Here is my take on the fees thing…
What Cardano has created is a platform for businesses to profit from securing the blockchain. Its our job as pool operators, but more importantly, business owners, to build a profitable business from that. To the extent that we can be profitable will determine, ultimately, how many pools/entities are securing the blockchain. And the number of pools is directly related to how decentralized the platform is. Decentralization is critical to the success of Cardano, because where we are going will be very disruptive to the existing financial infrastructure of the world and there will be many entities that try to destroy it.
- Profit correlates to # of pools
- The number of pools correlates to decentralization
- Decentralization makes the network “indestructible”.
So then the question becomes what will it take to be profitable as a pool and I think nobody knows the answer to that question yet. We can estimate costs for our existing infrastructure, but the demands of the blockchain today may be far different than the demands coming up once we have smart contracts, tokens, and much higher transaction volume. I have made an estimate that my fees with a saturated pool will let my pool break even for the next few years at least, but every pool operator will have a different calculation for that.
So then back to you as an investor. If you focus only on finding the lowest possible pool fees then I think you are missing a huge opportunity. If you run the math the difference to you between a 1% pool and a 3% pool is almost nothing, but for operators it is a substantial difference (3x) that means operators can invest and grow, rather than fund their pool with their own cash and time. And with healthy pool operators we have a healthy network. And with a healthy network we can fulfill our vision of running the worlds financial infrastructure.
So I think the question is “what is worth more to you?”:
The appreciation of your ADA holdings as Cardano takes over the world financial systems, or making those last few Lovelaces every epoch.
Obviously you get to vote with your wallet, and my grand vision of where we are all going may not appeal to you and that’s fine. But I hope (at least for my investment in cardano) enough of the community is onboard with the broad vision, and wants to support pools that want to turn a profit AND give back to the community with time and energy. From my point of view the appreciation on the native asset will be worth far more than any differential in fees.