Last week’s guest was a made-in-Italy stake pool, from the beautiful South Tyrol. At the moment they are providing extra ADA incentives in addition to the regular staking rewards.
This initiative is a point of reference for everything Cardano and every week or two we will invite a Stake Pool Operator (SPO) to answer some questions and give us an update directly from within the Cardano community.
Considering that many of our readers are new to the crypto space, we will have a mix of simple and technical questions.
Hi, great to have you here. Please introduce yourself, where are you from and what is your background?
I live on the sunny Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. If you’ve ever watched Australian TV shows where they depict the long white sandy beaches, the surfer lifestyle and relaxed outdoor lifestyle, that’s it. What your perception of what Australia might be is where I live.
My background is in web design and development. I own a web development company that specialises in niche WordPress development, where we design and build customer-facing websites that integrate with third-party APIs. We mesh them together to create solutions for our clients.
How did you discover Cardano and what inspired you to become a Stake Pool Operator (SPO)?
I discovered Cardano in 2017 when a friend presented the white paper to me. Cardano was priced at 3 cents per ADA. I didn’t take much notice, and the white paper was way too much to read. However, I did end up buying a stake and watched the price of it rise all the way up in the bull run and crash in early 2018. After which, I essentially lost all interest in crypto at this point. I had no idea about the technical or mission of Cardano back then.
In late 2020 I started delegating what I had to a pool after hearing that staking was possible. I thought I’d give it a go and see what type of rewards I’d get. I’d check on my wallet to see what type of gains I had achieved, and it was at that point I started questioning how it all worked.
I started diving into stake pool operations, Charles’ videos, and understanding what Cardano was all about and it’s potential. I’ve now sold all my digital assets for Cardano.
As the host of the Learn Cardano podcast, you’re at the forefront of disseminating Cardano-related knowledge, how are you finding this endeavour?
The podcast has been a lot of fun. I used to have another podcast called The Joomla Beat Podcast which I ran for three years. I managed to build a great community around it and have many great opportunities thrown at me as a result, but had to close that one down.
The Learn Cardano Podcast has been an excellent avenue for me to share what I learn, build relationships with others in the community and educate people coming into the industry.
I found that a lot of the crypto-related material is for experienced people with technical and previous related cryptocurrency backgrounds, and there was nothing suitable for beginners in the space. Learn Cardano was my answer for that, and I hope it helps with the mass adoption of Cardano and cryptocurrencies.
With over 2800 pools and more being added every day, is there realistically a place for all of them?
The network at the moment has a k parameter set to 500. The parameter indicates how many pools are required on the network. 500 is well below the ~2800 pools currently active.
The competition is brutal right now for any stake pool that is just starting. If you don’t have a high amount of ADA that you can use as a pledge or delegate to your pool, you’re already behind.
If you don’t have a significant social media influence, you’ll compete with those who do.
If you have the technical skills to set up a pool but don’t have the marketing skills to grow the pool, you will struggle.
If you don’t have a unique point of difference that makes you stand out from all the noise, you will struggle.
There is hope for any pool that is starting. If you can join other pool owners or for teams to create a dynamic pool that ticks all the boxes, you may make it through a year of operation and keep going.
You can join initiatives, such as First 2 Lifetime Block (F2LB) or various pool alliances where communities form to share knowledge and resources.
We may see this increase and the number of transactions increase over time as smart contracts roll out on Cardano, but it isn’t something I’m counting on as a stake pool operator.
Lastly, the Cardano Foundation and Input-Output Global delegation can get a seed delegation to help spark growth in the pool.
Realistically though, many of the pools will not make it through their first year of operation and will close with others taking their places. It is a demanding full-time job managing and marketing a pool. If you plan on starting one, please keep it all in mind.
Thanks for your time. Anything you want to add? Where can people find you?
Thank you for the invite to write about our pool. It’s a pleasure to connect and engage with more in the community.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOHK.