This week’s guest on the Cardano SPO Column is a stake pool that is a SundaeSwap Scooper and donates 100% of pool’s profits (48% of pool’s total revenue) to saving the lives of children: GROW TEAM [GROW].
Last week’s guest was a stake pool with the mission to lead Chinese-speaking investors towards Cardano.
This initiative is a point of reference for everything Cardano and every week or two we will invite a Stake Pool Operator (SPO) to answer some questions and give us an update directly from within the Cardano community.
Considering that many of our readers are new to the crypto space, we will have a mix of simple and technical questions.
Cardano SPO, interview with GROW TEAM [GROW]
Hi, thanks for your time. Please introduce yourself, where are you based and what is your background?
I’m Raymond Mata, SPO for GROW. I’m based out of Oregon, US and often in Hawai’i.
Background is Dad of one incredible young lady, two crazy dogs and whoever else I love and care about that much. 22yrs as a Systems Engineer and owner of a small MSP in Hawaii serving small and medium businesses with a zero data loss track record. Certified in Permaculture & Sustainable Agriculture as well as initiated into an ancient lineage of tantra called Sri Vidya, where the logo of the pool comes from.
I’m best described as a lover with a huge heart for humanity and serving up a greater good.
What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become a Stake Pool Operator (SPO)?
The path to Cardano is life long when I look back on it. A lot of this feels like destiny. Over the last two years the omens and signs for this became more frequent and obvious. Made the jump in on May 5th, 2020. That’s when I bought my first ADA. I was on a deep research trail, trying to answer the question, who is spending the most money during a pandemic, what is still bullish.
I discovered anything supporting the AI industry was bullish. This led me naturally to blockchain, an ideal substrate for birthing Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Wasn’t long before I came across Charles Hoskinson in a news article. A community that was research driven with a huge heart for humanity was a natural magnet for me.
Started my journey as an SPO late in the ITN, my first pool ever, DREAM. After that it was non-stop competing to be the best while helping as many people around me to be their best, indeed, to surpass me. I am surrounded today by a passionate, visionary global community, committed to bringing economic identity to the 3B who lack it. In the process we will flip the narratives on poverty and bring us one step closer to real world peace. Very ambitious. Cardano is climbing that mountain and so am I. Today we sponsor 28 children in their journey out of poverty, the impacts are already life changing.
You’re a SundaeSwap Scooper. What is SundaeSwap and what is your role?
I am a Scooper!! SundaeSwap is Cardano’s premiere DEX, bringing an easy to use, smooth UI to the hungry crowd of DeFi. With SundaeSwap you can swap tokens, create LQ pools, yield farm and so much more in the pipeline. Many DEXs will build and release this year. These are growing pains for us as well. We’re asking more from the network than it’s ready to deliver in terms of latency of transactions.
As a Scooper my job is to sync the chain, read every TX containing an escrow for Sundae, determine what escrows need to be signed and submitted and try to do that as fast as possible. The Scoopers are what take all our Sundae orders and commit them to the chain through the smart contract.
Right now with the block size and recent memory improvement to Plutus script, we can have up to 6 escrows in a single scoop. There’s a scooper fee for each escrow. That adds up after a while and represents a huge financial incentive for us to always do our best and perform well as a team. So far GROW is in the top 5 Scoopers in terms of number of scoops/orders.
This is also an incredible opportunity for us to push the nodes, understand optimal settings for mempool, p2p, etc and make this network the best it can be. We’re really fortunate to have the SPOs that we do, it feels like a Top Gun academy LOL.
You’re also part of the Ardana Stake Pool Alliance (ASPA). Can you tell us more about this?
ASPA is about Ardana acknowledging how important a decentralized community of stake pools is to the ecosystem. They are building a stablecoin DEX and already have their token $DANA in markets doing very well.
As stake pools in alliance with Ardana, we help to promote and educate the ecosystem about the project. In exchange, Ardana will stake all or a portion of their treasury to pools in the alliance. Currently 50 pools, many of which are small single pools.
Any final words? Where can people stay in touch?
Final words to all you amazing souls. We’ve come this far, and there’s still a long way to go. Do not get frustrated and burn out early, before we achieve our goals, I am learning to pace myself. As an SPO I am learning that the game is shifting from how I market myself to who my partners are.
The staking experience is being gamified through new gaming apps like Mandala Metaverse. This will be a game changer for SPOs looking to build more delegation AND loyalty. Loyalty is, next to keeping the pool running smooth and serving our charity, the NUMBER ONE highest priority for me. Our delegators are the true power of Cardano. It is their investment in these visions and technologies that we must serve with everything we have.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOHK.