VITAL Pool Update - May 2021
This is our first pool update in this format. The VITAL Pool was registered at 22nd of February 2021. Within those almost 3 month a lot happened and we’d like to share our current status and thought.
The most important good we have are our delegators and from various conversations with some of you I collected feedback. Some of you like our mission, some of you like unique approach of generating constant rewards even as a small pool. We have a solid basis of 30 delegators and can’t wait to continue our journey with you!
So what’s next?
Topics covered in this article
- Overall Stats and current Status
- What happened so far
- Getting sustainable
- Mission Driven Pools
- Technical Update - Hybrid Cloud
- Future Outlook
Overall Stats and Current Status
Currently we have 130k Live Stake from 30 Delegators with still 0 Block generated.
Our lifetime stake (sum of active stake per epoch) is at 1 mio ADA currently. On average this is enough to mint 1 block. Unfortunately luck did not turn in and we were not elected as a slot leader so far. Like in the casino past is not influencing future. Based on the 130k active stake our chance to be elected is 13% every epoch. So on average we will get our block in 7.7 epochs.
7% ROA contingent
1277 ADA are still available. This equals 64% of the fund. The other 36% are either paid out or reserved for payout
Every epoch we will pay out 93 ADA (with the current active stake). There is remaining contingent for 13.7 more epochs if we do not mint any block until then. If we mint a block this will add additional epochs since some of your rewards will come from Cardano’s native rewards.
What happened so far?
- 22nd February 2021 – VITAL Pool registered on Chain
- 2nd March 2021 – Upgraded Architecture (2 Relay, 2 Block Producer)
- 3rd March 2021 – Announced 7% ROA Offer
- 11th March 2021 – Transparency of Rewards Calculation
- 12th March 2021 – Mobile App provided
- 22th March 2021 – Website UI Relaunch
- 1st April 2021 – Part of the Mission Driven Pool Alliance
- 7th April 2021 – Upgrade to Cardano 1.26.2
- 10th April 2021 – Article for Stake pool Operators
- 5th May 2021 – Article for Delegators
- 10th May 2021 - Infrastructure upgrade to Hybrid cloud
- 15th May 2021 – Upgrade to Cardano 1.27.0
We did some research in what it means to successfully run a stake pool and what factors are relevant for deciding for a stake pool from a delegator perspective.
Base on our planning recommendations we are still in an early stage for the VITAL stake pool and we have 2 key milestones in front of us:
Mint the first block
It is a matter of luck to be selected for a slot. But luck increases with delegation. To overcome this initial hurdle we introduced the 7% ROA offer which already helped us gaining delegation. In 7.7 epochs (average) this first milestone should be achieved. We mind this important because it is a proof that the pool is set up properly and ready to mint blocks.
The second milestone is to get sustainable. The pool needs to grow to be attractive for new delegators. This is primarily the case because in a small pool scenario the fixed cost for running the pool (currently 340 ADA) is eating into delegators rewards. Note: This is currently not relevant for you based on the 7% offer. At some point of time the minimal fixed cost will be lowered by IOG to reflect the real cost of running the servers again. This will make small pools more competitive again. The 7% will bridge the issue until then.
We also requested IOG delegation of 3 mio ADA for 3 month in April. This delegation method is meant to support small pools and increase decentralization. This Unfortunately we were not selected this round. 100 out of 700 pools were selected. To increase our chances for the next round for Q3 2021 we have some improvement ideas focusing on some real differentiators which we will announce throughout the next 3 months. IOG Delegation would help us to reduce the rewards share which goes into operator fixed fees. Currently this is not relevant for you because we are paying out out 7% add-on rewards, but for the time that the IOG delegation would help to make to pool attractive for additional delegators.
Mission Driven Pools
Since 1st April we are an active part of the Mission Driven Pool (MDP) Alliance. Behind the alliance there is a great community with bi-weekly meetings. Our key work is to generate a trusted list of stake pools which fulfill key requirements in terms of donations and transparency. We believe that this is very much in line with Cardano’s mission to make the world a better place for all of us and we are really happy to be part of this!
Technical Update - Hybrid Cloud
Release updates were installed as recommended by IOG. Additionally we challenged our architecture in terms of decentralization needs. Most of the Pools are running in Cloud environments on some VPS infrastructure. This means there is some kind of centralization into the cheapest providers on the market like Digital Ocean. We believe that decentralization will be improved by also have some servers running outside of those big hosting environments. Best decentralization comes from a huge variety of hosting locations.
For this reason we changed our hosting into a hybrid setup. Additionally to the 2 public relays in Germany and Finland there is now a self-hosted private relay in Austria. This is not registered to the block chain to avoid being targeted in DDOS attack scenarios. Also one Block Producer is moved from Finland to this Austrian based private hosting location. We still keep one Cloud server in Germany as a Hot Standby Block Producer.
Relays: Austria (private), Germany, Finland
Block Producers: Austria (private), Germany (standby)
The new servers are running on power efficient hardware (15W TDP, AMD Ryzen 4900U).
Both servers are using 8 cores and 24GB RAM. So they are very well prepared for the future.
Of course the new private hosting location is also running on Eco-Energy, is USV Backed and has a Fiber 100MB internet connection. Samsung Pro NVME SSD and Snapshot Backup to an external SSD device are used to minimize recovery times in a disaster scenario. New servers are following the same Security Considerations as the existing cloud installation.
The key highlights you can expect are:
- Continuation of the 7% offer
- Decrease of fixed cost as soon as possible by the network
- Focus on additional differentiators and communication of those
- Implementation and communication of factors which further increase our chance for IOG Delegation for the Q3 Round.
Stay tuned for our next Pool update!
Thank you for delegating with us!