no KYC is best (tech and legal overhead + is off putting for many people)

Other

  • Re the unofficial Strong Punks – “We saw the punks as well as the merch stuff as well. We are working on both ourselves. Anything else is unauthorized.”AND...”Also, we are looking at ways to have sales from merch and non-protocol NFT’s (think milestone announcements) go to charity. The charity approach may be that we gift nodes to a charitable organization, or simply contribute.” 🙂
  • Please don’t flood support with feature requests. 

AMA thoughts/tips

Everyone’s excited and the AMA is getting busier and busier and more chaotic. Here’s a few thoughs on how we can all contribute in making it more efficient.

  • Ensure you have read the pinned message first and understand the Strong basics so you don’t ask unnecessary questions.
  • Don’t just jump straight in with a question. Join the AMA early and follow along – or at least read through all the AMA Q&As; there’s a good chance your question has already been answered.
  • There are 168 hours in a week. Try to keep non-relevant chat (or basic questions that can be answered by community members) to the 166 hours that David isn’t doing an AMA.

Overall, I get more and more bullish with StrongBlock with every AMA. 

Not only for the rewards and the cool tech but the vision and attitude from David Moss — it’s great to see charity being considered and every week there is mention of making Strong accessible to as many people as possible (e.g. possibly offering fractional nodes as node cost rises). 🚀💪


AMA: 4th Sept 2021
Another great and very bullish session with Mr David Moss. Most of the content below is verbatim from the man himself, just grouped into sections. Search Telegram for the actual conversations.

Rewards

  • Right now, rewards will stay as-is. We’re working on a hybrid model that might include rewards changes over time and new sources of rewards from pools.
  • We were ready to discuss some new models two weeks ago. Then, in an advisor session, we had a breakthrough on longer-term sustainability of deploying capital to create validator and other pools. So we’re now working on those models as well. The goal is always towards long-term stability.
  • If we do rewards reductions, they would likely affect all protocols. We’re trying to avoid them.
  • The idea is for them [VARIOUS PROTOCOL REWARDS] to be different but equal – the same amount of rewards from a basket of tokens, not just STRONG.

Partners and income

  • Polygon will be providing a grant. We’re still discussing its regularity.
  • It will be Polygon first, then Fantom. They’re not likely to be available for a few weeks. Automation is being built right now.
  • Partners currently provide value back to StrongBlock in the form of grants, validator rewards, and revenue. DVPN – at some point – will provide revenue directly to each node.
  • We’ve announced two protocols in the past 3 weeks. We’re trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. We’re in discussions with 3 protocols right now and, depending on how fast each discussion moves will determine the next one we’ll announce.
  • We’re big fans of many protocols. SOL is one we’re considering. They are non-EVM, and the blockchain itself certainly seems to need more validators and nodes, as evidenced by the issues there on Thursday.
  • Has Zilliqa reached out to you yet? – “Yes”

Gas fees

  • The ability to create a node (or place in mining pool) without claiming is an engineering ticket. No ETA was provided. They are also looking for other ways to allow you to use your STRONG once it’s earned:
  • What we’re working on is providing different rewards methods that are stable and reliable, combined with other places to stake your STRONG once you’ve earned it. A bigger ecosystem is required than simply putting STRONG into new nodes or the STRONG pool.
  • Also see the ‘interesting question’ and answer below!

Other

  • The marketplace is still in the planning phase (not development); rewards model is the priority.
  • Transferring node to different wallet: “Right now it’s on hold.”
  • Good news for smaller investors: “Think fractional nodes AND fractional validators.”
  • They are exploring the opportunity of collaterization whereby someone could take out a “loan” for a node using reduced rewards to pay it back.

Interesting question:
Hi david, any plans to build a customised strongblock chain (eg an eth sidechain) to allow txs to be performed faster and cheaper? Can also run strong native nodes in the future😎 by jeremynz

David: “We’ve actually been talking seriously about this for the past few weeks. We’ll let you know how the discussions turn out.”


AMA: 2nd Sept 2021

  • $FTM Fantom, a CMC top-100 is announced as the next StrongBlock partner! 🙌 More information in this Medium post.

AMA: 28th Aug – lots of great stuff in the AMA this week!

As he has done every week since mid-July, CEO David Moss hit up Telegram and spent 2 hours answering questions today. What CEO does that? Very generous! Here’s a summary;

  • New protocol coming soon; press release currently being prepared.
  • No further info on Polygon partnership, but whatever coming sounds exciting (nodes and validators?).
  • A NFT and MATIC tokens will likely be a requirement for early access to Polygon nodes.
  • Confirmation that CIRUS is NOT on current partnership list.
  • New rewards structure is still being worked on. Models are currently in review with advisors. However, David: “Our Swiss economics advisor yesterday said that he thinks – if we’re able to implement the ideas we have right now – we could go to infinity. Actual quote.” 😱🚀🤩
  • Looks like all the initial DVPN nodes (1,000) will be available by next week.
  • No short-mid term plans for grouping monthly fees; just transact when gas is low for now.
  • However, there ARE plans to enable creation of node without needing to first claim. David: “Yes, that’s an actual ticket in our system. It will come up in priority soon, but needs to work across all protocols.” 😀 💪 No ETA.
  • AND they are looking at other protocols (Polygon MATIC is one of them); plan is that existing nodes would also move (not just new ones). No ETA.
  • Some chat that was slightly more hypothetical/possibilities eg NFT staking, staking in general, collateralization of nodes, peer-to-peer Node marketplace.
  • Team token unlock. David: “We are locked in for two years starting July 1, 2021, with quarterly releases. Why would we sell now, after not selling for the past year? Enough with the FUD“. Go, David! 🥊 He also went on to say; “Oh, to be clear, the unlocking rules are quite complex: no one – investors, advisors, team – actually ever gets their STRONG. It’s only theoretical unlocking until it can be safely sold into the market by a third party market maker on behalf of everyone without affecting price. We’re being ridiculously cautious here.”
  • Best question: “What is the one thing you would say you and your team at Strong are most excited about working on right now that you can talk about?” (From Showtime2kX)
    • David answer: “Pools tied to validators and nodes. I can say no more.😉”
  • Finally, lots and lots and lots of reminders to keep your wallet safe from scammers; don’t click on unknown links and NEVER give your secret phrase etc to anyone. You and you alone are responsible!!! Need some tips on how scammers work? Here’s a helpful post!

2021 August

  • You can create nodes using your mobile via WalletConnect 🙂
  • Currently considering 80 other protocols.
  • Anticipating 1-2 new protocol announcements per month forthcoming, accelerating into the new year.
  • Looking into several options for sustainability (re the rewards system and ‘non-halving’ in July). No further details yet however we are expecting news end August / early Sept.
  • DVPN whitelisting for first 1,000 nodes (drawn from wallets with NFTs). Currently rewards are same as ETH nodes + $5 per month worth of DVPN.
  • DVPN nodes have been paused at 200 whitelisted addresses whilst the team review the DVPN environment further.
  • Polygon MATIC has been announced as a partner! #omg #feckinawesome! There are no further details yet on when these will be available or the reward structure.

Where can I learn more about Strong?

JULY UPDATE: Strong Nodes are in My Top 3 Passive Income Opportunities – read more here!

Disclaimer: As with everything on this site, this article is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. I simply share my experiences and my opinions for information. I am not a financial adviser and I am not providing investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrency is high risk and these opportunities exist in new, high risk and unregulated markets. Please do your own research and due diligence; do not blindly follow anyone!

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