NiceNode: Run a node at home, the easy way

Project Name

NiceNode (https://nicenode.xyz/)

Project Description and why it’s classified as a Public Good

NiceNode is a simple desktop app that runs, monitors, and controls a node - built from the bottom up to easily run any containerized software.

The other options to run a node require technical skills to open a terminal and run commands or install a new operating system. Running a node should be as simple as downloading an app - and we’ve been working hard on NiceNode to make this happen.

It is a public good because it is free, open-source, and enables people to run public infrastructure - blockchain nodes and more!

We have built an app which provides the easiest way for users to run nodes - and the app is designed from the bottom up so that any containerized software can added in the future with a pull request - our docs to add a new node. Ethereum nodes, Layer 2 nodes, and Farcaster Hubs are available now.

Main Project Funding Sources

~$180K in funding over 1.5 years mostly from Gitcoin Rounds, Optimism Retro Public Goods Funding (PGF), and a grant from the Ethereum Ecosystem Support Program (ESP), and a small grant from CityDAO.

Seeking project-specific funding or funding for general operations

General Operations

Project Roadmap and Milestones (only for project-specific funding)

For us, success means increasing the number of healthy, running nodes and make progress towards staking. With funding, we aim to work on the following over the next 3-4 months…

  1. Improve the reliability on Mac and Windows by contributing to Podamn - which is an open-source alternative to DockerDesktop on Mac and Windows

  2. Improve internal “operations” of the app - such as handling node and Podman updates smoothly

  3. Complete proof-of-concepts of some DVT staking protocols like Diva or Stakewise, only available to NiceNode users on Linux/Ubuntu.

  4. Add a complimentary or fun “node” option - such as a local Gitlab or Minecraft server to show the generic capabilities of NiceNode

Funding Request and Budget (only for project-specific funding)

$50K which is 3 months of funds for 4 core-contributors. Ideal funding would give us security of funds and allow us to deeply focus on building as opposed to applying to different grants.

Team Information, including backgrounds and roles

  • Johns Gresham - 2 years working on NiceNode, 7+ years of developing applications, 6+ years following Ethereum. Previous experience at a large technology company and a startup.
  • cornpotage.eth - 1.5 years working on NiceNode (05/10/2022). JavaScript/TypeScript developer.
  • Danneh - 1.5 years working on NiceNode (6/2/2022). Designer. Experienced UI/UX designer and Ethereum enthusiast. Great at simplifying complicated technicals into simple visuals and user experience. The designs used in this application are all created by Danneh.
  • Gathin - UI developer that has been consistently contributing to tasks over the past few months. Coded \https://benchbuddy.xyz
    All contributors are members to the NiceNode’s Github organization: \https://github.com/orgs/NiceNode/people

Social Credibility (development progress, awards, notable GitHub commits, referrals)

  • Dev credibility - We started with a GUI that only ran Geth, then we added all Ethereum clients, then we fully-generalized the app to support any software that is containerized (can run with Docker) and we did a full UI/UX re-write that is the most simple on-boarding experience to run a node.
  • Fully completed ~$55k grant from the Ethereum Foundation Ecosystem Support Program (3 major milestones met and payment received)
  • Nominated and received funding from OP RetroPGF Round 2 and we have received 39 ballots for Round 3
  • Mentioned by Superphiz in many tweets - most notably: \https://x.com/superphiz/status/1717701265394659742
  • Mentioned by Anthony Sassano in The Daily Gwei a few times
  • Additionally, we try to be active open-source participants and we report many issues to Ethereum client teams, make suggestions, and improve docs when we spot an issue.

Discord contact

Johns (johns4), NiceNode Discord (\https://discord.gg/k3dpYU4Pn9)

Eligibility Criteria

  • Do you have a commitment to open-source (i.e. every open-source license accepted by the Open-Source Initiative - (\https://opensource.org/licenses/) technology and sharing results publicly?
  • Have you provided transparency about how exactly funding will be used?
  • Are you advancing values of freedom and privacy (no surveillance and handling of personal data)?
  • Are you supporting decentralization in various fields (for example building Web3 projects - (\https://ethereum.org/en/web3/)?
  • Have you provided social media channels to the extent that we can confirm social proof of your project?

Additional information

Here are some early usage metrics that we have:
Total App Downloads from Github: ~12K

From a 7 day period, Nov 21-28th…

How many users have downloaded and are actively using the NiceNode app?

33 users from 22 different countries opened the app at least once. 13 users opened the app 3 or more times.

Can you provide any statistics on the number of nodes run through the app, particularly Ethereum nodes, Layer 2 nodes, and Farcaster Hubs?

There are 20 ethereum nodes and 4 farcaster hubs. About 11 of the 20 Ethereum nodes are fully-synced (edited)

Please let me know if there are any additional information that you’d like to know! Ps. sorry for the links not formatted correctly, I could only post 2.
- Johns -

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