On February 4, 2020, I initially mentioned the unhealthiness of pool farms in Cardano’s decentralization infrastructure. Back then, it was not mainnet. Instead, it was the ITN (Incentivize Testnet). Since then, I have been a strong advocate for the single-owner single pool approach to Cardano decentralization. I significantly contributed to the vision of the CSPA (Carando Single Pool Alliance). I wrote several articles against pool farms and in favor of single-owner-single-pool. Despite my strong advocacy, I have changed my mind, and I am no longer promoting the single-owner-single-pool as the sole entity for Cardano’s decentralization infrastructure. So, what changed? Why am I flip-flopping or backsliding? Why am I willing to be labeled a hypocrite? A lot has changed after my recent research and observation of the evolving stake pool ecosystem. This article attempts to explain my candid and painful exit from the single-owner-single-pool concept that I have stanchly advocated till about a week ago.
After recently researching and observing the current Cardano stake pool landscape, I arrived at four major indisputable conclusions.
While Ourouborus parameters (D, K, A0, etc.) can impede their formation, those perimeters cannot prevent pool farms from participating in Cardano’s decentralization infrastructure. Nor can it be implemented by algorithmic protocols in Ouroboros.
Neither IOG nor the Cardano Foundation can legislate a single individual or entity from owning more than one stake pool. It centralizes authority and defeats decentralized governance.
Human ingenuity to game the system for profit is smarter. If a single owner wants to create and own several stake pools, there are exponentially many ways to accomplish his/her goals.
IOG is fundamentally advocating that stake pools operate as a for-profit business. As a for-profit business, the primary goal is to maximize business profit.
These conclusions enlightened me to painfully accept that Cardano’s decentralization will consist of a plurality of various types of stake pool entities and infrastructures. Though painful, it is an inevitable fact with which I had to wrestle. In the end, I had no option but to accept what is fair to my stake pool team, myself, and our company. I still believe that the single-owner-single-pool approach provides the most resilient decentralization infrastructure that can withstand coordinated malicious attacks from colluding national governments, hackers, and other significantly large entities. However, as a business, I have to be pragmatic and caring for my teammates. Without our stake pool’s profit, we cannot solely and financially support our Cardano community, Cardano South Florida Meetup.
In conclusion, DApp360 will continue to use its resources and talent to support the Cardano ecosystem. We will continue to evangelize the Cardano blockchain and its native cryptocurrency, ADA. DApp360 will continue to advance the mass adoption of ADA. However, we are exiting the Cardano Single Pool Alliance. It deeply pains me to change my view. I might be considered a flip-flopper, a hypocrite, a backslider, a gravy-seeker, etc.
Nevertheless, I must be true and fair to myself, my company, and my stake pool team members. As a result, the DApp360 stake pool is exiting the Single Owner Single Pool Alliance. It is out of respect for the wonderful stake pool operators in the CSPA that I wrote this article.