Interview - Cardano SPO #094: Cardaspians [CASP]

Written interviews with Stake Pool Operators (SPOs) on the Cardano blockchain.
Link to post on my Medium

This week’s Cardano SPO guest is a stake pool consisting of a multi-disciplinary team of six enthusiastic people who strongly focuses on education and giving back to delegators: Cardaspians [CASP].

The previous guest was a stake pool operated by 3 citizens of the world who value anonymity and create content on Youtube.

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.

Hi, thanks for your time. Tell us something about your team, where are you based and what are your backgrounds?

Thank you for having us, Patryk!

So, Cardaspians consists of a multi-disciplinary team of six enthusiastic people which are actually divided into three different responsibilities.

I am Mark and I am the SPO of the pool. Right now, I’m training Robin to help me with running the pool. We basically do everything related to IT and system engineering. Robin is a cyber security specialist and I have a background in telecom and the IT industry. Together, we provide the system engineering and the pool services and support. Robin also focuses on application development.

Jan and Paul are our strategists who have a background in telecom and automation. Paul is a business developer and Jan is a sales expert. They have a lot of added value and also bring financial input into the staking pool.

Tim and Jason are our main (digital) marketers. They have a background in education but have been in crypto from 2017 on. Together, they’ve rebranded Cardaspians as a whole, and put a broader focus on crypto education and charity work. They helped Cardaspians become who we are now.

What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become Stake Pool Operators (SPO)?

I initially started mining Ethereum a long time ago, but quickly noticed that it was not sustainable and ecologically friendly. I got interested in the research and academic approach of Cardano.

As a product manager in previous jobs I knew that a robust mission is critical and that a long term design is mandatory, which is exactly what Cardano stands for. So that’s when my Cardano journey started.

I participated in the ITN (Incentivized Test Net) as a CASP stake pool operator, where we learned how the network worked and operated.

I also participated in the HTN (Haskell Test Net) as CASP stake pool operator and we went live on mainnet on July 29th, 2020, where we as CASP produced blocks during the first Shelley epochs.

Education is crucial in order to reach mass adoption. What are your efforts in this regard? How are you educating people about Cardano?

One of our main focuses is education in order to reach mass adoption. By mass adoption we intentionally mean the masses. There’s a certain focus on the regular social media, such as our Twitter and Instagram. This is supported by our engagement in other — more educational — platforms such as Medium and Youtube. But that’s not exactly how “mass” adoption is reached. We believe in bringing crypto to the people, by showing them that we are people (with a heart). Here’s a part of our future plan to reach that:

We want to ‘educate’. We are planning to give basic crypto workshops to schools, companies and people who are interested in general. We want to show them the advantages and the pitfalls of crypto, but with a focus on Cardano and staking in general. We hope to engage them to take their first steps into the crypto world. We also want to offer these workshops to minority groups like people with certain disabilities, people with less financial possibilities.

With education, we also mean charity: our first charity partner is yet to be announced (soon), but we want to educate people on the positive aspects of charity work and how they can contribute.We believe that’s how the Cardano mindset can be completely implemented into society.

There’s been some fuzz about staking pools with 0% margin fee and them being untrustworthy, what are your thoughts about it? Can a stake pool be sustainable with a 0% fee?

True, we’ve noticed that when people talk about 0% margin fee staking pools, it often gives them a sense of fear. Most people fear that those staking pools, just as ours, are untrustworthy. We wanted to counter that. Cardaspians and a lot of other 0% pools, are not taking a percent, because they want to give back to the delegators. The teams or SPOs behind them are thankful that they have delegators, and want to show that to them.

An extra question that is often asked is: how do you pay for the fixed epoch fee when you are a small, single staking pool then?

Well, we’re basically putting our own money in. That is the case for Cardaspians, but for many other pools too. In time, we hope to grow, making it easier to pay for the fixed fee. That’s why, as long as possible, we want to try and offer as much as possible to our delegators, hoping that it pledges for a sense of trust. Trust should be fixed upon pledge, uptime and the work a team puts in the staking pool, not by killing the goodwill of giving back to your community or delegators.

But, we have to be honest, right now, the fixed epoch fee of 340 is sustainable for us. But when the k and a0 parameter would change, it could (and probably will) completely reshape the staking landscape. A 0% fee without sponsoring will be practically impossible.

If we need to adjust our fees, because we would be forced into it, we will do it. Again, this will be for our delegators and to keep them happy.

Great! Any additional comments? Where can people stay in touch?

First of all, thank you for giving us the chance to make an impact on the Cardano community, Patryk! We hope to be as active as we can possibly be in the years to come.

People can definitely stay in touch by following us on our Twitter, our Instagram, our Medium, and our Youtube, which will be released soon.

We also welcome you onto our brand new website where you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

If possible, we would like to use this opportunity to thank every single delegator that stakes with us. Thank you for your trust, we will continue to work hard.

And once again, thank you, Patryk! All the best.

Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG.


Thanks for the nice article :+1:

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