Farm FAQ

What do I need to do to become a Farmer?

All you need to become a farmer is a 3Node, electricity and network connection.

There are two ways to get a 3Node:

  • by purchasing a Plug & Play 3Node
  • by building your own (DIY)

The ThreeFold Foundation and ThreeFold Farming Cooperatives around the world are providing Plug & Play 3Nodes that are already booted by Zero-OS, permitting anyone to just order and connect a 3Node to the Threefold Grid without the need for technical knowledge.

Nevertheless almost any reasonably modern 64-bit computer with an Intel or AMD processor, running ThreeFold’s Zero OS can be turned into a 3Node. The team has had some success testing ARM based devices as well, and that can be expected as another option in the future.

Can we have multiple 3Nodes in the same household?

Running multiple 3Nodes in the same household is possible, however your connection will be heavily influenced by this.

Putting more than 1 3Node behind a typical consumer grade internet connection (100 mbps download / 10 mbps upload) will make your connection overloaded and that will have effect on a quality of capacity you provide (something we will grade in the future) this will impact usage for third parties.

When behind a more rigid connection e.g. a good fiber connection, running multiple 3Nodes at once should be fairly easy to do. 

Why should I become a Farmer?

There are many reasons to become a Farmer on the ThreeFold Grid.

The Internet economy is booming, and we expect 125 Zetabytes of capacity to be connected to the Internet in the next five years to cope with the rising data demands of emerging technologies such as IoT, blockchain and Big Data.

A Zetabyte has twenty-one zeros. While the market is booming, it remains controlled only by large tech corporations that build hyper-scale data centers and turn people into products. This centralized approach is inefficient, extremely costly and unsustainable.

With ThreeFold, anyone can plug-in 3Nodes and take part in the global Internet economy (we call this process Farming and people Farmers). By doing so, Farmers not only contribute to the growth of a neutral, secure and sustainable Internet infrastructure, but also get rewarded for it in TFT on a monthly basis for keeping Internet capacity online.

Is Farming profitable? How much TFT can be earned per month?

The farming rewards have been designed by the ThreeFold Foundation in a way to ensure a fair reward while also incentivizing the right actors for the future growth of the ThreeFold Grid.

The amount of TFT farmed by a 3Node depends on the compute and storage capacity made available to the ThreeFold Grid.

There are three forms of rewards in ThreeFold’s Farming model with Grid 3.0 launched in Q3 2021:

  • Farming Rewards: Once booted by ThreeFold’s operating system, the 3Node’s Internet capacity will be verified and added to the network. Farmers earn TFT monthly for keeping the capacity online.
  • Cultivation Rewards: When users reserve capacity on the ThreeFold Grid to store their data or run their applications.

The reward mechanism for cultivation goes as follows:

  • 10% of the utilization fee is rewarded to Farmers.
  • 25% gets burnt to ensure scarcity of TFT in the new Internet economy.
  • 5% goes to the Foundation for promotional purposes.
  • 60% is used to reward the sales channels, incentivizing direct or indirect sales agents to promote the usage of the Threefold Grid capacity.

Of course, if the Farmer sells the capacity of their 3Nodes, they will benefit from the sales channel reward on top of the utilization reward. The profitability of Farming all depends on how much capacity you will connect as well as the market price of TFT.

If I become a Farmer, and someone uses my capacity for illegal activities, who will be liable?

All users must agree to the Grid Usage Agreement before they can deploy any workload on the Grid.

In this Agreement, it is stated that all workloads ran by the user fall under the respective user’s liability and if illegal actions were to be taken respective user will be held accountable for it.

What is the 3Node?

Any Intel or AMD (the world’s 2 most famous hardware chips) server-like hardware can be turned into a 3Node. It was important for ThreeFold to enable different entry points and to maximize the reach across today’s industry and allow anyone to find their most suitable settings to join the ThreeFold Grid.

A 3Node can be as small as a shoe box or as big as a data-center rack, allowing people to add Internet capacity anywhere, whether in their home office, as well as in small data centers, empowering their cities, villages and communities with a data sovereign and planet positive Internet infrastructure that can host the data of millions of people and earn income in TFT - ThreeFold’s official digital currency.

Learn More

What is Proof-of-Capacity (PoC)?

The amount of TFT earned by Farmers depending on the amount of Internet capacity they provide to the ThreeFold Grid. The validation of their contribution is done by ThreeFold’s unique algorithm called Proof-of-Capacity (PoC).

To participate in PoC, hardware needs to be booted by ThreeFold’s open source operating system - Zero OS. Once installed, their Internet capacity is automatically detected by ThreeFold’s Blockchain Database. Every month, Farmers are rewarded for keeping the Internet capacity online.

Should I as a farmer sell my own capacity, or is ThreeFold doing that?

To promote the utilization of the ThreeFold Grid’s Internet capacity, we created a mechanism that is called “cultivation”.

Cultivation is meant to incentivise sales channels to promote the Threefold Grid’s Internet capacity and earn TFT for it.

When a user utilizes a farmer’s capacity, the transaction is distributed as follows:

  • 10% of the utilization fee is rewarded to Farmers.
  • 25% gets burnt to ensure scarcity of TFT in the new Internet economy.
  • 5% goes to the Foundation for promotional purposes.
  • 60% is used to reward the sales channels.

If the Farmer sells the capacity of their 3Nodes themselves, they will benefit from the 60% sales channel reward on top of the 10% utilization reward.

How will buyers choose one of capacity over another?

The best capacity choice will depend on different factors that will vary according to user needs. Some key statistics such as the uptime of the 3Node and the reputation of the farmer will be made available on the Threefold Grid Explorer. According to these statistics, users can choose the most trustworthy 3Nodes to host their data and workloads on the grid.

The right choice of 3Nodes also depends on the workloads that are being hosted. For instance the speed of download and the resilience of the files or workloads come with their own calculations. On the Threefold Grid, it is possible to disperse data and workloads across different nodes. If more speed is required, it will be more advantageous to store the data or run the workloads in physical proximity, closer to the users. If more resilience is needed for the development or storage environment, dispersing the same files and workloads across geographical regions will provide more security.

What is Farming?

Farming is connecting a 3Node (server-type hardware) in your home or office, that way empowering your city, village, or community with a data sovereign and planet positive Internet infrastructure that can host the data of millions of people and earn you income in TFT.

3Nodes are powered by ThreeFold’s open source operating system Zero-OS, and can host the data and workloads of thousands of people. When providing Internet capacity to the ThreeFold Grid, you are rewarded with TFT. And thanks to our proof-of-capacity model, your 3Node does all the heavy lifting for you.

To get started with Farming, all you need to do is boot any Intel or AMD hardware with ThreeFold’s Operating System - ZeroOS. That’s it.

Yes, it’s that simple.

Learn More

How to estimate my potential Farming earnings?

We have added Farming Calculator to our wiki where in the section “Calculator” you will find a link to the most recent version of the calculator.

When opening it you will get the read-only version, to make your own calculations you can download it by clicking: File > Export.

The sheet was created in an open office and we recommend using that for making your edits.

Farming Calculator


The way to use the Calculator is as follows:

  1. On the hardware tab: Go to column J
  2. Fill in the specs of your 3Node on line 4 - 7
  3. Fill in the variables of your 3Node on line 10 - 16 (CPR rewards are 15 TFT per CPR at time of writing)
  4. On line 18 make sure you put all 3Nodes on 0 except for column J. Set that to the number of 3Nodes you are looking to add to your farm

Now all numbers we need for your Hardware in. On line 25 & 26 you will find your SU and CU totals. These bring you to a CPR number which can be found on line 35. 

You can now go to the params tab and fill in your KW/h price to make an accurate as possible calculation.

Once the Hardware and Params tab are filled in you can more on to the Calculation tab. But before you do it’s important you understand these are your own calculations. This is not investment advice and should not be looked at in that manner. 

  1. On line 12: Fill in the tokenprice in 5 years for the scenario you would like to simulate for yourself
  2. On line 18: Fill in the amount of cultivation (usage) of your 3Nodes you think you’ll get
  3. On line 19: Fill in the amount of idle-time you think you 3Nodes will have (means, not running under load this does not mean they aren’t used.)
  4. On line 20: Fill in the either 10% (if you are not planning on selling any capacity actively yourself) or 50% if you are planning to sell your capacity yourself. 

You have now succesfully completed your first calculation and will get a rough possible ROI on line 33. You can change your calculation now to see how this impacts that number.

Does it work in all countries?

3Nodes require only three things:

  • They need a relaible powersource.
  • They need a relaible network connection.
  • They need to be sheltered - ‘roof on top’ so to say.

Other than that they will work anywhere in the world.

What is the difference between Farming and Mining?

While initially a simple computer was enough to mine Bitcoin, its increasing value quickly sparked interest, however, the difficulty of the calculations required for mining is automatically adjusted according to the number of machines that are candidates for these operations. Thus, the more miners there are, the more complex the calculations. With a price that today exceeds several tens of thousands of euros, it is useless to try to mine Bitcoin with a simple desktop computer, the sector became so competitive that chips dedicated to these calculations have been created.

ThreeFold’s farming model has a very different and simple approach.

ThreeFold’s farming model uses Proof-of-Capacity (PoC) which is more efficient than Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanisms. PoS is as of today the most energy efficient protocol since it barely requires any CPU time, the only energy needed to keep the validator connected to the network is enough disk space to hold the blockchain and the system. But on ThreeFold you don’t need any validator to secure the chain as PoC is only used as a token distribution mechanism.

All that is needed for PoC is enough disk space to host ThreeFold’s unique operating system - Zero-OS. The capacity provided by the 3Node is automatically detected and verified by Zero-OS and stored in the Blockchain Database, making it available to the ThreeFold Grid. The Zero-OS is super-lightweight, weighing 200MB, making it incredibly efficient. We can expect ThreeFold’s Farming model to be up-to 10,000x more efficient than Bitcoin mining and 10x more efficient than any PoS protocol.

What is the average electricity usage for the 3node?

The amount of energy a 3Node consumes varies according to its specs.
The Titan v2 and v2.1 consumes about 15 watt-hour (Wh) when idle and 40 Wh when running at full speed.

Which 3Node options are best for non-technical people? (Plug & Play)

If you are non-technical, we highly recommend you to get a Plug-and-Play 3Node on the ThreeFold Website or with one of our Farming Cooperatives. Plug-and-Play 3Node are already booted by ThreeFold’s operating system - Zero-OS, so all you have to do is to connect it to electricity and network and you’re good to go.

Once connected, all you will have to do is download Threefold Connect and register your 3Node to a Farm ID. The Plug & Play node will come with the necessary instructions. Follow the step-by-step process and you should be running in 2 min.