This week’s guest on the Cardano SPO Column is a stake pool operated by a software engineer from the US, who’s working on several projects within the Cardano ecosystem: Hedges Stake Pool [HEDGE].
Last week’s guest was a bare metal stake pool that describes itself as reliable, high-performance and committed to offering a secure, stable, and profitable staking service for all delegators.
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 Hedges Stake Pool [HEDGE]
Hey there. Please tell us something about yourself, where are you based and what is your background?
Hi everybody! *Charles Hoskinson voice* I’m Keith, I’ve always lived in the Midwest region of the United States and am based in Indianapolis, Indiana.
I’m a software engineer with experience at a large fortune 500 company before deciding to take the plunge to go full-time Cardano! It’s a grind (especially in a bear market) but it is awesome being surrounded by so many hard-working individuals.
How did you learn about cryptocurrencies and what led you to become a Cardano Stake Pool Operator (SPO)?
I learned about crypto at my old job in 2017. A few employees were building an internal fork of Ethereum and I had the chance to tinker around with it. I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s funny thinking back to those days as I really had no idea what was going on, I stayed in because I loved the ethos of it all.
I experienced the crash in 2018 which allowed me to research in more depth the mechanics of the different projects and through that I became more intrigued with Cardano.
Running a stake pool was something I wanted to do since the ITN but never found the time but in March of 2021 in epoch 254 Hedges Pool was born. It’s definitely had its ups and downs but overall it’s been a great experience with the pool is currently just over 1 million $ADA delegated and selected to be a clan SPO for Enter The Mandala.
What is the Vasil hard fork? What improvements does it bring to the Cardano ecosystem? And how does the HFC (Hard Fork Combinator) differ from regular hard forks?
The Vasil hard fork is all about scalability, aligning in tandem to the 4th phase of where we are at with the Cardano roadmap. Most of the changes come from the CIP (Cardano Improvement Proposal) process which is neat to see as these changes can be known and discussed publicly by everyone in the community. The three main CIPS being added are:
- CIP-31 = reference inputs
Allows outputs of UTXOs to be looked at without spending them, this will vastly improve oracle capabilities on Cardano;
- CIP-32 = storing datums
Reduces the size of transactions, thus reducing fees as well;
- CIP-33 = reference scripts
Instead of a script being included and consumed in each transaction it can be referenced which removes redundancy and increases throughput for dapp developers.
For these changes, the Cardano ledger needs to be upgraded but uptime and performance need to be maintained, and that is where the HFC comes in. Picture the HFC like a lazy river, it ensures a smooth experience no matter when and where you get in the water. Other hard forks can be seen as a winding river that could potentially separate into two different streams (Ethereum & Ethereum Classic). Vasil is seen as “Plutus 2.0” and many projects building on Cardano are excited for its release. More in-depth information can be found here.
Besides running the stake pool, are you working on any other projects? Tell us more.
Yes, for starters I am a core contributor for Freeloaderz. At the base level Freeloaderz is a way for Stake Pools (or anyone running a full node) to provide infrastructure to help spread the distribution of transactions on-chain but we are doing more including a token distribution platform.
Other than that my main focus is ‘Woolly Map’ which aims to be a spot for anyone of any experience level to get their hands dirty within the Cardano ecosystem. This includes an event app that will highlight when certain events are happening, from a Twitter Space to a mainnet launch as well as a job board to help enable ideas to grow. The goal of the site is to provide as much value to people that post on there to make it a robust community hub. For example, if you are an SPO who lists your pool people will be able to delegate directly from the site.
We have three Catalyst proposals:
Thank you kindly for your time. Any additional comments? How can people contact you?
Many thanks to Patryk for being featured! It has been an amazing journey in the Cardano community from knowing no one to now being connected with so many motivated and friendly people. I am always willing to chat and connect so feel free to contact me at @HedgesPool or @WoollyMap on Twitter.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG.