Interview - Cardano SPO #116: RUMOR [RUMOR]

Original Placement:

Today’s guest on the Cardano SPO column is Mladen, whose goal is being truly a single pool, bare metal, running at home, and powered by the sun: RUMOR [RUMOR].

The previous guest was also a bare metal single stake pool operated by a global team coming from a variety of backgrounds.

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 Mladen, being a father to my 15-year-old is my most cherished role.

My journey into the world of cryptocurrency began in 2017. It was during this time that I discovered Cardano and was immediately captivated by Charles Hoskinson’s visionary approach, aligning closely with my own beliefs about the potential of blockchain technology.

Fast forward to 2024 and I am working with an amazing team at Anastasia Labs. Although I am much more technical now, my expertise is business and sales — and that is exactly where I focused my talents to grow Anastasia Labs.

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

Back in 2018 I was not very technical, and although I was reading and watching others how they opened up their stake pools for the ITN — I had to skip. It was too much for me, although I wanted to be one of the validators.

Over the years I’ve watched guys like Conrad as heroes. Especially for their dedication to centralization and running only one single stake pool.

My interest in programming and smart contracts also grew in 2021 and that’s when I decided to make a change. I started learning programming, the basics of Linux, signed up for the Emurgo class where together with the Plutus Pioneer Program I learned all about eUTXOs and Plutus.

Finally in 2023, after watching one of Charles’s AMAs where he spoke how anyone can become a stake pool operator, validate transactions on Cardano and run the world financial operating system on GTR6, I saved all my money and bought two of these.

Started compiling nodes, learning everything I needed about running a stake pool and hardening my servers, together with my skills of Cardano CLI I had no problem creating transactions and registering [RUMOR].

What is Anastasia Labs? And can you share the benefits of developing using Haskell and the eUTXO model?

Anastasia Labs is a development and auditing company specialized in Haskell and Cardano.

My opportunity to join Anastasia Labs actually opened up while I was attending the Emurgo class where co-founders Jonathan and Phil were instructors.

With them specialized in Haskell and Plutarch they founded a company after noticing a need for more auditing firms in our ecosystem.

Shortly after I joined and now we have worked with most of the biggest projects in the ecosystem.

eUTXO model is new and came to be with Cardano. There are still a lot of benefits yet to be discovered and unlocked, but overall it shows how Cardano took the right approach and is much safer than accounting models.

Haskell or PlutusTx as a smart contract language is getting more and more easier to use, but now when we have Aiken I can say that almost 80% of new projects on Cardano are being written in Aiken at this point.

What does it mean to run a bare metal stake pool? How is it beneficial to decentralization?

Decentralization should be at the heart of everything we do in Cardano. Without it we could simply host our ledger in a google sheet.

That being said there are different levels of decentralization and even different levels of a bare metal stake pool.

When I started I thought we would be able to say that we are running a bare metal stake pool only and only if we were running a stake pool in our home on a single server (not shared).

That’s the route I decided to take and contribute to the decentralization and ethos of Cardano as much as possible. I got two Beelink GTR6 in two different locations, on two different ISPs, running on battery backup, and ready to supply electricity with a gasoline power generator.

This year I will be installing solar panels on my roof and my stake pool will mint blocks powered only by sun and after that I can say I accomplished my goal of being a true Cardano SPO — single pool, bare metal, running at home, and powered by the sun.

Great contribution. Any final words? Where can people contact you?

People can reach out to me on Twitter @mladenlm or on Telegram: @mladenlm.

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.