Nav Coin on Raspberry Pi
Gareth Halfacree shows you how to earn money by setting up a Raspberry Pi as a Nav Coin stake box.
The boom, bust and boom again of cryptocurrency Bitcoin – which, at the time of writing, sat well north of £7,000 a piece – has had two major impacts on the world. The first is that it made a bunch of crypto-nerds – myself, sadly, not included – extremely wealthy. The second is that it introduced blockchain technology to the world, and lots of people have taken the concept and ran with it. There are hundreds of competing cryptocurrencies around, but one in particular has caught my interest: Nav Coin.
Launched in 2014, Nav Coin aims to avoid the centralisation issues that have dogged Bitcoin by switching from a proof-of-work (POW) model, requiring vast banks of highpowered computing hardware, to a proof-of-stake (POS) model, requiring nothing more than a Raspberry Pi or similar low-powered system. It earns holders a 5 per cent ‘interest’ rate in exchange for hosting a node, and setting one up is pretty straightforward if you have a Pi 2 or Pi 3 lying around.
1 Flash NavPi
Head to https://navcoin.org/downloads and grab NavPi v1.0.3 using the Torrent links (because the ‘Direct Download’ link will take you to Mega.nz and demand money.) Grab an 8GB or larger micro-SD card and flash the image using your favoured method – Etcher, available from https://etcher.io, is a great cross-platform image writer if your own operating system lacks native image handling capabilities.
When the image has flashed, which shouldn’t take too long, insert the micro-SD card into your Raspberry Pi and connect a keyboard, mouse and display; the image comes with SSH and desktop sharing disabled, so you’ll need these parts for the configuration process after which they can be safely disconnected.
2 Lock down the Pi
Your Raspberry Pi will host your wallet, containing the private key with which your
funds can be unlocked, which you naturally need to protect to the best of your abilities – hence SSH being disabled by default. Let the Pi boot up, then open a terminal with Ctrl-Alt-T. Start by changing the default password of navpi101to a more secure password: passwd
Next, ensure all the software is up to date: sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
3 Generate a certificate
To keep your traffic to and from the wallet secure, regenerate the SSL certificate. You’ll be asked a variety of questions during this process; as it’s a self-signed certificate, you can safely leave these fields blank.
sudo openssl req -x509 -nodes - days 3650 -newkey rsa:2048 -out / etc/apache2/ssl/navpi-ssl.crt -keyout /etc/apache2/ssl/navpissl.key
You’ll also need to reboot to load the new software and certificate: sudo reboot
4 Configure the wallet
When your Pi reboots, you can safely disconnect the keyboard, mouse and display. Open your web browser and visit raspberrypi. local; you’ll see a security warning, as the selfsigned certificate doesn’t come from a trusted authority. Confirm you want to visit the site and the web wallet will load.
Unlock the wallet with the password nav, then click on Control and find the Change UI Password button in the Server section. Choose a long, secure password, confirm it, and log back in. Finally, enter a different but no less secure password in the Encrypt Wallet box of the Security section. Make sure you store the password safely; if you forget it, your funds are gone for good.
5 Deposit coins
As a proof-of-stake system, your Nav Coin node doesn’t need masses of computational power to earn you rewards. It does, however, need a stake – a value of Nav Coin on which you’ll earn the 5 per cent interest reward. Click the Nav Coin logo to go back to the main screen and scroll down to find your mail wallet address. Copy this address, then visit https://is.gd/navchange to either buy Nav Coin in exchange for US dollars, or to convert another cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, into Nav Coin. When asked for a wallet address, paste your main wallet address into the field, but make sure you copy the whole address or your coins will vanish into the ether.
When the coins arrive, check that the main page shows the wallet is unlocked for staking, and scroll down to the Stake Report section for details on how much Nav you’re earning.
6 Back up
So you don’t lose your precious cryptocurrency in the event that the Raspberry Pi eats your SD card, you’ll want to back up the wallet. Click Control, scroll to Security and then click Backup Wallet. Save this file in several places, and in the event the worst should happen, you can use it to restore your wallet either back onto the Pi or onto another Nav Coin wallet.
Flash the Nav Coin Pi image to your micro-SD card using your tool of choice, such as the Restore Image utility
As a proof-of-stake system, you’ll only earn rewards when your wallet has been loaded with Nav Coins
Choose a strong password for your wallet, but make sure you don’t forget it or you’ll lose your coins
Generating your own SSL certificate is optional but definitely recommended
You’ll want to secure your Pi before you transfer any Nav Coins to its wallet