The Cardano Foundation series “A Spotlight on Stake Pools” interviews Stake Pool Operators (SPOs) to delve deeper into the work of the architects of the future. Besides maintaining stake pools, many SPOs also update libraries and build open source tools. These projects not only add vitality and scope to the Cardano ecosystem but address the needs of the community. Indeed, the work of single SPOs (SSPOs) deserves unwavering support, and the Cardano Foundation will continue to uphold its commitment to those contributing to the Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs), adding to projects such as the Developer Portal, and creating the tools others use to build on Cardano.
In the Spotlight installment with VICE Stake Pool, SPO Igor outlined why the development-led approach of Cardano enticed him to establish his pool. In addition to VICE, Igor built CardanoWall, whereby users can send a message that is recorded on the Cardano blockchain. This data may then be used as the information’s proof of existence. Separately, Igor created ADAPlus PoolBoost to aid smaller stake pools registered on Pool Boost.
We now turn to BERRY Pool, founded by Alessandro Konrad in 2020 during the Shelly Haskell Testnet program. One of the first Cardano stake pools to run on Raspberry Pi hardware, it attracted the attention of SPO Pascal Lapointe who merged his stake pool with BERRY in late 2020.
Konrad is also well known within the Cardano community for co-founding SpaceBudz, an NFT project built on Cardano. From SpaceBudz, Konrad turned his attention to Nami Wallet, a free, open source browser-based wallet that can be implemented into any website and which allows users to interact with decentralized applications (dApps). With Nami Wallet, Konrad and Lapointe have purposefully built a Cardano blockchain-backed wallet premised on easy-to-use functionality and designed to onboard people new to the blockchain space.
Why did you become a stake pool operator?
Becoming a SPO was a great way to actively participate in Cardano and start learning about the protocol while generating an income to support these activities.
What is the mission of your stake pool?
One of BERRY’s missions is to lower the entry barrier to developing on Cardano by providing open source tools as well as project code repositories.
Can you give us a brief history of your stake pool?
BERRY was the first Raspberry Pi (RPI) stake pool to be registered, right there during the launch of the Shelley era. We remain committed to operating on energy efficient ARM-based devices. When we launched we gained some attention as we were the first SPO operating on RPI. We then gained the attention of delegators after I launched SpaceBudz and subsequently the Nami Wallet.
How did the Cardano Foundation delegation impact your stake pool operation?
BERRY spent its first six months minting about two blocks. Attracting delegation without minting every epoch is quite difficult. Receiving delegation from the Cardano Foundation really helped to bootstrap the pool by allowing us to build a block production history.
Did you find the Cardano Foundation delegation enabled you to either build or improve your tools, projects, or open source repositories?
By helping BERRY to gather a healthy pool of delegation, the Cardano Foundation allowed us to generate the necessary delegation rewards to spend time on open source projects such as Lucid, a repository of code, and Nami Wallet. We have also worked on Cardanocli-js, a coding library—now transferred to Shareslake—that combines Java Script with Cardano’s command line interface (CLI), and NFT-Plutus, which allows for integration of Plutus scripts and Lucid as an off-chain framework.
How would you summarize your contributions to the Cardano ecosystem?
Some of my other contributions have been to the Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs). CIP-0025, authored alongside Rémi from SMAUG Pool, defines a media NFT metadata standard for native tokens. More recently, CIP-0068, for which Thomas Vellekoop is also an author, addresses the shortcomings of CIP-0025 and defines a metadata standard for native assets, making use of output datums for any asset class.
Is there any recent project you would like to let the community know about?
Konrad provides regular updates and information about his activities on Twitter and at Github.
The latest redelegation of Cardano Foundation Wallets took place in October, with the Foundation delegating to 45 stake pools following a random draw. The next application round will start on 5 December, 2022. SPOs can receive updates by email from the Cardano Foundation and the Cardano forum gives full details on delegation methodology.
The Foundation encourages all eligible stake pools to apply.