This week’s guest on the Cardano SPO Column is a stake pool operated by Ernie from the US who’s a member of the xSPO Alliance: Lone Star Staking Pool [LSSP].
Last week’s guest was a stake pool operated by two brothers from the US and also members of the xSPO Alliance.
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 Column, interview with Lone Star Staking Pool [LSSP]
Hi, glad to have you here. Tell us something about yourself, where are you based and what is your background?
Hi! My name is Ernie and I’m with Lone Star Stake Pool, located in the Fort Worth, Texas area. Lone Star Stake Pool currently supports the Wounded Warrior Project by donating 25% of our fixed fee to that organization.
As for myself, I have been in the aviation field for 40 years. I spent 5 years in the U.S. Navy working on P3 Orion aircraft. About 20 years ago, I discovered I had a knack for computers. I started building desktop computers for myself and my family. I have been able to see the growth of computers in aviation and in our everyday life.
What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become a Stake Pool Operator (SPO)?
I started in crypto in 2021 when I was unable to find a GPU for my son’s computer. After doing some research I learned about Proof of Work (PoW) and GPU mining. After purchasing a number of GPUs and seeing the energy used for PoW, I heard about Proof of Stake and Cardano. I watched a few YouTube videos and it looked like something I could do. I rebuilt two of my computers as a block producer and one as a relay. After starting up the Stake Pool, I added to the pool and now have a bare metal server in London, England, and relay hybrid servers in Washington, D.C, Dallas, and Seattle.
I love taking the challenge and working through all kinds of situations! I came across the xSPO Alliance and joined that group. I also joined the FreeLoaderz group and started to use relays to relieve some of the congestion on the Cardano network. I became a member of the SPA-Single Pool Alliance, as well. I am amazed and thrilled with the knowledge and help available for people of all types! Cardano is a great open community where you can “raise your hand”, ask for help, and get answers.
You are a member of the xSPO Alliance. What is it and how does it help small stake pools? What is your plan to attract more delegators?
xSPO is an alliance of ExtraSmall Stake Pool Operators under a 1 million ADA delegation. The Founding members did a brilliant job keeping all members to Single Stake Pool Operators. The whole group does an outstanding job helping and working together. It is an honor to be in the same group with these SPOs. They are very knowledgeable and give great guidance and advice on how to work through problems. Membership is from all over the world! Every Sunday there’s our Discord call with members only. On some occasions we have special guests come in and talk about upcoming projects and listen to fresh ideas.
So far, we have been looking for projects that need SPOs of all different sizes-from low delegations to SPOs with large delegations. I think it is awesome to see a group of SPOs working together to get a project moving. Example of that would be the ZiberBugs.IO. I just happened to be on Reddit and reviewed a post from ZiberBugs CEO looking for SPOs. We had a few DMs and then I was able to get a few other SPOs from xSPO Alliance, ECP-(Rich), ENVY-(Sean), and PANL (Ryan). We were able to set up a call and threw around some ideas. In the end, the project included 63 SPOs and ZiberBugs received some great marketing for their Ziber token project. We will also see more promotions as we get closer to game launch. We also had a small group of xSPOs for with OurPrincessADA CNFT project. This project is still growing as they get ready for sale.
xSPO is a great resource for new projects to come to us for help or existing projects that may just need a group of SPOs to help get their project off paper and on the blockchain.
The plan to attract more delegators is to keep working hard and come up with new ideas or to assist on projects within the xSPO’s or Freeloaderz group. Our pool has minted blocks so we can show that we are fully functionable SPO.
I feel all xSPOs and SPOs need to work together to keep Cardano decentralized.
I feel this is a good time to be involved with Cardano. The amount of people working on projects, as well as the projects coming out, is amazing. We still have so many just waiting on the hard fork. As with any ecosystem, some projects will make it and some will fail. You may also see some projects merge with other projects. That happens in the business world everyday.
I would love to see IOG give SPA and xSPO “a seat at the table” so to speak. This would allow both groups to have direct communication and help out with any issues or problems that come up.
I happen to believe in the old saying, “if you build it, they will come”. As the successful dApps and projects succeed, more people will see how secure Cardano is, as well as how Cardano as a community can work together.
Thanks for your time. Any final thoughts? Where can people contact you?
I would like to get the word out to the Cardano Community that xSPO is available and can help in any way possible for any SPO needs or requirements.
Thank you for your time!
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG.