Welcome to the pool update for epoch 261. Let’s dive rigth in.
Cardano Node update
After 1.26.1 was released two weeks ago, the cardano network was going through a very rough epoch transition from epoch 259 to epoch 260 which caused the network to halt for nearly 30 minutes. It was investigated by IOHK and they identified that the issue was a wrongly timed calculation of the stake distribution. They fixed the issue, tested the code within a few days and released the cardano-node version 1.26.2 to prevent this from happening again. All SPOs were encouraged to update as soon as possible, preferably before the next epoch transition and so we did. All FAIR nodes were updated before epoch 261 and we did not encounter any issues during the transition. Thanks to development team for the quick response and the fast provision of a new version.
Cardano Africa Special
For quite some time now we have been hearing birds singing and now the time has come. The Cardano Africa Special Show has been announced. Register immediately to not miss any news and be there on 29 April 2021, 16:30 UTC! I am very excited. See you there! 😉
Performance for 259
In epoch 259 we were assigned 57 blocks of which we produced all 57 but only 55 were adopted due to 1 ghosted and 1 stolen block. Please refer to the older pool updates if you do not know what ghosted and stolen means. I’m currently working on an overview / faq page which I can refer you to in the future. The ROS for this epoch was 4.865%.
Performance for 260
The performance for epoch 260 was quite good with 66 leader slots and 65 adopted blocks. We lost only 1 block due to a slot battle which is good for this amount of blocks. The estimated ROS for this epoch is ~5.8%.
Assigned Slots for 261
Epoch 261 looks also very good for us with 72 assigned slots and a maximum performance of 122.8%. As in the last epochs we need to calculate with a few lost blocks due to slot or height battles. Nevertheless, we will see an overperformance and good rewards for this epoch.
First of all, a big thank you to all the delegators and readers of the Pool Updates. From the statistics, I see that month after month more people read these posts and I am very happy about that. If you ever have any questions about one of my posts or any other questions about Cardano or the stakepool, just contact me. All contact details are linked in the footer of the website.
Upgrading Pool Infrastructure and Software
Over the past few days I did some upgrades to the server infrastructure as well as its software. The following has been done:
Two relays were migrated to new more powerful servers to ensure their reliability even during network peaks and in sight of the upcoming more demanding smart contract features.
The old backup producer retired and a new producer is in place with a new system for high availability using floating IPs.
The Monitoring system was updated to reflect the changes made to the servers and the architecture
Relays are now reachable within the Cardano network via their hostnames. This makes them more readable, easier recognizable and therefore aids future maintenance and upgrades
Nodes were also updated to the latest Cardano-node version 1.26.1 which includes many fixes and improvements. Most importantly the 48h calculations are now distributed to a bigger time frame which means, that the network is no longer at a halt at the 48h mark and we won’t lose assigned blocks in this time frame anymore. Full details about the 1.26.1 can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/input-output-hk/cardano-node/releases/tag/1.26.1
Note: Block production was of course not affected by the maintenance work.
Latest IOHK Blog Posts
Plutus: what you need to know
Many participants in the Cardano network are already preparing for the release of Alonzo and thus the release of smart contracts. Currently, for example, the Plutus Pioneer Program is in progress, in which developers can gain their first experience with Plutus. Learn more about Plutus in this recent blog post: Plutus: what you need to know
Smart contracts – here we come
This blog post is a really precious one. It gives a lot of information about Plutus, smart contracts and how all of this will come together. It also includes a roadmap and many links to other related topics. Highly recommended to give it a read: Smart contracts – here we come
Thoughts about the Roadmap
And since we have already briefly touched on the roadmap, here is a video by Charles Hoskinson in which he shares some thoughts about the roadmap and the coming months and years.
In 259 we are looking for 57 assigned slots, which leaves us at ~98% luck for this epoch. The statistics tell us that we will most likely lose some blocks due to slot & height battles which can’t be influenced by us. In the end 259 will be an underperforming epoch for us. Luck is always slightly fluctuating and we had some good epochs recently (with 102%, 107%, 116% and 111% luck) which level out the unluckier ones.
In Epoch 260 we were assigned 66 slots which means a maximum performance of around 113%. We are likely to lose some blocks due to slot and height battles but nevertheless, this will be again a good epoch for us.
That’s all I have for you today. Talk to you soon! 🙂
Welcome to the pool update for epoch 258. Let’s dive right in.
Boosting network decentralization with P2P
Until now, Cardano nodes use so-called topology files to connect to other nodes. These can either be created manually, which is time-consuming, cumbersome and maintenance-intensive, or by community tools such as the topologyUpdater, which ensures an automated and best possible topology but is a centralized solution. All current possibilities are only temporary solutions and will be replaced by a p2p governor in the foreseeable future. Cardano nodes will then be able to interconnect themselves via their own protocol. If you would like to know more about this, you can read more about this topic in this IOHK blog post: Boosting network decentralization with P2P
Epoch 257 looked very good for us. We were assigned 67 blocks of which we produced 67 but only 65 were adopted as two blocks were stolen in slot battles. We still finished this epoch with ~115% luck, which will give us a good return for that epoch.
Epoch 258 looks also good for us with 65 assigned slots which means around 115% luck. As the last epochs taught us, we will most likely lose a few blocks due to slot or height battles that we can not influence. Nevertheless, good prospects for us.
That’s all I have for you this time. Talk to you soon! 🙂
Epoch 257 marks a major milestone in the history of Cardano. This is the first epoch where 100% of all blocks are produced by community pools and I dare to say that we are now the most decentralized blockchain in the world. Thanks to pool.pm we also have this amazing image of all 2391 active pools and 677 retired ones that gone through this journey with us:
Cardano360 March Mini
If you haven’t had the time to watch the full Cardano360 show from March, there is good news: from now on there will be a summary for the Cardano360 shows called Cardano360 Mini. It summarizes the most important points from over 3 hours of Cardano360 into very condensed 7 minutes of pure information. Truly everyone has the time to watch it 🙂
New IOHK Blog Posts
Cardano’s secure switch to decentralization
Randomness is something many people do not really care about but it is an essential part of many cryptographic techniques which you are using everyday. Randomness will also play a key role in the upcoming epoch, why this is the case, how it works and what you can do to help creating additional randomness is covered here in this blog post: Cardano’s secure switch to decentralization
I will also do my part for randomness and submit some unpredictable transactions.
Decentralization: to D=0 Day and beyond
March 31st will be forever known as Cardanos D-Day, the day where the d parameter was set to 0 therefore handing over the block production over to community pools and waving goodbye to the federated block producers. Why it’s significant and what’s next can be found in this article: Decentralization: to D=0 Day and beyond
If you prefer listening, this article is also available on Soundcloud:
So lets take a brief look at epoch 256: We were assigned 62 slots and produced all of them, however we encountered one ghosted and one stolen block. The stolen block was due to slot battle and the ghosted block was due to a so called height battle. A height battle mostly happens when there there are two blocks that are for slots very close together and therefore the time to distribute the block is very short. When Pool A produces a block and Pool B produces the next block, but has not yet received the previous block of Pool A, the block of Pool A will be orphaned and not included in the chain.
But the big question is, why did the block of Pool A did not make it to Pool B in time. Well, this can have two reasons. Either Pool A is badly connected to other nodes in the network and thus has a high propagation delay of its produced blocks or Pool B is badly connected to other nodes in the network and thus has a high delay when receiving other blocks.
As we do report additional details to pooltool.io we can check our propagation delays, and they currently look like this:
So you can see, that we are on average well below 0.5s propagation time for producing and receiving blocks which is very good. So it was because the other pool is very poorly connected to the network and thus did not receive my block in the appropriate time. Just to note, the blocks were 3 seconds apart, that’s more than enough time if you are operating your pool in the correct way.
Overall the epoch ended good for us with ~107% luck.
In Epoch 257 we were assigned 67 leader slots which is a luck of ~118%. As we have seen during the last epochs we will most likely lose a few blocks to slot battles, height battles or other issues we can not influence. It will still be a quite good epoch for us.
In 255 we were looking for 55 assigned slots and we produced all the 55 blocks but only 53 blocks were finally adopted, which leaves us a bit over 100% luck. One block was stolen by another pool due to a slot battle and the ghosted block was again due to bad propagation times of another Pool. I already explained, why this happens in the pool update for epoch 254, if you are interested you can read about it here: [Pool Update] Epoch 254
For epoch 256 we were assigned 62 slots, which would be a luck of ~110%. But as the last epochs showed we will most likely lose some blocks due to slot battles or other problems we can not influence at all.
Big thank you to everyone reading this, as well as to my loyal delegators! Contact me if you have any questions (the fastest way would be via telegram; all links down in the footer).
Welcome to the pool update for epoch 255. Not too much to report this epoch but let’s just start.
We already talked about the Coinbase Pro listing last Epoch Update. A little later, as we already suspected, Cardano was also listed on the standard Coinbase platform:
Cardano (ADA) is launching on https://t.co/bCG11KMQ6s and in the iOS and Android apps within the next 15 minutes. You may need to refresh your app to properly buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store ADA. We will update when ADA is fully live. https://t.co/Zw1Cmn6N17
I was not really satisfied with this epoch. We produced 45 blocks out of 45 assigned, but only 41 of them made it to the chain, which in the end equals to 93% luck. Let’s briefly talk about why those blocks did not make it to the chain:
The three stolen blocks all happened due to slot battles with other pools which can happen if two pools are assigned to produce a block for the same slot. Those slot battles are decided by chance and there is no way to influence this.
More interesting is the ghosted block. I basically already mentioned it in the last pool update and told you that this will happen: That slot was within the impact time of the 48h bug (2021-03-18 21:45:52 UTC), which means that our produced block can not make it to the chain as the whole network is basically on a halt and again there is nothing we can do about it. This bug will hopefully be fixed in one of the next releases of the Cardano-node. For the technically interested people see this issue about the 48h bug: https://github.com/input-output-hk/cardano-node/issues/2205
Welcome to the pool update for epoch 254. We have had a few turbulent days, but basically there is a lot of good news to report at the moment. In times of heavy fluctuation, you just have to stay calm and remember what the vision of this project is. We have a long road ahead of us that will be rocky at times, but in the end it will be worth it.
Coinbase and Bloomberg
First of all, I would like to mention the listing of ADA on Coinbase Pro! After the announcement, the price initially experienced a massive increase, only to drop again briefly. But much more important than the current price development is the additional exposure and easy access to Cardano through Coinbase. While ADA is not yet available on the regular platform, this is now only a matter of time.
Lets take a brief look at the last epoch. We were assigned 48 blocks and produced all 48 but only 46 were adopted at the end. One block was stolen by another pool due to a slot battle. I mentioned it in past updates: Slot battles occur from time to time when two pools are eligible to produce a block for the same slot. Those slot battles are decided by chance and there is nothing a pool can do to increase their chance.
The other block which is listed as ghosted is more interesting. I have not seen this before in my pool so I had to investigate what it was ultimately due to. I looked at the logs and found the following lines there (only the important parts are shown):
What this basically tells us is, that our node successfully produced the block for slot 23981328 at the shown time and I can also confirm that it was propagated to the network successfully and in time (e.g. by looking at the orphans tab in pooltool.io for epoch 253 and observe the corresponding block).
What happened there is that the node received a block for slot 23981308 and then decided to switch to that chain as this block was for a slot before our block. So why does this happen? There were about 20 seconds difference between those two blocks, but the propagation time of the block before ours was so slow that it reached us after our block was already produced. To put this into perspective: Blocks should be propagated to the network within a second not 20 seconds. If we look at our reported propagation delays you can see that our blocks are propagated to the network in less than 0.5s!
I will add my report in the next few days to push this issue up again, as I really think a pool and its delegators should not be punished for the slow propagation of blocks from other pools. Propagation times are something we can actually improve by having enough relays, sufficient computing power and fast, reliable connections to other nodes in the network. Its important to note, that I do not want to blame other SPOs here, but problems need to be addressed so that we can improve steadily.
In epoch 254 we were assigned 45 slots which leaves us at ~102% luck. But we were unlucky and got a slot which lies within the impact time of the 48h bug (2021-03-18 21:45:52 UTC), which means that we won’t be able to produce this block and again there is nothing we can do about it. This bug will hopefully be fixed in one of the next releases of the cardano-node. For the technically interested people see this issue about the 48h bug: https://github.com/input-output-hk/cardano-node/issues/2205
That’s all I have for you today! Talk to you soon 🙂
Welcome to the pool update epoch 253. First of all, I would like to warmly welcome all the new delegators and directly refer to the Cardano Reward Schedule. In the graphical representation of the delegation cycle you can on the one hand better understand the delegation process and on the other hand you can easily find out when you get rewards for which epoch etc. via the corresponding table.
Extended UTXO (EUTXO)
Let’s start with a more technical article about the accounting model used in Cardano called Extended Unspent Transaction Output or EUTXO. UTXO itself is a known accounting model used by Bitcoin but it needs to be extended to suit the needs of a third generation blockchain especially for smart contracts. To get a more detailed overview read the following blog article by IOHK: Cardano’s Extended UTXO accounting model – built to support multi-assets and smart contracts
If you prefer to listen to it, you can do so on Soundcloud:
If you are even interested in more details read their scientific paper about the extended UTXO Model: The Extended UTXO Model
Cardano Protocol Parameters
To complement the blog post about d and k in the pool update epoch 252 (be sure to check out the post about it if you haven’t already), Charles followed up with a video in which he talks about the Cardano protocol parameters.
As we can see epoch 252 was a rather good one for us. We were assigned 42 slots in total and we produced all 42 blocks, which results in a assigned performance of 100%. Unfortunately we also had one slot battle which we lost. I explained it many times before but its worth noting nevertheless: There is nothing you can do to win a slot battle. It is decided randomly. The more blocks a pool produces, the more often a slot battle occurs.
In Epoch 253 we are looking for 48 leader slots. Which means ~120% luck for this epoch. Looking forward to produce those blocks but I expect that there will probably be a slot battle again in this era.
I highly encourage you to join the FAIR Pool telegram group as I can quickly and easily answer all kinds of questions there: https://t.me/fair_pool01 But you can also always leave me a message on twitter or via e-mail which are both linked at the bottom of the page.
That’s all I have for you today, talk to you soon! 🙂
Many of you already know about the network parameters d and k. We had many speculations about k going to 1000 in march, which was the initial plan. Since then, however, the circumstances have changed. The change of k and thus the reduction of the saturation limit has been postponed indefinitely into the future. This has the simple reason that first the parameter a0 or the entire reward formula has to be adjusted, so that increasing k also has the desired change of better decentralization. This also means that the current saturation point of ~63M is still valid for the foreseeable future and we are still well below this point.
However, nothing has changed in the slow decrease of d and thus the progressive decentralization. ‘D=0 Day’ will be on March 31, at the boundary of epoch 257. From this day on, all blocks will be solely produced by the community pools and no federated nodes will be involved in the block production.
I highly recommend to read or listen to the following blog post to learn more about d and k, as well as their importance for the network!
For more information read the IOHK Blog post about this topic: Not long till D (=0) day Don’t want to read? The above article is also available on soundcloud:
In epoch 251, we were already assigned fewer than the statistically intended blocks. Of the 35 assigned blocks we produced 35 but went into a battle for slot 23178551, which we unfortunately lost. Slot battles are decided by chance alone and no pool has any influence on which block from which pool finally makes it into the chain. This leaves us with 34 adopted blocks which means a luck of ~90%.
Epoch 252 makes up a bit of the more unfortunate epoch 251. We were assigned 42 blocks which means a luck of ~108%.
Once again I would like to thank everyone in the pool for their support. I highly encourage you to join the FAIR Pool telegram group as I can quickly and easily answer all kinds of questions there: https://t.me/fair_pool01 But you can also always leave me a message on twitter or via e-mail which are both linked at the bottom of the page.
Welcome to epoch 251 and welcome to the Mary Era! Another hardfork combinator passed by and it was as smooth as always. It is really beautiful to just perform a chain upgrade on the go without any interruptions and without anything that you as ADA holders have to do. So let’s do a quick dive into native tokens that are available right now:
Babel fees will be an absolute game changer. At the first glance you may think: Cool, no damn gas fees. I can pay the transaction fees directly with the native asset, without the need for a smart contract or anything, built-in right into the protocol. But I think that is just the beginning. With this technical foundation we’ll be basically able to build decentralized exchanges directly into the protocol without the need for an intermediary token, which is just awesome. I am very curious about the concrete implementation and about the possibilities which will be opened by it.
The latest language currently available in Cardano Devnet is Glow, which was also featured in the last Cardano360 show. If you’d like to know a bit more about glow make sure to read this blog post: Bringing Glow to Cardano
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