Cardano SPO #115: LION Pool [LION]

Patryk | Interviewing Cardano
4 min readMar 11, 2024

Written interviews with Stake Pool Operators (SPOs) on the Cardano blockchain.

Today’s guest on the Cardano SPO column is a bare metal single stake pool operated by a global team coming from a variety of backgrounds: LION Pool [LION].

The previous guest was a stake pool operated by Sergiu Cazan, an economist from Romania with a mission focused on autism awareness.

This column is where I invite Stake Pool Operators (SPO) to share their stories and vision as a way to connect with and learn about the Cardano Community.

Hi, thanks for your time. Tell us something about your team, where are you based and what are your backgrounds?

Hello, we are a global group, with both support/cnodes based in Central North America, Portugal, Germany and soon, Brazil (summer 2024). Our block production rotates through several continents, for censorship redundancy, and to ensure efficient block propagation. Also to ensure our delegators are safe from overnight shutdowns and centralized block censorship.

We are a bare metal single stake pool operator.

Running and testing performance hardware is a nonstop job!

No one has access to our processing, RAM, cache, blockproduction, database or keys!

What’s the path that led you to Cardano and to become Stake Pool Operators (SPO)?

Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds. BTC gpu/asic mining, ETH devnet, local ETH meetups, wallet development, devOPs, secOPs, app development. Founders are University-educated in Business, Engineering and CompSci. Work experience spans both Oil and Gas and Construction and IT industries. Things break… and we are good at fixing!

Personally I was intrigued by Hoskinson’s early whiteboard videos and I was sick of paying high gas fees as well as the wasteful PoW on Ethereum. I was also bored with Bitcoin’s rate of updates, fork wars and blatant limitations.

It was clear to me that Hoskinson was financially successful on prior projects, and was motivated by not only industry redemption, but by the technical possibility. Beating Ethereum to PoS was a huge accomplishment. Early days of Daedalus were exciting and the frequent updates and attention to detail had me sold on IOHK engineering. They were successful in solving hard problems.

What are you most looking forward to in the Cardano ecosystem? What do you think is lacking?

Cardano has a great community! Even whilst setting up and testing SPO infrastructure and security, we found that Cardano OGs were responsive and supportive of their up and coming competition, for the common good. Our technical questions were addressed quickly and the resources were excellent. We found Daedalus to be one of the most secure wallets out there for power users and have been using it since day one, the updates were frequent and it was interesting to experience the buildout with each update. Having the security of running a full node was comforting!

System lacks.

Finality needs to be quicker and cheaper. There is too much friction in DeFi which slows adoption, and wastes user time. Unfilled orders, unspent eUTxO errors, performance hardware workarounds for aggregators are all concerning.

I would like to see 1s finality as the global fiber backbone allows this. SPOs should have the best hardware and lowest latency, because slow and low power infrastructures, like Arm processors and Raspberry Pi, hurt the network.

We are as fast as our weakest link. Therefore network infrastructure should be incentivised to be the best in the industry.

We desperately need better onboarding, education (Emurgo Academy India servicing NA at 5am was terrible) and off-ramps. For example Lamassu ATMs once had Cardano as an altcoin, but this was not consistently financed or supplemented. So it was dropped!

All Lamassu ATMs should have ADA as an option right beside BTC and ETH. IOHK failed to supplement the software! Ground level fiat on-ramp is essentially non-existent!

Can you share your thoughts about the governance side of Cardano? How will it unfold and what role will SPOs like yourself play in it?

I see SPOs being a voting proxy, as people don’t have a lot of time to go through all the info, and a lot are certainly not educated enough to contribute to important decisions in many technical realms.

Delegate to a professional you trust to make the best decision for both the pool, network AND users.

It is critical that the global community stears progress, so no central figure can be censored.

I am not sure a forkless chain is a feature. Forcing half the network to bend the knee on contentious issues is not the best solution. Nature does not work this way. Variations backed by large community segments should be allowed to propagate and differentiate.

Great contribution. Any closing thoughts? Where can people find you?

Keep onboarding users, keep building dApps that excite users and stay competitive with other chains. Everyone needs to do their part to promote and build!

Cardano is a great network, it’s super safe, well established and war hardened.

If you are sick of toxic Bitcoin Maximalists trying to convince you “there can be only one!” I would say, you are an adult and are free to choose as many chains as you like to explore, innovate on and experience.

Cardano will welcome you with open arms as you experience multiple L1s and their unique solutions!

Come on over!

Please delegate to LION and receive 90 day bonus rewards and claim your TOSIDROP airdrops monthly!

Disclaimer: The opinions and views of the people interviewed are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Cardano Foundation or IOG. Moreover, this content is for educational purposes, it doesn’t constitute financial advice.

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Patryk | Interviewing Cardano

Cardano Ambassador | Writer and Translator | Watch “Dominion (2018)” on YouTube