Interview - Cardano SPO #095: Hotel Ginebra Barcelona [HOTEL]

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

This week’s Cardano SPO is a stake pool operated by Alfred and Yvonne who have been in the tourism sector for over 25 years and are now owners of a hotel in Barcelona: Hotel Ginebra Barcelona [HOTEL].

The previous guest was a stake pool consisting of a multidisciplinary team of six enthusiastic people who strongly focuses on education and giving back to delegators.

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 yourself/your team, where are you based and what are your backgrounds?

Hello Patryk. We are based in Barcelona and our tech is located Down Under. I am the owner of a hotel here in Barcelona so no technical background whatsoever

Yvonne and I have been in tourism for over 25 years. We set up a successful business in Rome where we ran several hotels and other types of accommodations and in 2012 decided it was time for a change and chose Barcelona to start a new life.

This has worked out very well because we were able to take over a hotel situated on the central square of the city, called Hotel Ginebra, in the community now also known as “The Cardano Hotel”, but more about that later in this interview

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

In 2017 we first discovered Bitcoin and consequently learned about ICOs which were then mostly running on Ethereum. In this journey of discovery we came across a one page article about this project called Cardano. What attracted us about it was the seriousness with which the project was presented and that it was based on scientific principles and rigour.

Then a little later we discovered the famous original whiteboard video by Charles Hoskinson and came to the conclusion that this was a project we wanted to be involved in. And the idea occurred to us to accept ADA as a means of payment at our hotel, perhaps as the first business in the world to do so. As it turns out, we were indeed the first. As a result of that, we were invited to fly over to Lisbon to an IOHK workshop and meet Charles Hoskinson, with whom we had dinner.

As we wanted to find other ways to support the project, we also decided to start a stakepool to support the network, when the moment presented itself.

Tell us more about your hotel in Barcelona. Do people from the Cardano Community come to visit? Is it possible to pay in ADA? What does the future hold?

Hotel Ginebra has over the years become the first hub for the Cardano Community. We have organised two support events for the Cardano Summit of 2021 and 2022.

At the same time we organise workshops with artists who would like to learn how to create NFTs on Cardano and our space is available to any project that wishes to create a Cardano based event.

With NMKR we are also in the process of developing an NFT marketplace which aims to develop artist communities city by city by means of workshops which we are in the process of standardising.

At Hotel Ginebra we also do a podcast called the Cardano Hotel Podcast in which we interview projects building on Cardano.

What excites you the most in the Cardano ecosystem? What projects are you keeping an eye on? What problems are they solving?

There are a multitude of projects that are interesting and we always have an eye on what art comes out of the ecosystem. The projects that excite us most are those with real world impact like Empowa, Etuktuk, or the Direct Development Foundation of Simon Sallstrom.

  • Empowa has found a way to enter the mortgage market in Mozambique and is offering local people an entirely new way to get on the housing ladder.
  • EtukTuk operates in Sri Lanka but, just as Empowa, is aiming to branch out across the continent. Etuktuk has engineered an electric tuk tuk, which is a very important and polluting means of transportation in Asia, and also the power grid to operate the Etuktuks on.
  • Direct Development Foundation has created a platform for direct donations to their projects in Africa which offers coding bootcamps to help people embark on a concrete path to education and insertion into the labour market.

We have interviewed three of the above mentioned projects and if people are curious they can watch those episodes on our YouTube channel. Just type in “Cardano Hotel Podcast” and enjoy.

Great contribution. Any final thoughts? Where can people stay in touch?

Final thoughts….hmm…well, although it seems like it has been a long road already to get Cardano where it is now, the hard part is actually just starting, and that is governance.

Creating an entirely new governance model has rarely been done successfully in history so we would like to invite everybody in the Cardano community to set aside some time to get involved and help to try and create a new and better model to do things.

Finally, we look forward to meeting anybody from the Cardano community that is heading to Barcelona. Come and pay us a visit, the coffee is always on.

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