[Pool Update] Epoch 239

Hey people!

First Pool Update in 2021. Hope you all had a good arrival in this new year. It’ll be a great one for Cardano.

Little reminder: If you registered to vote for Catalyst fund2 you need to cast your vote by January 4th 8 PM (UTC).

I’ll keep it short this time and we’ll jump right into the numbers for epoch 238 and 239.

Performance for 238

| Leader | Ideal | Luck   | Adopted | Confirmed | Missed | Ghosted | Stolen | Invalid |
| 3      | 2.76  | 108.7% | 3       | 3         | 0      | 0       | 0      | 0       |

In Epoch 238 we produced three blocks, resulting in 108% luck and an assigned performance of 100%. This means we had a slight overperformance and produced every block assigned to the pool. The estimated ROS for that epoch is around 5.4%.

Leader Schedule for 239

| # | Status | Block | Slot     | SlotInEpoch | Scheduled At            |
| 1 | leader | -     | 17951904 | 67104       | 2021-01-01 16:23:15 UTC |
| 2 | leader | -     | 17965145 | 80345       | 2021-01-01 20:03:56 UTC |
| 3 | leader | -     | 18057001 | 172201      | 2021-01-02 21:34:52 UTC |
| 4 | leader | -     | 18098335 | 213535      | 2021-01-03 09:03:46 UTC |
| 5 | leader | -     | 18172014 | 287214      | 2021-01-04 05:31:45 UTC |
| 6 | leader | -     | 18238791 | 353991      | 2021-01-05 00:04:42 UTC |

This first epoch of 2021 looks absolutely great and I hope the year continues like that! We are assigned to produce six blocks which will result in 209% luck. This also means very good rewards for this epoch. At the moment our lifetime luck is still a bit under 100% but that should level out in the near future. With our current stake it is also likely that we see an overall stabilization in block production as well as rewards.

That’s it for now, talk to you soon! πŸ™‚

[Pool Update] Epoch 237 & 238

Hey people!

Due to the holidays there was no dedicated pool update in epoch 237 and also the update for epoch 238 will be rather short, because it feels like the whole crypto space is on vacation and there is not too much Cardano related to talk about.

Rest assured that the pool is monitored 24/7, even over the holidays, and operation is assured at all times.

12 days of Christmas IOHK style

You can find the full blog post here: Some thoughts for the next 12 days

Note that it will be updated throughout the next few days with new content πŸ˜‰

Performance for 237

| Leader | Ideal | Luck    | Adopted | Confirmed | Missed | Ghosted | Stolen | Invalid |
| 3      | 2.16  | 138.89% | 3       | 3         | 0      | 0       | 0      | 0       |

As you can see we produced all three assigned blocks in 237. Which leaves us at a luck of ~138% and an assigned performance of 100%.

Leader Schedule for 238

| # | Status | Block | Slot     | SlotInEpoch | Scheduled At            |
| 1 | leader | -     | 17552942 | 100142      | 2020-12-28 01:33:53 UTC |
| 2 | leader | -     | 17628589 | 175789      | 2020-12-28 22:34:40 UTC |
| 3 | leader | -     | 17838558 | 385758      | 2020-12-31 08:54:09 UTC |

In 238 we are looking for three assigned blocks again. This leaves us at a slight overperformance for this epoch.

Now there is nothing left for me to say except to thank you all. 2020 was an exciting year for Cardano, but 2021 is expected to be even better. I wish you all relaxing last days of 2020 and hope that 2021 will be more pleasant for our international community.

That’s all I have for you today, talk to you soon! πŸ™‚

[Pool Update] Epoch 236

Hey People!

Exciting new developments and partnerships have recently been announced. An overview as well as links to further information on the individual topics can be found below.

Fund2 voting

Even though the fund2 voting was already addressed in the last pool update, I would like to give a small update here. The voting registration is finished and all registered voters have now until January 4th to vote for the proposals.

With this voting we managed to become the largest DAO in the world. About 1725 different wallets with about 566M ADA have registered. We have received many high quality proposals and this shows once again what the community can do when everyone’s individual suggestions are not only allowed but actually encouraged.

Read more about the fund2 in this spreadsheet from Daniel Ribar: Project Catalyst Dashboard – Fund 2 Challenge

Cardano Gogouen Development Update

In this video series you’ll be informed about the latest developments and the rollout of Goguen. Have fun watching the latest update from december 10th:

December 17th Cardano Development update

I think many of you will already know the Cardano Development update which takes place every month. In this video there are many very interesting announcements. First the new partnership with the Nervos Network. IOHK and Nervos will work together on enhancing security, scalability and increasing adoption, as well as jointly research UTXO ledgers to develop an improved framework for UTXO-based chains. Read more about the partnership in this medium article: Nervos and IOHK Join Forces to Make Smart Contracts Safer.

But an even bigger partnership is with Wolfram. Wolfram Alpha (possibly the most popoular product of Wolfram) is a so called computational knowledge engine, also called an answer engine, which can give you answers to factual queries. This means that it not just searches for the solution in the internet but uses external data sources to extract the needed information to solve the problem you asked it and provide you with the correct data. But they are much more than that and I think their own description fits quite well:

“Founded by Stephen Wolfram in 1987, Wolfram Research is one of the world’s most respected computer, web and cloud software companiesβ€”as well as a powerhouse of scientific and technical innovation. As a pioneer in computation and computational knowledge, we have pursued a long-term vision to develop the science, technology and tools to make computation an ever-more-potent force in today’s and tomorrow’s world.”

Source: Wolfram research company background

Another news is the launch of the new KEVM where Solidity (the smart contract language of Ethereum) developers can develop smart contracts on Cardano without learning a new programming language. But take look at this short but very informative video about the KEVM:

All the above mentioned topics and partnerships are part of the December 17th Cardano Development Update. But there is much more to see in the video, so you should watch it if you want all the other good news too:

Performance for 235

| Leader | Ideal | Luck    | Adopted | Confirmed | Missed | Ghosted | Stolen | Invalid |
| 2      | 1.79  | 111.73% | 2       | 2         | 0      | 0       | 0      | 0       |

As you can see we produced all assigned two blocks in 235. Which leaves us at a luck of 111% and an assigned performance of 100%.

Leader Schedule for 236

| # | Status | Block | Slot     | SlotInEpoch | Scheduled At            |
| 1 | leader | -     | 16888644 | 299844      | 2020-12-20 09:02:15 UTC |

We were assigned one block in 236, which means a more unlucky epoch for us. The good news is we are seeing some nice increase in stake lately, which should lead to a more consistent block production in the future! πŸ™‚

I would like to welcome the new delegators and thank everyone for the support. Please keep the Cardano Reward Schedule in mind, which tells you exactly when you will receive rewards from which epoch. All new delegators will receive rewards around 15-20 days later, if you switched from another pool you will still receive rewards from your old pool until then.

If you have any questions just get in touch with me. That’s all for now, talk to you soon! πŸ™‚

[Pool Update] Epoch 235

Hey people!

As already announced in the pool update for epoch 234 I successfully updated all nodes to 1.24.2 and we are therefore ready for the upcoming Allegra hard fork. This update brings token locking to Cardano and you should give this article a read if you are interested in more information: Goguen brings token locking to Cardano

Voting on fund2 proposals

Recently the registration process for voting on the fund2 proposals started and Daedalus Catalyst 1.0.0 was released. If there are now many open questions in your head, what this is all about, then you should give this post a read: Project Catalyst voting: the genesis of a new era of blockchain governance (there are many more interesting links included there e.g. to the proposals and some informative videos etc.)

Also take a look at the Daedalus Catalyst 1.0.0-CT release notes and instructions.

I would like to encourage everyone to take the opportunity to look at the relevant proposals and then, of course, to vote for them. This vote is incentivized, meaning you get some ADA as a reward for your effort. In the future this will probably change and the community should vote to represent their own interests and thus shape the future and development of Cardano. This is a very important part of Cardano and only if as many people as possible vote, the opinion of the whole community can be represented. Those who don’t vote give away their votes and have to live with the consequences that result from the voting.

Performance for 234

| # | Status    | Block   | Slot     | SlotInEpoch | Scheduled At            |
| 1 | confirmed | 5060054 | 16048664 | 323864      | 2020-12-10 15:42:35 UTC |

In epoch 234 one block was assigned to us and as you see above we successfully minted it. This leaves us with an assigned performance of 100% and ~55.5% luck. In the upcoming epoch I’ll talk with you a little bit more about the “assigned performance” metric and how it is the best measure to judge about a pool. So stay tuned πŸ˜‰

Leader Schedule for 235

| # | Status    | Block   | Slot     | SlotInEpoch | Scheduled At            |
| 1 | leader    | -       | 16288566 | 131766      | 2020-12-13 10:20:57 UTC |
| 2 | leader    | -       | 16473045 | 316245      | 2020-12-15 13:35:36 UTC |

In epoch 235 there are two blocks assigned to us. This will give us quite a good ROS again as it leaves our luck at about 111.7%. As already announced earlier I will turn off the two old relays as they are not needed anymore. These two relays are from before the move to the new servers. The contract is now expiring and since they only cause additional costs and would not bring any real added value, I am switching them off.

That’s all for now. Talk to you soon! πŸ™‚

[Pool Update] Epoch 234

Hey people,

Just a very short pool update today. Some information for technically interested people in advance: Recently version 1.24.2 of the cardano-nodes has been released which offers support for the upcoming Allegra and Mary hardfork. I will upgrade all nodes during the next few days. But no worries, you shouldn’t see any interruptions of the pool πŸ˜‰

Check out the github release page for more information.

As you may already know, unlike many other blockchains hardforks are no problem at all on Cardano. Everything works nearly automatically without major interruptions of the network. This is made possible by the so called “Hardfork Combinator” which you can learn more about in the section “About hardforks” of the official documentation and in the video “Hard Fork Combinator: full tech demo“.

Let’s now take a short look at the last epoch: We produced all two assigned blocks in epoch 233, which leaves us at about 105% luck for that epoch.

| #  | 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  |

Leader Schedule for 234

| #  | Status  | Block  | Slot | SlotInEpoch  | Scheduled At             |
| 1  | leader  | -      | 16048664 | 323864   | 2020-12-10 15:42:35 UTC  |

In epoch 234 we’re looking at one block. So this epoch is somewhat unfortunate for us and is below the expected number of blocks. Remember that the blocks in smaller pools fluctuate more than in large pools, but overall a comparable return can be expected as long as a pool reliably produces it’s assigned blocks (which we did; we never missed a single block).

Stay tuned! Talk to you soon πŸ™‚

[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 πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

[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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

[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 πŸ™‚

[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! πŸ™‚

[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! πŸ™‚