Today’s guest on the Cardano SPO column is a stake pool operated by Leon, born and raised in The Netherlands and is currently living in Poland: HAPPY Staking Pool [HAPPY].
The previous guest was a bare-metal stake pool operated by two French twin brothers living in France and Sweden.
This column is where I invite Stake Pool Operators (SPO) to share their stories and vision as a way to connect with and learn about the Cardano Community.
Hi, thanks for your time. Tell us something about yourself, where are you based and what is your background?
Hello and thank you for this opportunity
My name is Leon, the operator of HAPPY Staking Pool . I was born and raised in The Netherlands and I currently live in Poland with my wife and our two kids.
Ever since I was young I’ve been fascinated by electronics and technology. Taking apart toys and old radios was my favorite pastime. Those days are long gone and my focus has shifted from tearing things apart to building things. I enjoy writing software or scripts, making contributions and helping other people out.
I also like to spend my time outdoors, whether it’s a walk in the park in my hometown or a vacation somewhere far away. I’ve been lucky to have seen many beautiful places on earth and this made me very aware of the importance of taking care of the planet we all live on.
What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become a Stake Pool Operator (SPO)?
Soon after earning my Bachelors’ Degree in Computer Science I decided that programming software till retirement is not for me and I went ahead to realise my childhood dream: a career in aviation. However, a strong interest for software development and Linux remained, and when I found out about Cardano the pieces of the puzzle all fell into place.
Cardano allows me to combine a lot of my interests: software, hardware and finance, so it was only logical to start a stake pool. Added bonus is that I can use a (large) portion of the pool’s income to make an impact on subjects that I find important such as reforestation and plastic waste cleanup efforts. “Making the planet cleaner and greener” therefore became the pool’s slogan.
Currently donations are 20% of the total pool income, but they will increase up to 50% when the pool is fully saturated. Hopefully we’ll reach this goal some day
As an active member of the Climate Neutral Cardano alliance I donate to a variety of environmental projects involving reforestation and plastic waste cleanup efforts.
Can you tell us about the Minswap delegation coming to the pool? How does it work and how helpful is it to your growth?
As many of us know Minswap is a decentralized exchange where transactions occur directly between traders and are settled directly on the blockchain. This means that Minswap needs to maintain a liquidity pool for each token pair in order to facilitate trades.
Three delegation strategies were proposed in order to delegate those liquidity pools to the SPO community and a governance vote showed that the “Randomized Decentralization” strategy was preferred. Thanks to this strategy, HAPPY was one of the randomly chosen pools from the list of applicants.
Not all community pools could apply for the delegation as the stake pool needs to fulfill some conditions. It is required to have a minimum stake of 200K (and maximum 5M), a minimum pledge of 20K, a maximum variable fee of 3% and a fixed cost of 340 ADA. Furthermore only operators with a single pool are eligible to apply for the delegation. The LP is delegated for three months after which a new round starts. The strategy will be valid for 12 months after which the results will be evaluated.
The Minswap delegation will give a significant boost to the pool as it will push the active stake to 4.5M ADA. This will be enough to reliably produce blocks which will hopefully attract more delegation to the pool so we can keep up reliable block production even after the Minswap delegation moves on to the next pool.
During the time the delegation is active I will do my best to give the pool more visibility, create partnerships and make the pool even more attractive to delegators. For example by expanding our welcome bonus system, by adding a monthly lottery and by organizing regular token giveaways.
What is Cardano Spot? And what contributions have you made to this platform?
Cardano Spot is a social platform for anyone interested in Cardano and it’s meant for sharing news, articles and projects. The platform is developed and maintained by Emurgo, one of Cardano’s founding partners and it is still quite new because it has a ‘beta’ status.
When I find an interesting subject, I want to get to know more about it. So why not seize the occasion and write an article, so everyone can learn something? Writing usually takes me anywhere from one to four days and when I’m happy with the text I submit it to Cardano Spot. They usually publish it within a day.
In the past I have interviewed the teams behind $BANK and $STABLE and written articles about those projects. It’s always very interesting to hear first-hand how the project got started, evolved and what their goals are. The challenge is to create a concise and fun to read article from an interview. When the comments on the article are positive I know I have succeeded and that makes it worth writing another article
Great contribution. Any additional comments? Where can people stay in touch?
The best way to stay up-to-date is via X (Twitter) at Twitter.com/happystaking.
The website provides a lot of information about the pool and the projects we support, so please check it out on HappyStaking.io.
For direct contact you can reach me on Telegram.
And if you want to support our mission in making the planet cleaner and greener, please consider a delegation to ticker HAPPY.
Thanks for reading
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the people interviewed are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG. Moreover, this content is for educational purposes, it doesn’t constitute financial advice.