This week’s guest on the Cardano SPO Column is a stake pool operated by two brothers that support charities helping foster children find a loving home: Envy Stake Pool [ENVY].
Last week’s guest was a stake pool that is operated by Rick, who is a solo operator originally from South Africa now living in London.
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 Envy Stake Pool [ENVY]
Hi, thanks for your time. Tell us something about your team, where are you based and what are your backgrounds?
ENVY Stake Pool is a team of two brothers who own and operate the stake pool together. Sean, the older brother, has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Thomas, the younger brother, as a degree in Economics.
We came into this space in January of 2021 after having received $100 worth of Bitcoin and started investigating Proof of Work vs. Proof of Stake blockchains and that eventually led us to Cardano!
What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become Stake Pool Operators (SPO)?
Initially, we wanted to dive into the nuances of each of the various Proof of Work vs. Proof of Stake blockchains and assumed that to become a Bitcoin or Ethereum miner was too cost prohibitive.
So when we discovered how much more accessible being a Cardano SPO was compared to the other blockchains, we jumped right in! It was a fairly straightforward process learning how to set up a stake pool, and we really enjoyed learning about how to maintain all of the various keys as well as part of stake pool operation.
However, we quickly learned that being a Cardano SPO is not simply about knowing how to set up and maintain nodes on the Cardano network. Marketing is a large part of it too!
What is your pool’s mission? Why is it important to you?
We started ENVY Stake Pool thinking that it would be a really nice way to make passive income during the pandemic. However, once the stake pool was set up, we realized we needed to find ways to attract delegators.
This led us to discovering Twitter and the vibrant Cardano Community there. Once we set up a Twitter account, we observed that there were a few stake pool operators that were doing this radical thing that we hadn’t considered, like taking part or all of their operator rewards and donating them to charity, like GROW pool, WHITE pool, Lighthouse Stake Pool, and ANEW pool.
This blew our minds and changed our hearts, so we sought to find a mission to support. A friend of Sean’s has a sister who fosters multiple children and has adopted as well, and Sean wanted to support these efforts because of the incredible need that exists to give these children a loving home. Sean also wants to adopt some day so this seemed like the perfect fit for a mission to support!
Besides running the stake pool, are you involved in any other projects? Tell us more
Yes we are! We are involved actively in the Extra Small Stake Pool Alliance (xSPO). We love that community because it gives us a great community of other stake pool operators to support each other through marketing, technical aspects of running and maintaining a stake pool, and to enjoy talking too as we all experience this fun and crazy ride in the crypto space!
We are also a Core Member of FreeLoaderz, which is a coalition of stake pool operators and Cardano Community members who are trying to develop goods and services that bring value to the Cardano Community. We recently developed the SmartClaimz platform in collaboration with Drasil, who provides the backend services that power SmartClaimz, so we hope that will be a useful service to the Cardano Community!
We are also part of Mehen Finance, a fiat-backed stablecoin coming to Cardano, and are helping with some of the backend development and Systems Requirements documentation for that platform. It’s a great team with many qualified individuals from FreeLoaderz and Drasil who helped build SmartClaimz so we’re excited to see where that project will go!
Great contribution. Any final thoughts? Where can people stay in touch?
We just want to spread the importance of decentralization. An important aspect of security of the blockchain relies on having a large number of independent nodes that build in redundancy and reliability into the network in the event that a large number of nodes goes down. So please support and delegate to single stake pools.
There are a number of great pools that vow to operate a single pool (Single Pool Alliance), are small and need support (xSPO Alliance), are mission-driven, operate bare metal (Bare Metal Alliance), and/or operate energy efficiently (Armada Alliance). So please support these communities! ENVY is a small pool that operates as a single pool, has mixed bare metal and cloud-based nodes, and has ARM-based nodes, so we’re trying it all out and moving in the right direction (haha)!
Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the SPOs are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG.