Five reasons to keep ASTOR running

After more than one year of service, ASTOR is scheduled to retire in early Mar 2022 From the beginning , we wanted a reward model that would allow folks to join/support the project without significantly loosing the benefit of delegating to a large pool. The economic dilemma is obvious - a large pool has a much lower cost to every block it mints. The closest we could come to an ideal setup, is to run the pool non-profit. The operator would of course get what is actually needed to run the pool, all else is distributed to folks who support the project. We also wanted to have a charitable aspect to this as well. We therefore decided to directly give 100% of the pool's margin to charity - currently, we plant tress for the planet . This worked out great for the longest time and although being a small pool we could provide significantly higher payouts than even the largest pools. Ideally, these payouts would not have to be done manually but instead become an integral part of network fu

How to swap your Astor tokens with Plutus

Starting with payout period [290...296] we are sending out Astor tokens that can be swapped 1:1 against real Ada by sending them to a Plutus smart contract. In that way, our payouts to loyal delegators become part of the network functionality allowing us to lower pool cost even more. Thanks to the delegation from the Cardano Foundation  Astor will now have an effective delegator cost of 0.3% The 1% pool margin is still used to plant trees for the planet - lots of them. This is your daily climate action, while maximizing your rewards. When receiving Astor tokens, you will see a transaction in your wallet like this ... To swap these Astor tokens you will have to send them to a Plutus smart contract that is executed on the Cardano blockchain. Drafting such a Tx is a little involved ... so we thought, we make it as easy as sending tokens to a target address . What actually happens is that there is process that continuously monitors that address for token inputs and then does the Plutus inv

Update to the ASTOR payout scheme

Over the last six months we paid out a significant share of the pool rewards to our loyal delegators. Most folks who received these benefits continued to delegate to the pool. As a reminder, here is how it worked so far … We took a snapshot of who had delegated to ASTOR consistently over the last six epochs We calculated the average stake for every stake address that qualifies From the pool rewards we subtracted 1% margin that went to charity We then subtracted the actual running cost, which was very little We further subtracted a tax escrow, which is subject to local tax regulations The remainder was distributed proportionally among delegators who qualified The minimum payout value had to be >= 1 ADA (enforced by the network) Finally, we generated a transaction with metadata that published the details Much of this can stay as is, but we can also make some improvements. With the event of Plutus the process can be handled by a smart contract and therefore becomes part of the network

How to transfer ADA to the Orion Protocol

In this post we describe how to transfer ADA from the Cardano network to the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) that powers the Orion Protocol  and vice versa. Orion has recently partnered with Cardano to bring it's on-stop crypto marketplace solution to the Cardano community. Through it's terminal it allows access to major CEX, DEX + swap pools directly from your wallet. In this tutorial we are going to use the  Metamask  browser extension to connect a  Ledger  HW wallet to the Binance Smart Chain.  Lets get right into it ... Step 1 - Connect Hardware Wallet Unlock your Ledger and select the Ethereum application.  Click "Connect Hardware Wallet" and select an account Your Ledger is now connected to Metamask ready to authorize transactions on the Ethereum Mainnet. This isn't what we want however, instead we'd like to use the Binance Smart Chain. Step 2 - Add the Binance Smart Chain to Metamask After selecting the source asset on the Binance Bridge web page, we clic

How does that ASTOR loyalty payout system work?

Every month ASTOR distributes the pool rewards that were not needed to it's loyal delegators.  The rational behind it is that 6 x 340 => 2040 ADA p.m. pool reward is much more than we actually need to run a reliable/secure staking pool and we would therefore like to give back to folks who support our technical contribution for Cardano ... Provide high quality multiarch docker images for Cardano It took a while to put this idea into practise, because we wanted to do this in Haskell  so that we could largely automate the process. Here is how it works … We take a snapshot of who has delegated to ASTOR consistently over the last six epochs We calculate the average stake for every stake address that qualifies From the pool rewards we subtract 1% margin that goes to charity We then subtract the actual running cost, which is very little We further subtract a tax escrow, which is subject to local tax regulations The remainder is distributed proportionally among delegators who qualify Yo

Third round of payouts to loyal delegators

  I’m happy to let you know, that ASTOR has just paid out the third round of dividends to loyal delegators.  As always, we only keep what is actually needed to run the pool - the rest goes to delegators and charity . Everyone on equal terms, including the SPO.  This time we could pay out 849 ADA to 14 beneficiaries. This is almost double of what it was last time . Over the last six epoch we were lucky and made blocks in all but one. A small percentage I use for research for the upcoming Alonzo area (i.e. spinning up scalable Kubernetes cluster to try stuff out).  Here are the details ... The next round of payouts for period [260..266] will happen in E268.  You’re welcome to come on board.

The journey begins

It is December 2020, X-Mas still some days away. There is lots of time with the family and long telephone conversations with friends about this/that. Cardano comes in focus again and we are playing with the idea of participating in the project more actively. The idea of running the ASTOR Stake Pool gets born. We wanted to have a strong technical focus that would eventually allow us to deploy block-chain technology into corporate cloud based IT infrastructure. The thing would need to be programmable, have good support for Tx metadata, be scalable, secure, allow integration with existing data streams, and so on. Basically, a solid building block for IT solutions of the the future. Cardano, was the most promising candidate that we could find. Of course, it needed to be Docker , run on multiple hardware platforms and have Kubernetes support built in. The journey began with tying to build Cardano on arm64 (i.e. the RaspberryPi4) and learning Nix so that we eventually can propose stuff u