gooWee has officially launched a Cardano stake pool! We’re proud to be supporting this amazing project! 🎉
What’s a Cardano you ask? Good question. Here’s another blog to answer that.
Why did we decide to do this? Honestly there are several reasons. For starters, we’re always looking for new projects and new technologies to learn. And while this is a pretty new space for us (coming from websites and apps), it’s actually a logical progression since more and more apps are going to require connectivity with blockchain technology. In fact we’ve already started discussions on a project involving smart contracts and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). So our efforts are kind of dovetailing.
Also, gooWee is very much aligned with Cardano’s mission and vision. Cardano aims to be a new financial infrastructure for the whole world, especially in places where old models of financial infrastructure are inequitable or non-existent. We’re proud to be able to support that infrastructure, and to do it with zero carbon footprint. This last part because we’re running our stake pool out of a European data center that uses 100% renewable energy.
Most importantly, and on a very personal note, we feel most productive and useful when finding ways to help and support our own community. As we’ve often said, we’d be nothing without our community and we never forget the importance of giving back. Luckily this aligns perfectly with Cardano’s culture and ethos. Stake pool operators are encouraged to be mission oriented and to give part of their earnings to a good cause. One cause that is near and dear to our hearts is technology education, especially with groups of students for whom inequality of exposure is a major barrier. In the past, we’ve taught free beginner classes on WordPress and React in the Denver/Boulder area. Now we are beginning to move these efforts online in the form of YouTube videos and written tutorials, and adding cryptocurrency and Cardano to the curriculum.
For this reason, we’ve chosen to give a third of our stake pool rewards to code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups. We settled on this organization not only because of its mission, but because of its scope and reach. Even though the main programs are in the US, it is working on expanding its impact globally. And while it strives to make technological education available to all students, there is a particular focus on groups that have been historically underrepresented in the tech industry.
When we mint our first block we will give 100% of our profits to code.org. From there we will scale back our donations by 10% each subsequent block, until we reach 33%, and then maintain an ongoing donation at that level.
Not only are we going to donate to code.org financially, but we’re going to commit to volunteer our time too. Once we hit a certain level of stake – the amount needed to mint blocks every epoch (5 days) – we will begin volunteering with code.org on a weekly basis, teaching students in our area how to code. We couldn’t be more excited to start making a contribution in the form of our own time and energy!
Now, I’ve answered the why, but not so much the how. You see, there is a pretty high bar to entry when starting up a Cardano stake pool. The more delegation a stake pool has, the more frequently it is able to mint blocks. The more frequently it mints blocks, the more reward it receives. In other words, there is a stake threshold above which the pool becomes sustainable. That threshold turns out to be around a million staked ADA. Above that amount, a pool starts to generate some decent revenue. Of course the price of ADA is also a factor. But for now we’re assuming somewhere around $1-$2 per ADA. Once a pool gets over that hump and starts regularly minting blocks and earning rewards, more delegators will be attracted to it.
So the real question is, how the hell does a pool get to 1 million ADA? Is it even worth trying? We think so. And we have a strategy. Step one is simply getting the word out. And if you’re reading this blog, then we’re off to a good start. Step 2 is education. We’re creating a YouTube channel as well as blogs and other educational materials on cryptocurrency, blockchain, and Cardano, continuing our tradition of providing free technology education to our community. We simply ask that our readers and viewers consider staking with us if they find our content useful.
Step 3 is to nicely ask a whale. You see, IOHK, the company behind Cardano, wants to support small pool operators (SPOs), and so they are delegating a large amount of ADA to 100 SPOs each quarter of 2021. We believe we are strong candidates because of our mission and values, and because bringing us over the 1-block-per-epoch threshold will mean 2 new volunteers for code.org. If we are chosen, we will be producing blocks regularly throughout Q4, and we will suddenly become very attractive to new delegators. Therefore we will use this time to work toward ongoing sustainability.
So that’s our plan. Ambitious? Sure. Attainable? We think so. And there are so many reasons for us to try. It’s our dream to have the flexibility to give our time freely to our community, and also to be able to choose new projects that align with our culture and values. Our stake pool is the cornerstone of our new strategy for realizing that dream. We hope you’ll join us!