Is operating a Stake Pool a Licensable Activity?


When running a stake pool, what one is effectively doing is upkeeping the network on which the bockchain operates. The others who delegate ADA to your stake pool and earn a reward for doing so … the stake pool operator takes a small cut.

I can see how might be misconstrued as a financial activity similar to that of a hedge fund - e.g. take client’s money, given them a return and keep a small fee for doing so. Managing money of some sort. Although in reality stake pool operators never have control of the client’s funds, they effectively can not mis-use the funds or run away with them. The only way a stake pool operator can fall foul is failing to upkeep the node and not generate sufficient return.

This can lead down a rabbit of a Licensable activity for a which Financial Licence might be required.

Does any one have experience in arguing why this should, or should not be a licensable activity?

If there is an official statement on this from Cardano foundation, Emurgo, or other bodies can please share a link here

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I asked this before as I was thinking the same thing - see this link

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That will definitely depend on where you are located. In Germany it is not (for now). Only exchanges need to get a license.
In Germany it usually revolves around the question wether the activity itself is VAT taxable. For example in Germany thats not the case for mining since the reward is not directly coupled with your work (less transactions → less rewards but still same power consumption). This holds true for SPs as well. But yeah, generally pretty new territory and legeslation can hardly keep up

Thanks although I didn’t see a clear answer there. Some one made a point there that as a stake pool operator you don’t need to take action for the delegator to receive his interes… I think this supports the idea that you do not control customer’s funds

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Thanks, that is good point that essentially stake pool operator is like a miner in the proof of work setting, so if mining does not require a license then operating a stake pool by analogy of its function doesn’t either…

Any lawyers around here?