Dash is best known as the first cryptocurrency with a focus on user-friendly payments and transaction speed. What many people do not know is that these features are implemented on top of a network of dedicated servers known as masternodes, which gives rise to many exciting features not available on conventional blockchains. These features include instant and private transactions, as well as governance of the development of the Dash network through a monthly budget and voting. This in itself is a first in the crypto world, and the masternodes are necessary to achieve the privacy and speed that Dash offers.
This documentation focuses on understanding the services masternodes provide to the network, but also includes guides on how to run a masternode, using either a hosting provider or by setting up and maintaining your own hosting solution. The primary requirement to run a masternode on the Dash network is 1000 DASH. This is known as the collateral, and cannot be spent without interrupting operation of the masternode. The second requirement is the actual server running the Dash masternode software.
Option 1: Hosted masternode
Since operating your own server requires a certain level knowledge of blockchains and Linux server operating systems, several community members offer dedicated hosting solutions for a fee. Taking advantage of these services means the user only needs to provide the masternode collateral and pay the hosting fee in order to receive payment from the block reward. See these pages for information on how to set up a hosted masternode.
Option 2: Self-operated masternode
Users with a deeper understanding (or curiosity) about the inner workings of the Dash network may choose to operate their own masternode on their own host server. Several steps are required, and the user must assume responsibility for setting up, securing and maintaining both the server and collateral. See these pages for information on how to set up a self-operated masternode.