Today’s guest on the Cardano SPO column is a stake pool operated by Martin from Varna, Bulgaria where he is currently an officer with the rank of Lieutenant: ANDROMEDA [MEDA].
The previous guest was a stake pool operated by Leon, born and raised in The Netherlands and is currently living in Poland.
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 are your backgrounds?
My name is Martin. I am based in Varna, Bulgaria. I graduated second in class from the Naval Academy. I am currently an officer with the rank of Lieutenant.
I have a background in communication and telecommunication technologies, business development and management, psychology, and moderate knowledge of finance and blockchains.I am also heavily involved in competitive DanceSport.
What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become a Stake Pool Operator (SPO)?
In the year 2021, right after the holidays in January my brother was very enthusiastic that Bitcoin reached $40k price. I decided to start looking for information about what this exactly is.
I am an engineer so after I browsed a little in the internet and youtube videos as well, I understood immediately the potential of blockchain technologies and Bitcoin. As everybody I was caught in the hype of the bull run at that time and I bought BTC, ETH, ADA, DOT etc… at high prices. I started to trade, then I realised that trading is just gambling in a different form so I decided to change my narrative and start to invest instead. But the important thing is that these actions took me to the MIT course of Gary Gensler about Blockchains, from 2018.
I went through the entire course and one of the most valuable things in there were the first 3 lectures because they were all about how money was created in the World and it was so interesting to me, that I started searching for more and more information about finance and how the banks and the governments really operate etc. Then I saw the famous whiteboard video of Charles and it blew my mind because this is what I was searching for my whole life — A meaningful purpose and a way to help leave the World a better place than I found it.
After that it did not take long for me to decide that I wanted to be a Stake Pool Operator but it took me almost a year to learn Linux and everything else to be able to shape the Andromeda Stake Pool environment in the best possible way in my opinion. The Pool does not have enough ₳ yet to regularly mint blocks but we are getting there. The membership in the xSPO Alliance and Single Pool Alliance is helping a lot in maintaining a good and friendly environment, and having a community around the best Pools in the ecosystem. So… we are moving forward one step at a time…but doing it the right way.
It was a pleasure to meet you in person at the community-led Cardano Summit 2023 in London, what were your thoughts about the event? What were some highlights that stood out to you and why?
It was a pleasure to meet you too. It was a very nice organised event. This is my second time at a Cardano event. I attended the Cardano Summit 2022 main stage in Lausanne, Switzerland. Back then and now I expected not that well organised event, merch as offerings, etc. But I have to admit I was surprisingly stunned by the devotion, the organisational skills and the passion behind all of the people involved last year and this year as well. I couldn’t make it to the main stage in Dubai this year but I am glad because I got to meet you and other great people like Chris from UPSTREAM and Jon from FLUID.
The World is not in a good place right now. A lot of my friends back in my country do not want to create families and have children because they don’t like where this World is heading and seeing people like you and the others make me believe that there is a light in the tunnel and we can actually make this World a better place for all, together!
As a lieutenant in the Bulgarian army, do you see any potential applications of blockchain technology in this context?
We, as a country, are a long way from utilising blockchain technologies for military purposes but that does not mean that the possibility is not there. Cardano for instance can be used for storing immutable data about archives, not classified ofc., but the ones that are used for everyday purposes, like data about ordinary books or items that people in the army use every day, books, as well as peoples’ identities, ofc this is better to be on a private sidechain, not publicly seen.
And on the governmental level, Cardano and the blockchain technology can be used as a trustful voting system, alongside with DIDs.
Great contribution. Any final thoughts? Where can people stay in touch?
I want to say something to every person that is reading this. Believe in yourself and believe in the Human race.
Last generations created a bit of a mess in the World. They did some amazing things too but from an organisational standpoint — the World is now favouring almost only the governments, the banks and the big companies and institutions. The people are left behind. We can change that now, because we have the means to do it. We should not let this great technology be twisted in the hands of the World’s most powerful individuals.
We can thrive as long as we put aside our differences and we work together!
I started my own marketing Agency called Andromeda Way (AWA) that focuses particularly on utilising the Cardano ecosystem for businesses and individual artists. So you can find me actually almost everywhere: Discord, X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram and YouTube.
My personal profile in X/Twitter is @Wlataru. I will be happy to talk with anyone who wants to discuss the topics from this interview further.
Thank you Patryk for doing what you are doing and for inviting me to take this interview. Cheers!
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.