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 upstream. My boss at RedHat is supportive of the idea, so that I can use some of the time that I have available for research, on the nessus-cardano project.

A few weeks later, we had our first multiarch Cardano Docker image - since then it has come a long way.

$ docker run --detach \
    --name=relay \
    -p 3001:3001 \
    -e CARDANO_UPDATE_TOPOLOGY=true \
    -v node-data:/opt/cardano/data \
    nessusio/cardano-node run
 

We also wanted a reward model, that would allow folks to join/support this 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. All stake is expected to eventually cluster around k saturated pools. 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.

Although all that great tech and an incentive model that supports more great tech is important, we wanted this project to have a charitable aspect as well. We therefore decided to directly give 100% of the pool's margin to charity - currently, we plant tress for the planet.

That's it for now. 

Astor is live and kicking and we are happy to be part of this incredible journey of

Making The World Work Better For All

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