“The Elastos Carrier and the Different Elastos Nodes”
What’s the difference between an Elastos Carrier node and a full node? What are the benefits to running them? Is there an easier alternative for running an Elastos Carrier node for the non-technical?
These are some of the most common community questions about the Elastos nodes. The aim of this article is to explain their differences and also to demonstrate how to easily set up a carrier node of your own on your Windows 10 computer.
Let’s begin with Elastos Blockchain nodes. These nodes are made up of two types: PoW nodes and DPoS nodes. DPoS is a consensus mechanism which requires validating nodes to stake coins in order to mine blocks instead of providing work in a Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. DPoS nodes sign the blocks generated by the PoW miners. Concerning the rewards, Elastos has a 4% inflation year to year. Mining rewards come from this inflation. Because Elastos employs a PoW + DPoS hybrid consensus mechanism, every time an ELA block is mined, the reward is distributed equally among the miners, stakers, and ecosystem development rewards as shown in the graph below.
The Elastos Carrier is a peer-to-peer network that routes network traffic between virtual machines (VM) and Decentralized Applications (DApps). It allows off-chain communication in a secure manner and avoids several potential hack vectors, distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), and centralized internet data. Elastos network traffic is taken on by the Elastos Carrier, and all traffic on Elastos is end-to-end encrypted by default.
There are also different kinds of nodes for the Elastos Carrier. There are peer nodes like TV boxes or smart speakers, but there are bootstrap nodes, too. The bootstrap nodes store the Distributed Hash Table (DHT) and relay the traffic to the ID you are looking for. You will always connect to a bootstrap node first and the bootstrap node will redirect you to the ID you are looking for. If it does not have the ID in its DHT, it will redirect you to another bootstrap node until you find a bootstrap node which has the ID you are looking for in its DHT.
There are countless community members who want to help the Elastos project by running a carrier node, even on their laptops. Running a carrier node helps the peer-to-peer network grow. If the number of nodes increases, we get a more stable and faster network.
It is a bit difficult for non-technical people to manually run a carrier node. Downloading the code and building it step-by-step is intimidating.
Here is a package (link 1) that contains the source code of the Carrier project with a batch file (.bat) that executes all the steps in the GitHub repository (link 2) to set up and run the Elastos carrier node on a windows 10 computer, created by yours truly. It includes a readme file that has exact instructions and another batch file for running the node if the computer is shut down.
Once finished, there will be three output identities: Node ID, User ID, and address. You can find someone from the community and start chatting, and with the list of commands for the Elastos Carrier shell application (link 3), you can add someone to your whitelist with the command “fadd” followed by his address (fadd address) or accept his request with the command “faccept” followed by his User ID (faccept User ID). Note that ctrl+v for pasting does not work in this shell; if you want paste, just use the right click button of your mouse. After you finish, you can combine beauty with utility by tracking your node in the world map using the peerjet website www.peerjet.net.
Link 1: https://drive.google.com/open?id=15HG-fTJQ_6WgHRbA2HtAq-x3bDHdLf5p
Link 3: https://github.com/elastos/Elastos.NET.Carrier.Native.SDK/blob/master/COMMANDS.md