Storage Node Operators are compensated for the resources that are used by Storj DCS Satellites for their nodes every month. Our payout policy and details can be found on the Storage Node Operator Terms and Conditions.
All Storage Node payouts are subject to a per-wallet minimum threshold. We will not send a transaction where the fee for the transaction is more than 25% of the value of the transaction. The minimum threshold is calculated based on the average transaction fee value in USD from the previous 12 hours at the beginning of the payout process. For example, if the average transaction fee is the equivalent of $12.50, we’ll pay out all wallet addresses that have earned $50.00 and above.
For wallet addresses that have earned less than the threshold, the earned payout will be included the following month, as long as the aggregate amount of payouts owed meets the minimum threshold at the time payouts are sent. In the example above, all Node Operators that earn less than $50.00 would have their payouts rolled into their payout the following month.
If a wallet address has no more active storage nodes associated with it (due to graceful exit, disqualification, etc), funds that did not clear previous thresholds will be dispersed.
Storage node operators have two options for payment, and these options impact what the transaction fee is.
Ethereum layer 1 - these are the default transactions, but have much higher fees, and therefore higher minimum payout thresholds ($50 wouldn't be surprising here, depending on current fees).
zkSync layer 2 - these are new. You can opt in to them, and the fees are much lower, therefore, there will be much lower minimum payout thresholds ($1 wouldn't be surprising here, depending on current fees).
The default behavior is for us to transmit funds using Ethereum layer 1 (standard ERC20 transactions) for our STORJ token. This fee is calculated using the Ethereum gas costs of similar transactions, the gas to ETH conversion prices, and the price of ETH.
These transaction fees are typically much higher than layer 2 transactions (see below), and thus incur a much higher minimum payout threshold.
Any node operator running v1.22.2 or later also can opt into zkSync Layer 2 transactions to receive payouts. zkSync is new technology and comes with some additional risk. You can read more about why we've chosen zkSync here.
The main benefit of zkSync is a much lower L2 transaction fee, and therefore a much lower minimum payout threshold. Low earning wallet addresses will get payouts at a more frequent schedule with zkSync.
The main consideration with this method is that if the node operator wants to withdraw their funds from layer 2 back to layer 1 (for an exchange address of an exchange that does not yet support zkSync or similar), they will have to pay a transaction fee for that withdrawal. This withdrawal fee can be paid in STORJ, but may be more than a standard layer ERC20 transfer.
While it may be convenient to use an exchange address for your storage node payout, it's always safest to use an address for which you control the private keys. If you opt to use zkSync, you definitely want to use an address for which you control the private keys. Withdrawing your funds from zkSync is designed for use with wallets for which you control the private keys. If you use an address from an exchange or for which you otherwise don't have the private keys, you will be required to trigger an emergency withdrawal process and this will be significantly more costly for you.