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In order to operate a Flux Node, it's necessary to possess a certain quantity of Flux coins. Although your Flux will be locked while your FluxNode is in operation, it remains under your control at all times.
Releasing the lock on your Flux is an easy task and can be accomplished in under a minute. This section of the wiki details the steps for creating a wallet to hold your Flux and locking it up to generate collateral for a Flux Node.