Interview - Cardano SPO #120: Hermes Stakepool [HRMS]

Original Placement:

Today’s guest on the Cardano SPO column is one of the largest stake pools in the german speaking region, based in Munich: Hermes Stakepool [HRMS].

The previous guest was a stake pool operated by Pi Lanningham, the CTO of Sundae Labs.

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

Thanks a lot for having us today! We are Hermes Stakepool, one of the first ever, and by now one of the largest, Cardano stakepools in the german speaking region.

Based in and operated out of Munich, Germany, we are a proud supporter of Cardano’s blockchain network since day 1 of the infamous ITN (Incentivized Testnet).

My personal background is more than 25 years of Sysops in various settings and constellations — excited to bring our knowledge to the field of blockchain and DLTs.

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

Our first touch point with crypto was, as for many, a small and semi-professional mining operation back in 2016/2017 in my father’s garage. While it was fun to build and run mining rigs it wasn’t sustainable with German energy prices but it also felt a bit like an arms race with the introduction of ASICS and the mining landscape becoming more and more professionalized.

Furthermore we had our doubts about PoW being the only and most promising method of consensus and started researching other models and chains. This included Cardano’s ecologically friendly PoS protocol Ouroboros which convinced us to dive deeper into this project.

As for many others, Charles’ legendary whiteboard video played a crucial role here…

What are you most looking forward to with Cardano? What do you think we need to reach mass adoption?

There are currently two main topics within the blockchain space: in my humble opinion these are “interoperability” and “compliance”.

While there have been some promising developments in the first sector, like Wanchain decentralized Cardano bridge that helped to bring liquidity to Cardano’S DeFi space.

The second is being tackled by IOG with the sidechain solution “Midnight”. As blockchain technology has left its infancy behind we have to make sure to comply with regulations while preserving user’s privacy.

While this might sound like a stretch from Bitcoin’s initial values at first it is indeed crucial in today’s blockchain environment to succeed in sectors like DeFi.

Besides Cardano, you’re also involved with other blockchain ecosystems, tell us more. What do you think we can learn from other platforms?

Our journey as node operators started with Cardano and is still by far our biggest validator.

However as I mentioned earlier I don’t believe in the one blockchain to rule them all so we started looking into other projects that bring something to the table that Cardano doesn’t offer (yet).

So we started a validator on Wanchain, which by now has been shut down, to support cross chain infrastructure.

Later we added Aleph Zero as a privacy preserving and compliant L1 blockchain, NYM as a privacy preserving mixnet/dVPN which can be understood as “TOR 2.0” and we are prepared for the mainnet launch of DUSK as our next project to run a node on.

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

Thanks again for having us, and please feel free to follow us on Twitter/X as well as join our TG channel if you want to stay in touch with us:

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.