A delegate-rich stake pool with 0 ADA pledge is not illegal, inappropriate, or malicious. However, it is shocking to me as a pool operator. Here is why it is shocking to me. In the Cardano ecosystem, a stake pool’s pledge (a stake pool owner’s ADA in the game) is crucial. The pledge perimeter is pivotal in instrumenting security and trust in the Cardano stake pool ecosystem. Pledge is a reward perimeter use to protect the Cardano network against Sybil Attack. The pledge factor is used to determine rewards. The pledge factor is used to build trustworthiness to attract stake delegates. IOHK and Cardano Foundation advocates that a stake pool with more ADA pledge is more reliable and trustworthy in the decentralization of the Cardano blockchain. Vice versa, a stake pool with 0 ADA pledge is untrustworthy in protecting the network. This concept of ownership stake is a fundamental tenant in a Proof Of Stake system like ours. Only individuals/entities with ownership stake get to decide who decentralizes the network. This pledge recommendation prevented me from using my stake pool’s large ADA pledge to create a stake pool farm (several stake pools belonging to a single owner). Imagine what I felt when I saw several stake pool farms with 0 ADA pledge controlling over 936 million delegated stake. See the example images below.
If you consider pools with pledge between 0 Ada and 10 ADA, the controlled delegated stake is well over a billion ADA. Meanwhile, trustworthy stake pools with over 100K ADA pledge cannot attract enough delegated stake to sustain their operation.
0 ADA pledge and delegates-rich pools are clear signs that the A0 factor needs to play a significantly more critical role ASAP. If A0 variable is not increased ASAP, some of these abnormal stake pools will entrench their abnormality to the degree that it would be an irreversible problem to correct. This opinion is my humble observation of how mathematical game theory is no match for human ingenuity to game the system. Hence, the need for Voltaire governance. Until then, the Cardano Foundation and IOHK need to remedy this situation ASAP.