Interview - Cardano SPO #096: Chile_Stake_po [CHIL]

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 based in Chile and operated by Rodrigo and Sebastian who are hosts of the podcast “Descentralización Total!”: Chile_Stake_po [CHIL].

The previous guest was 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.

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?

Hi, I’m Rodrigo, the SPO of Chile_Stake_po [CHIL]. We are based in Chile. Our team is composed of Sebastian “Individuo Digital” and me. Sebastian is an architect and works in the film industry as a director of documentaries, and I’m an entrepreneur with experience in the mining corporate world in LATAM, education and management of a successful nightclub venue.

We have both been participating in the blockchain ecosystem since 2017, but we have been running Chile Stake pool since epoch 211, or July 2020. Since then, we have been broadcasting twice a week in a podcast called “Descentralización Total!” where our audience reaches over 40 countries including Spain, Argentina, Mexico, USA, Lithuania, Japan and many others.

On our show we have hosted interviews with guests such as Antonio from WMT, Nico from DCSPARK, Santiago and Fede from Tx pipe, as well as guests from IOG, Minswap, Genius Yield and many other builders. We love our job.

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

I have always been interested in technology. Since 2017, I have been participating in the blockchain ecosystem as an investor. The idea of running a node was not far off from my mind. In 2020, during the pandemic chaos, I was laid off. I tried to participate in the 3D printing market for a couple of months, but soon, I found myself watching the ITN (Incentivized Testnet) going on. As soon as Shelley was launched, I started running the node, and I was thankful that I could work from home.

However, I had no idea about the challenges of competing with other SPOs for delegation and the differences between markets, particularly in Latam compared to the rest of the world. Despite this, we sailed like pirates and found the “cardumen,” which means the shoal of fish, and that’s how we named our community. We gave the opportunity to anyone, regardless of the size of their wallet, to come and delegate with us and receive support using the Cardano network. It turned out to be a successful experience and became the cornerstone of our community. As a shoal of fish, we swim together and take care of each other through education and support.

Please share your thoughts about the economic situation in Latam countries. And how are cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology helping?

Latam, or Latin America, is a region encompassing a diverse set of countries with varying economic conditions. However, the region has struggled with various economic challenges in recent years. One significant issue is the high level of income inequality, which brings social and political instability. Additionally, there is a high level of dependency on primary resources or industries for economic growth.

This lack of diversification makes the region vulnerable to fluctuations in global commodity prices or disruption in trades, which can have a significant impact on their economies. Many Latin American countries have struggled with high levels of public debt and fiscal deficits, limiting their ability to invest in critical areas such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges, leading to a significant economic contraction in the region.

One of the main reasons people have turned to new technologies, such as cryptocurrency, in the region is to seek alternatives to their currencies. For example, it can help facilitate overseas remittances to families of immigrants. Additionally, the impact of bad politics not only affects the social contract but also the economy of a country. By utilising self-custody of assets, individuals can benefit from the hard monetary policy that guarantees that no changes will be made to the money, which translates to trust.

What are you most looking forward to in the Cardano ecosystem in the coming months?

I’m excited to see people from all over the world building into the Cardano ecosystem. We are a community that represents cultural diversity, which can be seen over the toxicity of crypto social media. Thousands of people from different places are not just being witnesses but also protagonists of a blockchain that embraces one of the biggest challenges of humankind: governance.

Democracy is like a muscle; it needs to be exercised to be strong, and I’m excited to see how these people from all around the world will be able to say that things can be done in a different way and that we all can use this technology.

Nice contribution. Any closing thoughts? Where can people stay in touch?

To begin with, thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts. Different people have different ideas or uses for the protocol, but amidst those zeros and ones, we are still people communicating with each other, trying to find better ways to improve our reality. I’m glad that I can share this opportunity with everyone.

If people want to stay in touch, they can contact me through Twitter. They can also find us twice a week on different platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, Fountaine, Apple Podcasts, and many others in our podcast “Descentralización Total!” And of course, our ticker is CHIL if anyone would like to support us.

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