[Pool Update] Epoch 233

Hey people!

Thanks for stopping by, I have some good news for you. But first things first: Lets have a look at the past epoch.

As you can see in the [Pool Update] Epoch 232 we were assigned for one block last epoch and we produced it. This leaves the pool at a performance of 100% considering that we never missed an assigned slot. As all of you may already know (but it can’t be stated often enough) lucky and unlucky epochs level out over time. Some epochs will give us very high rewards while others give us little to no rewards. The fluctuation in the number of blocks is higher for smaller pools but overall this does not mean, that bigger pools will automatically earn you higher rewards. Also keep in mind the long-term development of Cardano, where many unique operators should be favored over multi-pool operators or any kind of stake pool alliances for the stability and security of the network.

Pledge increased, nodes updated & KES renewal

Now I mentioned I have some good news. Many of you may already noticed it: I increased the stake from 25k to 30k last Epoch. As already promised I will keep reinvesting the rewards back into the pool. I started this pool from the beginning with the intention to run it for a long period of time and not to make short-term profits. That’s why I chose the path of open and transparent communication from the very beginning. If everything goes well, you will know it, if something does not go well, you will know it too. I always have an open ear for suggestions, ideas but also criticism. Please feel free to contact me via the possibilities at the bottom of the website.

KES information of FAIR pool in epoch 233.

Since it was time to renew the KES keys and update the cardano-node to the newest version 1.23.0, I took the opportunity and started to move the pool to new servers. I used the Google Cloud Platform before, because there are performant and reliable servers available. However, this platform is also a high cost factor due to its very diverse possibilities and number of innovative products, which are not needed for the operation of a stake pool. Another important reason is that many other pools also use the major cloud services like Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure to operate their pools. In order to follow the idea of decentralization further, I decided to go with a German provider who offers me a much better price-performance ratio while still providing the full range of functions I need. To keep the costs low, I booked the servers for one year in advance. With the new servers we are prepared for much higher loads than currently, but we still have the possibility to increase the capacities even further. And you know what? We are already running on the new infrastructure and have already produced our first blocks. That means the cardano-node update, migration as well as the renewal of the keys went off without any problems 🙂

In the common explorers you will see four running relays at the moment. I will keep the old relays online as long as they are contracted. After that they will be switched off and the pool will only run with the new relays.

Leader Schedule for 233

| #  | Status     | Block    | Slot | SlotInEpoch  | Scheduled At             |
| 1  | confirmed  | 5028643  | 15403790 | 110990   | 2020-12-03 04:34:41 UTC  |
| 2  | confirmed  | 5029261  | 15416220 | 123420   | 2020-12-03 08:01:51 UTC  |

Note: The times shown refer to the coordinated universal time (UTC).

As you can see the format of the schedule changed a bit from the format of the last updates and the stolen blocks of the bft nodes are no longer included. I think it is still all well recognizable. As you can see we were assigned two blocks in 233 which we have already produced. This means a performance of about ~108% if we are looking at the ideal (in a statistical sense in relation to our stake) amount of blocks which is 1.86 at this epoch.

Let me know if you like the new leader schedule format or if you want the old one back.

This is it for today. Talk to you soon! 🙂

[Pool Update] Epoch 232

Hey people!

Better late than never: The pool update for epoch 232.

But first a short review of epoch 231. We have actually produced all calculated blocks of the last schedule as you can see in the last update. So we have a performance of 118% in epoch 231 like in epoch 230 and the rewards should be pretty good at ~5.5%. All in all this results in a ROS of ~5.34% in the last 30 days. This is absolutely respectable and is on the same level as many significantly larger pools!

Leader Schedule for 232

Checking leadership log for Epoch 232 [ d Param: 0.4 ]
2020-11-27 00:05:23 ==> Stolen by BFT for 4832, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 1
2020-11-28 08:29:04 ==> Leader for 121453, Cumulative epoch blocks: 1
2020-11-28 18:35:18 ==> Stolen by BFT for 157827, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 2

Note: The times shown refer to the central european summer time (CET, UTC+1).

In Epoch 232 the calculations suggest one block for us, while two blocks are stolen by the BFT nodes due to the d-parameter. At the time I’m writing this, we already successfully produced this block! 🙂

A little encouragement: I will soon increase the pledge of the pool again by 5k to make it more attractive. As announced, all rewards will be reinvested in the pledge and thus continue to strengthen the Cardano network.

People like you are the basis for the continued existence of smaller pools like this one and you contribute a lot to the decentralization and security of the network with your decision against the big pools and multipool operators. I would like to thank you very much for this, be sure that I will continue to do everything to keep the pool running at its best.

Talk to you soon! 🙂

[Pool Update] Epoch 231

Hey People!

Welcome back to the pool Update. We just transitioned from 230 to 231, if you’re already delegating to this pool you have just received your rewards for 229 (Check the Cardano Reward Schedule to better understand when you will receive the rewards for which epoch). Remember? This was a very lucky epoch for us with a performance of 278% which corresponds to a nice ROS of about 15%. So if you’re not delegating to this pool, consider doing so. We are well under the “new” saturation point of ~63.6M which will come with k=500 on December 6th and offer proven performance and a competitive ROS! Please redelegate if you’re currently in a pool above this stake as you will lose some rewards otherwise.

Back to epoch 230: We made 2 blocks which gives us a performance of 118% this epoch. Therefore we produced all blocks assigned to us during the last epoch. You can verify this in the leader schedule of the last epoch. I’ll keep posting the schedule on the website that you have the ability to verify that the pool runs properly and produces its assigned blocks!

Leader Schedule for 231

Checking leadership log for Epoch 231 [ d Param: 0.42 ]
2020-11-21 23:41:03 ==> Leader for 3372, Cumulative epoch blocks: 1
2020-11-23 08:52:56 ==> Stolen by BFT for 122885, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 1
2020-11-24 04:59:08 ==> Stolen by BFT for 195257, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 2
2020-11-25 02:31:37 ==> Leader for 272806, Cumulative epoch blocks: 2

Note: The times shown refer to the central european summer time (CET, UTC+1).

In the current schedule you can see that we will probably produce two blocks again in 231. This is very good news because these two blocks will again provide a good ROS.

Now you should enjoy your 229 rewards and the currently rising ADA prices! Talk to you soon 🙂

[Pool Update] Epoch 230

Hey people!

Epoch 229 was a really lucky one for us. We have been assigned five blocks and of course, we have produced all of them, which results in an estimated ROS of about 15.9% for this epoch! This leads to a nice boost in our performance and our lifetime ROS and therefore levels out some unluckier epochs we had in the past. I hope that our luck will last for a while and not leave us right away. You’ll need to keep in mind that smaller pools have higher fluctuation in ROS than bigger pools. This is just due to the number of blocks: Big pools may produce somewhere between 50 and 100 blocks per epoch at the moment, this means if they are unlucky they just miss a few blocks but their overall performance is still quite high as there are plenty of other blocks left to produce. Smaller pools may only lose one block due to the d-parameter and their performance already drops significantly if they are statistically should produce two in the whole epoch. Sure this works in both ways. Larger pools very rarely have epochs with unusually high ROS, because this would require many blocks. On the other hand, a lucky small operator may produce the double or triple amount of designated blocks because it is still only six instead of two blocks in one epoch. This sometimes looks bad in statistics but doesn’t really matter if you’re a long-term staker. Unluckier periods will level out with luckier periods.

Back to the current epoch 230: Since last epoch we lost some stake, but the amount of delegators is still the same. I think some people left us due to bad luck in some past epochs. But I’m looking forward to the next few epochs, as I expect some movement in stake due to the change in k and therefore the saturation point, which I explained in an earlier post. So if you’re not already a delegator to this pool, consider staking with us as we’re well under the saturation point for k=500 and are also well under the saturation point for k=1000 which should happen in March 2021! This pool also has a verifiable performance. Because I will publish the Leader Schedule for the coming epoch on the website as long as this is possible. So everybody can see if the assigned blocks are actually produced. Transparency is key here.

Leader Schedule for 230

Checking leadership log for Epoch 230 [ d Param: 0.44 ]
2020-11-17 00:58:07 ==> Leader for 7996, Cumulative epoch blocks: 1
2020-11-18 05:35:27 ==> Stolen by BFT for 111036, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 1
2020-11-18 21:23:36 ==> Stolen by BFT for 167925, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 2
2020-11-19 21:53:09 ==> Leader for 256098, Cumulative epoch blocks: 2
2020-11-20 15:06:03 ==> Stolen by BFT for 318072, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 3

Note: The times shown refer to the central european summer time (CET, UTC+1).

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me!

Talk to you soon! 🙂

[Pool Update] Epoch 228 & 229 + Thoughts about k

Hey People!

A short update for the past epoch 228 and the current epoch 229. Last epoch we unfortunately had no luck and did not produce a single block, although statistically we should have produced two. But let’s not talk about it too long, because in epoch 229 the calculation of the schedule looks very good.

Checking leadership log for Epoch 229 [ d Param: 0.46 ]
2020-11-12 01:21:48 ==> Stolen by BFT for 9417, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 1
2020-11-12 10:42:25 ==> Stolen by BFT for 43054, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 2
2020-11-13 09:51:12 ==> Leader for 126381, Cumulative epoch blocks: 1
2020-11-13 14:41:20 ==> Stolen by BFT for 143789, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 3
2020-11-13 23:37:26 ==> Leader for 175955, Cumulative epoch blocks: 2
2020-11-15 01:27:09 ==> Leader for 268938, Cumulative epoch blocks: 3
2020-11-15 13:37:58 ==> Leader for 312787, Cumulative epoch blocks: 4
2020-11-15 21:51:38 ==> Leader for 342407, Cumulative epoch blocks: 5

Note: The times shown refer to the central european summer time (CET, UTC+1).

According to the logs we should produce five blocks this epoch instead of the statistically intended 1.7. This would improve the overall luck of the pool and also yield some good rewards for this epoch. Another very good news is that the k-parameter will be increased from currently 150 to 500 on the 6th of December. For those of you who don’t know: The k-parameter determines the saturation point of the stake pools. The saturation point refers to the amount of ADA after the rewards of a pool can’t get any higher even if the stake further increases, thus diminishing the rewards of the delegators. It is used to set the desired number of pools within the Cardano network. What this means in practice is, that the saturation point will lower to about 63.6M ADA. The increase in k should therefore lead to a redistribution of stake within the stake pools, which is a very good thing for all smaller pools.

But here is the problem: There are operators in this network which will just spin up more and more pools as k increases further. This has the major disadvantage that it contradicts the idea of a decentralized network. In a perfect world, one pool operator would operate exactly one pool. Therefore we would have exactly as many different operators as different pools. Its your choice as an informed delegator and participant of the network to choose the pool that best fits your ideas and values.

Let me make one more thing clear: This is just my idea of the network and how things should be. I do not want to denounce or expose anyone. Everyone can and should represent his own position as long as it is within the rules and guidelines of our community. Because the only thing that matters within the network is the community, the people behind each single ADA which do have a voice in this network.

In the Cardano network we do have a mechanism for the aforementioned problems of operators spinning up multiple pools: The a0 parameter. This parameter determines the influence of a stake pools pledge on the rewards. This means, that stake pools with a low pledge will basically get lower rewards.

But I think you already see the conflict, which results from this: If a0 is set too high, smaller pool operators, which can not provide this high pledge, are driven out of the network. I think this is also not the idea of an open, decentralized network, where everybody can participate. But in the long run I am pretty sure, that we will find a good balance of these parameters and this is the strength of this protocol. It is changeable and adaptable to the current situation.

If you want some more information about the change of k, please refer to the official blog post: Parameters and decentralization: the way ahead

That’s all I wanted to say to you today. Thanks to all my great delegators and talk to you soon! 🙂

[Pool Update] Epoch 227

Hey people!

We just transitioned into epoch 227 and the d parameter is now set to 0.5. This means that this is the very first epoch where the community pools produce the same amount of blocks as the governed BFT nodes. It really feels great to see the network going forward and forward every single epoch.

I did also already calculate the schedule for this epoch:

Checking leadership log for Epoch 227 [ d Param: 0.5 ]
2020-11-02 23:24:15 ==> Stolen by BFT for 88764, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 1
2020-11-03 00:15:55 ==> Stolen by BFT for 91864, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 2
2020-11-04 00:44:33 ==> Stolen by BFT for 179982, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 3
2020-11-04 08:34:58 ==> Leader for 208207, Cumulative epoch blocks: 1
2020-11-04 20:46:39 ==> Stolen by BFT for 252108, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 4
2020-11-05 14:37:25 ==> Stolen by BFT for 316354, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 5
2020-11-06 10:42:21 ==> Stolen by BFT for 388650, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 6

Note: The times shown refer to the central european summer time (CET, UTC+1).

As you can see there is an unlucky epoch lying ahead. We expect to produce one block this epoch and 6! blocks will be stolen by the BFT nodes. Thats very unfortunate as with the d parameter at 0.5 only about half of the blocks of a whole epoch should get stolen by BFT. In our case 6 out of 7 blocks are stolen this relates to 85% stolen blocks instead of 50%. There is still a little chance that one of the BFT nodes misses a block and if that happens, be sure that the pool is ready to take over this work 😉

If you’re interested in whats going in the cardano space, make sure to check out the October Cardano monthly update. Great news and information in there and definetely worth listening/watching.

Lets hope for a better epoch 228! Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon 🙂

[Pool Update] Epoch 225 & 226

Hey People!

Just a little update for everyone not following on twitter or telegram.

Last epoch (225) we produced 2 blocks of statistically intended 1.9 blocks and thus had a slight overperformance of 105% 🙂

The even better news; I have already looked at the schedule for 226 and I don’t want to withhold it from you:

Checking leadership log for Epoch 226 [ d Param: 0.52 ]
2020-10-28 01:13:12 ==> Stolen by BFT for 8901, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 1
2020-10-29 06:31:34 ==> Stolen by BFT for 114403, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 2
2020-10-29 09:58:50 ==> Leader for 126839, Cumulative epoch blocks: 1
2020-11-01 06:16:14 ==> Leader for 372683, Cumulative epoch blocks: 2
2020-11-01 07:02:19 ==> Stolen by BFT for 375448, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 3
2020-11-01 13:46:51 ==> Leader for 399720, Cumulative epoch blocks: 3
2020-11-01 21:30:50 ==> Stolen by BFT for 427559, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 4

Note: The times shown refer to the central european summer time (CET, UTC+1).

Overall we’re heading for three blocks in 226 (if there are no slot battles) which means an overperformance for this epoch and therefore good rewards. If d were zero we would even produce 7 blocks this epoch. Really looking forward for d to further decrease in the future.

Thats it for now. Talk to you soon 🙂

EDIT: Due to a miscalculation in the last schedule we produced only two blocks instead of the above mentioned three blocks. This still means a performance of 105% but I just wanted to clarify this. Transparency is key and therefore I do want to excuse for this mistake!

[Pool Update] Summary of the last few epoch

Hey People,

You haven’t heard from me on the website for a while now and therefore it’s time for a small update.

We were quite lucky at the beginning of the mainnet but lost luck a bit in the last few epochs. There was epoch 220 and 223 completely without a single block, which made some bigger delegators left. We still have a good base of delegators and I do want to thank every single one of you!

I wanted to let you know, that the nodes ran through all epochs flawlessly and we had no issues whatsoever.

What I do want to state in this little post is that we’re currently losing many many blocks to the BFT nodes. For those of you who don’t know what that is: They are basically the “official” nodes that ran the network until the Shelley era. Since then the community pools started taking over the network with a slow decrease of the d parameter, which relates to how many blocks the community pools can produce. Currently (epoch 224) the d parameter is 0.56 which means that 56% of the blocks are made by the BFT nodes and 44% are made by the community pools.

I went to the leader logs for epoch 223 and they state the following:

2020-10-13 03:54:45 ==> Stolen by BFT for 14994 
2020-10-15 03:54:56 ==> Stolen by BFT for 187805

Note: The times shown refer to the central european summer time (CEST, UTC+2).

This means that we would have produced two blocks when d would be 0. As it’s not we were unlucky and lost both of our blocks to the official nodes. There is really nothing any pool can do about losing blocks to the BFT nodes. We just need to wait for d to decrease further. It’s also possible for me now to take a look at the current epoch 224, where we have a quite similar picture:

Checking leadership log for Epoch 224 [ d Param: 0.56 ]
2020-10-19 08:29:29 ==> Stolen by BFT for 117878, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 1
2020-10-21 22:24:58 ==> Stolen by BFT for 340807, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 2
2020-10-22 10:22:03 ==> Stolen by BFT for 383832, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 3
2020-10-22 13:04:58 ==> Stolen by BFT for 393607, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 4
2020-10-22 13:48:01 ==> Leader for 396190, Cumulative epoch blocks: 1
2020-10-22 23:37:45 ==> Stolen by BFT for 431574, Cumulative stolen blocks due to d param: 5

Note: The times shown refer to the central european summer time (CEST, UTC+2).

What we can read here is that we would produce 6 blocks if d were 0, but as it’s not we lost 5 blocks of those 6 to the BFT nodes. If we consider the current d parameter we statistically should have made about 2-3 out of those 6 but as there is still some randomness/luck involved, we will only produce 1 block in epoch 224 (if there isn’t a slot battle for this particular slot).

I am looking forward to a better future as d will decrease further. I need to say that I’m still dedicated to Cardano and to running this stakepool.

Some good news at the end. During the last epoch I upgraded the pledge to 25k ADA and also assigned a new domain to the pool. From now on everyone will be automatically redirected to the new domain fairpool.eu, which is also the official domain registered on the blockchain with this pool. It is much better to read and to remember, plus looks better and more trustworthy.

Stay tuned for more updates and consider following me on Twitter or join the telegram group if you want to receive more frequent updates or just want to have a nice chat with me.

Talk to you soon! 🙂

[Pool Update] Current developments (ROS, Pledge, Delegators)

Hey people,

Want to give you a short update here:
I recently updated the pledge of the pool from 10k to 15k. In the upcoming months, I will regularly update the pledge to be prepared when the parameter a0 gets increased. This parameter reduces the rewards of the pool when its pledge is too low. It should incentivize SPOs to pledge more ADA to their pool, thus making it more reliable and the network more stable. Currently, the a0 parameter is quite low and therefore not much pledge is needed to avoid reduced rewards. As you will see in a moment, this pool offers a very good ROS despite having (in comparison) not a very high pledge, which is currently no problem.

As the first few epochs are over now and we have some data about the current ROS of the pool I wrote together the data of different explorers:

ExplorerROS Epoch 212ROS Epoch 213

As you can see Cardanoscan and Pooltool are showing the same ROS and as to my calculation this ROS is the correct one. I am very happy that we have performed so well so far and are generating very good rewards. Another piece of good news, the rewards for Era 214 will also be very good because statistically, the pool has produced more blocks than expected. It is estimated that Era 214 will produce about 7.9% ROS.

If we now take a brief look at the current epoch 215, we see that we have already produced 3 blocks. This means that we again have an overperformance and the rewards for 215 will be above average. Since the epoch is not over yet, it can only get better.

A nice development is also the number of delegators in this pool. We see a constant increase and currently there are 93 people delegating to this pool. If we compare this value with other pools with a similar stake, we see that we have an above-average number of people. I see this as a very good thing because we are not as dependent on large individual sums as other pools. On the other hand, I would love to welcome a whale here, as it will give us another nice boost in stake, which will definitely support the block production. So far you can see that the ROS is worth delegating to smaller pools and it has hardly any advantages in this regard to support the big players.

I would like to thank everyone here for delegating to this pool. If you have any questions, suggestions or ideas for improvement please do not hesitate to contact me. I have also created a telegram group where you can meet not only me but also other people who delegate to this pool. I would be very happy to welcome you there.

Current ROS: Big pools vs. small pools [UPDATE]

Hey people,

In this article I do want to talk a little bit about the current return of stake (ROS) and how the ROS of small pools compares to the ROS of bigger pools. I guess some of you will be surprised and I really hope some of you will think about their current delegation and consider delegating to smaller pools.

As we do have some first data now, we can actually start to do some calculations. Yes, there will be some changes over time and as I’m no fortune teller, I will only look at the data we have at hand:

I am using the data from https://pooltool.io/ as they already provide information about the ROS of pools. So lets clarify what the ROS is: it basically tells you how much return you will get of your invested stake in one year. E.g. if you have 100k ADA and you delegate your stake to a pool which has a ROS of 5% you’ll have 105k ADA at the end of the first year.

So let us compare the average ROS of the top 20 pools (without saturated ones) to the ROS of the pools on the rank 200 – 220:

Calculation for top 20 (without saturated pools):

5.77 + 5.86 + 5.81 + 5.80 + 5.77 + 5.59 + 5.77 + 5.78 + 5.77 + 5.77 + 5.37 + 5.48 + 5.6 + 5.83 + 5.49 + 5.48 + 5.59 + 5.74 + 5.37 + 5.48 = 113.12 / 20 = 5.656%

Calculation for rank 200 – 220 (with at least one block):

5.89 + 5.82 + 5.82 + 6.55 + 0 + 6.16 + 6.32 + 5.77 + 7.15 + 6.02 + 4.08 + 5.78 + 5.96 + 5.91 + 5.83 + 6.64 + 5.78 + 7.04 + 6.53 + 6.91= 115.96 / 20 = 5.798%

Notes: Pools sorted by lifetime blocks; for comparison: Avg. stake of the top20-set: 144M; Avg. stake of the smaller-set: 6M

As you can see the ROS of the much much larger pools is not even higher than the ROS of the smaller pools. In fact, in this example, its the other way around the smaller pools gave you a 0.142% higher ROS. So what does this mean for you as a delegator: It is not really important if you stake with a very large pool or with a medium-sized or a small pool when you only consider the ROS. But I think many of us know that the ~5% per year are only a nice bonus and the tip of the iceberg. If Cardano succeeds in its vision it has a much higher potential than those gains. For Cardano to succeed we need a healthy, diverse ecosystem with as many reliable pools as possible and we will only reach this with true decentralization on which you as delegators can have a direct influence.

So please reconsider delegating to smaller pools, think about what it means for Cardano when the stake is to concentrated to big pools and what it means when there are stake pool operators that are obviously running more than a few pools at once to attract more and more stake and delegators.

I hope this was a helpful little comparison for some of you. Remember that this was just an example, there will always be a certain luck factor but in the end we will be on about the same level with ROS.

For everyone who already delegates to this pool or thinks about delegating: This pool has currently a ROS of 5.79%

Thanks to every single delegator, without you the operation of this pool would not be possible.

Talk to you soon! 🙂

[UPDATE 31st August 2020]:

As some people mentioned, the given ROS values by pooltool are not 100% correct as they seem a bit of of the real values when calculated for a single delegator. The overall numbers seem to high throughout all pools. This means that the ROS values are not correct in their absolute numbers but the ratio of the numbers should be correct. I’ll do a similiar post like this in some time when we have better data 🙂