From ‘Node Sales’ to ‘Address Poisoning,’ the Money’s in Crypto

Bradley Keoun

NODES FOR SALE: It’s the blockchain industry’s latest innovation – not in technology, but in how to round up cash from investors. “Node sales” involve selling blockchain nodes directly to investors – a process that brings in quick cash while ostensibly giving projects an easy path to decentralization. Still a relatively new phenomenon in fast-moving crypto, they are becoming more common: Aethir, a decentralized GPU cloud infrastructure provider, disclosed last week that it had distributed more than 73,000 node licenses valued at over 41,000 ETH ($126 million). Other blockchain projects raising funds via node sales include CARV, XAI Games and Powerloom. The latest to come to market is Sophon, an entertainment-focused blockchain ecosystem based on zkSync technology, relying on Celestia for data. The project attracted more than $60 million in a node sale over the past week, even though its founders are semi-anonymous. Certain mechanics of the sales appear designed to drive the fear of missing out, or FOMO – such as a system of tiering, where the price goes higher as more nodes are sold, and the use of exclusive whitelists that reserve early spots for certain users. “Buyers hope to get high quality projects,” says Calvin Chu, a former Binance researcher who helped start Impossible Finance, which has facilitated some of the sales. As with many crypto-related investments, buyers also hope for juicy yields in the forms of token rewards, and possibly to qualify for eventual token airdrops.

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