What is required to co-locate your own Bitcoin & Lightning Network node in a data centre?

In Costing, Node management by bretton / 2021-02-20 / 0 comments


We make use of a small bookshelf pc with 4GB RAM and 1TB SSD. You can pick one up for around R7000 at 2021 prices.

It’s faster than a Raspberry Pi, comes in a metal case and has two ethernet ports.

The drive space is only half full in February 2021.


We host in a data centre; don’t require much electricity, and have a fixed IP. (ipv6 is available too)

4 months bitcoin lnd node traffic

Our bandwidth usage is around 1GB a day, to 1.5GB per day on a bad day. We usually do around 34GB traffic a month.

1 month bitcoin lnd node traffic

Providers such as Vanilla can do this for R745/month for up to 1TB traffic and a 1GB connection.

With setup fee, this is around R9735 for the first year.

Thus, the first year’s equipment and hosting costs would be in the region of R7000 plus R9735. The second and third year would be hosting costs.

  • year 1: R16735
  • year 2: R 8940
  • year 3: R 8940

After three years spend is R34615 for a permanent Bitcoin and Lightning node. This works out to R961/month.

You can get a beefier rent-a-server, but you wouldn’t own the device.

We hope this information is useful in costing hosting your own node; or in determining Lightning Network routing fees to set.

Update 2021-04-15
In the interests of transparency, you could also purchase a 3-year reserved instance at AWS (4 core, 16GB RAM, 1TB disk) for around R31k. This works out to around R861.11 per month but doesn’t include bandwidth charges over the period.

AWS bandwidth is $0.154 per GB for the first 10TB per month. Using the 34GB a month from above, this would add an additional monthly charge of around ~$5.24 per month, or R75.

Elastic IPs are not yet available in the South African region, so it doesn’t make sense yet for running a node in the Africa region.