I’ll begin with the standard disclaimer: I’m quite new to Cardano and Cryptocurrency. Please be gentle if I demonstrate laughable naivety in the following observations and questions.
I’m considering running a Cardano Stake Pool. My motivations are mainly geeky; I’ve been a sysadmin by day for several decades and in my spare time I write amateur code and admire the skills of other coders. I’m a maintainer of the, mostly forgotten, Mixmaster Remailer and wrote a successor to it called Yamn. I’d be lying if I said I don’t care about making money from running a stake pool but I’m principally concerned that it doesn’t turn into (yet another) very expensive hobby.
I’m estimating my initial operating costs at 150 ADA per month using the current exchange rate of 1 ADA = $1.30. This is based on 3 dedicated servers (2 relays and a block producer) hosted in a Data Centre. While I can shoulder that cost for a few months, I wouldn’t want that level of financial loss over a long period of time. Am I being overly cautious or is the reward for operating the pool likely to cover my monthly outgoings within, say, a year?
My next question concerns the size of my stake. I understand this relates to how much return I can expect but, looking at the existing pools, many clearly have huge funds available. Has Cardano staking become the realm of big businesses who can stake millions of ADA or is there room in 2022 for a hobby operator with an average income and a family?
Last but not least, I’d be interested to know more about the duties of a stake pool operator. Are there daily or weekly operational tasks or does the pool mostly run without intervention? I have no issues feeding and watering a few servers but can’t give up my day job and dedicate all my waking hours to it.
That’s all the questions that are currently running through my head but I’m sure there are others that will arise if I undertake this journey. My thanks in advance for reading my ponderings and for your opinions. I wish Cardano the very best of luck, with or without my participation.