Dash masternodes allow users to stake 1,000 Dash and make recurring income in exchange for helping run the network. While in the future users will be able to stake smaller amounts, this feature is currently unavailable at the protocol level. Services like Masternode.me, run by legendary Dash Core member Moocowmoo, offer trusted shares, where the service will hold user funds and use them to make masternodes, giving back a proportion of the node’s earnings to users.

Ease of setup

Setting up masternode shares with Moocowmoo is extremely simple and streamlined, almost disconcertingly so. Depositors are given an address to deposit collateral to, in a PGP-signed message, solely in 25-Dash increments. Payouts are only sent to the address that originated the collateral transaction, which limits the “moving parts” involved in the setup: send Dash from your wallet, get Dash back to the exact same wallet. These limitations make the potentially nerve-wracking task of moving around significant amounts of money much less scary, as fewer mistakes can be made. However, they do come with the downside of limitations, for example if a depositor wants to change addresses or deposit an amount not in neat 25-Dash increments.

Once a deposit is complete, a PGP-signed receipt is emailed. Every time a regular payout occurs, an earnings report is emailed out as well, detailing the whole payout report for the shared masternode.

Returns

In exchange for setting up and running whole masternodes with the various bits of collateral sent by different users, Moocowmoo retains 15% of all masternode share earnings, leaving 85% to the user. At present, each share of 25 Dash receives a weekly payout of 0.03825 Dash, or about 0.153 every month. In present US dollar terms, that’s $7.55 weekly, or about $31.31 monthly, for a share costing $4,916.50. For reference, if a depositor had an entire masternode themselves, a similar portion would earn $36.55 monthly.

Support

Moocowmoo is extremely prompt in answering messages with questions about shares, including at very odd times of day/night. He is also very thorough and helpful when getting a new user set up with shares, including going into detail about exactly how and why everything works the way it does, which gives the user a deeper sense of understanding.

Security

Security is top-notch, especially key when dealing with a trusted setup with digital currency. All communications, including deposit addresses and receipts, are PGP-signed by Moocowmoo, which can then be copy-pasted to Keybase.io to verify his identity, that they did indeed come from him. New deposits are sent to the same address as previous ones, reducing the risk that a message may have become compromised and a new address swapped in. Payouts all go to the originating address, also limiting the chances that a hostile actor could compromise a user’s funds. Finally, Moocowmoo employs a dead man (cow?) switch, which will send all deposits back to their originating addresses after 30 days of inactivity.

Summary

Pros: Reasonable returns, airtight security, very simple and streamlined setup to minimize user error.

Cons: No flexibility for options such as different deposit amounts, ease of setup may feel intimidating for some users risking large sums of money for the first time.