Hi people! 🙂
It’s pool update time. Let’s see what’s going on in the Cardano ecosystem and what the current pool performance looks like.
I have done that before but I would like to outline some basic security rules to keep your funds secure again:
- Use Strong, Unique Passwords: Create strong and unique passwords for all your cryptocurrency-related accounts. Avoid using easily guessable information or reusing passwords across different platforms. Consider using a password manager for managing your passwords.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA wherever possible, especially for exchanges, wallets, mobile service provider and email provider. This extra layer of security helps protect your accounts from unauthorized access. Try to avoid using your phone or email as a second factor as this generally is the weakest option. Best option would be security keys like YubiKeys, Nitrokeys, Titan Security Keys etc.
- Use a Secure Wallet: Choose a reputable wallet to store your ADA. Consider using a hardware wallet, as they provide an added layer of security by keeping your private keys offline.
- Safeguard Private Keys and Seed Phrase: Keep your private keys and seed phrase offline and in a secure location. Avoid sharing them with anyone or storing them on internet-connected devices. If someone gains access to your private keys, they have full control over your ADA and native Tokens.
- Securely Backup Your Wallet: Create secure backups of your wallet and store them in offline or encrypted formats. This way, if you lose your device or experience a technical issue, you can still recover your funds. Make sure to use a durable solution for long term storage and take measures to detect any tampering with your backup.
- Double-Check Addresses: Before sending ADA to a specific address, double-check that it is correct. Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, so any mistakes could result in permanent loss of funds.
- Be Cautious with Online Activities: Exercise caution when accessing websites or clicking on links related to Cardano and other Cryptocurrencies. Be aware of phishing attempts, where malicious actors may attempt to trick you into revealing your private keys or personal information. No officials, moderators or ambassadors will ever send you a private message! Scammers are copying those profiles and target people seeking help.
- If it is too good to be true, it probably is. There are NEVER any giveaways. Even if it looks 100% real! Scammers are actively hacking big Youtube Channels, other Accounts and copying designs of well known dApps like DEXs. Do not fall for it.
- Always download Software related to Cardano from trusted sources! Double and triple check URLs to make sure you are on the correct website.
- Keep Software Up to Date: Regularly update your wallet software, operating system, and antivirus programs to ensure you have the latest security patches. This helps protect against known vulnerabilities.
- Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi: Be cautious when accessing your ADA wallet or making transactions while connected to public Wi-Fi networks. Public networks may be insecure and could expose your information to potential threats.
- Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest security practices and developments in the Cardano community. Regularly update your knowledge to stay ahead of potential risks and protect your investments.
Remember, no security measure can guarantee complete protection, but by following these best practices, you can significantly enhance the security of your Cardano ADA holdings.
Mainnet Reward Sharing Scheme: k and minPoolCost poll
In Cardano, the reward sharing scheme is designed to incentivize stake pool operators and participants by distributing rewards based on their stake in the network. Two parameters (among many others) that govern this scheme are “k” and “minPoolCost.”
- The “k” parameter represents the ideal number of active stake pools in the Cardano network. It determines the saturation point of a stake pool, beyond which the rewards earned by individual stakeholders start to decrease. For example, at the moment k is set to 500, it means that we should have 500 active stake pools that are fully saturated, at least that is what the system is designed for. If more stake is delegated to a saturated pool (oversaturation), the rewards for each participant decrease, providing an incentive for stakeholders to delegate to smaller, less saturated pools.
- The “minPoolCost” parameter is related to the minimum fixed cost that a stake pool operator can set for their pool. It represents the baseline cost that is deducted from a pools overall rewards, regardless of the pools size or performance, and goes directly to the pool operator. The purpose of the “minPoolCost” parameter is to ensure that stake pool operators have a minimum level of income to pay for their infrastructure. By setting a minimum fixed cost, it helps maintain the quality and reliability of stake pools within the Cardano network. It also has the effect of making small pools less attractive, because the rewards paid to delegators are lower in the long run than for large pools with a lot of stake, where these fixed costs are negligible.
There is currently a network-wide poll on the Cardano mainnet that is taking place as a test run for a possible change to these parameters and as the first on-chain government event under CIP-0094. The poll reads as follows:
Which setup would you prefer to be put in place from Q3 2023 onwards?  Keep k at 500 and minPoolCost at 340 ada  Keep k at 500 and halve minPoolCost to 170 ada  Increase k to 1000 and keep minPoolCost at 340 ada  Increase k to 1000 and halve minPoolCost to 170 ada  I would prefer to abstain  None of the provided options
FAIR decided to vote for  None of the provided options. Here is why:
None of the options provided have convinced us thus far of any real added value for the entire Cardano ecosystem. Numerous arguments exist both for and against an increase, particularly concerning “k”. On the positive side, there is the potential for improved decentralization (though this argument can be challenged when considering pool splitting). On the negative side, there are concerns about unforeseen effects on network performance, such as block propagation delays, missed blocks and future performance improvements. We frequently witness height battles that arise due to inadequate infrastructure of certain pools. Therefore, before we vote in favor of a “k” change, we require more comprehensive information about its impact to sway us towards one option or the other. We believe that any increase in this crucial parameter should be approached gradually and cautiously. By implementing a slow and gradual increase, it allows ample time for everyone to observe the effects and it provides an opportunity for delegators to transition from saturated pools to non-saturated pools.
However, we do recognize the challenges posed by the “minPoolCost” parameter for smaller pools. Consequently, we advocate for lowering this parameter value. Simultaneously, we firmly believe that the introduction of a minMargin is necessary as a compensatory measure. A minMargin would affect both small and large pools equally, while also ensuring that individual pool quality is maintained through adequate funding of the operating costs (when a pool accrued enough stake). This approach prevents significant disadvantages for smaller pools and facilitates their establishment in the early phase of existence.
You can check the results of the poll here:
If you are a delegator of FAIR and disagree with our vote, you have until the end of Epoch 415 to switch to a different pool. Your stake will then count towards the option chosen by the new pool. If you have any questions, concerns, or simply wish to discuss the poll or the option we voted for, please feel free to reach out to us through any of the official channels listed at the bottom of this page.
NOTE: This poll serves as a “test” or “temperature check” within the network participants and is unlikely to be immediately implemented.
FAIR is currently exploring different methods for conducting future polls. One possibility is to enhance the involvement of our delegators in the voting process. However, achieving this would necessitate the development of a decentralized and tamper-proof solution, which is not currently at our disposal. Ideally, this solution would be implemented as a decentralized application directly on the Cardano blockchain, allowing you to participate in the voting process using your own wallets.
New IOHK Blog posts
Cardano Technical Briefing: Dynamic Peer-to-Peer by Duncan Coutts
Building with the community: on-chain governance and CIP-1694
Hydra monthly meeting March 2023: Mainnet demo, Hydra for payments & more
Essential Cardano360: Community Contributions & Consensus
CIP-1694: An explainer
Essential Cardano360 April 2023
Creating Marlowe smart contracts using Blockly
Performance and assigned slots
Average confirmed luck of the shown epochs is around 96%. We lost quite some blocks due to slot and height battles, but there is nothing we can do about that, as the outcome of those battles is determined randomly. Epochs 413 and 414 look very good in terms of assigned luck, so we’ll see how they play out.
That’s all I have for you today! Talk to you soon 🙂