Setting the coinbase address and node efficiency

Factom protocol: Setting the coinbase address and node efficiency

This tutorial is fully covered in the video shown above.

This tutorial will guide you through the process of setting your coinbase address and node efficiency. If you've followed the previous tutorials you should have a system with Factomd running as well as a wallet with some Entry Credits in it.


First off you will need two USB flash drives ready.

  • One that will be used to boot a temporary Linux to perform the operations. This USB stick will be referenced as BOOT stick in the tutorial.

  • The second one will be used to store data related to the operations. This USB flash drive will be referenced as DATA stick in the tutorial. Copy this tutorial onto the DATA stick to be able to follow the instructions on the offline system as well.

Additionally, you will need your Factom identity information ready:

  • Your identity root chain ID (starts with 888888)

    • You will find this in the important.conf file you made when generating your server identity

  • Your server management subchain ID (starts with 888888)

  • Your secret level 1 identity key (starts with SK1 )

The value of the server management subchain ID can be found by looking at the identity root chain ID in a Factom explorer: it is the value of the 3rd external id of the entry whose 2nd external id is equal to 'Register Server Management'.

You will also need a valid main-net Entry Credit address funded with ECs (maybe a hundred to be safe). Write down the corresponding private EC address (that starts with Es) or you can store it on the DATA stick. You also need a main-net public Factoid address (that starts with FA ) that will be used as the receiving coinbase address.

The steps

First create the Ubuntu 18.04 bootable BOOT stick. Google "create Ubuntu 18.04 bootable USB flash drive" if you're unsure how to.

Then, boot Ubuntu 18.04 from the BOOT stick and connect to the internet.

Open a terminal and run the following commands (this will install node.js 10 and the factom-identity CLI):

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install -y git curl
curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt-get install -y nodejs
git clone
cd factom-identity-cli
npm install

Now turn off the internet connection. From now on your Ubuntu should never get connected to the Internet. You can double check by typing ping, or you can unplug your wifi/Ethernet if you really want to be sure.

Proceed by generating the update scripts by running the following in a terminal:

Updating the coinbase address:

# Parameters: <Identity root chain ID> <FCT public address> <SK1 private key> <Paying private EC address>
# Example:
node bin/factom-identity-cli update-coinbase-address --offline -s 8888889822cf1d5889aa8dc11ad210b67d582812152de568fabc5f8505989c0f FA3HZDE4MdXAthauFoA3aKYpx33U4fT2kAABmfwk7NBqyLT2zed5 sk12tdaziBoFyBHG56Ery3bPFFBDpy7Y3VymduGPfoj66cGhH4mHZrw Es3ytEKt6t5Jm9juC4kR7EgKQSX8BpRnM4WADtgFoq7j1WgbeEGW

Be sure to replace the parameters in the command above with your own:

  • Identity root chain ID

  • FCT public address

  • SK1 private key

  • Paying private EC address

Updating the node efficiency:

# Parameters: <Identity root chain ID> <Efficiency> <SK1 private key> <Paying private EC address> <Server Management Subchain ID>
# Example:
node bin/factom-identity-cli update-efficiency --offline -s 8888889822cf1d5889aa8dc11ad210b67d582812152de568fabc5f8505989c0f 50.1 sk12tdaziBoFyBHG56Ery3bPFFBDpy7Y3VymduGPfoj66cGhH4mHZrw Es3ytEKt6t5Jm9juC4kR7EgKQSX8BpRnM4WADtgFoq7j1WgbeEGW 8888887c01c12c72052f9c99b45782013feadb20c46ca86dc6e3a9730835848a

Be sure to replace the parameters in the command above with your own:

  • Identity root chain ID

  • Efficiency

  • SK1 private key

  • Paying private EC address

  • Server Management Subchain ID

Those two commands will create two scripts if successful:



Copy these scripts to your DATA stick, eject it and shut down and destroy the Ubuntu session.

Important: the scripts generated contain timestamped data which means they have a limited time of validity. You must execute the scripts within 1 hour of their creation to be certain that the entries contained in them will be accepted by the network.

Continue now on the previous system you were working on and plugin the DATA stick. Locate the files and make sure they are executable:

chmod +x
chmod +x

Now execute both bash scripts.


The scripts simply use curl command lines that should be available on most unix based systems. The scripts will make the requests to the Factom Inc. courtesy node (

You can edit the scripts to choose another endpoint by changing the HOST= parameter at the top to localhost or a test-net node for instance.

After executing, the scripts should output success messages if done correctly. You can check in an explorer that your identity root chain and server management subchain have been updated after 10 minutes (next block).

Finally, format the boot stick, or even better, do a secure erase with specialized tools.