I believe it was somewhere around May 2020, after I watched an episode of the Crypto Crow on YouTube, when I got first excited about Cardano. I immediately understood that this would be a game changer in crypto tech so I started learning more about it. While gaining knowledge my enthusiasm grew and at some point, in November, I decided I wanted to be a part of the Cardano revolution. I was going to build my own pool.
Me and my mission. For the past 25 years I have been working as a professional devops engineer for large financial corporations. Designing, building and operating large complex networks had been my bread and butter ever since, and coming from a technical background definitely made it a lot easier for me to setup my own stakepool. From the start I designed my stakepool with security, stability and flexibility as the cornerstones. The pool consists of 4 servers. All of them are virtual nodes, located in a datacenter in Amsterdam and run in a backup schedule. This allows me to deploy a new machine in matter of minutes, when needed. Only the 2 relay nodes are accessible from the outside world, and only when it concerns traffic from the Cardano network. The block producer is only accessible through the local network and only ‘talks’ with the two relay nodes. All operational work is done with the use of a stepping stone, which allows me to log on to the local network using a VPN tunnel. The VPN server is secured with a public key infrastructure and the firewall is configured to drop any traffic other than described earlier.
While I was setting up the pool I realized that it made absolutely no sense to just create a pool without thinking of a mission. Where do I want to go? What do I wish to accomplish? Why should people stake with me? Would I even stake with myself? To me these are all important questions that demonstrate one common aspect of a Cardano stakepool: integrity! Without integrity there can be no trust and without trust no people will stake with me. I know I wouldn’t so I started thinking about what I could add to the Cardano community without copying another pool, and without trying to be somebody I’m not. My strength lies in my enthusiasm, dedication and my technical knowledge and experience. This is where I can add to the community. Helping others by providing knowledge about Cardano. Spreading the word, not only about how great Cardano is, but also why I think it’s so great. Thinking out new projects and developing them. Investing in the ecosystem and above all .. I hope I can excite others about Cardano, the way I got excited. IOHK has been working hard the past years to lay down a solid foundation and it’s up for the Cardano community to help make mass adoption become a fact. That’s my mission and I’m hoping to do this together with you. By staking with me you will not only be helping me grow the ADA house to a sustainable stakepool but you’ll also be actively investing in the Cardano ecosystem. All returns will be reinvested in the pool so the more blocks we will be producing together the more will be invested in the ecosystem. Above all: Staking costs nothing and your ADA tokens will never leave your wallet.
I pledged 50k ADA to the pool to show you how my dedication and trust. Over time I will gradually increase it. Compared to the big pools this may look like a small pledge but for me it’s a big deal and I’m truly committed to making this work. Currently the pool runs at 0.6 estimated blocks per epoch, so we still need a big push to be consistently producing blocks every epoch. The pool has a minimum fixed fee of 340 ADA per block and 0% margin fee.
I’m very keen on stability so I like to run the pool with hardware specs that go beyond the required specifications. At the time of writing all nodes are running with 8 CPU’s and 16GB of RAM. This ensures that the ADA house is always ready for the next block! Now and in the future!
Small Cardano stakepools are the backbone of decentralization. The more stakepools there are, the more decentralized the network can become. This is good for stability and that means it’s good for you. This obviously only counts when stakepools and delegators align. Both play an equally important part in the Cardano revolution. Where stakepool operators provide the infrastructure for delegators to use, it’s the choices you as a delegator make that eventually determines the actual level of decentralization. Currently a lot of delegators tend to choose the best performing pools only, because they feel this will bring them the best rewards. This in fact is incorrect. Rewards are determined by the network, and this averages to approx 5,5%, for every pool. It’s not the pools that determine the reward and there’s no pool that will bring you a higher reward. Only supporting the largest pools does not help you in your reward strategy at all. However it does prohibit small pools from producing blocks, which they need to attract delegators .. you get the chicken-egg problem we got over here.
Supporting small pools means that you are actively working on making the network become the best version it can be. It allows the pools to produce blocks and attract delegators, making the network gradually become even more decentralized. In the beginning it may look like you are loosing out, because it takes some time for a small pool to start consistently producing blocks but in the end this is all marginal, while the benefit for the network is huge. In the end this benefit is all your benefit too because without stability we can never achieve mass adoption and that’s what we’re all after, right?
Please consider to support a small pool. Please join my pool! [ticker ADAHS]